Sure, the NBA Draft ended less than 24 hours ago. But it’s never too early to look ahead, and in doing so, the Hurricanes like what they see.
NBC Sports’ instant 2018 draft projection includes two players expected to star for Miami this season: sophomore guard Bruce Brown and freshman guard Lonnie Walker.
The author, Rob Dauster, considers both to be lottery picks. Brown, expected to take over for Davon Reed as UM’s top scorer and starting two-guard, was rated as the No. 9 draft prospect. Walker, a five-star, All-American recruit, was No. 13.
Dauster on Brown:
“I’m all-in on Miami as a national title contender this season, and one of the biggest reasons why is Bruce Brown. He’s a 6-foot-5 combo-guard with long arms and a physical frame, he shoots it well from three and can operate in pick-and-rolls and has a competitive fire about him that cannot be taught. I think there’s a chance that he ends up being the ACC Player of the Year this year, and if Jim Larrañaga can work his point guard magic with him, he’ll be a top ten pick in June.”
Dauster on Walker:
“Another one of the reasons I think that Miami is going to be awesome this season. Walker is a big, long and strong shooting guard than can play with the ball in his hands. He made 40 percent of his threes on the Nike EYBL circuit and he has the tools to be a big time defensive menace. He’s one of my favorite guards in the Class of 2017.”
Going by Dauster’s list of 30, only Duke among ACC programs has more NBA-ready talent than Miami. He has four Blue Devils in his list: forward Wendell Carter (No. 8) and point guard Trevon Duval (No. 14), both freshmen, senior guard Grayson Allen (No. 19) and sophomore center Marques Bolden (No. 29). The other ACC player on his list is Louisville sophomore V.J. King (No. 23), a wing player.