Apr 28, 2013, 7:10 PM EDT
One season after a veteran-laden lineup led Miami to its first-ever ACC title, head coach Jim Larrañaga will have to navigate an even tougher ACC with a far more inexperienced roster.
On Sunday evening sophomore point guard Shane Larkin announced his decision to enter the 2013 NBA Draft, with the end result being the Hurricanes having to replace their top six scorers from this past season.
Larkin earned first team All-ACC honors and was the coaches’ choice for ACC Player of the Year in 2012-13, averaging 14.5 points and 4.6 assists per contest. With Larkin running the show the experienced Hurricanes won 29 games and made the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 2000.
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With Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart making the decision to remain in school for another year, some in NBA circles believe that Larkin is the third-best available point guard behind Michigan’s Trey Burke and Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams.
DraftExpress.com currently has Larkin going late in the first round of June’s draft.
Looking ahead for Miami, there were already major holes to address but their prospects for next season take an even bigger hit with Larkin’s decision to leave school.
Rion Brown (6.4 ppg) is their most productive returnee, and in regards to the point 6-1 incoming freshman guard Deandre Burnett is considered to be a shooting guard at this stage.
With the ACC adding Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse the league will be difficult for Miami to navigate next season, especially considering just how much talent the Hurricanes have to replace.
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