By MIKE McCURRY Between the return of dynamic guards Bruce Brown and Ja’Quan Newton, the anticipated development of Dewan Huell, and Jim Larranaga hauling a Top-10 recruiting class to Coral Gables, Miami figured to be among the nation’s elite this season.But we had no way of knowing that for sure until Miami faced a legitimate opponent. On Wednesday, the No. 10 Hurricanes finally did. And they passed their first true test of the season with flying colors, traveling to Minneapolis and handing No. 12 Minnesota its first loss of the season, 86-81. Huell led the way for Miami with a career-high 23 points, while Brown contributed a season-high 16.
A former McDonald’s All-American who averaged 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds as a freshman, the 6-foot-11 Huell has taken a major leap in his sophomore campaign—which is somewhat fitting, seeing as he routinely jumps out of the gym on the strength of his elite physical tools. After scoring 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting against a phenomenal Minnesota frontcourt featuring Murphy and Reggie Lynch, Huell is now averaging a team-leading 15.0 points per game while converting 70% of his two-pointers. Miami continuously exposed Lynch in the pick-and-roll, with Brown and Newton taking turns getting into the lane and either dumping it off or lobbing it up to Huell, an intelligent rim-runner. Defensively, Huell serves as an effective rim protector and the anchor in a four-guard lineup. Should he keep up this current torrid pace he’s on and at least hold his own against the likes of Marvin Bagley and Bonzie Colson, Miami is going to be right in the mix for a regular season ACC title. Photo: @GopherMBB Follow Mike on Twitter Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter And like ZAGS on Facebook
Dewan Huell hammered on one of the nation’s best shot blockers. pic.twitter.com/n6h0d9ogcY— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) November 30, 2017