ACC Basketball

Miami Hurricanes Lands Another 2014 Recruit


After a tremendous 2012-13 season, many wondered if Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larrañaga would be able to make that one amazing season payoff. It certainly should this offseason he could for the short-term, as Larrañaga was able to quickly re-load with a handful of transfers. Yet, I still wanted to know if it would payoff long-term.

Well, with a commitment from point guard JaQuan Newton, I think it’s official…it’s paying off.

The Philadelphia native is the 41st rated player overall in the class of 2014 (according to Rivals). He’s the number one rated player out of Pennsylvania and the 8th best point guard nationally.

Newton is known as a rim magnet. He attacks the basket with passion and is not afraid to mix it up with the trees in the paint. Although he’s not a above-the-rim finisher, he’s crafty, capable of hanging in the air for a long time.

He’s got good speed, but it’s his ball handling skills that are impressive. He keeps his body low and it’s nearly impossible for a defender to get a steal. He needs no help, capable of beating his man in a one-on-one situation. However, if he gets a screen and a big man switches onto him, toast.

Newton is listed as a point guard and that’s certainly the position he plans on playing at the next level, but he tends to play more like a shooting guard. To say he’s a scoring PG would be an understatement. He’s certainly capable of being a distributor, it’s just not his first instinct.

Like most young guys, he’ll need to continue to develop his shot. His jumper use to be a liability, but he has certainly improved it over the years. He’ll need to be more consistent from three and continue to work on a mid-range game.

He’ll also need to do a better job playing under control. Like I said, he’s always in attack mode, but he can sometimes get out of control and turn the ball over too much.

Newton joins four-star shooting guard Adonys Henriquez and three-star point guard James Palmer in the Canes’ 2014 class.

Some have argued that Newton is the best recruit Miami has ever landed and it’s hard to argue against that. The thing that impresses me the most is the fact that he’s not just some local kid who decided stay close to home.

Newton was heavily recruited by plenty of elite programs and was on the top of Syracuse’s 2014 list. For Larrañaga to head that far north and basically steal this kid from an ACC rival is meaningful. It means South Beach can truly become a destination for top talent across the country.

Looking ahead, Newton will join a crowded back court in 2014.

As of now, the Hurricanes have a stunning FIVE point guards on their roster next season, including Angel Rodriguez, Emmanuel LeComte, Corn Elder and the two incoming freshmen (Newton and Palmer). They’ll also have four shooting guards, sophomores Deandre Burnett, Davon Reed, incoming freshman Henriquez and incoming Texas transfer Sheldon McClellan.

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