Last week, University of Miami coach Jim Larrañaga revealed that sophomore guard Dejan “DJ” Vasiljevic had scored 159 points in a three-minute shooting drill.
Vasiljevic showed that the drill was no fluke in Miami’s exhibition matchup against Newberry College, tallying a game-high 30 points to lead the Hurricanes to a 106-79 win over the Wolves Wednesday night at the Watsco Center.
The sharpshooter scored 19 of his points in the game’s first four-and-a-half minutes, shooting a perfect 7-7 from the field while hitting five three-pointers. UM sophomore guard Bruce Brown added 19 points, eight assists and put his explosive athletic ability on display with two rim-rattling dunks.
“It was the game we needed,” Vasiljevic said. “I was just happy to see them go through the net.”
UM scored the game’s first 15 points and never looked back from there, stretching the lead to as many as 32 points in the second half.
Despite the blowout, Miami gave up 30 turnovers – one of its biggest areas of concern on the night. Newberry College’s full-court press forced UM into a handful of ill-advised passes.
“It’s a new team with a lot of new players, such as myself,” said freshman Lonnie Walker, who scored eight points in 15 minutes. “We just gotta understand that we can’t really rush the ball. We need to know our strengths and play our strengths wisely.”
Walker, a five-star recruit, showed glimpses of why many view him as a likely first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. But he also showed rust with his three-point shot at the same time. Walker was out three months after undergoing surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee in July.
The Canes are ranked No. 13 in the AP Top 25 preseason poll that came out Wednesday afternoon – the highest AP preseason ranking in program history.
Miami will open the regular season at home against Gardner-Webb University at 8 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Watsco Center.