Hurricanes look toward future, secure three transfer players

Amid an NCAA scandal involving the bribery of high school athletes, from which the University of Miami’s name has since been cleared in the allegations, the Hurricanes lost their chance at multiple top-100 recruits.

And at the end of the 2017-18 men’s basketball season in mid-March, UM had zero incoming recruits. But the team has rebounded nicely in the past month, securing three transfer players in a span of two weeks.

The Canes will add Wyoming transfer Anthony Mack, Oklahoma transfer Kameron McGusty and Florida Gulf Coast University transfer Zach Johnson.

Mack, a three-star recruit who attended high school at Blair Academy in New Jersey with rising Miami redshirt freshman Deng Gak, redshirted his freshman year after dealing with concussion issues. The 6-foot-6, 218-pound guard is applying for eligibility to play immediately.

Mack picked Miami over Maryland, Georgia and Virginia Tech.

“I was able to watch Anthony a lot at Blair Academy when we were recruiting Deng Gak, and I loved his game,” coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Anthony is an excellent three-point shooter with great size who can defend multiple positions.”

McGusty, a four-star recruit, started 25 games over the past two seasons at Oklahoma. After averaging just under 11 points during his freshman year, he saw his minutes reduced in his sophomore season, scoring eight points a night.

The 6-foot-5, 191-pound guard will have to sit out the upcoming season because of NCAA transfer regulations. He will have two years of eligibility remaining, starting in the 2019-20 season.

McGusty chose UM over Virginia Tech and Houston.

“Kameron has great character and personality and already fits in well with our current players and coaches,” Larrañaga said. “He was an All-Big 12 player his freshman year, has NCAA Tournament experience and is highly motivated to improve and help push our team during his upcoming redshirt season.”

Johnson, a Miami native who went to Norland High School with rising junior Dewan Huell, spent the past four years at FGCU. He graduates in the summer and will be eligible immediately to play his final collegiate season at Miami starting in the fall.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound guard averaged 13 points per game as an Eagle and scored 1,344 points in 103 career games.

“Our first goal in our recruiting this spring was to replace the three outstanding guards in our program: Ja’Quan Newton, Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker,” Larrañaga said. “Zach fits the mold of a Miami guard who can play both guard positions. He is a proven winner who was an all-league player in the Atlantic Sun Conference, has NCAA Tournament experience and won a state high school championship in Florida.”

Johnson initially declared for the 2018 NBA Draft without an agent and then decided to play another year in college. He chose Miami over Creighton, Louisville and Arizona.