Miami made a major transfer pickup Sunday, when former Florida State wing Matthew Cleveland announced his commitment to the Hurricanes over Auburn and Missouri. Cleveland is No. 13 in the and will be critical in helping Miami replenish some lost production from a team that won the ACC regular-season title before reaching the Final Four for the first time in program history.
The intra-conference and intra-state move is especially noteworthy because of the role Cleveland played in handing the Hurricanes a stunning loss in the 2022-23 season. Cleveland hit a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Miami on Feb. 25 and hand the Hurricanes their only home loss of the season. The Seminoles rallied from a 25-point deficit in the largest comeback in ACC history thanks largely to a 20-point outing from Cleveland.
Ultimately, Cleveland's two years at Florida State featured more frustrations than triumphs; FSU missed out on the NCAA Tournament in both his seasons and finished just 9-23 (7-13 ACC) in 2022-23. Amid the Seminoles' struggles, Cleveland led the team in scoring at 13.8 points per game this past season while also grabbing 7.4 rebounds.
Here are some takeaways from his commitment to Miami ...
Significant role awaits
The leading scorer from Miami's Final Four run, Isaiah Wong, entered the NBA Draft and has no plans to return for fifth and final season of eligibility after averaging 16.2 points in 2022-23. Second-leading scorer Jordan Miller is out of eligibility, and fellow double-digit scorers Nijel Pack and Norchad Omier are also testing the draft waters.
Even if Pack and Omier return to college, there should still be ample opportunity for Cleveland to step in and play a starring role. He profiles similarly to Miller, who finished second in rebounding for Miami this past season as a 6-foot-6 wing.
Cleveland has untapped potential
At 6-foot-7 and with a 3-point shot that improved to 35% during his sophomore season, Cleveland has some traits of a potential NBA wing. The former five-star prospect needs to improve his defense and demonstrate more consistency from the outside if he's going to make it at the next level; however, he's a proven ACC producer who can attack the basket or score from mid-range. A more fluid offensive system like Miami's could help Cleveland further unlock his potential. Veteran 'Canes coach Jim Larranaga has had plenty of success with big-time transfers in recent years, including Miller, Pack and Omier.
With Cleveland off the board, just two of the top 20 players in the Texas Tech transfer Jaylon Tyson and Penn transfer Jordan Dingle. This Thursday marks the deadline for players to enter the portal and be eligible for the 2023-24 season. While there could be a final wave players to hit college basketball's open market before the entry deadline and movement will continue for weeks after the deadline, the majority of the big-name talents who are going to transfer this cycle have announced their destinations.remain uncommitted. They are