By NICHOLAS BRUENS
For years, the University of Miami has been known as a football-centered university. It hasn’t been until recently that basketball has found it’s way into prominence onto the Coral Gables campus.
Under head coach Jim Larrañaga, Miami has won the ACC regular season championship, the ACC tournament championship and made two appearances in the Sweet 16. But Coach L’s greatest accomplishment may have occurred on Wednesday morning.
Five-start guard and the 19th-ranked recruit by ESPN, Lonnie Walker, committed to The U and signed a national letter of intent. He is the highest rated recruit to commit to Miami in the history of the school’s basketball program. The ground-breaking acquisition has cause a lot of reactions in the news media.
Many were quite surprised by Walker’s choice. It was believed that the Arizona Wildcats were the favorites for Walker to choose. This was represented Ben Roberts’ article on kentucky.com.
“[Kentucky] weren’t necessarily considered favorites to land his commitment,” Roberts wrote. “but Miami wasn’t the frontrunner, according to any recruiting analysts, entering the early signing period last week.”
Matt Norlander of cbssports.com also wrote how Walker’s commitment is “the most surprising commitment by any five-star player in the 2017 class.”
But that is not the only angle being taken by media. This has also provided the media with opportunity to give coach Larrañaga credit for the amazing job he has done with the program. Jerry Steinberg of stateoftheu.com called Larrañaga a “master chef” which is fitting with the magic he is cooking up in Coral Gables.
It’s clear that the news media are wanting to approach Walker’s commitment with an angle relatively new to the university. The angle of a university that is new to the idea of a top tier basketball team and their rise to prominence. It is also noted that more is expected to come from the Hurricanes.