UM guard Isaiah Wong named first-team preseason All-ACC, Canes open vs. Nova on Wednesday

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The University of Miami men’s basketball team got good news on the eve of its season-opening exhibition against Nova Southeastern. Third-year sophomore guard Isaiah Wong was named first-team Preseason All-ACC.

Wong, who returned to UM after considering the NBA Draft, averaged 17.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game last season, the first Hurricane since the program rebirth (1985-86) to reach all those numbers.

He is the second-leading returning scorer in the ACC, behind Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim, a fellow first-team honoree. Virginia Tech’s Keve Aluma, North Carolina’s Armando Bacot and Duke’s Paolo Bancheo, the ACC Preseason Player/Freshman of the Year, also made first team.

Hurricane Wooga Poplar got one vote for Freshman of the Year.

UM plays Nova Southeasern at 7 p.m. at the Watsco Center and fans will be back in the stands after being banned last season due to COVID-19.

“I think our guys will be very excited about playing in the Watsco Center, hopefully with some fans in the stands. The Watsco Center is a great home court,” Miami coach Jim Larrañaga said. “When our students come out, our fans come out and our season ticket holders come out, the energy in the building is really what creates the excitement. Our opponent on Wednesday is a team that loves to run and shoot the three. They’re very, very fast and it should be an exciting, up-tempo game where the winning team is like to score over 100 points.”

Fans will see the debuts of three freshmen — Bensley Joseph, Poplar and Jakai Robinson — and transfers Charlie Moore (DePaul, previously Kansas and Cal) and Jordan Miller (George Mason).

Nova Southeastern did not play during the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19. The Sharks finished 23-6 (15-5 SSC) in 2019-20 and reached the NCAA Tournament in Division II before its cancellation. Nova’s coach is Jim Crutchfield, a multiple-time national coach of the year who has led his teams to multiple final fours.

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