Head coach Jim Larrañaga announced the signing of four players — Ja’Quan Newton, James Palmer, Omar Sherman and Ivan Cruz Uceda — to national letters of intent to play men’s basketball for the University of Miami.
The class is listed as No. 23 in the nation by Scout.com.
“We are excited to welcome Ja’Quan, James, Omar and Ivan to our program,” Larrañaga said. “They all come from highly successful programs and complement each other well.”
Newton, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound guard, is currently ranked 56th among Scout.com’s overall top prospects. At Neumann-Goretti High in Philadelphia, Newton averaged 18 points per game last season and has totaled more than 1,300 career points, helping coach Carl Arrigale lead his team to three consecutive Catholic League championships.
The incoming freshman has participated in the NBPA Top 100 Camp and LeBron James Skills Academy, and plays AAU ball for Team Final, the same squad as future Miami teammate Davon Reed. Newton, an offensive slasher with an innate ability to get to the rim, was also recruited by UCLA, Texas A&M and Minnesota.
Palmer, a senior at St. John’s College High, is a 6-4, 180-pound guard from Washington, D.C. He helped his squad to a 20-win season by averaging 12 points, five rebounds and two assists as a junior. An offensive threat, Palmer can catch and shoot 3-pointers or score in transition. Palmer, who plays AAU ball for Team Takeover, was also recruited by Memphis, Wake Forest, Rutgers, Cincinnati and Maryland.
Sherman, out of Duncanville, Texas, is a four-star prospect, according to ESPN and Scout.com. The 6-8, 220-pound forward plays high school ball at Duncanville High. Scout.com lists Sherman as the No. 20 power forward in the country and the No. 94 player overall. Sherman, who played his AAU seasons with Deron Williams Elite, chose Miami over Wichita State, North Texas and Weber State.
Cruz Uceda is a 6-10, 240-pound forward originally from Madrid, Spain, who will be available to play a pair of seasons for Miami following his two years at Harcum College in Pennsylvania. At Harcum, he set the school record for rebounds in a season and has a chance to break the school’s career record in that category. Cruz Uceda was also recruited by Marquette, Ohio State, Penn State and Villanova.
The four newcomers will join an already talented 2014-15 class, which includes redshirt freshman Deandre Burnett, who is out this season with an injury, and transfers Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez, who are currently sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules.