Canes land massive piece in K-State star Nijel Pack; huge NIL deal on deck
That Elite 8 run by the Miami Hurricanes basketball team saw UM lose some key pieces.
But now the Canes have added one back that should have a huge immediate impact.
Kansas State guard Nijel Pack arrived in Miami for an official visit April 8, and he's now on board as a commitment. He is the answer for the graduation of Charlie Moore, who thrived as a Hurricane after transferring from DePaul. Many think Pack is the top talent in the transfer portal.
“Nijel is a tremendous addition to our team. He is truly one of the finest players in the country, as well as an excellent young man with an elite work ethic who loves basketball,” coach Jim Larranaga said. “Nijel is not only a high-level scorer with elite shooting abilities, but also a superb playmaker and defender. We’re thrilled to welcome Nijel and his family into the Miami basketball program.”
Pack, who can play either guard spot and is considered one of the best shooters in the country., has also agreed to a $400,000 per year, or $800,000 total, NIL deal with John Ruiz and LifeWallet for his potential two upcoming seasons at Miami.
He is career 42.9 percent three-point shooter. This past season Pack averaged 17.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists as a sophomore and was a first-team All-Big 12 Conference pick.
With Miami losing two starting guards - point guard Charlie Moore along with ACC first team pick Kam McGusty - this is the kind of talented experienced player coach Jim Larranaga covets.
The former 4-star out of Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central also had a couple of programs closer to home pushing - Indiana and Purdue. And he said he was also still considering a return to K-State. A sign of how coveted he was: Other interest came from Tennessee, Duke, Gonzaga, Arizona, Xavier, Ohio State, NC State and Marquette.
Pack will help make up for some of the scoring punch lost with the departures of key seniors Charlie Moore, Kam McGusty and Sam Waardenburg.
Pack will join a team that has some good talent also returning.
A key for the team is getting Isaiah Wong back - he’s reportedly getting an NIL deal that could convince him to return instead of turn pro. Wong is a prolific scorer who averaged 15.3 points last season, second only to McGusty. Plus Jordan Miller (10.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG) returns, and UM returns key backup Anthony Walker, Bensley Joseph and Wooga Poplar. Walker had some bright moments as a physical presence in the paint while Joseph was an excellent defender at point guard but really needs to show more on the offensive side. Poplar also has work to do on the offensive end.
The team will also benefit from the return from injury of guard Harlond Beverly, who started 15 games in 2020-21 and averaged 6.7 points, 4.5 rebound and 3.3 assists. Plus guard Jakai Robinson redshirted this year but will look to make his mark on the team next season.
Plus there are four highly touted incoming freshmen coming in: four-star 6-11 center Faour Aire, four-star forward AJ Casey, and three-star forwards Danilo Jovanovich and Christian Watson.
They will now be complemented by the transfer portal once again.