Canes to Utilize Lecomte to Improve Season

As a freshman starter for the the University of Miami men’s basketball team, Manu Lecomte might not be the team’s point guard of the future.

That job belongs to Angel Rodriguez, who is sitting this season out because of NCAA transfer rules. But he started 50 games at Kansas State and made All-Big 12 second team as a sophomore last season.

Still, Lecomte, a 5-11, 160-pounder from Belgium, doesn’t seem to mind the prospect of added competition.

“We’re going to have a lot of guards next year,” Lecomte said, referring to shooting guard Sheldon McClellan, who is sitting out this season after transferring from Texas, and combo guard Deandre Burnett, who is injured but should return next season.

“Angel is a very good player, and he’s doing a great job [in practices]. It’s a chance for me to get better.”

The Canes have lost four consecutive ACC games and are 0-5 in league play at home this season. They have a chance to put that losing streak to rest when they face the Florida State Seminoles Monday night in Tallahassee.

Lecomte, who has started 13 games, is fourth on the team in scoring (8.0), second in assists (55) and tied for third in steals (13).

His 40 turnovers are second most on the team, but that is not an awful amount of miscues for a freshman point guard playing his first year in the United States and thrust into a starting role in an elite league such as the ACC.

Earlier this week, Canes Coach Jim Larrañaga said Lecomte has played well for the past five games but needs to keep that going.

“Manu is a very conservative young man,” Larrañaga said. “He would probably prefer to distribute the ball. But he happens to be one of our best shooters.”

Lecomte was benched for nine consecutive games, starting Nov. 29 against Cal State Fullerton. The Canes went instead with 6-6 freshman Davon Reed, a natural wing, and Larrañaga said at the time that the reason for Lecomte’s demotion was that more length was needed on defense for Miami’s new zone.

“Manu didn’t get any bigger in our zone,” Larrañaga said, “but he started to be more productive on offense, and we need anyone who can score to be out on the floor.”

The Canes will have to use all they have against the Seminoles Monday if they want to push towards success this season.
For more on this story visit: Walter Villa, Miami Herald