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In 2018, Kameron McGusty left Oklahoma after just two years in the program. Despite being named a preseason All-Big 12 honorable mention before his sophomore season, McGusty averaged nearly three points per game fewer than he did as a freshman, and he knew a change of scenery would help his career.
McGusty landed in Miami, where he has become the Hurricanes’ leading scorer. The team travels to Syracuse on Saturday, and it is in contention for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
To Shannon Heston, who coached McGusty in high school, the guard was always a “gamer” who worked hard, making McGusty’s success this season as unsurprising. While playing for Heston, McGusty won district MVP as a sophomore at Seven Lakes High School (Texas) before moving to Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas. He developed into a 4-star recruit, and Miami assistant Chris Caputo said McGusty has the work ethic and talent to make it in the NBA.
McGusty tested the NBA draft waters after last season, when the Hurricanes went 10-17 but advanced to the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. But Miami never saw the “best of Kam,” Caputo said, since the guard had missed seven games that year. He ultimately decided to return for a sixth collegiate season this year.
“He felt that if he got in unbelievable shape, and tried to stay as healthy as possible, he would find himself having a season like the one he’s having now,” Caputo said.
McGusty is now having a career year in practically every statistic. He’s averaging 17.4 points per game on 47% shooting, and also records five rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while defending the opposing team’s best player.
“I don’t think you can put an All-ACC first team together that he’s not on,” Caputo said.
Even after McGusty scored at least 20 points in three of Miami’s first seven games, the Hurricanes still sat at just 4-3. But after a 32-point loss to Alabama, they went on to win nine straight, capped off by a two-point road win against then-No. 2 Duke. During that stretch, McGusty poured in 29 points on 63% shooting in a win against Lipscomb while also adding three blocks.
“Whatever I can do to contribute I will do,” McGusty said.“I want to help our team win games.”
In the Hurricanes’ 13 games since upsetting Duke, McGusty has scored at least 10 points 12 times, but Miami also lost five times by four points or less. Although dominating each game is the Hurricanes’ goal, playing in so many close games will help the Hurricanes once they start postseason play, McGusty said.
“They all want to get back. The focus is there. It’s been very, very refreshing to have a group like that,” Caputo said of the Hurricanes.
Miami currently sits at 21-9, and is projected to be a No. 10 seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology prediction. With one regular season game remaining against SU, McGusty hopes to have both his team and their seeding projection heading in the right direction prior to Selection Sunday. Caputo and Heston both described McGusty as “relaxed” and ready for “any challenge” heading into Saturday’s game and the postseason as a whole.
“Whenever you have guys around you that want to see you do well, it’s hard to not have success,” McGusty said.
The post After leaving Oklahoma, Kameron McGusty shines as an All-ACC star at Miami appeared first on The Daily Orange.