Harlond Beverly: back and better than ever

Fourth-year junior guard Harlond Beverly drives to the basket during the first half of Miami’s game versus the University of Virginia in the Watsco Center on Dec. 20, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

It is no secret that Miami men’s basketball is one of the top offenses in the nation.

The Hurricanes average just under 78 points per game, which is third best in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and top 40 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Everyone knows players like Isaiah Wong, Nijel Pack and Jordan Miller are critical contributors to Miami’s offense. However, there is one often overlooked player just as instrumental in the ‘Canes success — guard Harlond Beverly.

A Detroit native and Montverde Academy graduate, Beverly is an exceptional bench piece. Offensively, the fourth-year junior can score on all levels, from inside the paint to multiple feet outside the 3-point arc and he can do it efficiently. This season, Beverly is shooting 45% from the field, 30% from 3-point land and 88% from the free throw line —all of which are career-best marks.

He also brings height to an undersized Miami team. Beverly is 6-foot-6, which allows him to use his length to help the team immensely on defense, especially at the guard position. Although Beverly stands five inches taller than Pack, the two players are within five steals of each other, even though Pack has logged almost 350 more minutes of playing time.

“Harlond is a great all-around player,” Pack said. “It’s like an inspiration to see him play. I’ve seen him make some crazy passes and [showcase] his athletic ability – and then his defense ability too [is an inspiration]. When he gets in the game, we put him on a guy that when we need a big stop, we can count on him to get. The level he’s playing right now for us is really good.”

While his performance on the court is certainly inspirational, his basketball journey is even more so.

Beverly missed most of the 2021-2022 season due to a lingering back injury sustained the previous year. As a result, he did not play basketball for ten months and constantly questioned if he would ever step on the court again.

“Back surgery is very often a career-ending injury,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Harlond was very conscientious in making his way back. He worked very hard and got himself in great shape.”

While out, Beverly watched Miami make it to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history from afar. After the 10-month break, he was more than ready to contribute.

“Last year I didn’t get to play, and [last year’s team] was a great team, so I just wanted to be a part of another great team like that,” Beverly said after Miami beat Boston College on Jan. 11. “The way we’re playing right now, it feels good just to be a part of it.”

Now, Beverly is showing Miami fans his true abilities. Against Boston College, he dropped a season-high 15 points after shooting 6 of 7 from the field. In the following game against Syracuse, he bested that mark with a new season-high 16 points in just over 20 minutes. As the season has progressed, his minute totals have increased simultaneously, cementing himself as a crucial part of Miami’s rotation.

“[Beverly] worked his butt off to get in shape and to be fully healthy,” Miami assistant coach DJ Erving said. “I think now he’s finally finding his rhythm, and I think the most important part is he’s embracing the role that he has on his team. He’s such a smart basketball player, and he lets the game come to him – and I think it’s a credit to him that he was still learning the game while he was out. I’m not surprised with what he’s doing.”