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2 posts from January 3, 2013

January 03, 2013

UM critic loses job; UM recruiting news; Heat; Media column: year in review

A quick Friday night update:

### UM has been pursuing several players who are announcing their college choice at one of three all-star games this weekend (two played on Friday, one on Saturday).

Fort Lauderdale University School defensive tackle Maquedius Bain, who would have helped the Canes at a position of need, orally committed to LSU on Friday, choosing the Tigers over UM, Oklahoma and Louisville. He said the legacy of LSU defensive linemen helped steer him toward the Tigers. Regrettably, he's too young to remember the legacy of great UM defensive linemen.

But UM remains alive for New Jersey-based Al Quadin Muhammad, ranked as the nation's fourth-best defensive end. Rivals.com recruiting guru Mike Farrell predicts Muhammed will pick Miami on Saturday ahead of Alabama, Notre Dame and Rutgers. [UPDATE: Muhammed committed to UM on Saturday. See our most recent post for details.]

Running back David Williams, who recently eliminated UM from consideration, picked South Carolina.

Also, South Plantation running back Alex Collins announced he will take his final two visits to Miami and Arkansas and select a school among six finalists later this month.

### Oakland Park Northeast's Stacy Coley, UM's top receiver target, is considering UM, UF, FSU, North Carolina and Mississippi but is waiting to see who the Hurricanes hire as receivers coach.

### Gionni Paul's departure from UM -- which was a mutual decision in the wake of Paul's two suspensions this past season --- leaves the Hurricanes with more questions at linebacker. Denzel Perryman and Eddie Johnson should start at two spots, presuming Johnson doesn't have any more off-field issues. If Perryman stays outside, Jimmy Gaines has a decent shot to win the middle linebacker job.

But Raphael Kirby will press for a starting job, with Tyrone Cornelius, Gabe Terry and Thurston Armbrister also competing for time. Paul started seven games this past season.

### Five rebounds for Chris Bosh in 38 minutes on Friday, and three for Udonis Haslem in 20? Not nearly good enough --- on a night when their counterparts, Yoakim Noah and Carlos Boozer had 12 boards apiece - and a big reason why the Bulls pummeled the Heat, 48-28, on the boards in Chicago's win.

"We're not going to get bigger overnight," Dwyane Wade said of the rebounding deficiency. "We've got to find a way to fix it or we're going to keep losing those games."

### Oddly, the Heat was outscored by 18 points with LeBron James on the court, even though James scored 30. That was the worst plus/minus on the Heat. Yet Miami outscored the Bulls by 10 with Bosh in the game. Go figure.

### The other big issue, besides rebounding: Miami shot 5 for 20 on threes. And the Big Three's supporting cast shot 10 for 28.



Dan Sileo, whose tirades against the University of Miami football program angered school officials as well as some fans, will need to wait a couple days after games next season before unleashing any on-air rants.

Sileo, a former UM defensive lineman, will keep his weekday WQAM talk show but is being removed from his role as the station’s postgame analyst on Canes games. So if the Canes anger him on Saturdays, he will need to wait until Mondays to voice his displeasure, unless he decides to call listeners by telephone after games, or stand on a street corner, ranting.

“It’s in our best interests he doesn’t do the postgame because he’s so passionate and emotional about the team,” WQAM program director Jorge Sedano said, acknowledging UM complained about him. “We’re better to find someone who can compartmentalize that emotion.”

Sedano hasn't chosen a replacement.

During the season, Sileo said, among other things, that Philip Dorsett should never be thrown another pass after he dropped two potential touchdowns against Notre Dame and that UM’s defense – pushed around against Kansas State – should “gouge [opponents] in the eyes, kick them in the balls.”

He implored UM players: “You play for UM! Not for fricking FIU.”

Though some fans appreciated Sileo’s candor and passion, several of his rants were clearly over the top, including one after the K-State game that made the rounds on YouTube. Sileo, so infuriated with UM’s play in that game, seemingly came close to cursing on air and expressed concern he might have an aneurysm.

### Ray Lewis – who’s retiring after the playoffs - will join ESPN as a studio analyst, with a role likely on Monday Night Countdown. Lewis wants to spend his Saturdays at UM games; his son, running back/defensive back, Ray Lewis III, will be a UM freshman next season.


We offered up our national media awards last week. Here's the South Florida version, as we wrap up our look back at 2012:

### Most regrettable Tweet: Sileo, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, tweeting a picture of himself making a tackle against the Nittany Lions, with the words: “This is how you molest a Penn State player.”

### Biggest media stories: 1) The Dolphins and Marlins agreeing to be featured on national network reality shows. 2) Lincoln Financial acquiring 104.3-FM to simulcast most of 790 The Ticket’s programming. 3) WQAM-560 dumping Sid Rosenberg after a DUI arrest.  4) WQAM parting ways with Michael Irvin after he refused to move here from Dallas.

### Best play-by-play: Three-way tie on TV (Heat’s Eric Reid, Marlins’ Rich Waltz and Panthers’ Steve Goldstein). On radio, Joe Zagacki, who excels at quick and detailed dissemination of information on UM football.

### Best analysis: Tommy Hutton on Marlins TV, Joe Rose on Dolphins radio.

### Most tiresome: Mike Inglis’ incessant whining about the officiating and the Heat (when Miami is playing poorly) on 790 broadcasts.

### Best hires: 1) The Ticket adding outspoken, quick-witted Stan Van Gundy to join Dan Le Batard on Wednesdays; 2) WQAM hiring Jorge Sedano. Upgraded the station’s afternoon drive-time slot and made generally sensible decisions as program director. 3) WMEN-640 hiring Rosenberg. Yes, he talks entirely too much about himself, but his name value, quality guest list, and distinct style have made the station more competitive in mornings in Broward and Palm Beach.

4) The Ticket promoting Marc Hochman and Jonathan Zaslow to do mornings. A more sensible move than hiring out-of-market hosts who don’t know the teams or their audience as well as Hochman and Zaslow. 5) WQAM giving Channing Crowder a full-time gig, alongside Adam Kuperstein. Goldstein (now working mornings at WINZ-940) shouldn’t have been forced to choose between WQAM and doing a TV show with 790’s Jon Weiner. But Crowder – affable, engaging and whimsical – was ready for a larger role. 6) Dolphins adding candid former receiver O.J. McDuffie to their weekday show on WINZ.

### Most revealing use of social media: Giancarlo Stanton, after the Marlins' salary dumping deal with Toronto, tweeting: "Alright, I'm pissed off! Plain and simple." Who can blame him?

### Most regrettable comments by interview subjects: 1) UM defensive lineman Luther Robinson’s father calling Rose’s show to blast Al Golden. Hardly a way to help your son! 2) Then-Marlins pitcher Heath Bell telling Sileo, of Ozzie Guillen: “It’s hard to respect a guy that doesn’t tell you the truth or doesn’t tell you face to face.”

### Most unusual moment: While sitting in the clubhouse in Atlanta, Marlins players – trying to embarrass Bell -- turned up the volume of Le Batard’s live interview of Guillen, who said: “I don’t respect [Bell] as a person.”

### Stand in the corner award: Joe Philbin privately chastising Dolphins beat writers for reporting how many first-team snaps Ryan Tannehill took the week after his October injury.

### Best media rants: Guillen, Guillen and more Guillen, including this on the day he quit Twitter: "Everybody following me can [expletive] his pants. Don't follow me any more. Get a real job, get a life. I don't make money out of that. So many nasty people that don't have nothing better to do. I'm not Kim Kardashian!"

### Most absurd press conference: Chad Johnson's profanity-laced August media briefing - a couple weeks before he was released - in which he spoke of smoking weed and pursuing a porn career.

### Worst mistakes in judgment: 1) Rosenberg’s April drunk-driving incident that left him curled up in the middle of the road and cost him his WQAM job. 2) Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria refusing to explain the team’s payroll slashing to reporters. Great way to further alienate your fan base, Jeffrey!

3) Troy Stradford giving WMEN reason to fire him by complaining, on air, about Rosenberg often continuing his show past 10 a.m., cutting into Stradford’s hours. Even though his anger was justified, Stradford should have shown more self-control because he had been warned not to whine about Sid.

### Most thorough TV sportscasts: Tie between NBC 6 (Joe Rose gives the most coverage to UM and high schools) and WSVN-7 (Steve Shapiro gets the most time for weeknight sports in the market and strikes a good balance between local and national news).

### Most viewer-friendly moves: 1) The Dolphins buying tickets to seven home games to ensure no local TV blackouts. 2) Sun Sports carrying Heat postgame shows after playoff games that aired on other networks. 3) Sun/FSN bolstering Heat and Marlins postgame studio shows.

### Worst programming moves: 1) CBS-4 dropping its Sunday night sports program during the middle of football season. 2) WPLG-10 inexplicably giving very little time to Dolphins highlights or reaction in the first segment of its Sunday night show.


Thursday quick hits: Heat, Dolphins, Canes, Gators

A half-dozen notes:

### As Shane Battier said after the latest harder-than-it-should-have-been Heat win: “We’re making it tough on ourselves.” Dwyane Wade suggested it’s unrealistic to expect the Heat to blow out all these (sub-.500) teams, but the Heat again had too many defensive lapses -- and another early rebounding deficit -- before getting it together late against Dallas.

“You figure out a way to win games. I don’t look at it as playing with fire,” LeBron James said.

As was the case Monday in Orlando, Erik Spoelstra again opted against using a natural point guard in overtime against Dallas. Monday, it was Mike Miller with Ray Allen and the Big Three in OT. Wednesday, it was Shane Battier (who hit two key late threes) with Allen and the Big Three. Both lineups delivered, and give Spoelstra credit for flexibility.

### Chris Bosh had only four boards against both Orlando and Dallas this week, and that’s not nearly good enough for a team that remains last in the league in rebounding. Spoelstra reminded Wade that he, too, needs to rebound, and he corralled 10 on Wednesday, along with another scintillating overtime steal and dunk.

### Before Wednesday’s upset Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville, the Gators hadn’t allowed a TD pass of 15 plus yards all season. They allowed two on Wednesday.

Before Louisville scored 33 Wednesday (including on an interception return), the Gators had been one of only four teams not to allow 30 points in a game all season. (Notre Dame, Alabama, Boise State were the others.)

Afterward, Gators safety Matt Elam and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd announced they're turning pro, according to reports in New Orleans.

By the way, UF will play host to Toledo -- while UM plays host to FAU - as warm-up season-openers on Aug. 31, before the Canes and Gators meet Sept. 7 at Sun Life Stadium.

### Yesterday, we listed several high-school players ranked in the top five at their position who are considering UM. Add another to the list: Baton Rouge-based Tim Williams, rated by rivals.com as the nation’s third-best weakside defensive end. He’s visiting UM Jan. 18, and the Canes have as good – or better – of a chance as anyone.

### Kenny Kadji’s complete performance in a win against LaSalle on Wednesday (14 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks) is exactly what UM needs with Reggie Johnson out six to eight weeks.

Don't underestimate this 76-59 UM win over a good LaSalle team. Since March 2011, every Division I team except LaSalle and Syracuse had lost at least one game by double figures, according to ESPN. That streak ended for LaSalle on Wednesday, when UM stormed back from 11 down.

UM closed non-conference play at 9-3 and starts ACC play Saturday at Georgia Tech. UM’s ACC schedule, incidentally, includes home-and-homes against Duke, North Carolina and FSU.

### Here’s how several Dolphins offensive players finished in the final Pro Football Focus ratings of every player:

Jake Long was 46th and Jonathan Martin 76th among 80 tackles who played at least 25 percent of their teams’ snaps…. Richie Incognito was 24th and John Jerry 49th among 81 guards…. Mike Pouncey was eighth among 36 centers…. Reggie Bush was 47th among 59 running backs, Anthony Fasano 24th among 62 tight ends…. Brian Hartline was 37th and Davone Bess 38th among 105 receivers…. Ryan Tannehill was rated higher than expected –13th among 36 quarterbacks.