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Greg Oden to meet with Heat; Dolphins, Canes

Center Greg Oden, who hasn't played in an NBA game since December of 2009 because of knee injuries, is expected to travel to Miami to meet with Heat president Pat Riley in the next week or so, his agent Mike Conley said today.

Conley told me Heat president Pat Riley indicated he is "very interested" in Oden, who doesn't plan to resume his career until the start of next season. He might undergo medical tests during the visit to Miami but won't do any on-court work, Conley said.

The visit is not yet booked but will happen very soon, the agent confirmed. "It will involve talking to Pat and the medical staff to see where Greg is," Conley said.

Conley said the Heat hadn't called him to express interest in Oden until the past couple of weeks. He said the 7-foot Oden is considering four teams and has said several times in the past year that Oden would love to play for the Heat. CBSSports.com reported earlier Tuesday that the Heat and Cleveland are front-runners.

Oden, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2007 draft, has played in only 82 games, producing averages of 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. He has had multiple knee surgeries, including a microfracture procedure last February.

"Greg can run, shoot, dunk, but we're not allowing him to do certain things," Conley said. "He's taking it slower than in the past. The biggest challenge is not doing too much too soon. In past rehabs, it was a little sore. Now he feels he can do anything. We're telling him not to [do too much]."

Oden is splitting time between Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, while doing his rehab. "The goal is to start next season" on an NBA roster, Conley said.


A few Monday night quick hits:

### The Reggie Bush camp has found it curious that Miami never conveyed any interest in re-signing him during the final two months of the season or in the couple weeks afterward. After all, Miami approached Brian Hartline and Jake Long during the season and Randy Starks immediately after, though not with the type of offers they’re seeking.

So it’s no surprise CBS’ Jason La Canfora reported today that Bush is “highly unlikely” to return to the Dolphins, though it’s not a certainty.

Bush always intended to test free agency in March, barring the Dolphins making a surprisingly attractive offer. It’s not out of the question Bush could return if nobody offers him a deal similar to the $4.5 million he made this season. From all indications, the Dolphins haven’t ruled it out.

Remember, the Dolphins waited months after the season before making an effort to re-sign Ronnie Brown a few years ago.

But the Dolphins would be fine moving on without Bush and making Lamar Miller their lead running back, with Daniel Thomas and a cheap addition rounding out their stable. Former Notre Dame tailback Jonas Gray, recovered from a knee injury, also will get a look.

### Packers receiver Greg Jennings, a potential Dolphins target (along with Mike Wallace), put his Green Bay house up for sale, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Jennings' sister previously tweeted that he needs to take his talents to South Beach and get paid. But he's 30 and missed eight games this season. In a chat about free agent receivers, Steve Ross reminded that a prominent one was injured last year. (And that would be Jennings.)

### With South Plantation running back Alex Collins not planning to announce his choice until signing day Feb. 6 (among UM, UF, FSU, Arkansas, Wisconsin), the Hurricanes are exploring other options, too.

Canesport.com reported that Staten Island-based running back Augustus Edwards received in-home visits from UM’s Al Golden and FSU’s Jimbo Fisher today, and he will choose one of those schools.

He said FSU is in the lead after his visit to Tallahassee, but UM has a chance to catch up when he visits next weekend. Rivals.com rates the 6-1, 222-pound Edwards as the nation’s No. 1 fullback, but UM is recruiting him as a tailback.

### CBS will regionally televise UM-N.C. State at 4 p.m. Saturday, with part of the country getting Georgetown-St. John’s instead. Miami is 14th, NC State 19th in the new AP poll released today.

This will be UM’s first CBS appearance since the 2008 NCAA Tournament…. Coach Jim Larranaga said on a conference call today that Shane Larkin “is having an all-conference caliber year. He’s good at everything.”

Fox Sports Florida airs Wednesday's UM-Virginia Tech game at 9 p.m., opposite the 8 p.m. Heat-Nets game on ESPN and Sun Sports.

### President Obama, a big basketball fan, was well-prepared for the Heat’s visit to the White House, noting LeBron James “learned some post moves from Hakeem Olajuwon,” that Shane Battier “always has played impeccable defense,” and that Mike Miller “could barely walk” during last year’s Finals. “Mike, you look better now,” Obama said. “You looked like an old man” during the playoffs.

Obama called Dwyane Wade “the heart and soul of this team.”

### Players had a blast on Twitter during and after the visit. Battier tweeted a Presidential-type picture of himself behind a podium, making a Bill Clintonesque hand gesture. James tweeted a picture of himself and Wade standing next to a portrait of Clinton.

James tweeted: “A kid with a dream from Akron, Ohio. Now chopping it up with the Prez. Life is good.” James tweeted a picture of himself and Miller in a spirited conversation: “Me and Mike Miller going over a Master plan in the library at the White House.”

Pat Riley didn’t make the trip because the Heat said he was suffering from the flu.


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Reality Bites

So UM has a costlier athletic center than Bama.
More evidence of what chUmps you are, pay more and get less in return.
Now it's the athletic center. Before that it was the Shapiro payouts.
Pay for play in Miami is pay for lack of play. Pay for loosing. Pathetic.


@Mike - so next season you are willing to depend on an oft injured Thomas, Miller who although I like, has limited experience and former Notre Dame tailback Jonas Gray who is recovered from a knee injury??? Are you kidding me??? I thought the goal was to surround Tannehill with talent???? C'mon, Thomas hasn't shown a thing in 2 years since his 1st game of his rookie year (look it up) where he topped 100 yards. He's a career 3.5 yards per carry, he's slow (by RB standards) and can't hold on to the darn ball (3 fumbles in 91 carries last year)! Miller by all indications, has issues with blocking on blitzes and has very limited experience!! Let's not even talk about Gray that unless your a Notre Dame fan, no one's even heard of this guy! I don't have an issue if they don't since Bush but they need to go out and get someone who knows what they heck they're doing!! Stop praising these guys when they haven't proven a darn thing, at least Bush has!

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