The Wednesday buzz is below, with some surprising Marlins news and more. First, a quick Wednesday morning UM recruiting update: Staten Island-based running back Augustus Edwards picked UM over FSU, lessening the blow of Alex Collins choosing Arkansas.... But Port St. Lucie defensive tackle Jaynard Bostwick chose UF over UM. That's a setback in the wake of junior college defensive tackle Terrell Brooks choosing Baylor over UM Tuesday night.... Another UM disappointment came at 9:15 Wednesday morning, when linebacker Matthew Thomas chose FSU.... Minutes later, Thomas' Booker T. Washington teammate, offensive tackle Denver Kirkland, chose Arkansas over FSU and UM.... But UM got good news when Oakland Park Northeast receiver Stacy Coley announced at 11:07 a.m. that he will be attending UM.... More good news came three hours later, when Miramar linebacker Jermaine Grace committed to Miami... But Keith Bryant's family said he will pick FSU, leaving UM without any of the defensive tackles it targeted the past couple weeks.
WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN
Owner Jeffrey Loria, in recent months, has rejected overtures from a half dozen people who expressed interest in buying the Marlins, including one of South Florida’s most famous residents: Former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
According to a source, Bush made a “large offer” to buy the team this offseason, but Loria told him he’s not selling. A second source said Bush had put together a group of wealthy investors, with Venezuelan media mogul Gustavo Cisneros among possibilities mentioned. Cisneros declined to discuss the Marlins in an e-mail.
Bush -- who was governor from 1999 to 2007 and now runs an education advocacy group, consults and gives speeches – refused to discuss the matter or confirm whether he would have been Marlins CEO and managing partner if Loria had agreed to sell. Managing partner was the title his brother, George W. Bush, held when he co-owned the Texas Rangers before he was elected President.
MLB rules would have allowed Jeb Bush to become Marlins managing partner even if he owned only a small percentage.
Loria, 72, theoretically would have more incentive to sell after 2014, when he no longer would need to share profits with Miami-Dade County. But a friend of Loria insists that barring a health problem or change of heart, he does not want to sell because he loves owning a team.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who has explored buying a baseball team, e-mailed that he hasn’t inquired about the Marlins and doesn’t plan to.
A longtime official in MLB’s offices said MLB always has hoped the Marlins would someday have an owner with deeper pockets than Loria.
### The good news on Chris Bosh: Nobody in the NBA (minimum 10 attempts) has shot nearly as well in the last five minutes of close games, with Bosh now an incredible 18 for 21 from the field. The bad news: Bosh already has 14 games with four or fewer rebounds, and just 15 in the last four. His rebound average has sunk to a career-low 7.1.
Bosh has a theory: “Guys I’m defending are a lot bigger than me and I’m putting myself in position to take them off the boards. And you aren’t in position to get the ball a lot when you’re doing that.”
### Puzzling: Players that Udonis Haslem is guarding are shooting 49.2 percent, which synergysports.com calls “poor” and far worse than throughout his career, including 35.6 last year. For perspective, this season opponents shoot 43.1 against Bosh, 36 against Joel Anthony and 35.1 against Shane Battier.
### Offensive tackle Denver Kirkland said UM coach Al Golden called to apologize for revoking his scholarship offer before reinstating it two days later and that he’s again considering UM, FSU and others, a Booker T. Washington official who spoke to him said Tuesday. He announces at 9:20 a.m. Wednesday.
### Though UM hopes to add a few local stars on National Signing Day, UM entered Wednesday with as many players from Nigeria as Miami-Dade (Artie Burns, Jamal Carter).
“Miami could have used [University School defensive tackle and LSU commit] Maquedius Bain [and South Plantation running back and Arkansas-bound Alex Collins], but there was a big drop-off in local talent this year,” recruiting analyst Charles Fishbein said. “They got the two best defensive backs in Dade. And there’s a great local class in 2014” – led by Plantation American Heritage running back Sony Michel, who averaged 9.7 yards per carry.
### The most popular selling-apparel at AllCanes across from the UM campus? A green and orange shirt that says: National Communist Athletic Association… Overstepping their bounds and prosecuting the innocent since 1906.” The store has sold a couple hundred since November. UM is still awaiting an update from the NCAA.
### For more Tuesday night news from the UM/NCAA investigation, please see our last post.
Besides the Dolphins’ glaring needs on offense – more speed, more talent at receiver, better play from Ryan Tannehill – a postseason study of Miami’s analytics reveals other more specific areas that must improve, and the Dolphins know it. Among them:
### Short-yardage offense. The Dolphins were 15 for 30 on third and one, much worse than two years ago, when Lousaka Polite routinely converted. Daniel Thomas gained six yards on seven carries on 3rd and 1 or 2.
### Besides craving a receiver with the speed to beat defenses deep, Miami will target players that also have the elusiveness to create more yards after catch on intermediate routes. Anthony Fasano’s 2.2 YAC average was worst among starting tight ends, 60th of 62 overall. Brian Hartline is a keeper, but his 3.4 YAC average was better than only four receivers that played even nearly as much.
Incidentally, the Colts’ T.Y. Hilton, whom Miami passed up to take Michael Egnew, had a 7.7 YAC average – fifth in the league – mostly from the long TD passes that were missing from Miami’s offense.
### The Dolphins don’t break enough tackles. Reggie Bush’s 2.1 yards after contact was fifth-worst among starting backs, and Thomas (2.3) wasn’t much better. Lamar Miller averaged a decent 2.7 after contact, and the Dolphins expect big things from him in 2013.
“Lamar shoots out of the cannon when he hits the hole,” Jeff Ireland told WINZ-940 this week, adding Miller can be a three-down back because he was “very good in pass protection.”