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Noon update: LeBron's jury duty ends early; UM adds pass-rusher; Riley on Oden; Fins, Canes

UM has signed defensive end Naim Mustafaa, who left Oklahoma State in April after enrolling there as an early enrollee. OK State hasn't explained why he left, and Mustafaa told reporters last month that he planned to transfer to Hawaii, before changing his mind and deciding to attend UM.

UM says he must sit out this season.

Mustafaa had 45 tackles and six sacks for Alpharetta High in the Atlanta area last season. He had eight sacks as a junior. He was a Georgia oral commitment before switching to OK State. ESPN rated him a four-star prospect, rivals.com a three-star prospect. His cousin, Derek Smith, was a basketball standout at Louisville and played nine years in the NBA.

### LeBron James presumably was the nation’s most famous citizen who reported to jury duty on Thursday.

“Time to serve my civic duty,” James tweeted.

But his experience was short lived, barely more than an hour.

After arriving at the courthouse in Akron, Ohio, at 8:20 a.m. – 10 minutes before he was required -- James and 49 others in the jury pool were sent home at 9:30 a.m. after two potential criminal trials did not materialize. He might be asked to return Friday, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

James sat in the jury foreman’s office so he wouldn’t attract undo attention.

He brought a book and sat “quietly and appreciatively,” Sheriff Lt. Kandy Fatheree told The Beacon Journal. “Everyone knew immediately who he was. It was kind of funny to see the movements of everyone whispering to each other.”

After promotional tours to the Philippines and China, James has been spending time in his hometown of Akron and will host charity events this weekend.


Some Wednesday night notes:

### In officially announcing the signing of center Greg Oden on Wednesday, Heat president Pat Riley made clear that more work remains ahead in his rehabilitation from three microfracture surgeries on his knees.

“We will continue his program and then we will tackle basketball issues after that,” Riley said in a statement released by the Heat.

Riley said “after many months of discussion, evaluations and speaking with Greg, we felt it was the perfect time for him to make his comeback and re-enter the NBA with the Heat. It’s a great challenge for him. We know all about his past injuries, but we feel that there is a huge upside and the possibility of him helping us.”

Oden, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009, has said he is uncertain if he will be ready to play by the Oct. 29 regular season opener against Chicago. The Heat will be extremely cautious.

As expected, Oden signed a two-year, $2.1 million contract, with the second year a player option.  “I am very excited and happy to be here,” Oden said in a Heat news release. “I’m thankful to the Heat organization for bringing me in and I’m ready to get to work.”

Heat owner Micky Arison welcomed Oden on Twitter: “Congrats, Greg. The journey begins.”

Oden spent time in South Florida this week taking a physical and looking for a home. The Heat, wanting to downplay expectations, decided against holding a news conference. Oden, 25, will wear No. 20 for the Heat – the number he wore at Ohio State.


A few nuggets from Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s Wednesday briefing -- the second of three times Coyle is permitted by Joe Philbin to speak before the season starts:

### The Dolphins used Dion Jordan only on third down against Dallas because “we’re still very careful the way we’re bringing him along,” Coyle said. “He got pressure on the quarterback, good push on the pocket. He helped Derrick Shelby on one of Derrick’s sacks. Dion forced the quarterback back up into the pocket. We’re very pleased with his progress. He’s got to continue to get more reps.”

### Coyle said he was very disappointed with the tackling and lack of takeaways in Sunday’s game. He was troubled that 93 of the Cowboys’ 170 rushing yards came after an initial tackle attempt.

### Coyle declined to say who was ahead in the battle between Jared Odrick and Randy Starks for the starting defensive tackle job opposite Paul Soliai. But Starks has missed the practices this week because of a knee injury.

### The starting cornerback battle between Dimitri Patterson and Richard Marshall “will be an ongoing competition throughout training camp.” One of them likely will start opposite Brent Grimes. The other has a good chance to be the No. 3 corner. Patterson has had the better camp.

### Coyle really likes Shelby: “Derrick is a very sound, technically efficient player. I see more production out of Derrick starting the other night. He’s always a guy you can count on to be in the right place. He has been difficult to block. He’s gotten more pressure on the quarterback.”


### Philbin said starters will play “a hair more” at Jacksonville on Friday than they did Sunday against Dallas, when they played more that half of the first quarter.

### Dallas Thomas struggled at left tackle against the Cowboys, and Philbin said: “We’ve got to work on his technique and fundamentals. That’s the only way to solve the problem. One of the issues was the other player was getting his hands inside sooner than he was and pushing him back. We have to work on his leverage."

### Philbin said nothing has been determined at right guard, where Josh Samuda continues taking many of the first team snaps. Lance Louis is also in the mix – he has looked better this week - while John Jerry continues to work his way back from injury.

### Chris Clemons was among Wednesday’s practice standouts, with two interceptions…. Caleb Sturgis has kicked well since returning from a groin injury. He boomed 47- and 54-yard field goals today… Nolan Carroll was beaten a few times but also had a pick. Pat Devlin threw two picks. Ryan Tannehill threw one but also three touchdowns.


The UM basketball program now has two top-100 players in the 2014 class after snagging a commitment Wednesday from Philadelphia area guard Ja’Quan Newton, rated the 43rd best player by rivals.com.

Newton averaged 18.4 points and six assists last season and can play either guard spot or small forward. UM could play him alongside Kansas State transfer Angel Rodriguez in 2014-15, giving them two very good ball-handlers who can penetrate. Newton chose UM over UCLA, Oregon, Syracuse, Minnesota and Texas.

UM previously landed commitments from Orlando Christian shooting guard Adonys Henriquez (rated the 98th best player by rivals.com) and three-star Washington D.C. guard James Palmer.

### Homestead’s Ermon Lane, rated the nation’s No. 2 receiver, had planned to announce his college choice on Saturday, but now says he’s not so sure. He said he will choose UM, UF, FSU, Alabama or Ohio State.

### Al Golden said freshman Ray Lewis III is “doing a great job” adjusting to cornerback. Lewis was a standout high school running back.

### Curious that Thurston Armbrister has been starting ahead of Alex Figueroa at linebacker for the Hurricanes the past two practices. Not sure that’s a good thing. Figueroa batted down a Gray Crow pass during Wednesday’s practice, and Tyrone Cornelius caught it for a touchdown.

### Duke Johnson and Dallas Crawford each had TD runs of 30-plus yards on Wednesday. 


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Coral Gables '81

Here is hoping that Oden can remain healthy.

Steve B

Barry, Golden is a master motivator and Armbrister(the fastest Cane linebacker) has put on 12 lbs of muscle since last year) He is stimulating competition . I expect a much better defense in the coming year.


Barry any update on Gilbert from Wisconsin? seems like he's gonna be to far behind in practice and conditioning to be of any factor this season if finally cleared.


Barry any truth to the Alabama DC coming in to replace Donofrio?
How about the rumors that Clowney wants to transfer from So Carolina and play with us in the ACC?
That would surely help our hapless defense don't you think?

Sad times

Posted by: delUsionalcane | 08/08/2013 at 12:12 PM

Go back to your hole.


Very cool of Lebron to tweet that jury duty is a civil responsibility! It indeed is, but perhaps he can make it cool as well.

Reality Bites

Posted by: Sad times
Come on blog policeman, lighten up.

Yes Penguin it is a civic responsibility but also a royal waste of time for us working stiffs.
What can a healthy Oden bring to the Heat late in the season and come playoff time. Very interesting indeed.
Go Heat!


I want jury duty now!


Ambrister gained like 15 lbs and started three games last year. i think it is a good thing. More depth


I hope I'm wrong about this, but the Dolphins 2 new linebackers seemed a bit slow against Dallas. I hope it was just heavy training camp legs because they were running uphill in that game.

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