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Golden addresses issues; UM notes; Wade working on game

Some Tuesday afternoon Canes and Heat items:

### Saw Stephen Morris today, and he mentioned how challenging it has been to regain his mechanics while dealing with his ankle injury. But he said he’s feeling better, and Al Golden said today: “He’s looked markedly better. His personality is coming back.”

### UM has played some very good teams in Golden’s first 2 ½ seasons here: Kansas State, Notre Dame, UF, FSU and Virginia Tech, etc. But Golden said FSU “is probably the most complete team we’ve seen. White hot quarterback… Receivers can beat you deep… Big time tight ends.. Who’s who on defense in terms of talent and size… Linebackers rangy and can run.”

### Golden said since receiving NCAA sanctions last Tuesday, “our conversations are taking a different path” with recruits. “You’re not a sitting duck anymore. All those things I classified as toxic have disappeared. If [opponents] negative recruit, it won’t be about the NCAA.”

### Golden said he hasn’t decided how to allocate the loss of nine scholarships over the next three years. I asked Golden if losing nine scholarships isn’t too painful. “You don’t want to lose any,” he said. “…When people say they got a slap on the wrist, I take offense at that. It’s immeasurable what these kids have given up.”

Of the NCAA matter, Golden said on his WQAM radio show Monday night: "If you didn't live it these past 28 months, please don't have a comment on it."

### UM is a 22-point underdog – the largest for any Top 10 team in history, according to Vegasinsiders.com.

### Golden, on the state of his program: “We’re making progress. A lot of people were premature in saying, ‘The U is back.’ We’re building.”

### UM is averaging 39.6 points and allowing 17.7. FSU is averaging 52.6 and allowing 13.0. And while UM has lost 14 turnovers, FSU has lost only six.

### UM is first in the country in kickoff return average, eighth in passing yards per completion, 10th in passing efficiency defense, and 11th in sacks, scoring defense and sacks allowed.

 

A WORD ON WADE

Practice had long since ended last week, but there was Dwyane Wade — the last player on the floor — working with assistant David Fizdale on polishing his post moves.

Indiana coach Tom Crean, his close friend and former coach at Marquette, pointed out this summer that Wade is “one of the most efficient players to ever play the game.”

But even after finishing seventh in last season’s NBA’s efficiency ratings — he was second or third the previous four years — Wade said in no uncertain terms: “I’ve got to be way more efficient than I’ve ever been.”

Wade, off July’s Ossatron knee treatment, has looked very good — “best I’ve seen him since year one,” LeBron James said earlier in camp — and how his game evolves, at 31, will be fascinating.

The fierce forays to the basket will continue, but he knows continued diversification is critical.

“I’ve got to do different things than I’ve done,” he said earlier in preseason. “I’ve got to be a better post-up player. I’ve got to find ways to be involved when I’m not involved, kind of like I did with the Olympic team. Cut to the basket, rebound.

“I remember when Gary Payton and James Posey were here; they used to do all the defense, I used to do all the offense. Now I’ve got to do way more defense to get to offense. You adapt. When you’re 30, you lose some of your athleticism, but you don’t lose it all. When I’m healthy, I feel I can do anything.”

Wade’s injury-plagued postseason overshadowed this: When he was healthy last season, he was excellent, becoming one of only five shooting guards in the past 30 years to average at least 20 points while shooting at least 52 percent.

But there are areas he knows he needs to improve or maximize:

• He shot well on post-ups (57 for 119, 47.9 percent) but “the post-up is something he can be even greater at,” Crean said. “Going back to age 19, some of our best offense was to post him.

“Because it’s not just the scoring and the free throws, but his ability to pass. The vision that he plays with, it’s a very high level.”

His midrange game. Wade points to this as the area his efficiency can most improve. He shot 38.5 percent from 10 to 16 feet last season, better than 2012 but down three points from two years ago.

On all jumpers from 17 feet or less, he shot 35.3 percent, according to synergysports.com. He shot 35 percent on isolations, 36.9 percent on jumpers off the dribble.

• Free throws. Wade dropped to 72.5 percent last season, his lowest ever and down from his 76.7 career average.

Please check back later for lots of Dolphins and more Canes and Heat. Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

 

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