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9 a.m. Tuesday update: UM loses player, new Fins candidate and radio news; Heat/White House

9 a.m. Tuesday update: Guard/tackle Malcolm Bunche, who had a decent chance to win a starting job next season, has decided to transfer. Bunche has been given permission to contact other schools, according to UM.

It's a peculiar decision because Bunche will be a senior next season, and because Al Golden recently named him as a potential starter in 2014. UM did not offer a reason for Bunche's departure, and Bunche was not immediately available for comment.

Bunche started only one game in 2013 (the opener, at left guard) but played in all but one. He figured to earn substantial playing time next season, because two starters on the line --- Brandon Linder and Seantrel Henderson --- are moving on to the NFL. Jared Wheeler also is graduating.

But Jon Feliciano, who started the final six games at left guard, is returning. So is left tackle Ereck Flowers, who has become a very good player, and center Shane McDermott. UM has high hopes for 6-8 freshman tackle Sunny Odogwu as well as guard Danny Isidora. And Hunter Wells, Hunter Knighton, Alex Gall and Taylor Gadbois also return. 

What's more, UM's recruiting class has three highly-regarded four-star tackles: KC McDermott (Shane's brother), Trevor Darling and Reilly Gibbons. Guard/center Nick Linder, Brandon's brother, is also orally committed.

### Lions senior personnel director Brian Xanders, the Broncos' former general manager, is the latest person added to the list of candidates who will speak to the Dolphins about their general manager job, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Xanders is the eighth confirmed person that the Dolphins either have spoken to, or plan to speak to. Five already have interviewed.

Xanders, who played linebacker on Bobby Bowden-coached teams at FSU, was Denver's GM from 2009 through 2012 and previously worked in the Falcons' personnel department. This was his first season with Detroit.

### Joy Taylor, Jason's sister, has decided to stay at 790/104.3 The Ticket instead of joining former colleague Marc Hochman on his new WQAM show that debuts April 1, according to Ticket general manager Maureen LeSourd. 

LeSourd said Taylor has been "underutilized" and will have an expanded role on the morning show, alongside Jonathan Zaslow. She declined to say if a third permanent member of the cast will be added.

### Outfielder Delmon Young, who had drawn interest from the Marlins, signed with Baltimore.

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Some Monday Heat and Canes items:

###  If there’s anything that can interrupt the monotony of a regular season that doesn’t carry all that much weight for the Heat, it’s a White House visit.

For the second consecutive year, the Heat will enter the President’s residence on Tuesday, a commemoration of its 2013 championship.

“It’s a very special day,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “You get to be a kid again. When you have an opportunity to visit the White House and spend some time with the President, when our families are so excited to go, you realize that most people never have this opportunity in their lifetime. It's a continued celebration for what we accomplished last year."

Norris Cole captured the sentiment of teammates when he noted: “It’s never going to get old for me.”

Or, as Chris Bosh said: “It’s a fortress. To be in the most powerful building in the world is pretty cool.”

Tuesday’s visit will be the highlight of an unusual six-game road stretch that began with losses in New York and Brooklyn, included a three-day detour back in South Florida, and resumes Wednesday in Washington before games in Philadelphia, Charlotte and Atlanta.

"Whenever you go to the White House, it's special. I don't care how many times," Dwyane Wade said. "Our president is a very personable guy. He loves the sport that we play.”

For some Heat players, one of the most meaningful moments during last year’s visit was the 30 minutes spent alone with the President, away from the cameras, before the public ceremony.

“He spent 30 seconds to a minute with every one of us, which I thought was an incredible touch,” Spoelstra said. “He has an incredible feel with people. He mentioned one of his favorite players was [Heat assistant coach Bob] McAdoo.”

Wade said that private time with Obama is “a cool moment and you really get to relax and be yourself."

Unlike some of his teammates, Wade was able to poke his head in the Oval Office during last year’s visit.

"The Oval Office is one of those things that on TV looks huge," Wade said, "and then when you get in there, you're like, 'This is where all that magic goes down?' "

Bosh said during those few private moments with the President, “you never really get to talk about what you want to talk about. He’s going to ask you something, you [answer] and that’s it. He asked me about my kids [last year] and that was it.”

A White House visit comes with many decisions. For Cole, it’s mulling whether to muster the courage to ask for a picture of himself and the President – just the two of them.

For Beasley, it’s what to wear, a decision he was still considering late last week. “I don’t want to be too over the top,” he said. “But I don’t want to be too down. Whenever you get a chance to shake hands with one of the coolest people in the world, it’s definitely exciting.”

Several have had personal exchanges with the President, even before last year’s visit.

“We have that Chicago connection, and all the times I have been able to talk to him, that connection comes out,” Wade said. “First time meeting him was one of the coolest things ever. He came right in and said, ‘Where’s D-Wade?’”

Obama spoke at Cleveland State when Cole was a student: “He said something about my high top, said, ‘That kid can play.’”

Beasley met Obama at a campaign event before Beasley’s rookie season. “He shouted out my college stats,” Beasley said. “That was pretty cool.”

Bosh’s goal for this trip? “Go in the Oval Office, see some top secret stuff or something.”

### The Heat said team president Pat Riley, who missed last year’s White House visit because of flu symptoms, is planning to attend Tuesday.

### Ray Allen has arranged for Heat players to visit the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington.

“It’s important; it’s a matter of humanity,” he said. “Anytime I’ve had time in D.C., I’ve taken my teams to the museum. When you see that, it gives you more compassion.”

### Shane Battier, who has missed five games with a quadriceps injury, returned to practice and expects to play Wednesday. But Mario Chalmers remains limited by a strained Achilles that has sidelined him for three games.

### Having already met President Obama, James was asked if there’s anyone else he would like to meet. “Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Aniston – my two Jennifers,” he said of the actresses. “My wife knows about it, too,” he said, smiling. “It’s not a secret.”

### The Heat’s defensive numbers are all down from last season. Miami is allowing 98.2 points, which is ninth-best, compared with 95 (fifth-best) last season.

Teams are shooting 45.9 percent against Miami, which ranks 20th, compared with 44 percent (sixth) last season.

And Miami’s three-point field goal defense has plunged from 11th to 26th.

“We’ve had some slippage the last 10 games,” Spoelstra said. “We need to get back on it. It’s a myriad of things. We were humbled [against the Knicks and Nets].”

UM NOTES

This is what good coaching looks like: Because Jim Larranaga’s team was struggling playing man to man defense, he decided in the past couple of weeks to switch to a matchup zone, an approach he hadn’t used much in his coaching career.

So he asked former Pittsburgh coach Ralph Willard and former Syracuse assistant Bernie Fine to come to South Florida to visit with his staff about the nuances of playing that defense.

Larranaga implemented it, and the change has had immediate results. Miami held No. 2 Syracuse to 44 points and 36.2 percent shooting in a five-point loss, then held North Carolina to 30.8 percent shooting in a 63-57 win.

The UNC game marked the first time Larranaga had been part of a game when a matchup zone was used the entire game. Overall, UM ranks 28th in the country in points allowed per possession.

Despite a very limited roster without much depth, UM (9-6, 1-2) has been very competitive in three ACC games, with FloridaState visiting Wednesday.

Larranaga also credits Garrius Adams overcoming rust and a big contribution from forward Erik Swoope.

### Fort Worth-based Daniel Gresham, rated the nation’s 38th-best running back by rivals.com, was told by Louisville’s new coaching staff on Sunday night that he’s not in their plans.  Gresham has visited UM and was interested in the Canes before committing to Louisville.

His coach said Monday that he would again be interested in UM (along with Arkansas and Texas) if Miami reaches out.

Meanwhile, Canesport.com reported that the coach at Salinas (Cal.) Hartwell Community College was told that running back Deandre Mann can expect a Miami offer. Mann, who backed up Lamar Miller at Killian, ran for 1706 yards and 30 touchdowns last season and has nine offers, including Kansas and Purdue.

With Brandon Powell flipping to UF, Miami Central High’s four-star prospect Joseph Yearby is the only running back in UM’s class.

Comments

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Mahoney-Pearson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tYYHC9iJiE

him too. Get em in that sand. He needs to lose 10-15lbs

Mahoney-Pearson

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9141175

Build a big physical football team that can pound the run game. That will be the best complement to R. Williams.

Russell

Barry, have you read any of Gladwell's latest, David and Goliath? Perhaps Larranaga has.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/malcolm-gladwell-power-of-the-underdog/

Gladwell began writing about the successful strategies of underdogs after meeting an Indian-born software mogul named Vivek Ranadivé. What interested Gladwell wasn’t software, but how Ranadivé coached his 12-year-old daughter’s basketball team – seen here in white – even though Ranadivé knew nothing about the game.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Mr. Jackson,

With credit to Vishnu Parasuaman from Pageqsports, I submit this sentiment:

http://www.pageqsports.com/2014/01/al-goldens-clock-ticking/

"We should ABSOLUTELY take him to task for the pile of crap he dumped on the fan base as justification for retaining D’Onofrio. This analysis, courtesy of JT Thomson on the Canes blog I edit and write for, completely refutes what Golden said about an upward trend of the defense.

But let’s step back further and fully understand what happened. Al Golden did not lie. Those cherry picked and misleading statistics that he referenced are actually true. The defense did improve on a number of grass stains in the red zone against top-40 teams that don’t wear blue. The issue is not the specific statistics.

The issue is this: The Head Coach of the University of Miami did NOT do his job. Instead of evaluating the defense as a whole and determining whether a radical course correction was necessary (and by ANY standard, it is), he decided he didn’t want to fire his best friend, and worked backwards from there to justify the decision he had made. The conclusion lead to the evidence chosen, rather than the evidence leading to the conclusion.

This is outrageous and we should all be irate. The head coach of the Canes is choosing to use school funds to keep his friend in a top paying position even though he continually underperforms. He does not owe us an explanation, but his explanation was so tortured, so full of holes, and so contrary to reality, it can only lead to the conclusion that under no circumstances would he fire his friend. No honest evaluation took place. Instead, he simply looked for reasons to not change."


This is a question UM fans still have not had answered - is it a problem that Al Golden's DC is his former PSU teammate, the best man at his wedding, and his best friend? Is there any circumstance where Al Golden would fire Mark D'Onofrio?

This isn't a fair evaluation or N'oDfrio would be gone.

So is it the case that Al Golden can't fire his friend or does he actually believe that UM can be successful with south Florida talent playing bend-but-don't-break, no blitz, no press, no man defense?

This question matters, a lot of UM fans believe Al Golden isn't the right man for the job if he can't bend on this indefensible defensive scheme.

Penguin

(1) Ray Allen is awesome.

(2) Who on earth are you, Lt. Lois Einhorn?

johnnie j

Agree Golden NO LONGER is the right coach for the Hurricanes by keeping D Onofrio his pal who is absolutely an underperformer as a defensive coordinator.That a parent of one of the current players said the players are not allowed to give input or ideas to D oknow frio is outrageous whearas Coach Coley on Offense actually asks for it and welcomes it.THAT is an example of a VERY INSECURE,SCARED INCOMPETENT COACH.(WHEN HE DOES NOT ALLOW IT.)Golden is judged by the company he keeps(incompetent coaches/friends )are making Cane Nation fans raise their eyebrows with way Golden is out of touch with reality in explaining that he wants "continuity" even though it is just the same pattern of 3 years of failings/failure to "coach up the players"...like all previous Miami Defensive Coordinators could do.(Even Randy could do that exceedingly well on defense.)As a Coordinator .........D Onofrio will NEVER,EVER be confused with Randy Shannon s greatness there.Golden is becoming ,,,,,shockingly.....a HUGE disappointment as head coach at the University of Miami.

Dom

Lois and Johnnie. Golden got here in 2011 and had to piece together a class and then all those early nfl entrees left(lamar miller etc), and the TEAM HAD NO ONE. so he has had 2 CLASSES , 2012 and 2013, WITH 3 YEARS OF NCAA SANCTIONS and Death Penalty talk, and playing alot of young kids WITH NO STUDS AT DT.........Blame Shannon for the horrible 2009/10 classes. Dont go by the #s, but how many didnt pan out or left school.......

WE HAVE BEEN ON PROBATION for 3 years, and ALL THE TOP TALENT (alot) left. What happened during Butch Davis's 1st 3 years?? FSU GOT LOADED BECAUSE MIAMI WAS ON PROBATION ,and went to the 1st 3 BCS games.......Then, 4th/5th year, Butch built the team.

WE WENT 12-1 in 2000 in BUTCH DAVIS's 6th YEAR because of the Sanctions under Erickson. THIS IS ALS 4th year. By the 2015 season, HE WILL HAVE 4 full recruiting classes WITH NO SANCTIONS, but until then,THINGS TAKE TIME.

Dom

Penguin, LT Lois Einhorn was from Jim Carreys movie Ace ventura. Remember the cop that was the man and looked like the woman.................

Canes have a top 10 class going into the stretch STILL even with the 3 decommits.

WE STILL HAVE 11 ESPN 300 PLAYERS, 11. and 2 Rivals Juco 100 DT's coming in. So 13 of our 26 players are the best of the best, and others are 3 and 4 star Kids, all highly regarded. GIVE IT TIME. TEAM IS BEING BUILT. but this class is still loaded

Steve B

GOlden took a defense at Virginia and moved from 108th to 17th in 4 years.It was the same system he is using now. The difference was he had better D lineman and linebackers that could pressure the football.
Its understandable why he trusts it .The question is will he get enough athletic and intelligent players in here to run it? Or should he try a more college friendly scheme?
Al is building depth and talent on the football team but he needs to show defensive progress that palpable next year or the natives will get more restless.

frostdog0819

The last three years have been the worst defenses Miami has had in 30 years. Miami as a defense hadn't given up 300 points in a year since 1984.Randy Shannons first year he fired tim walton in 2007 http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=ncf&id=3160191 The sanctions are just a mask to hide just how horrible my hometown team defensive coaching has become. Unlike the coaches and some other people, I will not blame the players.Every body on Miami's defense wasn't all-stars, but they had better coaching.Next year Golden and OhNo better put up or he want be getting another high profile job again.The 2014 team should be ready to go.The offense will be good under Coley(48th)they will improve.The OHNO!!'s play calling the past three years (45,101,89)wow.It's not the talent.

jmkie

Lt. Lois Einhorn, the problem is Ray Lewis, Russell Maryland, and Warren Sapp are walk through the U's doors. Which of the U's front 7 is an All American. That's the problem.

jmkie

The players are the one's that miss assignments, miss Tackles, and drop int's, please tell me how that's not the player's fault. I keep seeing player's who miss tackles and are caught inside and don't set an edge constantly.

johnnie j

Dom....I get your point about the sanctions and many other Golden supporters points regarding him as well.I would be more patient and seemingly have little choice anyway if he d at least move his pal to defensive backs coach or something.Try new things.Look at basketball Coach L bringing in new,different coaches teaching a new defense to the team in order to try to be innovative to make their team better.Coach L (borderline genius/huge motivator)never adapts the attitude of continuity/saving Pvt Ryan type mantras.Coach L "doesn t settle" at least.He s OPEN to new ideas.He s NOT scared /intimidated by his players asking/offering input.DONT KNOW is.Golden seems more centered on saving his pal from embarrassment/a demotion than genuine concern for improving the Hurricane defense and moving the program forward.He cares more for his loyalty to his buddy than taking FULL responsibility to making POSITIVE changes for the betterment of the University of Miami s football program.

Gary

BRAVO to Johnnie's blog comment!
I have been a huge AG supporter till late this season and the bowl game. Embarrassing from Va Tech on!!!!!
The difference between a good coach and a mediocre coach you can see on the Coral Gables campus. AG has failed in so many ways it's hard pinpoint them all. Across campus JL has taken the BB team to great heights. Players leaving, recruits snubbing UM in football, Lousy game day defensive coaching, poor special teams play (see AG), and a general malaise surrounding the program. We need a solid recruiter (the talent is in the area), good game day coach and a good evaluator of assistants. Hint Al (your buddy)! If I/m the board of trustees & the AD I'm VERY CONCERNED the direction we are going!

Gary

PS- I am a season ticket holder and Grad (class of '83). So I love my school!

Marios

Looks like we don't really need Malcolm Bunche. Maybe he did not feel confident about starting or competing in his senior year and someone guaranteed him PT somewhere else.
Good luck to him, I hope Golden lets him play next year without sitting out, he did 3 years of probation with us so he deserves it.

IMO what the U needs most is linebackers, not DTs.

As for D'nofrio he is more def. assistant than DC, it is Golden's system for over 10 years, so D'nofrio has been the fall guy. That's why Golden is not what Joe Philbin had to do with his OC.

Great post using Larranaga's adaptation as an example of what Golden should have done, totally true.
I have been going to Canes football games since 1980 when Mark Rush was our RB so I love the U, and it really hurt to see how our D played at the end of the year.
But I really feel the worst is behind us, we still have a lot of numbers and a lot of talent coming in, which we desperately need.

Marios

What the defense that Golden is running needs most is LBs that can set the edge and tackle vs run, and also have the vision and quickness to cover the flats vs pass.
Only then can our safeties regularly come up to the box and blitz or disrupt the run.
We didn't have those guys, Gaines and Armbrister could not set the edge and missed assignments and tackles regularly.
If we can fix that there will be a huge improvement next year even with that painful scheme they are running.
If we improve on that, plus with better safety play, we can play more aggressively, but it's true, you need the personnel or you'll give up big plays on a regular basis.

UMike

LOIS: GET A LIFE, WILL YOU PLEASE....!!


What a total A*S CLOWN you are...typical of South Florida's "know it all" sports fans - "blame the coach, blame the coach, blame the coach..."

People like you make me sick.

GO FOLLOW FIU FOOTBALL..............PLEASE!!!!

Reality Bites

THE WHEELS ON THE UM BUS KEEP FALLING OFF
FALING OFF
DECOMITS, TRANSFERS AND SNUBS
RECRUITS RUN OFF
THE DC KEEPS RUNNING TALENT OFF
TALENT RUNS OFF
THE HC LOVES HIS BUD
LOVES HIS BUD
SO.............
THE WHEELS ON THE UM BUS WILL KEEP FALLIN OFF

weneedanewdcoordinator

yes miami is going downhill fast with d nofrio....we cant land any five start defensive recruits because of him....and daniel gresham can take his ass to texas with charlie strong...he chose louisville over us...now charlie dont want him either? tough luck bud we dont want u...shoulda picked us fromthe getgo...i hope golden doesnt get on his knees for this guuy

Not our rival

Posted by: Reality Bites | 01/14/2014 at 01:01 PM

Could be worse, we could be loser internet trolls rather than UM fans...

Lt. Lois Einhorn

"Know it all" UMike?

You strike me as a "know absolutely nothing" fan, Coach D'Onofrio isn't a boogey man or a scape goat, informed UM fans have a legitimate concern about whether his defensive scheme, where he only rushes four and keeps his cornerbacks five yards off the line, is a good fit for the athletes Miami recruits.

And of course the numbers reflect what we're seeing on the field.

If you have an intelligent defense for Mark D'Onofrio's scheme and the defenses' performance or a reason why you think it can work at Miami I'd be interested to hear it. But I'm guessing you just have more simple minded personal attacks?

NorthEast NC Cane

Did anyone else happened to notice that a lot of the top programs in the country went out and got "extra" experienced help to put their defenses back on track? Stand by for more of the same next season! I like Coach Golden but he can't see the issue that is causing his team to be the bottom feeders in defense!

Marios

A couple of you guys here should transfer , or drop your commitments to be negative a-holes.

I manage young people so I get that you cannot have them freelancing and "suggesting" what they should, or better said prefer to do, like the latest attack on D'onofrio.
Coley can take suggestions because on offense you can tweak plays but on zone D if one guy does something different it affects the others.
SoFla may have the better athletes, but if the problem is between the ears, you would have to play a Pop Warner scheme.
This is not 1990 and you have dual threat QBs, they catch you in a zone and the QB is 20 yards downfield by the time the DBs turn around in man to man D.

So when you say a guy is 3-star or 5-star, do you have a clue of what his IQ is?

g8rseetmya55

I agree. Our defensive players have no football IQ. There have beenno true leaders on D. Proof is the very few defensive players coming out of Miami who either made into the NFl or are still there from the last 5 yrs or so. Safeties cant read QBs lbs cant tackle, lbs cant set an edge, and are constantly "chasing" instead of making plays.

Georgia had a 3-4 defense, guess what they basically were one of the best in teh antion. Why? Players. They had the personnel. The recruits. Miami has not had the horses. Thatis what Golden has been trying to do.

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