3 p.m. Sunday UM commit; Pancakes, bald eagles and parking spaces: Inside Ray Allen's unique way of life; Fins, UM, Marlins chatter
Quick 3 p.m. Sunday news item: UM received an oral commitment just now from Texas-based Drew Galitz, rated by rivals.com as the No. 2 kicker in the 2015 class. Galitz, who announced his commitment on Twitter, also can punt. Galitz has a 65-yard field goal and 80-yard punt posted on Youtube.
Junior Matt Guodis will be UM's kicker this season; he made 13 of 17 field goals in 2013, missing three between 40 and 49 yards and also missing a 23-yarder. Guodis and Ricky Carroll are listed as an either/or at punter on UM's depth chart.
Galitz handled punts and kickoffs last season but not field goals, because he was playing behind a kicker who is headed to Ole Miss. He will handle field goals this season.
This is an important pickup, UM's 13th oral commitment in this class.
SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN
The detailed routine can be so tiresome, so tedious, that Ray Allen admits he feels “like a prisoner to it.”
But there is never any internal questioning of it, no respites from a way of life that includes thousands of pregame shots every season, carefully watching calories, visualizing bald eagles and avoiding the midcourt line (more on this later).
In his estimation, the commitment to the relentlessly repetitive regimen is a big reason why he’s still thriving at 38, why he still has signature moments like those in Game 1, when he produced 16 points, five steals, three rebounds, three assists and an electric out-of-nowhere dunk.
“He’s never deviated from the routine, and that’s what I find most astounding,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I sat him out a game last year against Charlotte right before the playoffs. His ankle was sore so I wasn’t going to play him that game. He still took a cab over to the arena. He couldn’t do his whole shooting routine but he still did his whole free-throw routine, still there four hours before the game. That’s why we call him Everyday Ray.”
Here’s what Everyday Ray looks like on game day:
Pancakes in the morning, followed by a team shoot-around, a banana and peanut butter or a turkey sandwich (if he burns calories at shoot-around), then a 90-minute nap, followed by a 2:30 p.m. meal featuring chicken or fish, a vegetable and a carb (preferably white rice).
He arrives at the arena 3 ½ hours before tip-off (long before most players), has his head shaved before every game; stretches and launches anywhere from 120 to 200-plus shots during a grueling session that he has done every game since 1997, his second season in the league. (He will take more shots if he’s missing many of them.)
“Before the [expletive] workers even get here, he’s at the gym getting shots up,” marvels Rashard Lewis, who values Allen’s mentoring dating to their years in Seattle together. “I don’t know how he does it. I’m taking a nap and he’s probably at the gym getting ready for the game. I don’t know that I could be as disciplined as he is. It’s unbelievable.”
Each session begins with a post-up, and “I have to make a basket touching every part of the floor.”
He believes the Cavaliers cheerleaders once tried to sabotage him during his pre-game shooting: “They littered the floor and started dancing. It was intentional. These are the distractions I deal with all the time. They turned the lights out in Sacramento but I kept shooting.”
Allen used to take a cab to the arena for road games, but the Heat last season began paying for a bus to drive Allen to the arena early, often with James Jones and then-Heat swingman Mike Miller, and occasionally others. Most of the players come to the arena on a later bus.
For Allen, there is also a psychological element to everything he does. During the National Anthem before games, he visualizes big baskets in his career, big games that he’s played in, even memorable moments in other sports. Essentially, “things that have inspired me to be better.”
One of those visuals that come to mind during the Anthem “is watching bald eagles fly. Eagles watch everyone from above.”
Allen believes he has a few behavioral tendencies associated with obsessive compulsive disorder but said he doesn't use that term “out of respect” to people diagnosed with the condition.
“I can’t touch certain lines on the floor,” he said. “If there’s a timeout, I won’t walk on the line across the middle of the floor. I will walk around it.”
He tries to clean up scuff marks on the court. If his children walk around a pole, Allen must walk the same way they did. They don't believe in splitting poles, so to speak. He weighs himself twice a day and adjusts his diet even if he gains half a pound.
The Boston Globe relayed a story several years ago about Allen walking on the airplane one night and telling Paul Pierce: “You’re in the wrong seat.”
Pierce responded: “Man, there’s a hundreds seats open. Leave me alone.” Pierce, good-naturedly, has called Allen crazy.
This season, Michael Beasley parked in the spot that Allen likes to use at AmericanAirlines Arena. “He had a fender bender and I said, ‘That’s what you get for parking in my spot,’” Allen said.
When he was child, Allen forced himself to make five right-handed layups and then five left-handed layups before he could leave the gym. If he ran out of time or was forced off the court by others, “I cried,” he told The Globe. “It messed up my day.”
In Boston, Allen would scold Eddie House for shooting half-court shots at the other team’s basket during halftime, saying it was bad luck.
Ask him if he has any friends in pro sports outside of the NBA, and he mentions one: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. They text occasionally during their seasons and golf together during their offseasons.
Allen knows he’s still plenty good enough but will decide in late June whether he has the desire not only to play next season, but to do everything in his routine that allows him to function with a clear mind. It would be surprising if he retires.
“It’s hard to do the same thing over and over and over before you get bored with it, tired of it, and he constantly has done it so many years,” Dwyane Wade said. “That’s impressive.”
### For a lot more Heat chatter from Saturday, please see the last post from a few hours ago.
### Contrary to a published report, the Dolphins' Koa Misi said he never complained about being asked to move to middle linebacker and is excited about it. “I’ve always told the coaches I’m open to trying new things and new positions,” he said.
Misi said he’s studying two to four hours every night and arrives at team headquarters around 5 a.m., before many other players.
What’s more, “I had my wife buy me some cones so I can line up the cones in my house and adjust to different formations. At first, I had a bunch of hats laid out on the ground. It’s a lot to learn. I have a lot more calls to make, a lot more reads. I’m already feeling a lot more comfortable.”
### Though rookie third-round pick Billy Turner shared first-team left guard snaps with Dallas Thomas on the first day of offseason practices, Thomas said he has received most of the reps since, and coaches are encouraged by how he has looked playing alongside Branden Albert.
He played just three offensive snaps last season --- despite the Dolphins’ offensive line deficiencies --- and says he struggled mentally learning multiple positions and also physically with his surgically-repaired shoulder, which “held me back. Last year, I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ I got rusty not playing, and you develop some bad habits. I played my senior year at guard [at Tennessee]. I’m very comfortable there. Starting is my goal.”
### Smart move by the Marlins to twice show patience with Marcell Ozuna by neither demoting him after a horrific spring nor demoting him after a major slump in early May.
Not only did he enter the weekend tied for first in RBI and second in homers among all MLB center fielders, but he’s tied for seventh overall in RBI in the National League and “quietly, he’s one of the best center fielders in the game” defensively, manager Mike Redmond said.
### Among those endorsing Marlins' first-round draft choice Tyler Kolek is legendary former pitcher Nolan Ryan, who now works for the Astros.
“The thing I like about him is when you watch him pitch he’s around the plate,” Ryan told MLB.com. “He’s not bouncing balls, throwing stuff up on the backstop and things of that nature. I predict he’s going to come quicker than people think.”
Kolek's fastball velocity has been timed as high as 102 mph. The Texas high-school right-hander was selected second overall in Thursday's draft.
### Last year’s Marlins first-round pick, third baseman Colin Moran, is hitting .272 with three homers, 17 RBI and four errors in 44 games at Single A Jupiter. He had one homer in his first 42 games before homering in each of his past two.
### Though Canesport.com reported Seffner Armwood defensive end Byron Cowart --- the nation's No. 1 Class of 2015 prospect --- will visit UM, Cowart indicated to other publications that UF and Oregon are his front-runners.
"With Oregon, you have the Nike backing," he said. "With Florida, you have the famility atmosphere. That's where I feel comfortable."
### A rather jarring UM stat mentioned recently by ESPN: Over the past five seasons, UM is 25-24 against schools from the power five conferences, including its own. FSU, conversely, is 39-15.
### Please see the last post for lots of Heat and Spurs news and tidbits from Saturday... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz