Have lots to share with you football and basketball related since Sunday.
I'll start with the football first. I couldn't get to Tuesday's weekly press conference in time to hear what coach Larry Coker had to say because I had to pickup some family at the airport. So, there's no audio of Coker. But I'm guessing its the same old stuff we probably heard on Sunday. If you want to get a play-by-play check out Canesport.com. Matt Shodell keeps a good listing of everything said including the questions asked. HurricaneSports.com has video.
Here's the news of the day: Quarterback Kyle Wright fractured the thumb on his throwing hand (the same hand he's had injured since high school) and probably won't play Saturday against Maryland.
Here's the controversy of the day: Wright admitted suffering the injury on the third play of the game (HEAR THE AUDIO) and Coker claims he didn't know until the second half.
Here's my take: I want to give Kyle credit for staying in the game and toughing it out, but shouldn't he have told somebody sooner about his injury? For the record, Wright didn't blame the thumb for his two fourth quarter interceptions or his worst performance as a quarterback at Miami on Saturday. But if your hurt and it's going to affect the team, why not pull yourself out? I know the competitor in him wants to stay in and at that moment you don't know its fractured. But come on. Your team needs a win and you aren't exactly playing at your best. Center Anthony Wollschlager said he didn't know Wright was injured, but he did notice him wincing throughout the game. Anyway, I'd love to hear your take on this.
The other football news. Safety Kenny Phillips is likely out for the year. He broke his hand against Georgia Tech and apparently made it worse playing against Virginia Tech. He'll have surgery this week. If I'm the Canes, I tell Phillips to sit out the rest of the year. At this point, Phillips junior year is much more valuable than three games. Phillips wasn't made available to the media before practice, but Baraka Atkins (HEAR HIS INTERVIEW), Wright and Wollschlager (HEAR HIS INTERVIEW) were. Wollschlager was great as always, funny and truthful. With all the negative talk, I decided to ask him a few fun questions to lighten things up.
Like what it was like to see Coker go berserk as he claimed he did after the Louisville loss. Wollschlager said it was "kind of weird." Coker pounded some furniture and apparently used a few bad words. It was stark contrast to the lovable grandfather look he has on the sidelines. I asked Wollschlager who does the best Coker impression on the team. The answer: sophomore tackle Reggie Youngblood. Hopefully, Youngblood will do a little rendition after practice for us tomorrow and I'll let you be the judge.
Onto basketball, where I have to say after seeing the team for only the third time this season (two previous intra squad scrimmages) I came away impressed with UM's 94-54 exhibition win against Northwood Monday night. OK, Rollie Massimino didn't exactly have his 1985 Villanova squad on the floor. In fact, there were a few guards who looked like my 15-year old cousin. Still, UM shot the ball extremely well -- especially from distance and that's a good sign.
Freshman guard James Dews really impressed me with his cold-blooded instincts. The first time he touched the ball midway through the first half, he chucked up a three and drilled it. There wasn't a single hint of hesitation. He then hit his next two. Jack McClinton also played well, scoring 13 points and hitting a big three right before the half. It's obvious the No. 1 concern on this team is who will not only provide offense, but who will have the ball in their hands late in the game. I think McClinton will likely be the first to get that chance.
As for the other hoops observations, Dwayne Collins looked solid. Despite only scoring four points, he had a thunderous block and rebound slam. After watching him play for three years in high school I can tell you he is going to end up helping this team tremendously when he catches up to the speed of the college game. Denis Clemente, another local I watched for two years, made better decisions with the ball than when I saw him on TV last year. And perhaps, the biggest improvement, was sophomore forward Jimmy Graham. He scored 14 points, but dominated under the post. Here's the best part: he only drew two fouls.
I'm looking forward to Saturday night. Hopefully, a good crowd will be out there to watch FIU and UM start their seasons.