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The Hot Stove: Measuring Cristobal's loss, talking Kayne, more recruiting, coaching rumors and hoops

Sorry for the gap between entries, but it's the holiday season -- you all should be in a giving mood (as in willing to cut me some slack).

Cristobal_2 Obviously, the biggest news of late surrounds the loss of offensive line coach/recruiting Jedi master Mario Cristobal (READ THE STORY). Here's the bottom line on what Cristobal's departure really means on recruiting: It will hurt this year's class, but not really too much. What exactly does that mean? Sure, in the long run it will hurt Miami not to have Cristobal around, but the impact will only be felt slightly as far as this year is concerned.

As good a recruiter as Cristobal is, his biggest tie-ins to the upcoming class were really only the Belle Glade Glades Central kids (WR Deonte Thompson, WR Taurus McKinley and S Damien Berry), OL Harland Gunn (from Nebraska) and DT Chris Perry (a soft commitment anyway) and a few other potential offensive lineman. I know what your thinking -- that's pretty significant.

But McKinley and Berry have both said they are solid commitments to UM anyway. Coach Randy Shannon saved himself the headache of possibly losing both of them when he went out to Belle Glade last week and solidified the commitments. Both have since said Cristobal's departure really isn't that big of a deal. As for Thompson, the nation's sixth-rated receiver according to Rivals, according to one of the assistants I know well he really wasn't going to base his decision on Cristobal being there or not anyway. My source said Thompson wants a big city atmosphere and if he doesn't pick USC, he think he'll follow his friends to UM. Gunn, who has basically shut himself off to the world since before Coker was fired, is still expected to attend UM regardless. And Perry in all seriousness was likely 50-50 to begin with.

Now, where I think Cristobal's loss will impact is where he had his his hand on other potential OL targets (Kevin Bryant, Matt Romine). But if Shannon, receivers coach Marquis Mosely and a few others can chip in and help out the situation UM might be able to get those guys anyway. The good news for UM is the holiday break is basically a no-contact period, which gives Shannon and company time to regroup.

Kayne One guy UM won't have to worry about at all is receiver Kayne Farquharson (READ THE STORY). I don't like to give ringing endorsements for kids I've never seen play beyond a highlight reel on YouTube but after meeting him and his family in the past couple of days I just got to say he seems like a great kid who will do great things at The U. For starters, he's a real Cane die-hard fan and sort of a throwback. He loves the history. He loves to win. And he has a huge swagger about him. Don't believe me check out the video interview (SEE VIDEO). Here's also a link to his YouTube highlight reel (SEE VIDEO). Hopefully for UM, though, that all translates on the field. The fact Kayne has already played two years of college football at the highest level of JUCO ball and come out a title game MVP tells you he's got real skill. And with the lack of playmakers on offense, getting a kid that can produce big plays is a huge get for the Hurricanes.

As for other future huge gets. Look for North Miami Beach receiver/cornerback Doug Wiggins (5-11, 180) to make his decision on Friday at his high school banquet. Wiggins, an early graduate, has been tripping of late. He's been to Michigan, Western Michigan and North Carolina in the past 10 days. According to the peeps we speak with close to the situation, it's really down to Michigan, North Carolina or Miami. Butch Davis has apparently made a real strong push in the last couple of days to get him. But my hunch is he'll still pick UM. Shannon has been on him for a long time and if he picks UM he'll likely end up being the best local talent the program picks up this year.

Rolandsmith As for potential assistant coaches, I'd be silly not to report the fact Northwestern coach Roland Smith and Homestead assistant Michael Barrow have been seen regularly at UM practices of late. Barrow more than Smith, who was dressed a white suit and looked like he wanted to be seen. We know for sure both are good friends with Shannon and could potentially end up being among the assistants hired. Barrow could fill in perfectly for Shannon at linebackers and Smith, a former UM defensive back, could replace Tim Walton assuming Walton replaces Shannon as defensive coordinator. Those are just my thoughts.

As for the basketball team... tonight's game against Binghamton should just be a formality before improving to 8-4 and heading off to a big showdown with Louisville. Got to say I have mixed emotions so far as to how good this team really is.

The fact they are without Anthony King at center to begin with makes things so much tougher. I spoke with Haith for about 10 minutes yesterday and asked him what he expected for the first half of the season and what he expects for the second half. To listen to the interview (HAITH AUDIO). He basically told me he's hoping to surpass a 9-win total before conference play begins. After Binghamton, UM is at Louisville (5-4), home for Nebraska (6-2) and on the road at a really tough UMass team (9-2) before conference play resumes at home against Wake Forest.

Ray_hicksA few things that came out of yesterday's practice: Look for Ray Hicks to continue to come off the bench the rest of the season. Haith believes Hicks can become the scorer they are looking for off the bench the rest of the season. Hicks said he just sees the floor better when he's not on the floor to start. Eventually, though, expect Jimmy Graham to get back in the starting lineup ahead of Fabio Nass at least until King returns. Once King returns (barring surgery on his wrist), the lineup will probably look like this: Clemente at the point, McClinton at the two, Asbury at the three, Collins at the four and King at the five. Also, there's a chance Adrian Thomas (abdominal strain) could return this season after all. Haith told us Thomas was out for the year earlier, but if he doesn't need surgery Haith thinks he might be able down the stretch. That's huge because Brian Asbury really doesn't have a solid backup at the three.

Anyway, I'm done. I'm sure this will be it until after Christmas. So, Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you. Feel free to chime in on whatever you like.


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cristabol is more of a tremendous gain for FIU then devistating loss for UM. hes great but shannon has said... the U basically recruits itself . i think that can go for coaches as well. and as for the HS coaches comeing to become assistance's... i wouldnt doubt it and would think it would be a good idea what better way to get the kids from s.fla. to start producing the way the U once did than to bring in some one who knows them since HS. really smart idea

Congratulation Mario!! Wish you all the luck in the world and thanks for all you have done for the U.

hopefullt this wont bother berry or mickinly, and we get Deonte Thompson

I guess that "formailty" for the men's basketball team tonight wasn't such a gimme after all. Seriously, what is up with this team?

Interesting. RS is going with some guys he trust and have insight into these players. I only wonder about x's and o's. Hopefully, these guys can teach x's and o's and how to exploit miss matches.

Can somebody please explain to me how or why all of a sudden Mario Cristobal is the so called "Jedi Master" of recruiting? Everybody bashed Larry Coker for his recruiting classes over the last 5 years. Larry Coker and Mario Cristobal go hand in hand when it comes to recruiting. You cannot trash Coker's recruiting and then call Cristobal a great recruiter. Show me an example of the great recruiting by Mario Cristobal. If you do, then you cannot say that Coker did a poor job recruiting. Bad coaching yes, but bad recruiting, no. If you can't show me an example of the great recruiting by Mario, then please explain to me why all of a sudden he is being put up on a pedastal.

I think that Miami has not had bad recruiting really. The way I see it they have great talent at "THE U", hell Kirk Herbatreit was picking them to play for the National Championship, I really do beleive that it was merely bad coaching that did in the Canes this year. You got to look at it this way, we had a tremendous Defense (GOOD COACHING), that yeah caved in at times because the Offense could not keep them of the field, and we had a really shi... Offense (REALLY BAD COACHING) even with all the really smart coaches that we brought in for this year, so I really expect for next years team to be a really good and discipline Team, and ofr the following year if we keep recruiting South Florida like we started to do so again and get all this Juniors from Northwestern, CAN YOU IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES. Isee great things coming in the future for THE U.

Doug Wiggins A CANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is a great player

We need to keep the great players in south florida at the U

Good call on Wiggins Manny.

As a former NMB Charger (Class of '89), I'm ecstatic that Doug (Wiggins) decided to take up with the "U"! Whatever happened to the UGA Bulldogs? They were high on his list forever. So glad Coach Shannon was given the chance.

It's Great TO BE a MI-ami HURR-icane!

While I'm at it, kudos to Coach Bertani! Amazing job! Congrats Jeff.

Does anyone have some inside info on Graig Cooper and what he is thinkin about the U

Not sure since Coker was fired I don't know if he want to come to the U still. But, he maybe waiting to see who they hire as the OC.

Cristobal you are an ass hole and i'm so glad you are to hang your self at Fiu

with as big a sieve as the ol was last year,how can anyone say cristobol will be missed.and as far as his recruiting?where are they...the "U" will be fine as long as a good oc is hired.it will keep the s. fla. kids here which in turn will bring in the rest of the country ,just like the days of old

I'm as big a Canes fan as the next guy but before this team goes anywhere, Randy Shannon has to get himself a pro style offensive coordinator. Last nights game will hopefully be the last time I see my canes running a shotgun offense 90 % of the time.

I'm 41 and I've been watching the canes since I was 15-16 yrs old. There was no cable, internet ETC... HA HA, you had no choice but to watch them. I've seen some pretty bad Canes football. This team is not horrible, but I don't know if Shannon has the clout to bring in the type of Offensive coordinator we need.

I really hope he can get them back to where they were, but I will have my doubts especially if all he does is hire his old buddies to try and coach them back to the top, I believe that will be his down fall if he goes that route. Randy, get some proven coaches and best of luck to you buddy. Go Canes!

Where U at Manny? Happy New Year!

Mario cristobal is not that great of coach, the um offensive line been struggling for the past 3-4yrs so we not gonna miss him. we talking about the u, any coach can come in and make a name for himself.

There all pretty good players:)

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