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Clemente, Gilbert part ways with The U

The University of Miami men's basketball team parted ways Monday with two players -- point guard Denis Clemente and freshman forward Lawrence Gilbert.

ClementeAnd truth be told, it's the two I expected. In this blog back on March 15 in the UM basketball season wrap-up I told you how the program had 15 players who could potentially have ended up on the team next season. With only 13 scholarships available something had to give. Clemente, who was suspended twice, doomed himself. And Gilbert, whom Haith told me numerous times couldn't figure his way in the system, simply played himself out of the plan. Gilbert likely will not take long finding a new team. Clemente may take some time. His recent run into trouble off the court could scare away some schools.

So, ultimately what does Clemente's loss mean for the basketball team next year? Point guard just became the biggest question mark on the team and the position is going to be run by either an incoming freshman in Edwin Rios or a converted shooting guard in Jack McClinton.

McclintondribbleHaith told me after the ACC tournament he felt confident McClinton could make the switch from shooting guard to the point with some coaching and even compared him to one of his former players at Wake Forest who did the same. While McClinton showed he was capable of running the point briefly at the ACC tournament, he's still going to need to work a lot on his ballhandling skills. At times this season, Haith said McClinton often overdribbled causing him to the turn the ball over. Rios, on the other hand, has been a scoring point guard for most of his high school career. It should be interesting to see how the situation develops.

Of course, there is still an oustide chance another backcourt player could be brought in too. As it stands, UM has just four guards expected to be on the team next year -- James Dews and JUCO recruit Lance Hurdle being the others. Small forward Brian Asbury can count as a fifth option, especially if Haith wants to go big.

Ultimately, if Anthony King is not granted an extra year of eligibility -- we'll find out next month -- UM would have another scholarship in hand. And I know for a fact Haith and his assistants have not stopped recruiting just in case there are any other departures.

Stay tuned for developments.


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a sound decision

taking the trash out

i dont get players now and days you got it good being paid via scholarship to play in a prestigous school. all you have to do is keep your name outta the sports page when your not playing. clemente was good but damn man get some sense... now the U has got to bring in a quality guy to run the point.

A rapidly rising pile of pretty strong-smelling evidence says that the best way for fans, players and coaches of any college sport to experience disappointment is to believe in Rivals or any other high school athlete ranking system.

So many 'Canes fans harp about how all the best talent is going to other schools. I say bologna! Beyond a certain talent level, players' talent always loses to players' character, brains, maturity and heart, and these qualities are more prevalent in talented but lower-profile athletes who haven't been warped out of human form by the barnyard-animal dumb hero worship and adoration by which most "five star" high school athletes are swaddled and annointed from infancy.

I am sorry that Clemente put him self in this position. I thought he was getting better and ready to help this team next year. Rios is going to be a good player but it's tough depending on a freshman point guard in this league.

hopefully rios is up for a big challenge cause we dont play in no powerder puff league...

JUMP SHIP!! JUMP SHIP!! everyone is jumping a sinking ship!!! i been saying for a while now. A new conference is the reason for miami's mediocrity in football, baksetball, and now baseball. ITS NOT THE BIG lEAST ANYMORE!!

new conference coupled with not having enough money to get to road basketball games is a reason why da SPEW is headed down the path of SMU.

just my 2cents . . which will help pay the bus fare!

Paul I think you are an idiot by the comments you put in, the new conference where Miami is now has nothing to do with the way are playing, look at the coaching Perry and Coker brought these programs down. What kind of a coach only recruits one QB at a time and no receivers, plus no one wanted to come and play for him anyways. Oh, and by the way Miami has never had a good road following anyways, their true fans are few not and we do not follow them only when they are winning like you probsbly do.

Clemente had a lot of potential. I'm sad to see it end like this, but the team will be better off. I'm excited to see Rios take over the reigns...maybe this will be exactly the type of challenge Rios needs to raise his game to the level of expectations he created a couple of years ago...

Sorry, but I don't see Miami ever being much of a competitor in ACC basketball for several reasons:
1. As long as Billy Donovan is at UF, he will get the lion's share of the state's basketball talent. (Hope he goes to Kentucky as rumored).
2. There has never been a fan base for basketball at the U. I thought having an oncampus arena would help, but it hasn't. An
AD with actual ties to the university (and not UF) would help promote the sport, but it appears our Gator AD isn't going anywhere.
3. Miami, like FSU, is a football school, period. There was some interest in baseball, but clearly the recent NCAA sanctions have done serious damage to that program, too.

It's a shame that things are like this, because I believe Frank Haith and Jim Morris are good coaches and merit more support. However, in a school where even the football team can't draw fans to a BCS bowl game, they're not going to get it.

I'm not surprised with Clemente getting kicked off or Gilbert wanting to transfer. Best of luck to both of them. This does leave us thin at the point though -- Manny, do you know if Lance Hurdle has any good experience playing PG?

And to this comment:
"There was some interest in baseball, but clearly the recent NCAA sanctions have done serious damage to that program, too."

Have you followed the baseball team over the years? They lost scholarships, had sanctions, and STILL made it to the CWS 3 of the past 4 years. This year's team has an extremely young bullpen full of talent, they just need some time and patience to get it together. We'll be fine there.

has anyone heard rumors as to what Clemente actually did?

I'm here to answer a few questions... as far as I know, Hurdle has no real experience at the point. He's more of a combo-guard the way Guillermo Diaz was, which translates into scorer.

As far as Clemente is concerned, the problem, which I cannot disclose, is a personal one he has had since he was young from what I'm told.

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