I'm sorry I haven't blogged in a while, but you diehards know I'm really only the basketball writer and I've been busy chomping away on my feature story which ran Sunday plus I covered the state high school championships up in Lakeland earlier in the week and did some Marlins duty.
Anyway, how do you feel about the Canes basketball program after this 11-19 season? Did the article I wrote shed any insight onto some of the hurdles this team obviously has? After covering this team for one season, I felt something needed to be said for what coach Frank Haith and company are up against. Miami's basketball woes stretch far beyond the court. Every ACC city I was in laughs at UM's basketball program and the lack of support it receives from fans and its student body.
I think it's a really a shame because not too long ago this team was in the Sweet 16. It took Leonard Hamilton a while, but he finally began winning. Haith faces a similar uphill battle. But he needs more help. UM's on-campus arena is too antiquated and yes it's only 4 1/2 years old. There are no replay screens. The atmosphere -- except for yesterday's game against Florida State and Duke -- is stale. I know that might have worked when UM was in the Big East and playing in the Miami Arena. But the ACC takes basketball so much more seriously. I've been to games in Maryland, Wake Forest, North Carolina and even Florida State where it actually feels fun to go to a basketball game. UM will never compete in the ACC unless that changes. Obviously recruiting helps, but how do people expect Haith to nab big time players when Miami isn't even seen as a basketball schoool?
Anyway, I'm done with my rant.
Just wanted to share some thoughts one where I've been the last two weeks. I never spoke with Devan Ebanks. I'm still waiting for him to call me back. But I'm hoping to give you that interview once I get it.
Also, on the state basketball hoops front: the two kids who played at Winter Park Lake Howell and are heading to the University of Florida -- 6-9 forward Chandler Parsons and 6-6 guard Nick Calathes -- are the real deal. The Gators got themselves two incredible players. I also got to watch three potential Canes in Pace forward Ray Shipman (2008), Ely guard Kenny Boynton Jr. (2009) and Pine Crest guard Brendan Knight (2010).
I liked Boynton Jr. the most. He was amazing. He's only 6-3. But the kid has tremendous courage and confidence. Shipman looks good too, but I think he needs to improve on finishing at the basket. Kind of reminds me of Brian Asbury. Brendan Knight is really talented too and another guy Haith should try to get his hands on.
Anyway, I'm done. Feel free to pour your thoughts on spring football and what you're most looking forward to when practice begins this week.