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Reaction to hoops, thoughts on football

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.

Peace.

Comments

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If your going to write a blog that is titled "Reaction to hoops, thoughts on football," shouldn't you at least mention football.

This is truly the saddest blog in a major paper I have ever seen... Why do you all even bother?

Manny, thanks for quoting me in the story, haha. I pretty much share its sentiments. UM fans and students are incredible front-runners -- if the team doesn't win, they don't show up. Even if the team wins, a good number still won't even care.

I did work with Fletch and with some others to try to get word out to students about our games, and I think we had moderate success. The problem is that no matter how much we beat into students' heads that there's a basketball game coming up, we can't force them to go, and the vast majority choose not to go. It's quite frustrating, and it does make us look like the laughingstock of the ACC.

Manny,
I'd say the year went about as expected for the Canes. The fact of the matter is, losing Hite and Diaz was losing the heart and soul of the team. I expected us to be last in the ACC, as did the media if i'm not mistaken in the preseason poll, so if anything, UM lived up to expectations.
Having said that, this team is going to be competing for the conference in two years just like UVa and Va Tech this year. I saw UM in person on the road several times this year, and, as bad as the personnel issues were, the only thing the team really lacked was the ability to make shots. Obviously that's important in basketball, but at this level, this is primarily a function of rhythm and confidence, not ability (as all of the guys can light it up in practice and did light it up in high school). Our coaching is excellent. How the players didn't give up on the season is beyond me, bc it was really over for all intents and purposes after the home loss to Wake, and really over after the anhilation at Carolina. The effort didn't stop, and that's a credit to gutsy players and great coaching.
Once confidence starts flowing, the shots start falling. And this group, along with the new recruits, will build something very good in two seasons. I'm excited about this team. Those who don't show up, including students, are just missing the boat now, but they will jump on board once the winning starts. It's a shame, but it is not an insurmountable reality. George Mason sold out many of their home games this year. Think they sold out too many in years past??? And they have 35,000 students. When the winning comes, so will the fans, bc there are plenty of UM students from the northeast who love college basketball, and playing well in the best conference in America will ultimately be a great draw...even in Miami.

I think the reason Miami has such low attendance is because it's student body looks more like some third world school in Havana or San Juan. Maybe if UM had sports such as jalai, bull fighting or perhaps Cock Fighting we could get people to attend. Or maybe at half time we'll get everybody to do the Macarana that should bring the people in. Let's face it Miami has no sports fans because of it's demogrphics, it is unfortunate but it's the truth. I love the University of Miami and it's athletic programs but it's sad to see us get behind in virtually every program. Lousy equipment, fields, stadiums etc. This will translate to poor recruiting and an ever decaying colleage sports industry in Miami which is 3rd rate at best now. Any why should the school improve them, nobody attends or cares or watches. So we can sum UM by the saying "You know what so great about Miami? It's so close to the United States." but in this case not close enough.
-- Tom S. -- Class of 2000 Go Canes.

Miami basketball has always been an afterthought. Can't believe that a 5 year old arena can be antiquated. What's with that? All the woes of Miami's sports programs can be laid at the door of our incompetent AD. What other major college program is run by a man whose loyalties belong to a rival school? At UM, the fox guards the henhouse. It is long past time for this critter to GO! Get someone like Gino Toretta, who is a Cane and has our best interests at heart and you can bet there will be serious changes right away.

I believe that this basketball team will improve as better players are recruited and come to Miami, when the team starts winning the fans will come as they always do, I do not seem to recall a full orange bowl when the football team was on probation, as everyone in Miami is a fan when the team is winning, where are all those people that ran the streets and went to the parades when the Heat and Marlins won championships?. Now swiching to Football I want to see how the Offense is going to pan out. I want to see if they are going to be more energetic or if they will continue to be boring and predictable.

Miami is a pro town. When sports talk on the radio is Dolphin football 12 months out of the year what can you expect.UM is in a city with 3 pro teams that will always be fighting for the fan dollar.How many ACC teams have that kind of competition.If this team had been healthy it would have had a better record. As it is we beat 3 ranked teams this season. With a small alumni base and a few diehard fans to support them they need to win more and the fair weather fans will jump on the bandwagon.

you guys are pathetic. homeless U!! get on the streets and start begging for money to charter flights for your team!! hahaha. miami will never be a winner with those downtrodden facilities and 246 people showing up to games. New conference, new problems . . thats why the SPEW hasnt won anything.

Learn from Billy G . .he took a&m from being miami-like to a top 10 team. I can't wait til next year when we come into the O.B.(tampon) and kill U with your 9678 fans attending the game.

WHOOP!

Tom,

Your comments are insulting to Hispanics and to UM students (of which, more than half are from out of town anyway). Demographics has nothing to do with it - it has to do with other entertainment options. Who's going to go watch a college basketball team lose when the Heat are winning, the weather is beautiful outside, and you can be on a boat out on the ocean instead. UM Hoops isn't the "cool" thing to go to, even for UM students, and this is where we need to start in fixing attendance.

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Paul,

We've gotten to the Sweet 16 before with those "downtrodden" facilities and even before we had our beautiful on-campus arena built. As for football, the OB will have 60,000+ fans there when TAMU comes into town, just wait and see.

Paul = ignorance. I am ashamed to call you a fellow CANES fan and alumni!

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