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R&R: Tatum transfer, Haith and Wake

With less than 72 before the official arrival of incoming freshmen at the University of Miami, I have to admit -- much like the natives -- I'm getting a bit restless.

I'm tired of gathering interviews over the phone and traveling to far off places to sit in on media days. I want to see some helmets, some hitting, something. With that said, I plan to fill in the rest of this week with as much as I can gather without actually being at a place where a UM player or coach is. How do I do that? With a little R&R (Rumors and Reasoning), the newest segment I plan to do every now and then when it's needed.

Josh_tatumI'll begin with what is currently making the natives on green and orange message boards everywhere a bit restless -- the hot rumor former disgruntled USC linebacker Joshua Tatum could be transferring to the University of Miami. And since this is a blog and not our actual newspaper (they don't allow us to use sources anymore in the paper), I'll report on what I've heard from my sources. First though, let's explain who Tatum is. Tatum (listed at 6-2, 220 with 4.5-speed in the 40 as a senior) was one of the nation's most highly sought-after linebacker recruits in 2005 out of Oakland McClymonds High in California. He picked USC early and signed with them, but said Miami was a close second. In a Scout.com article, he said he might have picked the Canes if not for Miami being so far from home.

Monday, on message boards painted green and orange everywhere, the rumor began spreading Tatum was on UM's campus. In an effort to solve the mystery, I spoke to one player who said he did indeed run into Tatum on campus. "Josh told me all he has to do is work out some paperwork and he'll be officially in by tomorrow," the player told me.  "He was in the lockerroom today, bringing his stuff in."

Shannon_this_is_my_turfBut then, later, I spoke to another source who said coach Randy Shannon stance at the monent is to not take transfers. I've never heard Shannon take such a chance publicly. But Saturday at the Florida Sports Writers Association meetings, Shannon said he had four scholarships that went unused on national signing day this past February. If there's a position that honestly could use some late additions, its linebacker.

Shannon apparently has already added one linebacker -- albeit a preferred walk-on -- in Patrick Smith, according to Canesport.com. Smith is an undersized standout who played at Concord De La Salle and for Ken Dorsey's old coach who is now at Solano Community College in California. Getting two LBs isn't far-fetched, even with the list of four current linebacker commitments for 2008. Plus, I find it hard to believe, Tatum, who is from Oakland, would fly across the country to be told "no." If he had a good relationship with UM coaches during his recruitment, then I got to believe Shannon might still have a soft spot for him and take him even if he supposedly doesn't want transfers.

My other R&R subject related to basketball coach Frank Haith comes on the heels of the tragic death of Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser who died last Thursday from a massive heart attack. I haven't spoken to Haith since Prosser passed, but I'm sure like most of college basketball's brass was stunned and saddened.

FrankhaithBut this R&R isn't about Skip. It's about Haith and the new opening at Wake Forest, a place where Haith spent four years (1997-2001) as an assistant and still has plenty of family close by. I'm not trying to spread a rumor that Haith is leaving. Like I said, I haven't spoken to him about it yet. And there haven't been any published reports about possible replacements just yet. In fact, I think he'll stay at Miami. But there's definitely reason to think the Demon Deacons could be interested in Haith. For Haith, a real basketball man, the selling points are simple. Its closer to home and in real basketball country. For Wake, the reasons to take Haith are endless. He's been successful there before as an assistant. Before Prosser arrived, Haith was instrumental in taking Wake to four consecutive postseason appearences and recruiting several top 10 classes. He's young, experienced and talented and thirsty to build a winner.

Haith, though, also has plenty of reasons to stay at Miami. For starters, he's told me on several occassions how he loves Miami and believes the program can be successful because of its location. There's also pride. For the first time as coach, this year's team will truly be filled by all of his recruits. Plus, there's no question that this season Miami will have its most talented team in the four years he's been coach. And while I know Haith feels strongly his team has a great chance to reach the NCAA tournament, the fact remains Wake Forest is still a step up in the basketball world compared to the Canes.

There's no question the loss of a pair of potential recruits this summer has to have stung a bit. The Canes thought they had Devin Ebanks, a national top 10 recruit, then lost him to Indiana late. Then, earlier this month, talented California power forward Tyreese Breshers committed to Miami and then rescinded and said he was staying closer to home and going to Washington. Haith has stayed positive through all of it and told me just last week he has full confidence Miami is going to be successful in recruiting. But could this be the job that pries him away from Miami?

Thoughts to ponder...

Comments

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First ever first. I love the R & R format. Need some good rumors to get us excited. Great work Manny.

Manny...I too like the R&R. Nice angle and good work!

I guess we'll have to wait and see on Tatum. I think he would be a good addition to the program. I have to agree that he wouldn't fly across country to be told no.

Hope that Smith can be player for us, too.

I hope Haith stays. Do you ever think UM can be good on a consistent basis in basketball?

Great job again. Youre really taking advantage of a major fumble by the Sentinel.

They will never get the online readership back to what it was.

It's possible Mike. Miami was good at one point. Florida has managed to do it. While the state as a whole doesn't produce home-grown talent the way it does in football, the state of Florida as a whole is an attractive place to play and always will be.

The Canes simply need to get more support. They've got the on-campus arena, but simply can't fill it. I blame the students. They were the ones who were supposed to fill it. Recruits know the Canes are hurting for support. Yet, still, Haith was able to hang in their for Ebanks and get Breshers to seriously consider UM. If Haith had some support, this program could take off in a few years. But he needs time and support.

Until we get a Boykin type player locally, we are never going to be a factor in recruiting.

No way he goes to the U and that's a shame.

and after that article posted today on canespace, the athletic dept. is going to pump more dollars into the bb program. I would really like to see us have a run in on the court like we've all enjoyed on the field

run on the court, like on the field. No run-ins!

If shannon wants Tatum in the team, I guess is ok. Haith, don't quit the job you started. We want you to stay. The cane nation needs you. Go Canes!!!!!

I don't think Haith leaves. He's got unfinished business at UM. Wake would be tempting though and they have PLENTY of support!

JT to UM. 4 Ships with no one to dance with? Y not? Plus he stays a year before playing. (not sure about this) He will be more mature and have time to study plays. Plus RS has to accept with due study and diligence -- aye aye captain RS.

Love the new segment

Manny,

Don't those unused ships get pushed into this year's allotment? I thought that was why we had so many this year. If so, then however you count it, signing Tatum means one less ship for a new recruit this year. I trust Shannon either way, but he better be d*mn special if we're giving up a ship from the great class of '08 to get this guy for a max of three years with his redshirt used up.

• ACC commissioner John Swofford said the league's championship game could move from Jacksonville, Fla., to Charlotte, Orlando or Tampa beginning in 2008. Swofford said the game could remain in Jacksonville or rotate between three cities.
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=schlabach_mark&id=2947370
Dear Commissioner, Swofford, can we have the ACC championship in Orlando.

nice new section manny

If the Boss thinks Tatum is worth it, let the competition begin.

good job Manny....cause the boards was all buzz with Tatum.

My thoughts are that if these 2 recruits de-committed they must know something we don't. My assumption is that Haith is actively seeking employment elsewhere and everybody knows it except UM. Paul Dee needs to call Haith into his office and confront the situation.

I'm packing Frank Haith a kosher salami sandwich on rye ...

Hey Manny,
Great job again bringing the news we can Use.
Acc Championship in Orlando!!!!!!
Brock Berlin was a good transfer for the U
If Coach Shannon thinks it is right for the team.
I say Do it.
Thanx again for your support of Canespace

canespace surpasses 10,000 posts : ) mind you, it's the dog days : ) head to head, the feisty startup elicited more posts than ALL sunsentinel & herald blogs (minus dave barry's) combined : ) who's green with envy now : )


R&R cloumns used to fill the pages of sports sections across the country. When did sports become too serious a topic/section of a paper that it couldn't be fun and speculation? Silly editing if you ask me.
Great format and great fun. Thanks and keep it going.

I say bring in all the ballas you can and let them find their way. You can never have too much talent even in backup roles.

Bring his azz in!

GO CANEZ!!!!!

canespace stunning stats since the june 17th split 6 weeks ago : ) 10,000+ posts, 112,000+ hits : ) those used to be sunsentinel's stats : ) memories of the way we were : ) POETIC JUSTICE

memories may be beautiful and yet
what's too painful to remember
we simply choose to forget -- barbra streisand

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_college_hurricanes/2007/06/dear_um.html#comments omar kelly: "My company has done a study to figure out what makes my blog so successful in their efforts to replicate it and they determined it's because we're a community." when does sunsentinel study how not to lose your most popular blog overnight? sunsentinel's loss = canespace's & Miami herald's gain : ) COMEUPPANCE

I'm all for taking Tatum, The current linebacker group is marginal and there is no guarantee that all linebacker recruits who have commited will sign in February.

Great new segment here Manny, I like it!

Manny blames the students for the lack of support for UM Hoops, and as the guy who ran our student section last year, I'd have to say he's largely right. Let's not let the rest of the paying crowd off the hook (who didn't even fill the arena for Duke last year, and who don't make any noise even when the place IS full), but it does start with the students, who largely don't care at all any sport other than football, especially if we aren't winning. We tried many things last year, from flyers to facebook events to raffles to giveaways, and nothing worked once we started losing. Many students would come for the Crocs that we gave away, then would leave once they got them... it made me sick. We're starting up a student section website this year in hopes that we can reach more students and get more that care than our core group that's there every game, but it's an uphill battle that I'm afraid will only be won if the team does well for a repeated number of years.

hey manny navarro, 400+ posts since july 23rd! BIG MO

Manny
Can we cap the amount of self congratulatory posts by Canespace to one a day. Keep up the good work the R&R is good reading.

the buck stops with Coach Haith. pray that wake takes him off our hands. blame the students for our hapless hoops?!? RED HERRING

"Can we cap the amount of self congratulatory posts by Canespace to one a day." I'm independent. I'll post whatever I want. and if you don't like it ... pound sand. comprende'

green's da man. Canes are always proud of their accomplishments. Just wondering where you get those stats?

BTW, nice read Manny. I'm not to worried about Haith, he's got something up his sleeve this season.

aqua: what stats?

but for canespace, manny navarro's blog would have withered on the vine. thank god for canespace : )

Green, you are PATHETIC!!!

green,

How do you know how many hits the Herald and SS blogs get?

hey coward, have I gotten under your skin ; )

no, you are just pathetic! Just thought you should know, now take 86's d*ck out of your a$$ and wipe it off. it smells like $hit! "86, you are my hero!!!"

http://blogs.herald.com/random_evidence/2007/07/im-back-wilt-st.html#comments herald's june hits

My experience in following blogs is almost all in the political realm, and the story there is not that different from the sports realm: rabid enthusiasts congregate at blogs where they hash over the journalistic content produced at the online versions of Dead Trees Media.

Invariably, the enthusiasts underestimate the importance and relevance of the Dead Tree People. Almost invariably, the Dead Tree People do the same in reverse.

Manny GETS IT. He's doing a GREAT job spanning the divide between the way his bosses insist he do journalism and the way the blogospheric community insists on having a voice.

aqua: omar kelly mentioned the sunsentinel UM blog used to average 40,000 hits a week.

A lot of solid information on a regular basis. Manny you're putting the competition to shame.

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_college_hurricanes/2006/12/questions_anyon.html#comments omar kelly: "...THANK YOU to your consistent support that has made this the No. 1 sports blog in all of South Florida (and that's bragging - over 40,000 visitors per week for you haters - not a guess)"

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_college_hurricanes/2007/01/were_all_friend.html#comments omar kelly: "I've recently been dethroned by the Dolphins blog by the way. Last week they hit 50,000 hits because of Nick Saban's departure. I couldn't get past 47,000 last week."

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_college_hurricanes/2007/02/signing_day_sup.html#comment-60320170 omar kelly: "I regularly monitor what's being said here just to give back to the people who support me (94,000 hits last week, which was a Sun-Sentinel all-time high courtesy of signing day)"

I agree with Manny on Tatum. Also if you look here: http://recruiting.scout.com/2/477917.html kid said at the time the reason he didn't pick UM was location. It is hard for a kid to pick up and go all the way across country. In fact, aren't we betting on that's what will keep Patrick Johnson here? If we have the 'ship, I say give it to him. Here is his exact comment:

"I also have family in southern California. My uncle (Leslie Small) got his PHD in business/economics at USC and my aunt went there too.

My No. 2 school was definitely Miami. Then came Tennessee. Miami's location was the thing that really hurt them. But it was really a battle between USC and Miami. On my trip to Miami (Nov. 18), I fell in love with their coaches, the program and most importantly, the players.

Manny,

You're doing a fantastic job. Great content, and I like your insight. Keep it coming!

green, please settle down. It seems like 2/3 of the canespace posts come from canespace bloggers, and most of it is stroking your own egos. I think the site has great potential, but the self-adulation is turning a lot of would-be readers away.

And what's the point of pointing out Omar's old stats? Here's the bottom line: lots of Canes fans (like me) are looking for sites to get good info and analysis and banter with other Canes fans. If it comes from Manny, great. If it comes from Shandel, great. if it comes from canespace, great. No need to be a jerk about it.

Displaced Cane in Chi-Town
you hit it square on the head

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