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Listen Up

I know you die-hard veterans and Herald.com regulars are aware of this already, but for those of you newbies or those of you that don't pay very much attention, we have an interesting feature here on our Hurricanes web page where I store all of the interviews I conduct for your listening pleasure.

It's real easy to find. On our Hurricanes home page, just click on the link that says AUDIO. It will lead you to everything I've collected in the past year -- from post-game interviews to press conferences to practices to chats with recruits and much more.

Today, I went out to UM's first basketball practice and spoke to coach Frank Haith and several players including center Anthony King, who liked happy and excited to be back after last year's injury-riddled season, and newcomer Lance Hurdle, who appears to be this year's Jack McClinton. I'll have my practice report in tomorrow's paper, but for those of you who always want news quick, just an FYI, I always share my interviews online pretty quickly.

So, even if I don't have a blog up or a story online, there's always the interview or press conference for you to check out. A lot of times, there's stuff from our interviews that never make the paper. It goes the same with TV and radio. There's always space and time issues. Not on our website, though. I give you everything I collect. Hopefully, more of you will begin to enjoy it.

* As for my impressions of the first day of basketball practice:
- Dwayne Collins looks much bigger than he did last year -- and I mean that muscle-wise. He said he's only gained 10 pounds, but he looks ripped in his upper body. It should help him be much more Anthonykingdunkphyscial in the paint this season. He's also worked hard on his footwork and attended a big man's camp for a week this offseason that helped craft his game even more.
* Lance Hurdle is going to play a lot this season. The JUCO combo-guard has impressed Haith since arriving on campus. "Lance has been a little bit of a surprise," Haith said. "At our workouts he's been really good and I think he has a chance to be a really good player. He's a hard worker and very much in the mold of Jack in terms of how hard he works. He's a guy that puts a lot of time into his game. He watches tape."
* UM's point guard job is up in the air right now -- between Jack McClinton, Hurdle and freshman Edwin Rios. Hurdle had some nice things to say about Rios, whom he played with this summer. "I love him. He's a strong guard. I remember reading about him when I was in high school and played against him in Vegas. He's everything I read about. He's a great shooter. He can take it to the basket. He plays great defense. He's a great player. He can play both positions [point and shooting guard].
* Big 6-8, 291-pound recruit Reggie Johnson from Winston Salem-Prep in N.C. attended practice Friday with his parents. He's one of the big men Haith is targeting. He's rated the 38th-best center in the country according to Scout.com and has Virginia and Virginia Tech also interested in him.

I'll have more on basketball in the coming weeks. I'm supposed to have lunch with Coach Haith some time next week before I leave for Tallahassee and the Florida State game. Also on tap next week, quarterback Robert Marve. After weeks of trying to get UM's SID department to get him for us, he's supposed to attend Tuesday's press conference. Everyone will get him, but look for the audio and some more on him here next week.

On tap for tomorrow, my in-game blog, plus my predicition on the game. See ya guys tomorrow when Georgia Tech visits the OB.