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A team to root for

I know football season was tough to swallow this fall. I know your heart still aches after all of that losing. But it's time for Hurricanes fans to stop feeling down in the dumps. It's time to let go of all of those Kyle Wright interceptions, the ugly losses and the 5-7 record. And it is time to get behind this UM basketball team.

Thursday night, to my chagrin, I watched UM's basketball team for the first time Jack_mcclintonthis season the way many of you usually do -- on a TV set. The Herald -- like many newspapers -- has some budget constraints and figured it was cheaper to have me drive up to Orlando with another reporter for the state high school football championships. I'm not complaining. This is a great place to be too. But I would have loved to be in Starkville, Mississippi last night to see coach Frank Haith's team take another step forward with an impressive win against a good SEC team on the road.

I know Miami isn't a basketball school. Football -- even at its worst -- is what makes The U go round. Baseball has its moments, too. But right now there might not be a better story in college basketball -- or in South Florida -- than the rise of the Miami Hurricanes basketball program. Did we forget how bad this team was last year? Did we forget how injured and shorthanded they were? Did we forget they finished last in the ACC with an ugly 12-20 record? I know it's early -- but this team is No. 1 in the RPI rankings. And they will most certainly get into the Top 25 next week.

Thursday's win in Starkville didn't come against a college basketball juggernaut. Mississippi State is good, not great. But it was another sign in the growth of this team.They were down by as many as five late. Then, Jack McClinton, who scored 29 points, took over the game to lift his team to a big win -- the ninth this season. I know the upcoming schedule isn't going to be sexy. UM won't play a team over .500 before its ACC opener at home against Georgia Tech. Of the next five -- Stetson (1-7), North Florida (0-6), N.C. A&T (1-4), Winthrop (4-4) and Penn (3-7) -- only Winthrop is really any good. But the Canes are undefeated! GO WATCH THIS TEAM PLAY IN PERSON! THEY DESERVE SOME SUPPORT!

OK, I'm done pleading, as for my thoughts on the game...
- I was thoroughly impressed by the way Miami is playing defense this season. On game nights, I'm usually on floor level and behind the basket. Watching UM on TV last night from the Front Row Friday's on International Drive, I got a chance to see just how much better Miami is on closing out on shooters. Last year, opposing three-point shooters had time to tie their shoes, sip coffee and clip their toenails before getting a shot off. This UM defense is a lot quicker and it makes opposing teams work for their shots. Last year, the Canes weren't healthy enough inside to play good defense. Wings had to sag in the paint and help. With Anthony King, Dwayne Collins and Jimmy Graham deflecting shots and redirecting dribblers, UM's guards are able to play honest defense. And it is forcing opponents to take tougher shots.

- That being said, Jamont Gordon has his moments yesterday when he blew past McClinton and some of UM's other guards. Coach Frank Haith did what he was supposed to do and adjusted, switching Brian Asbury and James Dews on Gordon to stop him. It worked and McClinton took over offensively. Haith deserves credit for that. But UM still has to find a better way to guard against talented, quick guards. I could see that being an Achilles heal for this team -- especially in the ACC.

- Getting back to McClinton, I know he hit some big shots, but what I loved most about his game was how he didn't just settle for threes. He made a few tough baskets inside the three-point arc, driving toward the basket. They were shots he worked for. Aside for a few bad decisions on passes, he put his team on his back when they needed him to. And showed that this isn't just a very good team, but also has someone who can take games over. Miami needs that when it starts playing its tougher ACC games.

- I know some of you came on here last night during the game and posted your thoughts. Among them, some great nicknames for McClinton -- Jack McMoney and Jack McBadAss. Personally, I like "McClutch." How about we try to come up with one everyone likes? I'll take some nominations before setting up a poll in another blog. Feel free to leave them below.

As for football...
- Everybody knows this weekend is going to be a big one for recruiting. Canesport.com has done a good job reporting on visitors and I always will suggest you visit their site and sign up with them or InsideTheU if you are a die-hard recruiting fan. But I've been told not everyone on the weekend visitor will be at UM this weekend. Pahokee cornerback Janorris Jenkins will not be visiting this weekend and I've been told he's sticking with his commitment to the Florida Gators. That means Pahokee teammate and UM commitment Micanor Regis, a big defensive tackle, will not be making his official visit until January (which was what he originally scheduled).

- So, who are the other visitors? Two are current commitments Johnny Calhoun, an athlete from Sebastian River, Fla. and Jordan Futch, LB, Hollywood Chaminade. Two are expected to be commitments by the end of the weekend: Patrick Hill, FB, El Camino, Calif. CC; Jake Wieclaw, K, Illinois. The other two, Georgia defensive end Toby Jackson and Mikhail Marinovich, are different stories. Jackson, a Georgia commitment, is someone the Canes are pushing hard for and hoping they well be able to convince to switch this weekend. And Marinovich, the step-brother of former USC quarterback Todd Marinovich, is someone Miami hasn't offered yet but is checking out.

- As for Calhoun, who played linebacker and fullback in high school, I've been told he could end up playing tight end at Miami.

- If you think the Canes are taking their Northwestern and Booker T. Washington commitments for granted, guess again. Six UM assistants will be up in Orlando this weekend for the state high school football championships; four coaches -- including Randy Shannon -- will be at home hosting visitors.

- I spoke to Northwestern linebacker Quavon Taylor and offensive lineman Terrell Killings on Tuesday about the Hurricanes. Both are very much interested in following their teammates to UM. Taylor, who has a 3.3 GPA and the test score to qualify, said he has offers from Tennessee and South Florida. Killings (6-3, 290) is an honors student who is looking at Ivy League schools. Both said they have spoken to UM coaches, but have not received offers. Expect to hear a lot about them too during the Class 6A state championship game Saturday night.

LAST THOUGHT: For those of you who get out to the movies, I need some reviews on Will Smith's newest "I Am Legend." I'm dying to watch it and probably won't get a chance to until Sunday. If anybody gets a chance to see it before then, let me know how good it was.


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Great win by the Hoopsters. McClutch is the perfect name for McClinton. Go 'Canes!!!!


Love ya, Manny. No "first" crap.

How about McNASTY?

mc nasty and mcclutch would get my vote

Jack McShizzle... Is my vote

or... Jack McMoney is another

How bout Jack Bower???

I saw I am Legend last night. It was good/not bad. I was disappointed, though, because it wasn't as cool as I thought it was going to be. I thought it could have been a lot better. You should see it but it's nothing out of this world or a must see or anything like that.

I actually used the line McClinton is McClutch yesterday. I think that's the coolest name.

Go Canes!

This team needs our support! Home attendance has been awful and they deserve to come home to a nice crowd for their game Monday night at the BUC.

I really wish I could go Monday for the Stetson game, but I've got midterms. Maybe I'll sneak out for a couple hours, though - I live a half block from campus, so it shouldn't be too hard.

Anybody that's not busy needs to go! The games are cool, and (unfortunately) not at all crowded. Head for the B.U.C. Monday night - I'll try my hardest to too.

Good stuff as usual Manny....

I go with McMoney.....

Manny I work in the movie industry and I actually know some of the guys that worked on this movie, Not only is it great on the big screen but this is one of those movies that you buy and hang on to your remote. Because you will be rewinding and saying damn! what the @#$% was that $%%^&*


I'm loving the basketball team right now. I have never understood how Florida can recruit players to their campus and we can't get guys to come to sunny Miami. I used to be the stadium issue, but that's resolved. I also think we had trouble in the Big East, as kids would play most of their games far away from home. That's resolved too, as most of the kids we recruit are in the ACC geographic region. We have a master recruiter for a head coach, so now all we need are some wins.

Keep it up guys! It's nice to have a quality team in South Florida again. You got my attention in Chicago...you'll get the rest of the fans soon! IT'S ALL ABOUT THE U! EVEN IN BASKETBALL!


McSwoosh! Nothin' but net baby!!!

hey, i just saw I AM LEGEND....its worth every penny... outstanding movie....

Soup beat me to it:

McSwisher Sweet

Manny, Jack already has a nickname, an old one -- it's "Apples."

A sign I made for him last year:


manny thank for the coverage we needed, i also though the fiu game you have more pre-game exposure let the herald know we need more exposure the doplhin season is over,let um b-ball have the spotl;ight they deserved

Wayne Huizenga selling the Miami dolphins. Mr. Huizenga has always been good to the University of Miami. THANK YOU

suitor: UM Trustee Jorge M. Perez

UH OH....More STINK from up north.....

In the Florida Today, David Jones has a story about a Web site doing business with a TEBOW4HE15MAN campaign:

"The plates may be an NCAA violation that could put the eligibility of University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner, in danger. UF officials are certainly concerned about the unlicensed and unauthorized selling of products promoting the sophomore quarterback -- which has become rampant on numerous Web sites."

"For us, it's an NCAA issue," said Kim Green, Florida's assistant athletic director in compliance. "It's a violation of NCAA rules. What we have to do is go back and prove, I don't think it's very difficult to do, but it's an NCAA rule, and if that rule is violated, what are the consequences? We've got to go back and prove that Tim was unaware of this, he's not benefited in any way."

Jack McNasty or Jack the Mac

Yo Green,

Two indian students were murdered on the campus of LSU in an apparent home invasion, with the three suscpects still at large. Don't forget LSU is the same school that was terrorized by a serial rapist over the past few years with no leads or suspects. Imagine if thaat were the U!

watching McClinton last night was a rush! He was so freak'n fired up, it was contagious. He is a "CANE" and i think the most important people to show up at the next b-ball game are the remaining football players... What i saw from McMoney last night was exactly what the football team was missing this season, let's get fired up!

Can't wait for the NW game tomorrow night!

Go Canes!

Here's the only movie review site you'll ever need.


I vote for OrangeCane's Apple Jack.


Just got back from watching I Am Legend. Awesome movie. Great performance by Will Smith. I can't believe that's the same guy who was The Fresh Prince. You definitely gotta see it.

First,shame on the Herald, Sun-Shmentinal and PB Joke for not sending anyone to the Miss. St. game and using an AP reporter for the story. What a joke.

Second how about McIceman

Third. If anyone within 20 mins of the BankUnited center does not go to at least one of the next 3 home games you are NOT TRUE CANES FANS!!!! We need to PACK THE JOINT and show our gratitude to these kids for giving us something to cheer about at UM again!! Simple request (i cant do it because I am in NY but plan to come down later this season for a game), pick a game, take the kids and get ROWDY!! WE OWE IT TO THEM if you don't then you should be ashamed of yourself. Its a cheap ticket and more entertaining than the Heat (ZZZZZZZZZZ boring, who cares).


I've heard I Am Legend is pretty good, very interesting but isn't a killer movie. I don't post often enough on here, good job man. You're doing a fantastic service to us fans who crave minute by minute news.

Hope we get thsoe commitments, and I'd say that depsite the bad mouthing of Jacory, we'll get most the Bulls and Booker T kids, which is great news. If we win the recruiting wars at home, we'll win games later. These kids are too good,I'm on my way to Orlando!

Re: I Am Legend

I just saw it this morning. My one sentence description of the movie: First hour is fantastic, then it falls apart. Will Smith makes that movie; the director and writers try as hard as they can to mess it up.

I just saw it this morning. My one sentence description of the movie: First hour is fantastic, then it falls apart. Will Smith makes that movie; the director and writers try as hard as they can to mess it up.

Posted by: Optimus Cane | December 15, 2007 at 03:46 PM

Did they show a trailer for The Dark Knight???
I'm going to see it tonight...

Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center

Chud to atlanta?

sunsentinel's ted hutton (dec 14): "... still plenty of seats left on the buses that are part of the bowl package for current students."
but for strongarming unsuspecting students through obscene activity fees, unwanted florida atlantic football would go out business ... TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION

herald's manny navarro: "What would happen if the best players at Northwestern, the nation's No. 1 high school football team, and Booker T. Washington, ranked fourth nationally by ESPN, were teammates instead of crosstown rivals?" University of Miami Farm System

listen to Northwestern v. boone ... ALL THE MARBLES

21-0 Northwestern.. What a beating...

MNW is beastly....all around...and I think kendall thompkins is underrated...he is right up there with the rest of them.....I am really enjoying watching this game....

Of course Harris would get hurt at the end of blowout. I hope it's not anything serious.

And Forston is just nasty. I can't wait until that boy is in the orange and green.


HIGHLIGHT OF THE EVENING: Marcus Forston flashing the "U" before the snap while "Soulja Boy" is playing over the Citrus Bowl's P.A. system. WE LOVE U, MARCUS!

i heard Streeter just commited to THE U as well...any confirmation on that manny????

President McClinton
or Jack McPimpin

Early word is that Jacory has a torn knee ligament. No word as to whether it's ACL, MCL, PCL, or LCL. MRI to be done today.

herald's frank demarzo: "UPDATE - Manny Navarro said that (Jacory) Harris told him he is okay." FINGERS CROSSED

Hank Goldberg: "I got wind of the (dolphins sale) a week ago." the Miami herald broke the news NOT you ... SCOOPED

michael dell in, Jorge M. Perez out -- Hank Golberg

It sucks with such a BIG WIN that it is SO UNIMPORTANT to the Sun-Sentinel that it gets relegated to a blog and no story about it. This team deserves better.

Posted by: Hurricane Moe | December 14, 2007 at 08:41 AM
hey moe, are you a glutton for punishment? shun s(h)unsentinel

Yo Green,

Two indian students were murdered on the campus of LSU in an apparent home invasion, with the three suscpects still at large. Don't forget LSU is the same school that was terrorized by a serial rapist over the past few years with no leads or suspects. Imagine if thaat were the U!

Posted by: Cane-ster Nip | December 14, 2007 at 09:53 PM
don't you know, nip ... only U fit the narrative ; ) BLACK HAT

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