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Courtside blog: Wake Forest 70, UM 68 (F)

I'm here in Winston-Salem for tonight's UM-Wake Forest game where the Canes will try to pick up their first ACC road win since Jan. 10 of last year.

As usual, I'll bring you my thoughts and observations throughout the game as time permits. Normally, we're scheduled for a live Q&A from 8 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday tonight. But I'm going to have to hold off on that for obvious reasons. No worries. I'll be handling the recruiting live Q&A from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and will even add an extended hour to make up for the hour we're losing tonight back here on the blog from 8 to 9.

So, please hold off on recruiting questions tonight. Other than the interviews I did with Brandon Harris, Taylor Cook, Tom Lemming, Larry Blustein and a few other conversations I've had with a few high school coaches, I haven't spoken to any kids. I was swamped yesterday doing the Terrell Pryor story and then my UM advance on tonight's game. The good news is, when I get back to Miami tomorrow afternoon I plan on talking to a few players of UM recruiting interest -- Corey Liuget and Tommy Streeter to name a few.

I will share this for now:
* I spoke with Liuget's coach yesterday and I think it appears real likely he's headed elsewhere despite telling a few websites UM is among his top three with Illinois and LSU. His coach told me he thinks Liuget's case to stay home hit a rough spot over the weekend wihen a friend of his was shot and killed at a 7-on-7 flag football tournament. I was told the shooting did not occur during an actual game, but in a parking lot away from the field.
* I also spoke to Jacksonville Trinity Christian's coach, Verlon Dorminey, who told me Jamie Harper intends to visit UM this weekend and he gives Miami as good a chance as any of the other finalists. You can listen to his interview it is up online already.

Alright, it's almost game-time. I've got a few things to do before tip-off. Enjoy the game.

FIRST HALF...
- 15:45 left, UM 7, Wake Forest 5: Got a unique vantage point tonight. I'm right next to the UM bench and behind the basket, about five feet from the floor. Anyway, Jack McClinton made it four three-pointers in a row -- dating back to Sunday -- when he opened the game with a made three. Good to see Jack get off to a good start. That's obviously something he hasn't done enough of lately.
- 10:27 left, UM 14, Wake Forest 10: As UM kept finding a way to turn the ball over, Wake went on a 5-0 run to take a quick 10-9 lead . The Canes answered with a James Dews three-pointer and a nice basket from Dwayne Collins in the post to take a four-point lead again. Turnovers are the story so far for UM. Wake just doesn't look good. They miss a ton of shots and doesn't seem to have a player other than 7-foot center Chris McFarland who can beat someone one-on-one. At least now anyway.
- 7:22 left, UM 20, Wake Forest 20: Wake forward Chris Skeen has killed UM in this stretch, hitting a pair of three-pointers and collecting a steal and dunk. Skeen's last three-pointer answered Jack McClinton's third three-pointer of the game which gave UM a 20-17 lead. Wake started the game 3-of-18 from the field. Dino Gaudio's team is doing a good job of nullifying UM second chances like it wanted to. The Canes have one offensive rebound so far.
- 3:37 left, Wake Forest 26, UM 24: Kyle McFarland, Wake's 7-foot center, was injured in the Clemson game and there was a chance he might miss the game. Unfortunately for the Canes, Wake had a week to rest up. McFarland has definitely caused problems for UM, which can't seem to generate much inside.
- Halftime, UM 34, Wake Forest 34: Haven't see the final numbers yet, but the Canes have to be shooting the ball well. Jack McClinton has 14 points and is 4-of-5 from three-point range. The problem is Wake is just as equally hot from long distance, hitting on 6-of-11 from three-point range in the first half.

SECOND HALF...
- 16:30 left, Wake Forest 46, UM 40:
Note to Canes -- can somebody guard the three-point line? Wake connected on back-to-back three-pointers by Harvey Hale and Jeff Teague to take a six-point lead. Wake is 8-of-13 in the game. Miami can't allow that and expect to win this game.
-12:48 left, Wake Forest 50, UM 46: Wake Forest's 10-0 run put them in front. But this game is starting to get a little more testy than your average ACC game. Jimmy Graham and McFarland drew double technicals after some physical play and jawing.
- 7:34 left, Wake Forest 60, UM 58: It's turned out to be another great ACC game. Brian Asbury has done a good job here in this little spurt to keep UM in the game. He's got 11 points including the last five -- a three-point play and a jumper from the free throw line. It's all going to be about defense here over the final 7 minutes. Can Miami get stops and more importantly stop getting burned by the three-point shot?
- 3:22 left, Wake Forest 67, UM 64: Anthony King only has eight points, but he's been huge in the second half, grabbing rebounds and doing the little things to create more balance inside for the Canes. Jeff Teague is playing out of his mind for Wake Forest. He's got 27 points. And Miami needs to stop him. Jack McClinton anyone? Jack has taken two shots in the second half and has 0 points.
- :30 left, Wake Forest 68, UM 68: Miami had a chance to take the lead, but Collins missed a shot inside. Now Wake has the ball and there is no shot clock.
- :2.6 left, Wake Forest 70, UM 68: Ish Smith hits the game-winner from the same spot and the same shot he did to beat Virginia Tech on Dec. 23.

Comments

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Manny,

Next time you're getting out of RDU, as long as your on the Herald's dime eat at The Angus Barn. About a 5min drive from the airport. You should get plenty of oppurtunities while the Canes play NCSt, Duke, Wake and UNC

q: Next time you're getting out of RDU, as long as your on the Herald's dime eat at The Angus Barn. About a 5min drive from the airport. You should get plenty of oppurtunities while the Canes play NCSt, Duke, Wake and UNC Posted by: Russell | January 29, 2008 at 06:46 PM

A: I'll be there Saturday Russell. Thanks for the heads up.

Manny,

How is Eddie's mindset after being heralded a bit of a savior at PG and now just playing, e.g., one minute in the Clemson game?

are u kidding, liugets friend gets killed while he was playing flag football, the gods have spoken, hes out of here!!!

Q: Manny, How is Eddie's mindset after being heralded a bit of a savior at PG and now just playing, e.g., one minute in the Clemson game? Posted by: Mark | January 29, 2008 at 06:52 PM

A: Believe it or not Mark our access to players is extremely limited. UM has a closed lockerroom policy and usually only two kids show up for press conferences -- pre and postgame. I haven't spoken to Eddie since I went with UM to Puerto Rico. I think I posted the interview in our UM audio section. Basically, back then, Eddie sounded like a guy who wanted to say all the right things. He said he was willing to sit, watch and learn.

I can't imagine his confidence is very high considering the struggles he's had. I covered Eddie when he was in high school. Eddie is a guy who has always played freely and with the ball in his hand. I just think he hasn't been able to get comfortable in any way shape or form. Every time he has the ball in his hands he looks like he's not trying to make a mistake. You can't play like that and have too much success. I think once a few guys graduate and opportunities open up, he'll have a chance to be Eddie Rios. But that could be a long time from now. All of the guards on this team are sophomores or juniors. Can Eddie wait until his junior year to be the man? And will he even be the man by then?

Q: Manny, I really like what I have seen lately from Lance Hurdle. What is your assessment of his improvment?

Is the ball game being televised?

It is on FSN in South Florida

I feel like we need to get out of the zone. They're hitting all of their 3-pointers and our guards are struggling to get back to put a hand in their face. Their only big man is McFarland, and I trust our big guys on him. I think our D would be a lot better if we played more man. Offensively, point guard is a major concern; Hurdle is playing well, but you can tell its not his main position. Good first half though ...

Q: Manny, I really like what I have seen lately from Lance Hurdle. What is your assessment of his improvment? Posted by: b-rye | January 29, 2008 at 07:24 PM

A: I wrote about this in Sunday's newspaper, not sure if you saw the article or not, but Hurdle had a family tragedy right before the season. He lost his grandfather to lupus in October and a few weeks later his grandmother died. It was a tough time for him and his mom, especially the fact Lance was living in a new city far from home. I think he was a little distracted from it. Now that he's had some time to heal and learn Haith's system, he's found his niche. The one thing he has to do less of is draw fouls. He's been a little prone to it. I like his scoring ability. He can hit the three-point basket and is by far the fastest player on this team and that automatically creates an advantage for UM. I know in the off-season, all of his teammates were raving about him and his skills. I think we're just starting to see what they saw then.

Manny,

how is Wake able to block out our rebounders so much better than other more talented teams weve played. I heard the announcer say we have only had 1 second chance opportunity?

Q: Speaking of speed, other than Hurdle and maybe Collins (for a big man), it seems that Miami is just a step slower than most ACC teams. Is ths something your noticing, as well? Or am I completely wrong on this one?

Q: Manny, how is Wake able to block out our rebounders so much better than other more talented teams weve played. I heard the announcer say we have only had 1 second chance opportunity? Posted by: Cane Since 1982 | January 29, 2008 at 07:53 PM

A: Wake spent their entire week off focused on stopping Miami's offensive rebounding (ranked 4th in the ACC). Now, its time to see how Haith adjusts to what Wake did in the first half to create more opportunities. UM had 3 offensive rebounds in the first half. Last year, here at Wake, Miami had 18 offensive rebounds. What you are watching is good coaching on Wake's part. Having McFarland certainly helps.

Q: Speaking of speed, other than Hurdle and maybe Collins (for a big man), it seems that Miami is just a step slower than most ACC teams. Is ths something your noticing, as well? Or am I completely wrong on this one? Posted by: Sam | January 29, 2008 at 07:59 PM

A: Tough to say Sam. This is only the sixth ACC game of the season. UNC was definitely faster than Miami. But I thought the Canes were about even with BC, Clemson and Georgia Tech and faster than N.C. State. Just my opinion though.

Manny:

Great job on your covergabe of the canes. Do you think as long as UM is in the ACC they will play second fiddle to the traditional powers? If so, then UM will always lose out on the impact players nationally and continue to collect local all star players. This is the same reason that Barnes left Clemson for Texas...you can't out recruit the big boys unless there are deep pockets that support you. Do you agree?

Why can't this team defend the 3 point shot? What the hell?

Is the ball game being televised?

Posted by: Question. | January 29, 2008 at 07:31 PM
FSN FL & FSN SOUTH. Comcast Sportsnet Midatlantic tape delayed 12p 1/30.

Manny,

Someone just made a good point on canespace. Lets not put anymore information out about shootings until after NSD. As most people outside of the U family are going to assuem that happened on campus or some how involving the U.

Q: Manny: Great job on your coverage of the Canes. Do you think as long as UM is in the ACC they will play second fiddle to the traditional powers? If so, then UM will always lose out on the impact players nationally and continue to collect local all star players. This is the same reason that Barnes left Clemson for Texas...you can't out recruit the big boys unless there are deep pockets that support you. Do you agree? Posted by: ernie | January 29, 2008 at 08:12 PM

A: This a question with a loaded answer. It's not just money. It's tradition. It's the fact compared to everyone else in the ACC (except maybe Virginia Tech), Miami has accomplished less than everyone else in the ACC. I think Haith has done as good a job as he can to convince second and third-tier talent to come to Miami. It's just almost impossible for him to get into that first-tier because there are so many factors against UM. But all that can start to change if Haith can do what Leonard Hamilton did here: win with second and third-tier players.

Wide open 3 as usual. Defend the 3, you idiots!!!

Miamiherald: why the banner headline for clinton? dems avoided florida; no delagates up for grabs. MISLEADING

Mc Sleepy... What is his deal? He seems to either be really hot or really cold?

Not to minimize a young man's life, but I think it is important to note that the terrible tragedy that took C. Liguet's friend was nowhere near Coral Gables and the University. I suspect there are equally if not more dangerous areas within and around Baton Rouge

Not to minimize a young man's life, but I think it is important to note that the terrible tragedy that took C. Liguet's friend was nowhere near Coral Gables and the University. I suspect there are equally if not more dangerous areas within and around Baton Rouge

(typo) delegates

Q: Not to minimize a young man's life, but I think it is important to note that the terrible tragedy that took C. Liguet's friend was nowhere near Coral Gables and the University. I suspect there are equally if not more dangerous areas within and around Baton Rouge. Posted by: J | January 29, 2008 at 08:30 PM

A: Good point J. I don't think I ever said it was near the campus in Coral Gables. But it is good to make clear it didn't happen near there. Just in case.

early results: slots approved in dade! calder (near dolphin stadium); flagler (near UM); Miami jai alai! HALLELUJAH

I am sick and tired of this BS. We don't run an offense and we have no idea how to play perimeter defense. Some things have not changed in Haith's tenure and if these continue the rest of the year, not only will the team continue to lose, but HAITH SHOULD BE FIRED!!!

quit acting crazy.....

Yeah, Haith should be fired. You're an idiot. We need to learn how to defend a freaking 3-pt shot, though. This is getting ridiculous. This has been a problem for some time now.

wait til season's end ...
FINAL EXAM

Jack McClinton cannot create his own shot. It's really becoming a problem because no one else steps up. Where the hell is James Dews?

66-68 2m

he's awake!

I admit it is a little irrational, but I am sick and tired of the same mistakes all the time. These kids aren't freshman. Last year was obviously a tought year and definitely not Haith's fault. That being said at what point do the same "fundamental" things become the coaches fault?
The coach cannot shoot the ball for his players, but he can run an offense that gets his best player(s) the open shots they need and not have to work to create their own shot because most of them obviously can't!

68-68 1m

68-70 :03

15-5, 2-4

Bad loss. Wake Forest sucks. That was good defense on that last shot, though. The guy just nailed it. If they would have contested those wide open 3's that they gave up all game, the game wouldn't have come down to this. Duke is going to kick our @ss.

Hello NIT...we will be 2-5 after Duke saturday.

Got to win games like that if you want to be a NCAA team. That's 2 times this year!

Their coach took McClinton out of the game in the 2nd half, but what does Haith do, NOTHING, to either get Jack shots, or slow down their best player when he goes off for 18 or more in the second.

He is a terrible X's and O's coach. The saddest part about all this is I (we should be happy) that we are 15-5, but with winning comes expectations, and we have lost 3 games this year that we NEVER should have lost (Wake, NCState, Winthrop) and Haith never had control of his team (shooting jump shot after jump shot when you have the size advantage) at BC.

We haven't won a road game in the ACC since over a year! (10 or 11 in a row)

How did a 36% free throw shooter get the ball at 13 seconds and drive the lane to hit the game winner. They fouled the kid on purpose with 2:30 left in the game. But with the game on the line they back off and let him drive the basket. That is the only thing that kid can do. The kids played well but they do what the coaches say. THAT WAS BAD COACHING!!!!!

ok ok here we go again. I know that fUndamenatly oUr gUys stink - bUt hey that lance hUrdle can sUre dribble. the problem with this team and the majority of the last few is that we are SOFT!! i hate to admit bUt we are. the non conference schedUle is a freakin joke. how do yoU get ready for the acc by playing and losing to winthrop. the one thing that i will say aboUt this team is that they never qUit. yea i know we stink bUt they are oUr CANES so lets show oUr sUpport and hey who knows before march we may be able to play perimeter defense!!!! GO CANES!!!!!!!!!!!11

8-8 or 9-7 = dancing

6-4 or 7-3 ... BACKSTRETCH or STRETCH?

How did a 36% free throw shooter get the ball at 13 seconds and drive the lane to hit the game winner. They fouled the kid on purpose with 2:30 left in the game. But with the game on the line they back off and let him drive the basket. That is the only thing that kid can do. The kids played well but they do what the coaches say. THAT WAS BAD COACHING!!!!!

Posted by: Barry U | January 29, 2008 at 09:07 PM

That was a well defended shot. The guy nailed it.

One more thing - INSIDE OUT with the ball and you get open 3's!!!! Get the ball inside to Collins and King since they had no answer for them. That big stiff #13 is still wondering how Collins dunked on him like 5 times. WOW this game really pissed me off.

The NC State game I could take sort of becuase the NC State players where playing for respect after losing by 60 points combined in 2 games.

Manny, the 5th year senior plays to passive. It's time to sit King A$$ on the bench. His game is horrible, time to play Collins/Graham then bring King off the bench.

Haith also need to accept some blame when U should have the taller g/forward Brian Asbury guading Smith at the end of the game.

Miami has talent but I'm not sure if Haith isn't going through growing pains himself.

pUt king on the bench? have yoU ever played basketball in yoUr life & playstation doesn't coUnt. anthony king is the best post defender we have by far. playing passive - did yoU see the stats? come on man watch the whole game not jUst the parts in between the fridge break. withoUt anthony king this team is 10-10 or 12-8 at best. i will say it again we are jUst to dang SOFT and can't finish. bUt hey i love 'em anyway & as always GO CANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

caneznbama, U heard me right PASSIVE. Like can't hold on to the ball (rebounds), like passing the ball into another player from a different team. HE's not aggressive. The senior that we had from Calf. with the bad feet can out play King and he didn't have the talent that King has. King should be a positive (Senior)for this team instead of an after thought.

AFTERTHOUGHT? man what team have yoU been watching? when are ANY of oUr bigz not afterthought? yoU don't think he has a positive inflUence on this team - why do yoU think the whole freakin team was on pins and needles last year waiting to hear from the ncaa. did yoU even watch any of the game? name the CANES leading reboUnder/ 4th leading scorer/top shot blocker - that's right ANTHONY KING!!! pay attention to the WHOLE game qUit hating on the CANES bigz and go root for yoUr noles!!!!! GO CANES!!!!!!!!!!

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