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Emptying the notebook

Checking in from inside the RBC Center in Raleigh where the Hurricanes are set to take on the N.C. State Wolfpack in about half an hour. I know this has been a busy weekend for news out of UM and I plan on touching on those subjects in a few. But I'll start with basketball.

- I know someone asked me the other day if the Hurricanes were only going to wear black uniforms from now on when on the road. UM SID Margaret Belch tells me the Canes will be debuting their orange jerseys tonight. UM has three uniforms: their home whites and road orange and black.
- Considering No. 1-ranked North Carolina is coming to town Wednesday -- and just lost to Maryland at home -- I'd pretty much say this is a real important game for the Canes, who don't want to be 1-2 going into that game against the Tar Heels.

Tonight's game in Raleigh will be a homecoming not only for coach Frank Haith, who grew up in North Carolina, but also for center Anthony King, forward Jimmy Graham and freshman Julian Gamble. There actually will be plenty of Canes family members in attendance. Jack McClinton's family is expected to attend along with the family of guard Lance Hurdle, whose family has moved from San Diego to Virginia to be closer to their son on the east today. Today is McClinton's birthday.

POINT GUARD PLAY: There were few items I couldn't get into my advance of today's game including Haith's thoughts on Hurdle, who could start seeing a lot more playing time at the point. With freshman Eddie Rios struggling to get acclimated to the college ball and with McClinton seeing a lot of defensive pressure, Haith said Thursday plans to ease it up with more of Hurdle, who is the fastest guard on the team.
Lance_hurdle"The point guard thing, I think we just have to find a way to get into our offense better, get the focus off of Jack a little bit," Haith said. "I think sometimes particularly early in the game, people are focused on taking Jack away. Maybe it’s a little easier at the start of the game because he’s out front. I know defenses are particularly the best at the beginning of the games. And when the defense loosens up, you have a tendency to lose guys."
"There’s no question Lance will [see more playing time at the point]," Haith said. "I thought he had a really good performance in the second half against Boston College. And I think the more time he gets the better he’s going to be. You’re seeing him grow and get better. I think he’s gotten more comfortable with his quickness and his speed, he’s got that ACC speed, athleticism which will definitely help us. We need to get some easy buckets and I think when Lance does that, he helps us create easy buckets because of his speed."

GETTING MORE OUT OF THE POST: There is no question Haith needs to get more out of post players for Miami to be successful and I expect the Hurricanes to make it a point to establish and inside presence early. But I asked Haith to talk about his big men on Thursday and this is what he said: "Anthony obviously it could be a little bit of the injury. I don’t know. He didn’t complain about being hurt. We need Anthony to be more aggressive and more assertive. We need to find Anthonyking more ways to get that out of him. When he is, we’re a different team. When he's passive and not as active it hurts us. We need him to be more assertive. He's very capable of it. Just getting comfortable and getting back out there. He's very emotional. I know Georgia Tech was his first ACC game getting back. Hopefully, we're going home for him in that Durham-Raleigh area. Hopefully we can see the Anthony King of old.
"Jimmy is doing well. I think Jimmy was 1-for-4 [against Boston College]. But I love his activity. His defensive presence. His aggressiveness. I feel real good about his level of activity and what he brings to the table."
"Dwayne [Collins]? We need more. We need more out of Dwayne. I don’t know if Dwayne has played well in either ACC game in terms of what he’s capable of doing. He’s our best low post scorer. We need more production out of him."

Susan Miller Degnan and I had been hearing for about a week Aubrey Hill was the leading candidate to replace Marquis Mosely -- even before Mosely was officially fired. The tough part of this job is getting confirmation on rumors. Susan did a great job finally tracking Aubrey down on Friday. My hats off to her.

Hill looks like another solid hire for the Canes because he's young and has been very much involved in recruiting -- especially here in South Florida -- during his stints at Florida, Duke and finally Pittsburgh. I haven't spoken to Hill since he was named coach, but Susan said he sounds like a very enthusiastic guy.
Hill played receiver at Florida, but before he was a Gator he was a Carol City Chief and someone coach Walt Frazier always thought highly of. I spoke to Coach Frazier Friday about Hill and this is what he had to say: "Outstanding person, football player. Everytime he comes home he visits me. The thing that stood out about 'Bre is he did all the little things good players are supposed to. When he was here, teams always double covered him and he rarely got the ball. But he made it a point to make sure if he wasn't getting the ball, he was making his teammates better so when they got the ball, they could explode. He always handled things well. He blocked. He was a leader. I think that's what makes him such a good coach."
Hill played with UM strength coach Andreu Swasey at Carol City. I also know he is very good friends with Randy Shannon's right hand man, former Edison coach Corey Bell.

BIG RECRUITING WEEKEND: This weekend is one of three busy weekends at The U. I've heard there is somewhere between 8 and 10 visitors this weekend at Miami including four commitments, linebacker Zach Kane, receiver Travis Benjamin, defensive end Andrew Smith and defensive tackle Micanor Regis. The out of towners are believed to be California defensive backs Vaughn Telemaque, Herman Davidson and Aaron Hester and Tennessee linebacker/defensive end Gavin Hardin. Telemaque and Hardin are the two guys Miami has the best shot at. It's imperative Miami starts landing some cornerbacks. Telemaque is considered a safety. But at this point, I'm sure Hurricanes coaches will do whatever they have to do to stockpile talent and turn guys in corners if they have to.

PODCAST: I finally recorded this week's podcast and uploaded it to The Herald's website on Friday. Here's the link. I spoke to Larry Blustein for close to an hour on a variety of topics including looking ahead to the Class of 2008, the hiring of Bill Young as UM's defensive coordinator and the storylines to follow in the coming weeks. I also spoke to Charles Fishbein on what the Gators and Seminoles are doing in recruiting.


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then basketball
then more football

i promise u
ppl care more about the recruits that are in coral gables right now than watever the score may be in the game or wat jerseys will be worn.

You're the best Manny. Those guys at the Sunsentinel and the Palmbeach Post suck. Keep up the good work. Tell your boss the fans said you deserve a substantial raise. And I (we) mean that.

manny, you understand that basketball is in-season and should have top billing. don't listen to these guys who need to get a clue.

rogperu, recruiting is important but this is basketball season. get ready because when spring ball comes around you will be getting baseball news as well. btw, the team should be very good this year but of course you don't care because it's not "football, football, football."

also, chevyboy, shandell and jorge do a great job covering the canes as well. all three guys do a great job covering the team.

EL VILLA, thats your opinion. My opinion is that they suck. they don't even come close to what Manny does on here. Especially the Palm Beach Post. Go look over there and see when was the last time your Jorge posted something new????

i care about baseball
but basketball is a lost cause
i mean
we will never truly be relevant
and the truth is
college basketball hasnt been of true national importance for the past 10 yrs
ever since early entry

college football is the only real sport that matters and caries weight


also, chevyboy, shandell and jorge do a great job covering the canes as well. all three guys do a great job covering the team.

Posted by: EL VILLA | January 19, 2008 at 08:31 PM

El Villa,
I agree. I believe that Manny does a GREAT job (the best of the 3), but just as we as Canes fans talk about hating "negative recruiting", I don't believe that you have to step on someone to big someone else up. I get good/great info. from all 3 papers, they are times that I get differing views or other insite from the other guys (I do get the most pertanent info. from Manny). If a person doesn't like the info. that they are getting from another source or think that they "suck", don't go to their site. Keep up the great work Manny!!

also, chevyboy, shandell and jorge do a great job covering the canes as well. all three guys do a great job covering the team.

Posted by: EL VILLA | January 19, 2008 at 08:31 PM

El Villa,
I agree. I believe that Manny does a GREAT job (the best of the 3), but just as we as Canes fans talk about hating "negative recruiting", I don't believe that you have to step on someone to big someone else up. I get good/great info. from all 3 papers, they are times that I get differing views or other insite from the other guys (I do get the most pertanent info. from Manny). If a person doesn't like the info. that they are getting from another source or think that they "suck", don't go to their site. Keep up the great work Manny!!

I really dont care about what any of you have to say about MY OPINION. Its my opinion and last I checked I had a 1st amendment right to whats called freedom of speech. I'm not calling anyone derogatory names or anything like that. To me (MY OPINION), the Sunsentinel and Palm Beach Post suck when it comes to covering the U...THATS MY OPINION...you can choose to agree or disagree...BUT ITS STILL MY OPINION...

I'm not stepping on anyone to big up anyone...ya'll on here defending Shandell and Jorge as if they need ya'll to. Trust me, neither one of them could care less about my OPINION because they know that it is just that...MY OPINION...and they (better than anyone else) know what the 1st amendment is all about...

When Omar was covering the U for the Sunsentinel he did a GREAT job and I strongly believe thats why he got the Dolphin Blog. And I dare anyone to try and refute the fact that Omar did a much better job in covering the U then Shandell is doing right now. I don't know much about Jorge or where he's from, but I don't find it surprising that the two (Omar & Manny) who covered the U the best are S. Florida natives.

Read the last blog from Omar in the Dolphin Blog. It tells it all...now thats a post for you, very informative. In the words of Omar:


I would disagree that Omar did a "great" job. In fact, he probably turned off more fans than anything. He catered to a segment of Miami fans, to the exclusion of many of the rest of us. Manny is different, he doesn't write to Hispanics, or other minorities, he writes to us as fans. Omar did not do that. Yes you might have enjoyed the fact that he tailored his posts to you, but for the rest of us, it seemed exclusionary.

Shandel seems like a good guy. But man, he lacks an understanding of the South Florida sports scene. He does not share the history we have here. His blog really consists of 4 guys who spend hours there all day and really carry on an internet chat session. One of them is a Gator. He is a good Gator, but it is still just a chat session with the others. It is not a blog.

In the past, you had some really good people on that blog. It wasn't just 4 guys chatting. Here you get posts by people who care and love the program. There, you get the UF guy trying to spin things a certain way in hopes that recruits will consider UF.

Here, we are die hard fans that love UM, and we don't spin. The Tallahassee Democrat blog has a similar problem, although much worse. There, UF fans not only go there, they dominate the blog. And they act like FSU fans should somehow seem to think that is ok.

I like what Manny is doing and will support this as the authortative source for UM info.

right on, Chevyboy79

right on, VaCanesFan

Couple of things:
1. Zack Kane is a FOOTBALL PLAYER.
2. From here, Manny is it.
3. Concerning gator fans jumping in and out of our site. Do you ever see fans so thrilled about a team that went 1-3 vs. the top 25? (the one win was vs. Tennessee who was 2-4 on the road).

Thanks Manny

manny this is the best um blog ever better than omars shandel who?
I'm a convert. Keep it up

I remember 10 years ago when Miami played at the Knight Center and my Dad and my brother, both alumni and myself, a UF graduate and grad student(love Miami, but UF was and still is the best academic institution in Florida) used to go and join the 6 other people to watch the Cane's play basketball. We'd start off in the nosebleeds and end up courtside because there were more people on both teams than in the stands.

We've come a long way and the whole city should be proud.

In one of the other posts people were mentioning how Miami needs to build an on campus stadium for football to become a true national power.
People, remember that Miami is a small private school. We are also in a large urban environment.
UF is the public university in the state and is in Gainessville, a town where the whole town lives and breaths Gator sports. Ohio State is the same way. Same with Penn State and Michigan.
USC plays it's home games in an off campus stadium in the middle of a ghetto. I've seen games there. I saw Bruce Springsteen on the Born in the USA tour there and I almost wanted to leave before we parked.
UCLA plays at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena which is practically in another country as far as most LA west siders are concerned.

One bad year and the U is in the dumps.
C'mon guys. We had a bad year but Miami is still one of the top college football programs of the past quarter century and still is to this day.

Everyone takes it for granted that we should be great. We used to be a D-1 doormat. We were that school everyone scheduled for the warm weather and an easy victory. Then Howard came in and said we would win a national championship within 5 years. I laughed harder than I do at a Carlin show. It would be like starting a football progam at St. Thomas and the coach saying that in 2013 they would win the national championship.
Not really a joke, but more an absurdity.

Every major program has it's downs. Look at Ohio State during the Cooper years. They couldn't win the Big 10, they couldn't beat Michigan, heck they did everything they could to let Michigan beat them.
Then Tressel came in and the refs give them a national championship against Miami with a phantom interference call, and now they've been in the past two national championship games.

It's all cycles.

It might be the coaches fault that Kyle Wright didn't turn out to be John Elway. We'll see 3 years from now if the NFL coaches can harness the supreme talent he has and try to discover just a little football IQ out of his head.

I'm down on Nix because I don't see that passion and fire in the players we used to see, but let's give Nix and Shannon some rope.

We have the talent, we just have to make it come together.

How many recruits is the U going to lose? Buchanan has jumped ship for the Gators, McRay for the Gators, Patchan (although never committed to UM) to the Gators, and PJ to LSU. Anybody noticing a trend? Anybody notice that only 35% of the commits are on the offensive side of the ball, which is where UM needs the most help. I guess when you go 5-7 losing recruits to other programs is unavoidable---hopefully Shannon can close strong with guys like Ben Jones, Brandon Harris, and for god sakes land a quality tight end!!!!

canes fans--

keep your poise-- we're going to be alright.

canes fans--

keep your poise-- we're going to be alright.

how come miami didn't go after quavon taylor, he is now commited to south florida

losing the recruits-chill out for a minute bro,take a breather.it's gonna be ok.here's the thing,even with those losses we have a top 5 recruiting class and we have more on the way.just to even have RB and LM committ to us at first and having the premaddona PJ comitted to us at first was something that hasn't been done in a while here.shannon is doin a great job recruiting especially after a 5-7 season.look at the guys we have right now.we have 4 of the top ten OLB's,the top DT, 2 ESPN 150 QB's and another who's papa will help pay for some recruits later(lol j/k),4-5 good to oustanding receivers which is still a huge need after u saw our receivers the last couple of years. and we got some real inetnse under the radar guys,guys like the ones miami used to recruit that were all heart and grew into beasts.so calm down,we're headed for greatness again.and besides we already filled our 2 biggest needs at WR coach and DC with some great talent as well.i'm really stoked about young as our DC-i think that was the best thing shannon has done since he's been in charge.anyways come on down BH,ben jones(do you really want to go to clemson?) and any other corner miami is recruiting-U won't regret Ur decision.peace

because we have brown,spence,futch,marti,robinson,kane and we need to fill other positions with our sholly's-that's why

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