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The Hoops Report: Post BC loss

After watching the Hurricanes bury themselves in a huge hole Tuesday night and lose to Boston College for a 13th consecutive time, I know South Florida Joe (that's my nickname for the average fan) is likely to come to a simple conclusion about Frank Haith's basketball team today. What is that? This UM team is just like the good ones who have come before this one -- nothing special and maybe good enough to make the NCAA Tournament and win a game or two.

And while that may be so by season's end, there certainly is no reason to jump off the bandwagon yet. This team is 14-2, 1-1 in the conference. And truth be told, if Frank Haith's team doesn't come out like Three Blind Mice for the first 15 minutes of Tuesday's game, UM likely has a shot to win it at the end.

I know, nobody cares about what-ifs. All everyone wants to see is this Miami team follow right in the footsteps of Billy Donovan's Florida Gators and carry South Florida (aka, Loserville) on its back on the way to an NCAA title. Here's a newsflash folks: That's not going to happen. Haith and company aren't saying it is either. Not yet anyway. Not anytime soon. Maybe a couple years from now. OK, maybe never. But the point is Haith and his team shouldn't be compared to those basketball Gators or even their UM football counterparts, who have five national titles and a reputation they need to start maintaining again. Meanwhile, what has UM basketball ever accomplished? One trip to the Sweet 16 and a co-Big East title. Oh, and Rick Barry played there too.

I'm not yelling at you, South Florida Joe. I know you don't like to get scolded. But before you drop this team for dropping one ACC road game, remember it takes take time to build a winner. It takes baby steps. And when you consider how far this team has come in a matter of nine months -- from 12-20 to 14-2 and nationally ranked -- well, it's like one giant leap for Hurricane-basketball kind.

Anyway, I'm done preaching. Here's some stuff that might make you feel better or at least make you think...

- During the game, I got a chance to sit next to ESPN's College Basketball Writer Andy Katz. First off, Katz is probably as good as their is in the business. Covering one team can create headaches. This guy covers the entire nation. Anyway, Tuesday night was the first time Katz told me he had seen UM in person. But he said he also saw UM play two times on TV, the championship of the San Juan shootout against Providence and UM's road trip to Mississippi State (How he finds the time is beyond me). In a nutshell, Katz says he thinks UM can finish anywhere from fourth to seventh in the conference, behind obviously No. 1 North Carolina, Duke and Clemson. His biggest concern: Miami's post presence. He says the Canes are still relying a lot on their guards and not getting enough inside.

WHERE'S KING?: Haith agreed with Katz assesment after Tuesday's game and told reporters he thought his team did a poor job getting the ball inside against the Eagles. Haith also said his big men didn't do enough to draw contact and were almost fearful of it. I agree to an extent. But from what I saw Tuesday, it doesn't look to me like Jimmy Graham or Dwayne Collins are fearful. It's senior Anthony King, who when facing an imposing shotblocker has now faded into obscurity twice. King played just 18 minutes Tuesday, putting up only two shot attempts and grabbing six rebounds. Part of it was 6-11 Tyrelle Blair, who was redirecting shots left and right and grabbing most of the boards for BC. The bigger problem from my point of view? King isn't be aggressive enough. He's settling for jumpshots. It's almost as if he's intimidated at times to go inside. He did the same thing against Mississippi State when the Bulldogs big-shot blocker was redirecting his shots. Miami needs King, who obviously isn't as athletic as Collins or Graham, to get his confidence back. Like Shaq's dad once said in a commercial: TAKE IT TO THE HOLE. Ultimately, UM needs King's leadership and they need his presence, especially defensively, on the floor.

PROBLEMS PASSING: The other part of what Haith was talking about in the postgame -- getting the ball inside -- is obviously part of the biggest problem this team has in my eyes: point guard. While Jack McClinton has done a decent job running the point for Miami, he had three assists and only one turnover on Tuesday, this was the second consecutive game he struggled with his shot. At times, it even looked like he was forcing them again. Meanwhile, it also was the second consecutive game shot poorly to start the game. I know I talked about this in the Courtside Blog, but I'll touch on it again. The Hurricanes have simply been out of rhythm -- at least in the early part of both of their ACC games. What's causing it? Good coaching on the other side and the fact this team doesn't have a true point guard. Even though Haith was hoping freshman Eddie Rios, who played one minute Tuesday, might develop and be able to handle more minutes come January, it hasn't happen. Rios has shown he's not ready yet to see significant minutes at the point. Tuesday, for about the first 10 minutes of the game, Miami's offense looked like a chicken with its head cut off. Instead of going toward the basket, McClinton and Dews would keep coming back to retrieve the ball from each other or from their post men. With a guy like Tyrese Rice running the point for UM, the Hurricanes wouldn't have that problem. Rice is the type of guy that can thread passes inside. McClinton and Dews can do it, but not at a high enough rate to keep UM's offense in a flow. And as long as the Canes keep struggling with that, you can get bet your house opponents are going to keep applying that pressure and trying to exploit.

A NEW SOLUTION?: Junior Lance Hurdle could potentially be the solution for Haith. The JUCO transfer played for 28 minutes Tuesday, third most behind McClinton (36) and Dews (31). Hurdle scored 13 points and had two assists, one turnover and a steal. But what was most impressive was his speed and ability to get to the basket quickly for lay-ups. The problem I see is that Hurdle needs to work on seeing his teammates a little better. There were times he pulled up for three-pointers and jumpshots when teammates were open. But all in all, if he can handle the rock and play with that much speed all the time -- he's also not a bad defender -- then he's a key asset that needs to see more minutes.

Comments

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Great work Manny. We need to start the games with more intensity. Coach Haith will get thst taken care of. Stick with these canes folks. You thought the ACC was competetive in football?? The Canes need to steal a couple of league games on the road and take the majority of their home games (I know, WOW, I am a master of the obvious), but this is whats needed. Again, keep up the grat work Manny! Go Canes!!

Sorry, about the grammatical errors guys, it's late. Just looking for a canes fix. I can't wait for this coming weekend with some big name recruits coming in. It is an exciting time to be a canes sports fan. In no particular order 1) New DC and WR coaches to be names soon(we hope!!) 2)Signing day right around the corner. 3)Despite losing last night, the basketball team will hopefully make the NCAA's (start games with more focus guys) 4) Baseball will be starting soon (and I'm talking Canes Baseball, not the double A Marlins team). Even though the Canes aren't ranked,(the way they finished the year, they don't deserve to be)I think that they will surprise in the ACC and will hopefully get bacj to Omaha. Even though I think that Nix deserves another year, I know that we let go of our DC and that we need some continuity and lastly our purse strings are tight (that has to be the case, becuase I don't beleive we will be getting, whenever that is our 1st choice at DC)I can't tell you how much I would LOVE to get Norm Chow in here as our OC. No offense to Nix, but Chow has worked with some of the great quaterbacks at BYU and worked with Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC. I know that he didn't do well with Vince Young, but Tennesse did make the playoffs. I don't think that he would mind coming back to the college ranks and he knows that UM will always get good skill position players. Who better to work with our unexperienced QB's (either a redshirt or true freshman quaterback)?? If their is anyway we could get him and keep this top 5 (possibly #1) recruiting class, I will be all smiles till spring practice.

Thanks Manny,
The BB team is still a superstar away! Need to get a big time player Mclinton in nice, but not good enough.

Manny,

Are the current players available for interviews and, if so, can you do an interview with:
Kanye
Marve
JJ
Cooper
And, get their opinion on last season performance, next year team, and personal goals for next season?

Manny,

What walk-ons received a scholarship, what role will Kylan Robinson and Daniel Adderly play next season, and what the status on Romeo Davis and Glenn Cook?

I don't claim to be college bball know-it-all but I did stay at a holiday in last night. JK

I thought Hurdle made poor decisions and his drives came at times where I didn't think BC was locking down the lane (late, up big). They were more interested in protecting the 3 pt line.

As for my casual observations from the 3 games I have seen to date are that Haiths offense revolves around the three point and halfcourt lines. They appear to lock into running an offense in no-where land wasting time. Maybe it's just me but it's frustrating to see them run around while they are pressed with absolutely no chance of getting into a play around the basket. just look at BC's back door cuts and screens witht he ball on the wing and ready to be delivered. Maybe it's just that we don't have a true PG. Jack is a sweet 2 with those shooting skills.

just my uninformed 2 cents. i cant believe i am posting about bball on a UM blog. wow are we starved in this town for winning sports. lol

Manny, what are you trying to say in the intro? That the 'Canes are better than this loss or equal to this loss? I say better. I have seen this team play 4 times...VCU, Providence, St. John's and GTech. They are good. Better than the 7-9 teams the first 2 years of Haith's regime. They have 2 losses. That's it! They beat MissState on the road for God's sake. I agree with Manny about King and Hurdle. King, needs to take it to the basket more. When he does, he is good. He has good post moves, I've seen them. He IS athletic! He runs the floor better than Collins or Graham. Hurdle is fast, I don't know why he settles for 3's. He sucks at that. Something Manny didn't touch on is Brian Asbury. Now there's a KEY to this season. Will he show up, or dissapear. In the 2 losses he has completely dissapeared. Last, Manny, you never answered my question last night...Do we have any GREEN uniforms this year, or are we now the Miami Orioles on the road?

I wouldn't want Norm Chow here. I think we will probably be running a spread offense with a single back...similar to the GB Packers. Norm Chow was a conservative play caller at Tennessee and USC. I think his Titans experience is closer to what he really is than USC. You can't miss with talent like he had at USC. I think Nix showed a lot of creativity early in the season and I expect it to continue next year. We should give him a chance.

How about a guy who can penetrate the lane? I honestly haven't seen much of the Canes, but on gamecasts I rarely see the guards making layups. Are there any guys on this team that can penetrate the lane and kick it out? The thing Phil Jackson so nicely put as Brokeback play is something that would open up some jump shots at the perimeter.

To get to the dance, let's be honest, Miami has to win at least 7 more games or make a big splash in the ACC tournament beforehand. I can see either happening, but they have a long way to go before they can think about it. For now, the next game is against NC State and if the Canes win, they will be 2-1 in the conference and in good position, but a long way away from a tournament bid. One at a time boys!

Hey Manny what's this with Coop bulking up to 200 lbs. I heard he's aiming toward being 205-210 by next year. I think this is great news. He and James should both see the field at the same time they're both very talented. Behind the big offensive line anchored by Jason Fox, Youngblood...I see them carving up defenses and helping Marve stay comfortable. Yep it's about time we get back to our winning ways at THE U. and i guarantee Marve will look more composed as a RS than Kyle did as a 5th yr senior.

Can someone please inform the Canes coaching staff that there is a guard out in Illinois that can seriously help this team. His name is Ruben Cotto and is starting to get some serious looks from some major programs.

Manny, I can relate with you regarding King, he needs to get tougher. hes already a 6th year player. He might need another year. lol. regarding Hurdle, I think he sucks! He doesnt have a clue about running a team. Hes your average Juco player. up and down the court with no reason. He cant shoot! he's missed 14 3's in row. Regarding Rios, the coach needs to prepare him and hes not going to be ready by only playing a minute a game or lets say garbage minutes. checking up the stats, he leads the team in assist and steals and is averaging more rebounds than Hurdle who has a 42 inch vert. Apparently the coach has made his mind about who he wants on the court and is making excuses for Rios. Rios has been waiting to play for the Canes since 2005 and deserves a little more respect. Hes a better player than that. This coach doesnt know his players or is he egotistic? or maybe its that Rios is another hispanic like Diaz and Clemente? is the coach racist? Another thing regarding the team, people dont understand that this team's offense is a catch and shoot offense. there is no spacing for layups. Look at the assist that leads to the assist. The ratio is poor. in other words for you non basketball fans they dont pass the ball more than 3 times in offense.

Manny the clown on the sentinel said Shannon was on a short leash any truth to that? Are we going to land buchannon?

Looks like ESPN is reporting that Lerentee McCRay committed to the Gators. Was this expected?

http://www.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/stories/011608abc.html
UM D-Coordinator Bill Young ... ROCK CHALK

bring in Anthony Grant!!!!!

http://kuathletics.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/young_bill00.html
meet our NEW D-Coordinator ... RAID

Can someone please inform the Canes coaching staff that there is a guard out in Illinois that can seriously help this team. His name is Ruben Cotto and is starting to get some serious looks from some major programs.

Posted by: Alex | January 16, 2008 at 04:25 PM

Yeah, I'm sure the Hurricanes coaching staff would love to receive recruiting advice from the recruiting expert, "Alex", who posts in Manny's blog. Manny, please pass this information to Miami immediately!!!

I understand the 4 NW players will be enrolled at UM by this Tuesday

Bob,

You obviously are just looking at box scores and not watching the games.

Rios is completely outmatched out there. He is consistently getting beat on defense, getting his pocket picked, and making turnovers.

But whats so hard to watch is that those things are not happening because of poor decision or coaching but that he just does not have the ability, right now.

It's all downhill from here.
Here comes the ACC schedule. Canes may win 3 more games this year. Gag job ahead.

It's all downhill from here.
Here comes the ACC schedule. Canes may win 3 more games this year. Gag job ahead.

Posted by: FredFreep | January 17, 2008 at 06:54 AM

They are going to win way more than 3 more games. If you would actually watch a game, instead of talking out of your @ss, you would see that this is a pretty solid and deep team, that plays good D and has a go-to guy in the clutch. This is an NCAA tourney team.

Rios is completely outmatched out there. He is consistently getting beat on defense, getting his pocket picked, and making turnovers.

How does all this happen in 1 minute? In both losses Rios has played a combined 7 minutes. He has not been the reason for the losses. maybe he needs to be in the game to win? There are many freshmen out there playing ACC ball helping their teams win. ps. in the GT game where Rios only played 6 minutes, he led the team in assist with 2. This coach needs to ease up and give Rios some slack. Let him get a groove out there instead of yanking him out the game every second. GO RIOS!

The Miami Dolphins have Anthony (Tony) Sporano and the Miami Hurricanes need Anthony (Tony) Grant.

Rios is completely outmatched out there. He is consistently getting beat on defense, getting his pocket picked, and making turnovers.

How does all this happen in 1 minute? In both losses Rios has played a combined 7 minutes. He has not been the reason for the losses. maybe he needs to be in the game to win? There are many freshmen out there playing ACC ball helping their teams win. ps. in the GT game where Rios only played 6 minutes, he led the team in assist with 2. This coach needs to ease up and give Rios some slack. Let him get a groove out there instead of yanking him out the game every second. GO RIOS!

Posted by: UMfanatic | January 17, 2008 at 09:52 AM

Dude, watch a game. No one said he's the reason for the losses. He doesn't produce when he's on the court and he is outmatched. He doesn't create offense at all and constantly turns the ball over. Maybe he'll get better as the season progresses but right now he's terrible.

the anounced attendance for the Jan 10 home game against Goergia Tech was listed as 7,000, a sellout. Was anyone there? Is that true?
NCAA basketball whores sold out to the devil, creating endless "championships" and endless chances to make it to the NCAA tournament. Someone has to explain to me how a conference "championship" is determined by a 3 day tournament in March in which you play only 2 other random teams from your conference. What kind of crap is that? All that's going on now is playing for seeding for the conference championship to be played in March. I am all for making money the right way, but if the NCAA is going to try and make money that way by creating numerous "championships", why don't they also open whorehouses outside areans and sell hashish there too?

the anounced attendance for the Jan 10 home game against Goergia Tech was listed as 7,000, a sellout. Was anyone there? Is that true?
NCAA basketball whores sold out to the devil, creating endless "championships" and endless chances to make it to the NCAA tournament. Someone has to explain to me how a conference "championship" is determined by a 3 day tournament in March in which you play only 2 other random teams from your conference. What kind of crap is that? All that's going on now is playing for seeding for the conference championship to be played in March. I am all for making money the right way, but if the NCAA is going to try and make money that way by creating numerous "championships", why don't they also open whorehouses outside areans and sell hashish there too?

Posted by: Leo | January 17, 2008 at 10:51 AM

It was pretty packed but there were still a few empty seats. Definitely not a sell out.

By the way, there is a regular season conference champion and then there is the winner of the conference tournament, who gets an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The regular season conference champion is the ACTUAL conference champion, not the tournament winner.

It was pretty packed but there were still a few empty seats. Definitely not a sell out.

Posted by: Robert | January 17, 2008 at 11:03 AM
http://www.cejasphoto.com/p775384802
photos don't lie ... SOLD OUT

http://www.cejasphoto.com/p775384802
photos don't lie ... SOLD OUT

Posted by: green | January 17, 2008 at 11:17 AM

I was there. There were empty seats. Particularly the new ones that were recently put in.

All that's going on now is playing for seeding for the conference championship to be played in March.

Posted by: Leo | January 17, 2008 at 10:51 AM
correct

The regular season conference champion is the ACTUAL conference champion, not the tournament winner.

Posted by: Robert | January 17, 2008 at 11:03 AM
incorrect

Umm...correct. Miami was Big East co-Champion one year and they have never won a conference tournament.

http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/022499aac.html
"it wasn't until July, 1, 1961, that the words 'and the (tournament) winner shall be the conference champion' were added to the ACC bylaws."
CASE CLOSED

That's specifically the ACC.

As I said before, Miami was Big East Co-Champ in 99/00 without winning the tournament.

http://hurricanesports.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/011108aac.html
U v. georgia tech ... SOLD OUT

Dude, you're incredible. You weren't even at the game. I don't know how they came to the conclusion that it was sold out and I really don't care either. Ask anyone who was there. There were quite a few empty seats.

I was there. There were empty seats. Particularly the new ones that were recently put in.

Posted by: Robert | January 17, 2008 at 11:26 AM
http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/9789/dsc00194nv0.jpg
800 brand spanking new seats on sale for U v. n carolina ... OFF-LIMITS

Dude, you're incredible.
Posted by: Robert | January 17, 2008 at 12:02 PM
dude, you're incredible ...

Yeah, good one. Try actually going to a game and stop searching the internet with all your crap. You're not a reporter...you're a clown that posts second-hand information.

stop searching the internet with all your crap.

Posted by: Robert | January 17, 2008 at 12:19 PM
no

You're not a reporter

Posted by: Robert | January 17, 2008 at 12:19 PM
so

you're a clown

Posted by: Robert | January 17, 2008 at 12:19 PM
pot calling kettle black

pot calling kettle black


Posted by: green | January 17, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Really? I'm still waiting for you to explain to me how Miami was Big East Champ, when you claim that you have to win the tournament to be conference champion.

i got scared i thought bird road rudy was the hurricane Mascot.

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