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Looking ahead to '08-'09

How good can the University of Miami's basketball team be next season? How high can Frank Haith, Jack McClinton and company lift the program in '08-'09? That's what I was pondering on the flight back from San Antonio and the Final Four on Tuesday night.

A year ago the thought of picturing Miami at the Final Four or even the Sweet 16 this soon would have sounded insane. Not after a 12-20 season and last place finish. But following this 23-11 season and trip to the Round of 32, there is at least one basketball analyst who already has Miami as one of the country's 12 best teams next year. ESPN's Andy Katz came out with his very first Top 25 rankings for next season, hours after Kansas cut the nets down at the Alamodome. And much to my honest surprise, Katz has UM slated 12th (in front of Duke and second overall in the ACC behind North Carolina). Granted, its extremely early. Katz was under some pressure to put a list together not long after the confetti stopped raining down at the Alamodome. But the fact Katz -- and Rivals.com (which has UM receiving votes in its early 08-09 Top 25 poll) -- already have Miami somewhere in their top 25 should shows you the experts already have higher expectations for this team.

That's a good thing. Personally, I believe this Miami is definitely good enough to make the Sweet 16 next year if it stays healthy. I expect McClinton to have another sensational season, Haith to develop a number two scorer (either James Dews, Dwayne Collins, Lance Hurdle or even incoming freshman DeQuan Jones) and for the team to take another step forward. But I'm interested to see how being patted on the back and having high expectations from the public -- instead of having none -- will affect this team. Miami enjoyed so much success this season in the underdog role. It's going to be a challenge being on the other side of the coin.

OTHER THOUGHTS...
--> Covering the Final Four for the second year in a row was pretty exciting. But I kept wondering how much anybody back home even cared about what was happening in San Antonio. I know football and baseball are king around here, but did the Canes' good hoops season make anyone more interested in watching the rest of March Madness? Has anyone become more of a college hoops fan? Let me know.
--> Watching Memphis' Derrick Rose in action was amazing. Like my friend Israel Gutierrez said, he's a triple-double waiting to happen nearly every night at the next level. I was on the Michael Beasley bandwagon when it came to the Heat draft, assuming it earns the first overall pick. But after watching Rose dominate, I'm hoping Pat Riley decides to take Rose. Great point guards are a lot harder to find than power forwards. While I like Beasley's game, Rose is simply too special to pass up. A backcourt of Dwayne Wade and Derrick Rose would be as good as it gets in the NBA.
--> FYI... I'm planning on taking the rest of this week off. I've got some days off The Herald wants me to use and this is probably as good a time as any. Besides, I've pretty much been nonstop since the start of the football season and I could use a break. See you guys next week.

Comments

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Relax and enjoy your family. Next week you can start plying us with info on potential recruits.

Have a good week off, you deserve it. Can't fathom the Canes loss to FAU lastnight, just goes to show even the sun shines on a dog's azz every once and a while.

As for B-Ball speaking only for myself, I'm glad UM's men's B-Ball did well this year, but as far as being hooked? It didn't ruin my day when they lost to Texas, I think college hoops is just sloppy play, hence 68 to 43 scores. The NBA has also suffered from taking so many young kids, who never got a chance to work on fundimentals.

Maimi's basketball team was great this year. I think they needed two things to draw fans. the first was an on camous arena which they now have. the second was to show they could win with some consistency. If they can have as good a year next year then the fans will show and the excitement will motivate these guys and the recruiting will get better. Ther is ne reason a football school can't become a basketball school too. Look at the gators,or notre dame,or ohio state.
geno

Yea Manny great job as always take the week and holla back next week. As far as the 08-09 season. We are just a couple of players away from the Sweet 16 or Elite 8. We must get a pure push the ball pass first type point guard. A number 2 scorer and a shooter.

Rest them batteries. Take the kids and the significant other out for R&R -- as long as it is not to a U Baseball or high school FB game.(LOL)

I've definitely become more of a college basketball fan this year. It's a combination of the Canes being so good, there being nothing to do in Tucson, and the fact that college basketball is the only major sport in Tucson. I have to admit that my interest in the Final Four dwindled early when the Canes and Cats were out, my bracket was busted, and baseball (MLB = my favorite pro sport) started. I'm definitely excited for Canes basketball next season though. I'll be curious to see how the team reacts to having more national attention.

I also wanted to touch on this 1-and-done deal in college basketball. A lot of these freshman this year are totally raw talent that I don't believe will have an impact on their respective NBA team for several years. Guys like Beasley, Love, Bayless, etc. think they're better than they are. The NBA is so loaded with talent right now that these guys won't be able to keep up with some of the older, more experienced upper classmen coming out of college. Guys like Hansbrough will have a much faster impact in the NBA. It would be in the best interest for most of these kids to stay in college for a year or two more to get bigger and stronger. Afterall, these guys are only 18/19 years old and have several more years of growing and adjusting to that growth.

Anyway, thanks for all the coverage Manny. Sounds like you could use a couple of personal days. Enjoy and hope to hear back from you soon!

Rest up Manny. Have a Pin~a C on me! Every year Miami hoops ends, I only watch the tournament up until my bracket is destoryed, usually the second round. Well this year, my bracket fell apart again pretty early, but I kept watching. I live in CT where college basketball is huge, so I already watch a lot. But the 'Canes push definitely got me more into it. Great to see UConn out and the 'Canes still playin'.

Canes basketball is here to stay! Can't wait till next year. I'm w/ you on the Rose pick, he would do wonders for D.Wade and the heat.

Manny the thing with Beasley's is that you havent watched him play in weeks. The guy is the real deal too. I wouldnt pass on him unless we fell to 2.

Enjoy your break Manny. Thanks for all U do.

I am a football (Dolphins/Canes) fanatic. The other sports I am a fan of and tried to follow the Canes Basketball team this year. It was hard to get into them because when I finaly got to see them play it was towards the end of the year against BC (good game tho). With increased expectations they should get some more TV exposure and I'll probably be able to watch them more.

Manny,

I wish that my job would encourage me to take some time-off... My fiance and I desperately need a vacation to Costa Rica or a cruise or someting...

Anyways, you do a great job Manny... Keep up the good work and enjoy your time off

I was in Vermont for the first game and on a plane flying back for the second, and i was refreshing the Blackberry whenever I got the chance to. Definitely adds to March Madness and got sucked in a bit more.

Enjoy your time off Manny, much deserved time off!

Manny have a great vacation but when you come back next week it would be great if you could cover the Miami-FSU series...

I watched the rest of the touney...best thing I've watched this year, aside from The Canes beating FSU...I say the best play has to be Mario Chalmer's game tying 3 to take the finals into O.T...without setting up and with only 2.1 seconds left on the clock...But I have to say the most exciting player to watch in the tourney had to be Stephen Curry from Davidson...what'd he have, like a buck thirty in the 4 games davidson played...WOW...can't wait for next season.

Mandingo! Rest HARD! Come back HARDER!!!

"Has anyone become more of a college hoops fan? Let me know?" - Navarro

You can't be serious can you?

You're asking the nation's most notorious fair weather fans if they watched the last few games of a tournament in which DuhU was no where near close to participating in the finals.

Katz is delirious with DuhU at #12. Look what's happened to ACC favorites North Carolina and Duke the past few years. Early exits for over-rated teams in an over-rated conference.

Manny,

Enjoy the time off. You definitely deserve it. I was already interested in the Final Four because I'm a UCLA alum and hoops fan (although I still bleed green and orange when it comes to football--born in Miami and the first college football game I ever saw on TV was the '83 Orange Bowl). I think the Canes hoops team has built the foundation of what will be a very competitive program. This should have happened last time they reached the sweet 16, but they failed to capitalize. Who would have thought that the weak link in the big 3 sports at the U would ever be football? Of course that is changing real quick and Miami is poised to be a triple threat. Congrats to the U for signing Haith to a 5 yr deal.

During Manny's hiatus, Canes fans can find their daily fix here:

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/

Manny, I can't argue w/any team wanting to take Derrick Rose #1 overall. His game is taylor made for the league. His first step is just insane and he has such a nice build. I look at him as a young Tony Parker w/more size. He has a solid mid-range and he will be able to get in the paint at will. In college teams could play zone and the court is small enough to sag off and clutter the lane. In the league there is so much space and whatever lucky coach drafts him will be sure to exploit it.

But then again, Beasley is a beast. He has great hands and touch. I don't think any team could go wrong w/either.

Is it just me, or did Derrick Rose not look so spectacular in the final?

He showed flashes of greatness in the second half, but looked rather pedestrian in the first and missed a crucial free throw at the end. Also, I didn't see the expert dribbling and ball control that so many people have written about. I know it's just one game, he's a freshman, and allegedly was recovering from a stomach virus, but I would have expected more from the presumed #1 pick in the draft.

Haith needs to get at least 2 beastly top 25 recruits that can score on anybody. You add that to the solid base already there with the Bigs and the U can do some major damage the next 2 seasons and kick off the cycle of great recruiting.

Haith needs to get at least 2 beastly top 25 recruits that can score on anybody. You add that to the solid base already there with the Bigs and the U can do some major damage the next 2 seasons and kick off the cycle of great recruiting.

Did you expect the Hurricanes to make it into the NCAA tournament, while the two teams who played for the title last year- Ohio State and Florida- would be shut out?

Reading this made me laugh a lot. First I want to say good job on getting to the tourney, but the acc was not very good this year. Another thing Miami lost to FSU twice and they are not a very good team. So Miami beat up on teams that were not that good. Am I saying that they suck, no but I am not thinking they are going to dominate acc either.

Reading this made me laugh a lot. First I want to say good job on getting to the tourney, but the acc was not very good this year. Another thing Miami lost to FSU twice and they are not a very good team. So Miami beat up on teams that were not that good. Am I saying that they suck, no but I am not thinking they are going to dominate acc either.

61,000+ in The Swamp for our nationally televised spring game.

Does that top the attendance record of DuhU's rather embarassing Orange Bowl Finale?

Whats the latest on Edgar Sosa transferring from Louisville to Miami?

This is what Gary Parrish of Sportsline.com has to say...

The word around basketball circles is that Edgar Sosa is looking to transfer, perhaps to Miami

how does UF gaytors get on espn u for there spring game and UM is know where to be seen. i am about done watching college sports, this is about as bad as the pros

garrett,

I think you need to spend less time watching football and more time using Hooked on Phonics. Either that, or lay off the bottle.

how does UF gaytors get on espn u for there spring game and UM is know where to be seen.
Posted by: garrett | April 12, 2008 at 10:49 PM
CSS televised UM spring game on comcast cable in 12 southern states ...
IGNORANCE IS BLISS

ESPN also televised south carolina's and oklahoma's spring game ...
perhaps, they'll televise ours one day ; )

ONE-TIME

hey gaturdbator, 78000+ attended alabama's a-day scrimmage ...
PALE IN COMPARISON

Does that top the attendance record of DuhU's rather embarassing Orange Bowl Finale?

Posted by: GatorBait | April 12, 2008 at 06:33 PM
no. 62000+

86cane, you're an Idiot. I hope you get kicked off this site for posting SPAM. Canespace is the most amateur website I've ever seen. You have a picture of Jim Carey as the first thing you see when you go there. It looks like it was updated last 10 yrs ago. All you Canespace guys are fags. No wonder Fanny is always going there for Q and A's.

GatorBait = No Life!!!!! On a U of Miami blog talking crap! Find a girl, guy, something...whatever floats your boat because obviuosly you lead a very boring life.

Also, don't talk crap to a team that has accomplished way more than you in college football!

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