Frank Haith said Monday the only good thing about being ranked in the preseason was its effect on recruiting. We'll find out soon enough if that true (especially in the case of Durand Scott, one of the New York City's and the nation's top shooting guards, who has UM in his top three with Connecticut and Pittsburgh).
The Canes, who have continued their climb up from when they were in the ACC cellar two years ago, received their highest preseason ranking in school history Thursday morning. The ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coach's poll has the Canes 16th heading into their season opener on Nov. 15. Only once before -- when UM opened 25th in the Associated Press poll in 1999-2000 -- has a UM team entered the season ranked in the Top 25. This year's AP preseason poll comes out on Friday.
What impressed me most was who UM is ranked higher than in the ESPN poll. The Canes are actually ahead of Georgetown (18th), Florida (19th) and defending national champion Kansas (23rd). Potentially, UM could end up facing three of the Top 5 in the regular season. We know for sure UM will play No. 1 North Carolina twice (Jan. 17 there and Feb. 15
at home) and No. 5 Duke once (over there Feb. 7). But UM could see No. 2 UConn as early as the third game of the season and the second game of the Paradise Jam tournament on Nov. 22. Then, No. 21 Wisconsin could be waiting the next game in the same tournament.
> As usual, the Canes released their injury report Thursday heading into Saturday's noon kickoff against Virginia. And, as usual, there was a surprise or too.
Quarterback Robert Marve (leg) was listed on the probable list alongside running back Lee Chambers (foot) and safety Jojo Nicholas (leg) who have missed the past few games. This is the first time this season Marve has been on the injury report. My guess is whatever he's feeling probably came when he got smacked on one of those sprint draws. Marve is going to play.
But what is of more concern is linebacker Daryl Sharpton (leg) who is listed as questionable. Sharpton has had a pretty good season, starting all eight games at strongside linebacker and ranking second in tackles (49)_ and tackles for loss (5.5) behind Glenn Cook. Senior Romeo Davis spelled Sharpton some last week and was effective with five tackles. What's kind of funny is Arthur Brown is listed as Sharpton's backup. Could this be the week we finally see him at linebacker for real?Receiver Leonard Hankerson (leg) hasn't played since the Florida State game and will likely miss his fourth consecutive game being listed as doubtful.
GETTING TO KNOW THE U with Mollie Rose... This week, we catch up with Canes' receiver Kayne Farquharson. Check out the video below, including last week's interview with Chavez Grant in case you missed it.