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Courtside blog: UConn 76, UM 63 (F)

ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands -- Just got to the University of the Virgin Islands Arena and I'm watching the Canes warm-up for their showdown with No. 2 Connecticut in less than an hour. The game will be carried on Fox College Sports back home. Not sure how many of U have it. But if you do, you'll get to watch this one. If not, tune into 880 AM (WQAM has Dolphins programming) for the radio broadcast. Joe Zagacki and Josh Darrow will have the call as usual.

Paradise_jamOn the ride in, I sat next to Jack McClinton Sr., who said he thinks his son is in for a big game tonight. Apple Jacks hasn't been been playing like the Jack we saw in the final eight games of last season, when opponents were getting lit up like a Christmas tree. Jack Sr. told me he thinks is son is pressing a little bit, especially since he knows so many NBA Scouts are now keeping a close eye on him.

There's talk from within Jack could be a late first round pick with a solid senior season -- especially after the way he lit up guys over the summer at several camps hosted by guys like Steve Nash and Lebron James. Jack_mcclintonJack Sr. said Haith has been trying to get Jack to tone down his game a little since then because he's still playing like he's facing guys in those camps, trying to throw in extra moves to create separation when he already has it. Jack Sr. said his son is really trying to hone his mid-range game and his ability to draw even more fouls by getting eager defenders up in the air. Nevertheless, Mr. McClinton thinks his son and the team are going to deliver tonight.

So, too, do a few of the Huskies beat writers, who say Miami has impressed them with their depth and focus. While Miami was in its hotel room most of the day yesterday -- I'm on the same hotel floor with the team, UConn was enjoying the beach yesterday on its day off. Not, that there is anything with enjoying the beach on your day off (especially with a Pina Colada like I did). But it just shows you how intense Miami is taking this game. "I think they can win by eight," one UConn beat writer told me moments ago. "They look like a very good basketball team. Collins is terrific. McClinton is a great player. They are just flat out deeper than UConn. If Hasheem [Thabeet] plays like he did against LaSalle, Miami can win by 15."

> By the way, those Jai Lucas to UM rumors are way unfounded. Lucas is likely headed to the Big 12. Miami has its heart set on having Malcolm Grant run this team in the future. The only way he doesn't is if John Wall ends up here.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS...
> UConn has come out with some serious intensity early. Looks like they are taking this game seriously, too. Hasheem Thabeet came out and scored right away on a jump hook and then got a put back down low. Cyrus McGowan hit a three-pointer to trim UConn's lead to 8-7 with 18:06 left, but the Huskies have been on a 6-0 run since. Miami is 3-of-9 from the field and UConn is 7-of-10. They are scoring a ton of points in the paint, driving past Miami defenders for close-range shots.

> It's 80-plus degrees outside. But the Miami Hurricanes are ice cold right now. It's been nearly seven minutes since Cyrus McGowan scored UM's last points. The Canes have gone 0-for-5 from three-point range since McGowan's miss. Jack McClinton still hasn't scored. Miami is 3-for-19 and UConn is 9-for-13 from the field and on a 12-0 run.

> I feel like I'm watching a replay of Thursday night's football game. It's now 24-7 UConn with 10:24 left.

> The first highlight of DeQuan Jones college career appears to have finally jump started Miami's offense. Jones got a screen from Dwayne Collins, drove baseline and made a beautiful up and under reverse layup Hasheem Thabeet had no chance of swatting. The Canes followed it up with a wide open Jack McClinton three-pointer to trim the Huskies lead to 24-13 before AJ Price with a three-pointer with 8:03 left in the first half.

> The Canes are clawing and scratching their way back into this one. UConn stretched its lead to 33-14 on an AJ Price three-pointer, its third consecutive trey. McClinton has since gone on a 6-0 run over a 2-plus minute stretch to keep it reasonable.

> This one is officially far from over. Jack McClinton is hot and firing on all cylinders now. His three-pointer with 1:18 left has capped a 17-2 Miami run which has trimmed UConn's lead to 35-31.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS/THOUGHTS...
> UConn has come out with some fire on defense here early in the second half and its help them extend their lead back out to double digits with 15:07 left to play.

> The game is now in control of the Huskies at 58-45 with 11:53 left. Miami is going to need someone other than McClinton to get hot here if it wants to have a chance at coming back.

> The stage is pretty much set here with 5:31 left for another one of those memorable Jack McClinton moments. He just hit a three with 5:31 left to trim UConn's lead to 69-59. Is this the start of something special?

Comments

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First? Really?

Go Canes!

What a terrible start defensively. Getting dominated on the boards and cold from three point range. Not good.

is the game on TV?

CH 617 on Direct TV is where I am watching it.

GOT IT.. THX

What did his Dad say? Big night? He's like 0-7.

Brock Berlin sighting!!... 1-3 for 6 yards for the Rams vs the Bears

Rios sucks so bad.

wow 7 points in the first 11 min. looks like we will be a force to reckon with now. woohoo

Any where to watch/listen to it on the internet? Free?

McClinton is a BEAST!!!

holy s***!!!!!! Miami has somehow gotten back in the game!!!! Manny, is Miami jacked up and UConn in a bad mood? We need to carry the momentum into the 2nd half.

Manny any word on Jai ???????

Ron I am listening to it on www.wtic.com uconn radio

NEED TO HIT THE BOARDS!!

Moe, you're the man. Thank you...

Has anyone seen James Dews? Is he dead?

Dews is making bad decisions today. He has games like this all too often for someone who is quite possibly our most natural ball player.

dang. miami lost. ugh........ is miami gonna drop in the rankings? I hope not.

For a team that is supposed to be deep, there are a lot of "not ready for prime time players" on this Miami team, specifically Asbury, Rios and Gamble. Dews is seasoned, but looked pretty bad in this game in particular. I thought they should have let DeQuan Jones play more. He looked pretty good in limited action. Very impressed with McGowan and Collins. McClinton, Graham, and Hurdle were good as usual.

This canes BBall team not quite ready for the prime time yet.
Dews and Asbury did not contribute at all. if that continues look for Daquan Jones to get more time.
Hopefully they can get a victory Monday over San Diego/Wisconsin loser.

This was a rough weekend for Miami teams... We got our butts kicked in every sport!!!

I'm so sad.

i just hope miami doesn't drop in the rankings in basketball. i mean we played a great game, it just wasn't enough. that's why i hate basketball rankings. they never take into account if a team did well even in a loss, they should get some credit and not be ripped on for losing. still, the canes don't need to worry too much. this was a good game for them. a learning moment if you will. they'll come from this a better team. go canes!!!

UM SUCKS!!! you suck in basketball, football, baseball, academics...in fact gators fear those golden panthers more than you guys.

you can't spell scum without UM!

dude its only november with a full slate of ACC games not starting till what January. At this point who gives a rat's about rankings?

GO UCONN!!!

I think chuck long would be a great oc!

they needed anthony king today?

Hey Gators, you got us football this year b/c you have an awesome team, but we are ranked ahead of you in both basketball and baseball. Learn some humility, or can't you watch that class on tv at UF like every other class they offer. Nice way to teach higher education!

got a laptop for a good price?

got a laptop for a good price?

got a laptop for a good price?

It will be interesting to see if this Canes BBall team can come back from a loss and beat a good San Diego team.
All of these non-conference games will be important wins or losses when it comes Tourney Selection time.

Designed some new canes shirts:

www.5since83.spreadshirt.com

Will have more designs uploaded over the next few weeks.

Way to go Rios...." 0 " Points!!!

I thought Miami actually good against UConn last night. I got to watch the game on FCS Pacific...weird! Anyway, other than a couple of short term lapses, Miami was fairly solid. It's true, they are not ready to play the likes of the top 5 in the country, but last year at this time, Miami was a surprise to do well against any ranked team. They aren't ready because this team right now wasn't necessarily built to win any national championships. Getting past the first round last year in the NCAA was a stretch and most people didn't even have them going to the NIT. Anyway, Dews was non-existent, but Collins was super solid up front against UConn's 7'3" beast. If Colins plays this way all year and McClutch keeps hitting shots like yesterday, this team could be scary for a lot of the rest of the ACC to face. Some other guys need to step up, and Jones will get his chances. It's pretty exciting watching this Canes team. It's too bad they will probably drop in the rankings even though they did lose to the #2 team in the land. It's not fair, but there are 300-and-some teams in NCAA basketball DI, so that's how it goes.

How is RIOS expected to do anything playing increments of 2 minutes??? I do not think he is given the opportunity to perform to his potential. One mistake and he is out. Can someone please explain. Yet McClinton being THE GUY has to shoot dont know how many balls and turn the ball over so many times to get it going. Manny, I would like ur opinion on this one.

if Rios and Hurdle combined for only 25 minutes who was playing PG? McClinton?

clergy: eddie only had 4 minutes of play which may be the reason he sucked not his two minutes stints... he just isn't ready to play against a physical defense like the one uconn was throwing at them... jack shot 44% and had 2 to's... i cudn't watch the game b/c they didn't show it on normal cable, but based on the play by play it seemed like jack was getting the team back into the game like he always does with his great shooting. when he scores he gets the whole team pumped up, this game was just a game where they are a better team built on forcing you to make difficult shots b/c ur not getting anything easy in the paint. they implemented their gameplan on us and it was effective b/c besides jack and collins, no one else could score

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