BANKUNITED CENTER -- Just got done filing my story for tomorrow's paper. I kind of feel for Frank Haith. Not only did we set a record here on Eye On The U for posts on a basketball blog, but tonight was a night I really felt Haith had a chance to draw in some new fans.
Instead, he starts the night by suspending Eddie Rios indefinitely. Then, Jack McClinton gets ejected on his way to what probably would have been a huge night for him in front of about 30 NBA scouts. And, the Canes blow a 14-point halftime lead and lose to Ohio State of all teams, a team hated perhaps only less than Florida in the eyes of Canes fans.
There were 5,870 in attendance for tonight's game. Most were students, including a few hundred were left standing outside without tickets before the game. The place was electric even though it wasn't a sellout. Instead, most fans (who were probably tuning into this team for the first time) now probably feel like this team can't win without Jack McClinton. Losing Jack hurt. But it didn't cost the Canes this game.
Haith talked afterward about the disappointing defensive effort his team gave in the second half. He's right. Nobody could guard Evan Turner or Jon Diebler on the wing. This Buckeyes team is young. But talented. Two McDonald's All-Americans and a NBA prospect in Dallas Lauderdale, who will swat shots for a living one day.
Now, it's onto Kentucky.
> Haith wasn't sure afterward if McClinton's ejection could incur more of a suspension. But it's doubtful. He certainly was also upset Ohio State's Anthony Crater, who was seen on replays hitting McClinton before the play, didn't also get a flagrant. But he said Jack should know better. OSU coach Thad Matta said he didn't see the foul, but his assistants pointed it out.
> Nothing new on the Eddie Rios front. But I'm of the opinion this was probably the end of Rios' career as a Hurricane. Who gets suspended indefinitely? Rios came here with high expectations and did very little. Haith wasn't happy with the way he played in the Virgin Islands. He played Rios all of four minutes against UConn. Rios' family wants to see him play. They know Malcolm Grant is waiting in the wings and John Wall could be coming in, too.
> Miami came in with the 19th-best RPI in the country. This loss could hurt them down the road come tourney time -- especially if they are on the bubble. But I got a feeling this Ohio State team is going to once again be one of the best in the Big Ten.