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Beyond The Boxscore: UM-North Carolina

RALEIGH -- The Hurricanes had an opportunity Saturday night to really make a statement in front of the nation. It didn't exactly work out. North Carolina stormed back from a nine-point first half deficit and made the Canes look ordinary in a 82-65 victory at the Dean Dome. The extraordinary? That was provided by freshman DeQuan Jones. All the Canes lost to fall to 2-2 in the ACC, there was some good to come out of it -- as well as some bad. We'll break it all down in Beyond The Boxscore.

> GAME BALL: Carolina's Wayne Ellington. I wasn't overly impressed with the Tar Heels Wayne_ellingtonSaturday night. I actually think they were better last year -- at least more focused. What made the Tar Heels look good in the end was Ellington, who went off for 23 points in the second half, drilling a career-high seven three-pointers to turn a close game into a breeze. Tyler Hansbrough finished with 24 points and seven rebounds and scored 20 of Carolina's 36 first half points. Right now, he's really the only Tar Heel playing like a superstar on a regular basis. That should tell you just how good Carolina is.

> PLAY OF THE GAME: DeQuan Jones' first half super-funkafied up-and-under dunk. It was more than just the Play of the Game. It was the Play of the Day on SportsCenter. If someone finds a Dequan_joneshighlight of it on YouTube, please link it. The dunk was spectacular, better than anything any Cane has ever done. It wasn't the only athletic play Jones made. He also volleyball spiked a Carolina shot into the third row. Jones got the start in place of Brian Asbury Saturday, a move Frank Haith made to try and get the young guy jump-started. He scored eight points and played well. But Jones still has a ways to go in terms of locating guys in transition defense and his shot. He's shot more than a few airballs this year and seems to put the ball up a little too hard. But you got to like some of those flashes tonight. Maybe, its the start of something special for Jones.

> TALKING STRATEGY: We knew what Miami's weakness was coming into this game -- transition defense. The Canes did a good job getting back early to stop the fast break. But will killed UM down the stretch was what Roy Williams did to stretch Miami's zone defense thin, asking his players to make long passes and set screens which allowed open shots for guys like Ellison. The Tar Heels also put the clamps on Jack McClinton, throwing a mix of guys at him to get him tired.

> INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The ugly numbers of the night belonged to Canes point guard Lance Hurdle, who finished 0-for-7 from the field, with no points, three assists and two turnovers. Last year, Hurdle had a career-high 20 points.

> PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE: Haith made it a point in his post game press conference to say his players decided to turn the game into a battle of one-on-one when things got bad. I'm not sure who he might have been pointing the finger at, but he followed up by saying his team isn't good enough to win that way. Haith is right. They aren't. But they still were playing pretty well against the most talented team in the country and we're leading before they unraveled.

Here's the bottom line, Miami isn't talented enough to beat Top 10 teams on most nights. But they certainly are experienced enough and good enough when they play as a team to make the NCAA tournament again. They just can't afford any mishaps against teams they should beat. That includes the next four -- vs. FSU, Virginia Tech, at N.C. State and Maryland -- before Wake Forest and North Carolina visit and Miami goes on the road at Duke. If the Canes can be 6-5 in ACC play by the time Feb. 18 rolls around, than the Canes will be more than capable of reaching the tournament.

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Shannon coaching the defense again.

That's a thought. It's been done, more than we know, at some great schools over the yrs. Including some NC winners.

Bring in, or move up, a young assistant coach to Co-D.Coordinator (Armstead, Barrow, etc.). May not be a "terrible idea" in a pinch but, I don't think we'll find ourselves there. I agree with CanesFuture, maybe but - not likely.

And he/she's right about Rivals, Scout, etc. These guy's are rarely right.

And the cbssports story is just a "scrape" from Rivals, so - no authority there. Just new subscriptions pushed by hype.

Again, I don't think we'll find ourselves in a "No DC" situation, but if we do - we'll move forward - on to victory.

What I saw with these new guys (FR) this season was a renewed HEART! The Freshman fade, yes, that happened. But a renewed HEART - yes!

We just need to add - that "chip on our shoulders attitude", to the new depth and talent we have.

Go Canes

Shannon coaching the defense again.

That's a thought. It's been done, more than we know, at some great schools over the yrs. Including some NC winners.

Bring in, or move up, a young assistant coach to Co-D.Coordinator (Armstead, Barrow, etc.). May not be a "terrible idea" in a pinch but, I don't think we'll find ourselves there. I agree with CanesFuture, maybe but - not likely.

And he/she's right about Rivals, Scout, etc. These guy's are rarely right.

And the cbssports story is just a "scrape" from Rivals, so - no authority there. Just new subscriptions pushed by hype.

Again, I don't think we'll find ourselves in a "No DC" situation, but if we do - we'll move forward - on to victory.

What I saw with these new guys (FR) this season was a renewed HEART! The Freshman fade, yes, that happened. But a renewed HEART - yes!

We just need to add - that "chip on our shoulders attitude", to the new depth and talent we have.

Go Canes

Mr Irrelevant: CAl only lost by 7 to USC. Cant be that bad. USSC in all logic, is THE best team in the country. NO UF team can compete with USC at this time. Cal is not that bad, and we played them at their house. regardless, UM is still relevant. I know for a fact there are tons of Cane fans in Cali. The fact that UM still brings ratings like this year means they are still in people's minds. You MFS hate us, or you love us. As for me, I could care s--t if the whole world hated us. The canes are the canes. Always have been. The world used to hate us and fear us. Now they just fear us, but not for long, the swag will be back. and youMF p--as-- b--ches from gainseville will be sweating bullets when yu come to our house, b/c thebeatdown in 2013 is already in the works mf.

F-u all gaturds

FRANK HAITH HAS TO GO

I'm sorry to say this, but while Frank Haith is a DEFINITE recruiting plus, as an in-game coach he is pure GARBAGE. No matter what kind of talent he assembles, this man will NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER get the 'Canes into the Final Four, let alone a National Championship.

Anyone who's watched Miami melt down in numerous games this guy has coached can see that. I've never in my life seen a guy who seems so unbelievably helpless when things go bad. When the team starts to get out of sync, instead of calling a timeout to calm his team down with a quick bit of wisdom and strategy, he just sits there watching the meltdown happen.

And when the 'Canes melt down, they REALLY meltdown. They go from a fantabulous team, to a team that makes you want to puke inside of a heartbeat. This game against NC was just the latest example. They were playing awesomely, and then it all started to melt down. Instead of playing as a team, they began to stand around as the player with the ball ran isos. NO MOVEMENT WITHOUT THE BALL WAS SEEN.

Did Haith call a time out and get his players to start moving without the ball, setting screens and opening up players for good offensive opportunities? Nope, just sat on his heels with a dumba@@ look on his face. And this would be fine if he had a player on the court who he could be reasonably expected to believe could handle those isolations and come up with some great plays.

I mean, if he had Kobe Bryant or DWADE on his team, he might actually have a reason to sit there and hope. He doesn't. McClinton was being abused by the NC defense. They were picking his pocket when he was left alone to run isos. And Hurdle wasn't fairing much better. Did Haith notice this and adjust his strategy? No. Did he call a time out and even look to some of his players or assistants for suggestions? No. He just sat on his butt like an idiot.

Oh, and the fact he didn't call a timeout IMMEDIATELY following NC's last shot before the half (with 4.7 seconds left on the clock as the ball went through the hoop), and instead allowed the clock to simply tick off, is the mark of a totally clueless moron. I say Haith needs to go. We need a head coach that can NOT ONLY recruit, but can actually coach his team during a game.

And if you feel this is too harsh, then you're simply someone who doesn't want Miami to win it all. The ONLY reason I root for Miami is to root to see them win it all EVERY year, in EVERY SPORT. Losing is NOT an option. Winning it all is the ONLY goal, EVERY YEAR. And if it's not for you, any other fan, any of the players, any of the coaches, or anyone else involved, then they need to get the frig away from the program, because they're simply holding it back. And if you disagree with my assessment of Haith, I can only say you're not watching the games, or you're as stupid and ignorant as he is.

Anyone who's watched Miami melt down in numerous games this guy has coached can see that. I've never in my life seen a guy who seems so unbelievably helpless when things go bad. When the team starts to get out of sync, instead of calling a timeout to calm his team down with a quick bit of wisdom and strategy, he just sits there watching the meltdown happen.

Posted by: hotnuke | January 20, 2009 at 06:27 AM

Guess you didn't watch the Maryland game did you?

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