« Maryland Q&A | Main | Recruiting picture starting to clear up »

Maryland thoughts

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- A University of Miami representative tried to get me to shut the door to the media room so the profanities flying around the adjacent Hurricanes locker room couldn't be heard by reporters following Saturday night's loss to Maryland.

The thing is you don't have to have good hearing to figure out this basketball team is frustrated. And you don't have to have 20/20 vision to see this team and this season is in trouble. All you have to do is look at the standings and the schedule and you see Frank Haith's team has once again backed itself into a corner at the midway point of ACC play.

Frank doesn't like to talk much to the media after losses. He said even less than usual Saturday. He was hoping his veteran team, the one picked to finish fourth in the preseason, would respond to their back-to-back overtime losses like a a team picked to finish fourth in the conference is supposed to. 

But it was the same old troublesome song and dance with a new twist, the disappearance of Miami's post players. Dwayne Collins? Somebody might find him at the lost and found. He had five points and seven rebounds, and two field goals on five attempts in 21 minutes. The new Adrian Thomas who hits big threes? He had more fouls (5) than points (3) Saturday. 

The problem for UM is two-fold. While they are better at the ACC half-way point this year (3-5) than they were last year (2-6), this conference is tougher than last year's. And, the schedule down the home stretch is also tougher than last year's. 

Miami's next three are at home against Wake Forest, on the road at Duke and home for North Carolina. Go ahead and pick the former No. 1-ranked team you think this Canes team can beat. It's not easy is it? Neither are the final five games after that -- at Florida State, home for Boston College, at Virginia, at Georgia Tech and home against N.C. State. 

Yes, Miami has a deeper, more experienced and a more talented basketball team than it did last year. Yes, the Canes have a better record at the halfway point. But they certainly don't have an easier path. And after tonight, I'm not sure they're going to make it back to the tournament.