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Beyond the Boxscore: North Carolina

BANKUNITED CENTER -- It is amazing how quickly things can change for you in college basketball. One minute, you are celebrated for beating a Top 10 team like Wake Forest by 27 points on your home floor. The next, some people want to roast you for losing by a combined seven points to Duke and North Carolina.

Ty Lawson In all honesty, Canes fans who have something negative to say rather than positive after what this team has accomplished the past two weeks ought to realize they know very little about college hoops. Sunday, Miami played without Dwayne Collins. They got very little help from the refs (Miami didn't get to the free throw line until 6:01 to play and only made it there once). And still, some how, the Canes were a Ty Lawson missed three-pointer away and another Jack McClinton basket from beating the team everyone picked this season to win it all. Instead, heartbreak, a 69-65 Tar Heels victory and now a new dilemma. The Canes must win at least four of their last five to get to 8-8 in the ACC and have a chance at reaching the NCAA tournament.

UM coach Frank Haith wasn't trying to sugar coat anything in his post-game press conference. He knows there are no awards for coming close to wins. But he realizes this has to end and his team has to start winning some of these down to the wire games. Miami has lost five of its past six. Three came in OT and the other two by fewer than five points. UM had two possessions with the opportunity to take the lead late. The first one, McClinton drove to the basket and had his shot partially blocked before Jimmy Graham missed a tip-in. The second, Brian Asbury was called for a charge with about 44 seconds remaining. I am not sure what Haith could have done to prevent the last turnover, one other than ask Asbury to pull the ball back out and giving McClinton a chance. But on the other hand, how can you fault Asbury for trying to make a play? Bottomline: another tough loss. 

Some more notes/thoughts...

> Ty Lawson finished with 21 points in 34 minutes. But those five three-pointers he made were a career-high and pretty much unexpected. Lawson has never been a big-time perimeter shooter. The game-winning three he hit with about three seconds left on the clock was basically a step-back prayer. Lawson, it should be noted, had been battling the flu since Thursday.

> Tyler Hansbrough's 8 points and 4 rebounds against UM wasn't a season-low (he had 8 points and 5 rebounds against FSU), but it was a tremendous effort for the Canes who were obviously short-handed without Collins. Jimmy Graham finished with 15 rebounds and five blocked shots in 27 minutes. He basically did it all without much help from Cyrus McGowan, who was held scoreless in just 15 minutes -- as much a redshirt freshman Julian Gamble (who scored four points and had five rebounds). 

> Jack's 35 points marked his third consecutive game with a season-high. He had 32 vs. Wake, 34 vs. Duke and now has eight career 30 point games. Prior to Sunday night, Eric Brown (1988-89) was the last Cane to score more than 30 in three straight games. McClinton is now second all-time at UM in 3-point field goals (one shy of tying the school record held by Steve Edwards 265).

> McGowan wasn't the only starter to put up a stinker for the Canes. Lance Hurdle was 2 of 9 from the field with 4 points, 2 assists and 2 turnovers. It's amazing to think where UM would be today if Hurdle, Collins and McGowan had managed to show up for the last two games. FYI, Brian Asbury was the only other Hurricane in double figures Sunday with 12 points. 

Comments

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Sir Jack has booked himself a pick in the draft. The Canes have nothing to hang their heads about. Toughest three game stretch in the NCAA. Almost went 3-0. 4-1 is reachable. They have shown they will NOT give up!

I thought the team played very well. I don't fault Hurdle or the other guys. When you look at a basketball game, there are alot of missed opportunities. Three or four guys took threes in the first half that were not necessary. I won't call out the point guard unless I am also willing to call out the other guys for shot selection.

There were 2 key plays that doomed us. Hansborough backing into Graham for the third foul. They went up by ten shortly thereafter Graham was out. Yes, Grahams feet were not set, but Hansborough backed into him without looking. That is a foul. And the charge at the end, when Hansborough was clearly moving as much as our guy, if not more, was bogus. That was a non call at best, you don't blow the whistle with less than two minutes to play like that.

Great effort tho. Haith has really done well with this team and deserves credit.

Good work Manny and great point you made here:

"In all honesty, Canes fans who have something more negative to say about Frank Haith's basketball team than positive after the past two weeks ought to realize they know very little about college hoops."

Tonight was a great game and Miami really gave Carolina fits. They totally took Hansbrough out of the game. Although, I'd have to disagree on the fouls issue. Miami didn't get to the line because they weren't driving the ball to the basket. They certainly got away with being incredibly physical against Hansbrough though. The refs really swallowed their whistles.

Tonight's game was basically 5 on 1. McClinton shot is second to only Stephen Curry in the Ncaa. If McClinton can stay in mode The Canes have a legit shot at making a deep run in the ACC tournament.. To succeed the rest of the season a legit 2nd option needs to emerge.. Where's the The freshman Jones? Jimmy Graham aka J Hustle, needs to continue playing at a high level. And a true PG is missing i gotta say Rios is missed. Its a shame that the local BBaller didn't work out.

God I am so tired of people repeating what announcers say. Jack should touch it before anyone else shoots. Miami didn't go to the basket, and therefore were NEVER fouled. Hansborough didn't foul when he backed into Graham (giving him the crucial third foul) without even looking for the basket. Hansborough slides and loses his footing and draws a charge in last 2 minutes of game. Announcers blame player for going to hoops even though was entitled to do so. Hansborough had no right to block path to basket in that situation.

Look, watch the game, call it as you see it. But don't trumpet the clueless announcers.

Miami is playing a lot better from 2 months ago, but still not enough to win. It's kind of frustated at times cause you know you have a chance to win, but they really don't know what to do in the last minutes of the game.

We just returned home from the game and the atmosphere and fan support at the BUC was outstanding. Miami played a good competitive game. They made some mistakes but when have you seen any team play a perfect game at any level. The refs actually let them play which was nice to see. What was disconcerting, as was the case with Clemson, Duke and the first NC game, was the inconsistency in the calls/no calls made often favoring the "upper tier", original ACC teams. It is difficult enough to win in this league without the Refs playing sixth man for the opposing team. I am not saying you can attribute these close losses simply to officiating but I do believe it has contributed. The charging call on Asbury with 44 seconds left was wrong and a game changer.

Mcclinton is dirty dirty and so is Graham.

Officials wearing Tyler Hanbrough T-shirts under their stripes? They err in his direction on every close call. Charging call on Asbury was such a gift. Just call the game guys - save being a fan for when you're not working.

What is more embarrassing than having your resident retard, canesrule, come on this blog in DRAG and post as UMASSCANE and Seattle Canes?

He's desperate

I liked what I saw of Julian Gamble considering he is still a (RS)freshman. Defensively the Canes played pretty well. I think we need to win all 5 games though, or make a run in the ACC Tourney to make it back to the big dance. If we don't make the big dance though, this team should win the NIT. I think we have played a great schedule though to get us to the dance and surprise a few people.

I think we need to win all 5 games though, or make a run in the ACC Tourney to make it back to the big dance.

Posted by: U2cane | February 16, 2009 at 08:14 AM

I completely agree, I think they either need to go 5-0 during this stretch and bring their conference record to 9-7, or they need to win at least 2 games in the ACC Tourney, and go 4-1 in this stretch. I don't think 8-8 and a single win in the ACC Tourney gets them in the Big Dance this year.

I will say that Jack is making a run at ACC Player of the Year. And this was probably the best game Graham has played this year. I'd like to see that a little bit more.

The canes played well. Iam a Tar Heel basketball fan, but love Canes football. The canes will figure out how to win close games, it comes with time. I don't agree with the ref statements... Tyler didnt even get to line as much as usual. He got poped in the eye, and nose and left the game. no fouls were called. Lay off the canes, they played well and have a good coaching staff. they will get better.

Manny

You dont have to be such a homer and a UM apologist all the time! It is absolutely disgraceful. You're a freaking journalist, not a cheerleader. I have PLENTY of bad things to say about this team. Let's start with them being ranked in the preseason top 20 and right now they are 4-7 in the ACC! They can't win road games. They have no PG. They have no discipline. They can't break a press. They dont even run an offense! what's going to happen when McClinton leaves next year? All they do is rely on him to chuck up a three and hope it goes in.

Come on man, get with it. This team is seriously underachieving. Just making the tournament isn't good enough for a team that returns almost everyone from last year and gets most of its contributions from upperclassmen. They should be ranked at this point, not struggling to become a bubble team. This could have been a special year for this team because it returned one of the best players in school history and surrounded him with experience at every single position on the floor. But instead Frank Haith consistently allows other team's best shooters to get wide open looks every single game and guys like Dews, Asbury, Hurdle, and Collins are just not giving the team enough.

If the football team were ranked in the top 20 preseason and then finished at or below .500 in ACC play, would you really be so complimentary?

And how could you write a blog called "UM Still a Coach's Dream" when we have two coordinators that nobody has ever heard of and guys spurn the U all the time? I love Miami as much as you do. I went to the school. But stop being such a damn homer. We expect more from the guys that cover the team.

Its not that I like making negative comments about this team but like you pointed out Manny, "bottom line is they lost."

This is not the L Ham years of Steve Edwards, Kevin Norris; etc. No more moral victories.

In fact they played well against UNC, I didn't notice too many TOs compared to the Duke game. Maybe a few bad or rushed shots here and there but ultimately last night's game can be chalked up to losing to a better team. Nothing wrong with that.

The Duke game though was let's be honest here, atrocious. Never should a 16pt lead be squandered in a span of 4 min in the 2nd half no less. That game should never have gone into OT and the "team" should not have to rely on McClinton for EVERYTHING. Someone has to step up like Graham last night. Bye the way its fun watching Graham's intensity out there. Wish they all had it.

Again they played well last night and almost good enough to win it. Now the FSU game and all the reamaining as you point out are must win.

It stinks watching a team like BC able to hold off UNC and now Duke. Miami is unfortunately hanginer their hat on a not so great Kentucky team and Wake win.

Lastly, whatever happened or is happening with the recruiting of the John Wall, the kid from the Raleigh area?

Keep up the good work Manny.

Manny, I got to say I totally disagree with you. This isn't about not knowing basketball. This is about winning and losing. So Miami played close against UNC and Duke. Big deal. They also lost to Va. Tech, Maryland and N.C. State. They led the Va. Tech and N.C. State games late and blew them in OT. They led by 16 at Duke and somehow managed to see the entire lead disappear in the span of five minutes. At the same time, Frank Haith sat and watched not calling ONE timeout as the Blue Devils went on a 20-4 run tying the game at 42. Then he called a 30 second timeout and Duke scored four more points making it a 24-4 run.

The fact is, this team DOESN'T close out games. They actually had THREE chances to take the lead against UNC. McClinton had a lay up blocking by Danny Green, then he had another lay up attempt that looked like a foul blocked, then Jimmy Graham looked like he was fouled and finally Brian Asbury commits a charge. Asbury cleared pooped in his pants. He didn't know what to do there.

This team has no offense. Everything is Jack, plain and simple. No one else seems to every step up. How many times this year has ANOTHER player scored 20 or more points against a team with a pulse, i.e. Kentucky, Ohio State, UConn and the ACC? I don't know the answer, but I am sure it's not more than one or two times and probably both by Dwayne Collins.

Miami does not have a point guard and that's obvious, but the closest thing to a point guard is Lance Hurdle and he was sitting on the bench in the final 8:48 last night, with the exception of the final four seconds to commit a foul. Even if he's playing terrible, who else is going to handle the ball? James Dews clearly can't do it. Jack can only do so much.

The fact of the matter is this team has choked away what could have been a great season. They can't close games. They can't make stops when it's time to make a stop. They leave wide open threes all over the floor to the opponent's best shooter constantly and they simply don't do the things necessary down the stretch to win games in the ACC. And the NIT is where they are heading if they don't win their final five games, all against opponents that really aren't that good, sans Florida State.

One more thing, you can't get to the free throw line if you don't attack the CUP. We took 29 three-pointers. We lived on the perimeter. We didn't attack the basket for the most part and that's why we didn't shoot free throws.

Between Lance Hurdle and James Dews, both players who simply can't shoot, they should be making a living attacking the basket and trying to get to the free throw line because every time I see either of those two hoisting a three my stomach turns.
It's not like UNC lived at the line either. They only took eight free throws, a very low number for them.

The U or any team will not win on the road in the traditional basketball powerhouse schools. Even if they get close the refs. will find a way with a call here and there to negate the end result. It has always been that way, the refs are not accountable.

man we're soo close! we played RIGHT with the best teams in the acc. at some point, the guys just have to step up. we can't give up. the guys just gotta decide not to take it anymore. if everybody played to their potential for 40 minutes, we'd be great. i don't even know how to describe the team. bad? good? immature? i'd almost feel better if we just didnt have the talent. but there's really no excuse. we just have to grow up and get it done.

That's not what Manny is saying. What he is saying is that if you are one of these idiot fans that say that this team sucks and that they should fire Frank Haith, then you don't know anything about college basketball.

BTW, are you saying that if Frank Haith calls a timeout, they beat Duke? That's ridiculous.

Hurdle being on the bench has nothing to do with anything because neither McClinton nor Dews turned the ball over while bringing the ball upcourt. It is amazing that this team is able to hang with UNC and Duke in spite of playing with dead weight like Lance Hurdle and James Dews.

Miami played a great game defensively. They held a UNC team that averages 91 points per game on 48% shooting to 69 points on 38% shooting. All this without Dwayne Collins. Being without him was a huge disadvantage.

I know it means nothing but Miami really could have had 3 straight victories versus Wake Forest, Duke, and UNC. When did you ever think that would be possible?

This team needs Haith to keep recruiting well. You can only go so far with a bunch of Lance Hurdles and James Dews'. Those guys are absolute garbage. How many elite teams are there with no point guard? Frank Haith has this team going in the right direction and if you can't see that, yeah, you don't know what you're talking about.

Miami doesn't seem to have the game to get into these low scoring ACC matchups. Miami looks like a team that could run most of the competition out of the gym with athleticism, yet Haith coaches a defense oriented half court transition game. This may be Haith's best roster , yet it isn't good enough. That is the reality of U M B Ball. It is an upperclassmen team that makes freshmen mistakes. They really don't have an offense with a plan to win. They just seem to want to hold on and squeak one out.

Well hey if anything Manny has succeeded here in having the fans talk UM Hoops.

Who'da ever thought that a possibility 10 years ago?

Miami doesn't seem to have the game to get into these low scoring ACC matchups. Miami looks like a team that could run most of the competition out of the gym with athleticism, yet Haith coaches a defense oriented half court transition game. This may be Haith's best roster , yet it isn't good enough. That is the reality of U M B Ball. It is an upperclassmen team that makes freshmen mistakes. They really don't have an offense with a plan to win. They just seem to want to hold on and squeak one out.

Posted by: Sam Daman | February 16, 2009 at 01:43 PM

Holy sh*t, you don't know anything about basketball. Miami can run who out of the gym, you moron? If they got into a track meet UNC would have scored 120. Wow, you are the exact type of fan that Manny was talking about. Please go bungee jump but with the cord tied around your neck.

What is more embarrassing than having your resident retard, canesrule, come on this blog in DRAG and post as UMASSCANE and Seattle Canes?

He's desperate

Posted by: We's building depths | February 16, 2009 at 07:39 AM

I think you are confusing me with someone else. I read Manny's blog daily, but RARELY post.

Somewhere along the line, U fans will have to stop kissing HAith's behind and demand better coaching and player development from him. After all that is the head coach's job. And as many have said before, stop making excuses for "coming close" over... and over... and over.. but falling short. That is a loser's mentality. that was ok, 3 years ago, maybe last year. THIS year, with jack coming back, and all of the players we have, it should have been a year to contend for the sweet 16 or better. Now, look at them--- NIT at best. Unless they win out. I doubt it. This team plays 3 quarters. Every one else play 4. Am I being negative?

Is it negative to point out that Virginia beat Clemson? and we coundnt? at home?

IS it negative to point out that BC beat Duke? And we couldnt? at home?

And the people who are saying exactly what I am saying get lambasted by all the HAith lovers.

Come on!

Somewhere along the line, U fans will have to stop kissing HAith's behind and demand better coaching and player development from him. After all that is the head coach's job. And as many have said before, stop making excuses for "coming close" over... and over... and over.. but falling short. That is a loser's mentality. that was ok, 3 years ago, maybe last year. THIS year, with jack coming back, and all of the players we have, it should have been a year to contend for the sweet 16 or better. Now, look at them--- NIT at best. Unless they win out. I doubt it. This team plays 3 quarters. Every one else play 4. Am I being negative?

Is it negative to point out that Virginia beat Clemson? and we coundnt? at home?

IS it negative to point out that BC beat Duke? And we couldnt? at home?

And the people who are saying exactly what I am saying get lambasted by all the HAith lovers.

Come on!

Posted by: holmes | February 16, 2009 at 07:35 PM

There's a difference between knowing basketball and being able to interpret what you see during a game and being a clueless dumb@ss. You are a clueless dumb@ss.

15-9 what excuses do youhave for that idiot?

Its only fitting. Joe Lunardi of ESPN has UM going to Boise for a regional match up. Boise.

Sounds familiar? 7-6? 15-9?

Who will step up next season on offense after McClinton is gone?

15-9 what excuses do youhave for that idiot?

Its only fitting. Joe Lunardi of ESPN has UM going to Boise for a regional match up. Boise.

Sounds familiar? 7-6? 15-9?

Posted by: holmes | February 17, 2009 at 06:10 AM

Bad luck happens sometimes, you @sshole. Sometimes you are better than your record is...sometimes you're not. That's how sports go. A couple of lucky bounces our way, and they could be 17-7 or 18-6 and you wouldn't be spewing your nonsense.

Looking at how this team has played the last couple of years and possibly making the tournament 2 straight years and actually getting some quality recruits, if you think that Haith is bad for this program, you are stupid. Just shut your mouth and please turn off your tv. You're embarrassing yourself, you clown.

-9 what excuses do youhave for that idiot?

Its only fitting. Joe Lunardi of ESPN has UM going to Boise for a regional match up. Boise.

Sounds familiar? 7-6? 15-9?

Posted by: holmes | February 17, 2009 at 06:10 AM

And you JUST FINISHED complaining about going to the NIT. Joe Lunardi has Miami in the freaking tournament and what do you do? Complain about that. Typical, typical, typical, clueless, loser, embarrassing South Florida fan. I hate all you pathetic, sorry fans. You're the same pieces of sh*t that complain, complain, and complain but when the teams wins, you're out there celebrating like you've always been there. Get the F outta here.

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