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Courtside blog: Va. Tech 65, UM 47 (F)

ATLANTA -- Checking in from the Georgia Dome before tipoff. For those of you at work and nowhere near a radio or TV, I'll be here to provide updates and highlights from today's game. You can also follow the game on the ACC's website.

Jack McClinton earned his third honor this week on Thursday being named the 2009 recipient of the ACC's Skip Prosser Award. Just a couple quick notes before the game gets going...

> UM's Adrian Thomas and Jack McClinton were honored Thursday with special awards from the ACC. 

Thomas will presented the Bob Bradley Spirit & Courage Award at halftime of today's game. The award, named in honor of lthe ate Clemson sports information director who passed away in 2000 following a long bought with bone cancer, is given annually to a male or female basketball player, coach or team administrator who has overcome significant injury, illness or adversity in life to become a valuable contributor to their program. Thomas obviously personifies that for the Canes, battling back from season-ending injuries twice in his career. This year he's become a good three-point threat for Frank Haith.

McClinton, who was honored with All-ACC First Team honors and All-ACC Academic honors earlier this week, was named the recipient of the 2009 Skip Prosser Award emblematic of the top scholar-athlete in men's basketball. Prosser coached at Wake Forest for six seasons before passing away in 2007. 


> Another terribly slow start for the Canes who once again can't seem to get going early. Virginia Tech jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead on back-to-back three-pointers. Brian Asbury finally got UM on the board after an 0-for-5 start with a jumper at the 17:07 mark. Jack McClinton finally looks like he's over his sprained left knee. But he's started 0-for-2 with a missed three-pointer. 

> This looks like the same Canes team who was in Atlanta last week to play Georgia Tech. UM started 1 of 9 from the field. Virginia Tech is having no trouble whatsoever picking apart Miami's zone defense, starting 6 of 9 from the field. Right now the Hokies came out with the right game plan and UM didn't.

> It's now 22-8 with 6:51 left to play in the first half and nothing is going right at all for the Canes. UM is 4 of 20 from the field and has a high number of turnovers. Even the open three-pointers are not falling. 

> Miami has gone on a 7-2 run since falling behind by 14. Adrian Thomas hit UM's first three-pointer with 6:46 left. McClinton finally got on the board with a runner with 3:29 left. Its been an ugly ball game. 

> Just when you think the Canes are doomed, they rely on their old best friend -- the three-point shot -- to get right back in it. Adrian Thomas has three now, inlcuding two during UM's 9-0 run to close out the half. McClinton had the other. 

ON THE ROAD IN THE NIT: I had an interesting conversation with UM radio announcer Joe Zagacki over the break. Turns out if UM goes to the NIT, they'll have to play all of their games on the road. The BankUnited Center has been rented out according to Zagacki leaving the Canes without a home venue.  


> The Hokies have stretched their lead back out to eight points thanks to some strong play from A.D. Vassallo. VT has made a concerted effort to drive the ball more to the basket and its leading to trips from the free throw line. Jimmy Graham has come through with a few keys player early for Miami despite continuing to struggle from the line himself. He had a steal and dunk and grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a put back.

> Graham has now missed nine consecutive free throws dating back to the Boston College game when he was 2 for 4. That's not the only problem UM is having in the second half. The Canes are just lucky Virginia Tech hasn't been able to pull away. 

> Game, set, match. Since Lance Hurdle hit a three-pointer with 10:56 left to trim the Hokies lead to 43-37, it's been all Virginia Tech -- and fast. Following a J.T. Thompson jumper, the Hokies turned two Adrian Thomas into quick points before Dorenzo Hudson capped the 8-0 run with a putback. It's 51-37 and it feels like there are only 9 minutes left to live for the Hurricanes' NCAA tournament bubble.


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Thanks Manolo. Good looking out.

Bryce Brown is picking a college.

This high school senior, this 17-year-old kid, is holding a press conference on Monday to announce where he will play football in college. This one will be different. And maybe will be. You better hope so, Tennessee. Or LSU. Or Kansas State or Oregon. Or maybe Miami...

And you'll pay attention.

When he names a college, we'll immediately relay the news via cell phone or wireless Internet connection. Whatever the speed, it won't be high-speed enough. Because this is important. This is urgent.

Attending a news conference for a high school kid? That's my nightmare as journalist. In two decades in this business, I've been assigned just one of these things. It was for a Raleigh basketball recruit in 2001, the most important recruit out of North Carolina since David Thompson nearly 30 years earlier. This kid was choosing between Duke and North Carolina, and when he made his announcement, I was there. Great kid and great family, but what a Duke disappointment Shavlik Randolph turned out to be.

It's a circus, these announcements. Most of the time, I love a circus. Who doesn't? But this one, with Bryce Brown, is different.

In this one, a 17-year-old kid is the ringmaster.



I'm watching the game on FSFL channel 654 on Direct TV. It's not looking good so far.

Yawn.. and to think i didn't go into work today to watch the U BBall...

Good run late in the half, that missed free throw at the end was painful, but I still think we can do it. Jack Mac doesn't look right.

Canes getting blown out at the worse time!

While Haith says the season is not wasted, unless he pulls a best recruiting class for the lack of achievement of this group, I don't how one can escape that this season has been a dissappointment.

Well, there's always next year.

And just when I thought that the U was going to turn into a BB school. I don't know.

This team is just not very good.


This is sad. Good luck to Jack on the next level. Seems nobody else on the team wants to score. Is this a result of talent, or lack there of, or coaching/recruiting?

I think Haith has to take a solid portion of the blame for this season's failures. The team just looks disorganized. He has made the offense single dimension and the second the opposition figured out how to stop McClinton, the game was over before it began. We basically have been hoping for the other team to play badly and pull it out somehow. Its not a question of our team playing poorly, it a question of them going in without a plan. More importantly, I think our offense needs a total overhaul. We have no identity.

I look forward to next season because we will not have a single star. I think we will be better when we start to develop our other options with Durand coming in, Jones getting a little bit better, and Malcolm Grant coming in.

I think its time to give up on making Collins a solid option. He simply does not want the ball and refuses to be a leader. Talent aside, hes not willing to push it and work for it.

McClinton had a great career, but his inability to bring it when we most needed it will always be black eye on his resume. Injury or not, we had to have him down the stretch and he wasnt there.

Next season will be a struggle with all the new players, but I think we need to actually play TEAM ball.

Well at least the Canes don't have to worry about getting blown out by UNC.

They looked flat. NIT here we come.

As a UM fan i am honestly disgusted. This team played with zero heart. no energy the entire game. The biggest game of the season and you score under 50 points? Truly pathetic. How can a team start the season ranked 16th overall, and fall this far? i hope frank haith rips this team in the locker room. I can honestly say i understand why Bob Knight did what he did on the basketball court. My TV remote will vouch for me.This team has under performed all season long and this game was a prime example of it. Manny you better not let this just pass over and say that miami "gave it their all" becuase they didn't. They are too talented not to be in the big dance. I had such high hopes for this team and its future. If we cant get the job done with one of the Best players in the country, when can we? You had chances all season long to secure a bid before today. Ohio state - blown 16 point lead, same goes for the duke game. UNC - turnover in the last minute to lose. GT - the worst team in the ACC, and you lose? knowing your on the bubble. PATHETIC. i am so disgusted. i supported this team all season long, and to see them come out with a game like that, it is nothing more then pathetic and heartbreaking.

If da U is NOT invited to the Not Invited Tournament . . does that mean miami is in the tourney?

Poor coaching...poor coaching....POOR COACHING.
There's no other excuse for INCONSISTENCY!!
FIRE HAITH NOW...pay some $$ for a real coach -NOW!
I've said it all year, and I'll say it ONE MORE TIME: Give this exact team to "Coach K" at Duke, and they'd be AT or NEAR THE TOP OF THE ACC....guaranteed!

if da U is NOT invited to the Not Invited Tournament . . does that mean miami is in the tourney?

Based off that performance (with your entire season on the line) this team does not even deserve to go to the NIT!

No defenseive ability whatsoever, no hustle (has anyone ever explained the concept of trasition D to this team?!?) and a completely inept offense that relies on one thing and one thing only: the quick forced three.... You know what schools usually have those three characteristics? High schools, and bad ones at that!

Pathetic. Right now, I don't care what progess we've made in the last few years. There needs to be some heads hanging today, that was one of the (if not THE!) worst performance in a critical situation I've ever had the displeasure of watching. Embarassing.

How can you say Jack could not bring it when we needed it? If nobody is scoring and he is getting covered the whole game it is a little difficult to do anything. There were plenty of games where he was clutch in finishing the game off for the team. Frank Haith is not Coker, Coker was giving a national championship team, Haith has built this program up and made them a serious contender in a tough conference. They are still building depth. You look at some of the other teams in the ACC they have starters coming in off the bench they are so good. UM will be good, it is just not easy to compete in this conference without any depth. They have done an amazing job and this team will be losing a leader this year I hope someone can fill in.

Good post, Sam, very well said.


What a sad effort, I am so dissapointed with this team... One a brighter note at least the baseball team is over achieving and looking strong so far...

Haith must go...Team is never ready to play when the ball is tipped and we have no offense what so ever.

That zone defense worked for a game or two so Frank decides to stick with it for the rest of the season and we got to sit and watch it get picked apart game after game.

The offense was brutal all season long. Do they even have an offense bsides passing and dribbling around the 3 point line till the clock runs down and they fire up a contested shot.

Hurdle was terrible all season long. 1-9 today. Collins was invesible all season. My 92 year old grandmother can shoot better foul shots than Jimmy Grahm. Jones will never develop with a coach liek Haith. Dews/Asbury didnt show up most of the season.

What a dissapointment this season began. A preseason ranking to not making the NCAA's. Brutal, just brutal.


Bring a real coach who can recruit and teach these kids the way to play team basketball.

Haith deserves the blame for the constant slow starts, and the playground offense, but he recruits well, he does make adjustments, he is young, and he is working with the worse fanbase for BBall, and the worst major athletic department for DI sports, in college. So, I say you got to stick with him. Our BBall recruiting class is ranked 17th. At Miami! A place where 2,000 people go to the games. That deserves some credit, and his NIT and NCAA success historically is actually came quicker and more impressively than Foster, Hamilton, or Clark. He's a little lost right now, and the season was a huge dissapoint for those that care about BBall here (which is not many), but I say keep him. Ultimately he is pretty good, and definitely the best that we can get right now.

What a disappointing end to a really disappointing season. I actually thought they were "real" this season, but the dramatic fall off in shooting and overall game preparation / determination is simply an indication that I and many others grossly overrated this team from the start. It was not bad luck or supremely talented conference opponents that ended the season, it was consistenly poor play / effort by the Canes. Every opponent wanted it more than they did.

One year wonder!! I have to agree with some of U Miami has talent, but they just focus on defense all the time. I'm sorry, but if you can't score, it doesn't matter what you do with the defense. At the begining of the season, Miami was putting points. All of the sudden because one guy got kick out of the team Miami when downhill. Haith was never able to figure out what to do with this team. Not to be able to know how to finish games cost Miami the season this year. To think Clinton dare to talk Championship at the begining of the season. I don't know what he was smoking, but sure was out of his mind.

Everyone that thinks that this team is too talented and didn't try hard enough make me laugh. Theses are the same people that overhype Frank Haith's recruits when the fact is there all mostly garbage or average talents that u the fans put on a pedestal cause u saw some you-tube highlight. Beyond Jack McClinton, who by the way turned out to be awesome but wasn't such a great grab when we got him, there's not one true baller on this team, unless they've been on the bench and couldn't play this year or for some reason couldn't crack Haith's almighty rotation.

It was painful to watch them this year and i stopped watching after the Virginia game late in the season cause i decided to not trick myself into thinking this was a good basketball team just cause im a Cane fan. I hope this is the last Courtside Blog i have to read for another year. Oh no, the NIT has yet to be played, please Manny don't do it!

As long as Haith is the Coach, we will never win anything. How many years do we have to put up with this? Good Talent, with terrible coaching leads to a underdeveloping team. Haith is a good recruiter and I will give him that, but in college basketball you need coaching also and we just don't have it. Spend some money and please get a coach because I cannot stand watching the hurricanes basketball team anymore.

Norm, I agree you have to score points, I just hate seeing the team relying on the 3 point shot all the time. Plus having a dominant big man would help too.

I will forever be disappointed and perplexed by the 08-09 Canes basketball team.

Less than one year ago, we made it to the second round of the NCAA Tourney and the stars were aligning themselves for an incredible '08-'09. Not only did we have good players, but they were ALL coming back.

One year later, we bore witnesses to one of the biggest meltdowns in South Florida sports history. Sure, the ACC was deeper this year, but watching the games, I have never seen a group of players regress more than this group has. Do Collins and Hurdle have twin brothers that we don't know about?

I suppose Haith deserves more time. He's a good recruiter, but still hasn't shown that he adds any value as a coach. My fear is that we're like the foobal team- just bringing in good players and not developing them.

Just to clarify,

I definitely don't think that Haith should be fired. I can understand people's emotional need to create a scapegoat, but I think he has done a good job building a program and at least giving the fan base some expectations.

I just think this season's plan wasn't very good. We feel in the same trap when we had Diaz. The gameplan was give the star the ball and everyone walked around and hoped that by allowing that person to beat their defender. We didn't even move it when someone was double covered and no one else wanted to take a shot. It simply wasn't effective.

I am not blaming McClinton for what happened down the stretch, but I think he could have truly cemented himself in Miami lore if he had brought it down the stretch. Injury aside, its always tough to play double covered, but you have to remember that he has been doubled all season. His shooting down the stretch had less to do with the defense than him just being off. I think he has been amazing for this program and I hope he has great success on the next level.

I am really, really excited about Durand Scott and Malcolm Grant. I am obsessive about High school hoops and Scott is simply a baller. The kid can play. Hes got a shot, is athletic, a solid leader, and will be a presence on the court. Grant may actually be the most important pickup because he is a true point guard. We have needed a point guard for years to lead the team and I think Grant can provide that.

I still love my 'Canes and I hope they do well in the NIT.

Looking forward to the Scrimmage today.

It bout that time for frank to leave he can recurit but cant coach enough to get to through the ACC tourment he has way to much talent on this team not to be winning seen this from the get go with frank never really had good year

Rivals 250 for 2010 is out


What a disappointing way to finish what was supposed to be a great season! Looks like one and done in the NIT is a sure thing.Its going to be tough next season but there's always hope the new guys will fit in and the team jells before the ACC season begins.Go 'Canes !!

Settle down Cane Nation. I know the lost today and the season was a disappointment but Cane nation we have a damn good coach in Haith. This team was lacking a point guard. Coach hasnt had one since he's been here but hold on Cane nation help is on the way. 3 things that killed this team. 1. Did not establish Collins or Graham down low. To busy shooting 3's. 2. Poor free throw shooting. we lost at least 3 games because of free throws. 3. Poor point guard play. Way to many turnovers and not defending the 3 pt line. Hurdle played soft and timid all season, glad he is gone and gonna really miss Jimmy Graham. I hope he make it on the next level. Jack, i hope U get ur degree because U will be going pro in something other than the NBA.

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