Having a long break after a tough loss can usually hurt a team. But in this case, University of Miami basketball coach Frank Haith said Monday his team's long after last Tuesday's 79-75 loss to Boston College might be just what his team needs to get jump-started going again.
"I think it was great for us," Haith said during Monday's ACC Teleconference. "We got some really good practice time in. We have a lot of guys competing for playing time. We did a lot of scrimmaging. It was good for us because we got better during the time off."
Few Hurricanes could have needed a break more than freshman point guard Durand Scott. Haith said Scott recently returned home to attend his grandmother's funeral during the break. Haith said Scott and fellow New York guard Malcolm Grant "really struggled at times" getting their teammates good shots during the 10 minute stretch Tuesday that saw Boston College erase a 17-point deficit. Haith said he would like to see Grant become more aggressive again on the offensive end.
Scott is averaging 7.6 points and only two assists a game in ACC play. He averaged 8.3 points and 4.7 assists in non-conference games. "Durand can score more and we need him to do that," Haith said. "He's very capable of doing that... Hopefully, we can see Durand in terms of what we saw earlier in the year when he was aggressive on both ends of the court."
A FEW MORE TIDBITS...
- Haith said he expects senior Adrian Thomas to see starter minutes at small forward and power forward. Thomas replaced sophomore DeQuan Jones in the starting lineup against Boston College. Jones has only played a combined 34 minutes (20 against Virginia Tech) in his last four games.
- Look for redshirt freshman Reggie Johnson to continue to get more chances to score in the post. Johnson, who has started the last two games, fell just one rebound shy of his first career double-double with a career-high 15 points and nine rebounds. Haith said Johnson has a nice touch around the basket. Believe it or not, he's also the team's best free throw shooter at nearly 77 percent.