« Do Canes have another upset in them? | Main | Canes aim for ultimate upset vs. Duke »

Canes proving they were better than last place

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The press room inside the Greensboro Coliseum is usually a pretty quiet place. At around 4:30 p.m. Friday, the neighbors did a nice job disrupting the peace. On the other side of the thick brick wall dividing the press from the locker rooms, a jubilant University of Miami basketball team could be heard celebrating their second upset win in a row at the ACC Tournament.

Durand Scott Before Friday, no UM team had ever won two post season conference games in the same season. Not the one Jack McClinton took to the second round of the NCAA Tournament two years ago. Not even the one that shared the Big East Title in 2000. Somehow, the most successful tournament team in UM history has become the one that finished in last place and is surviving without its leading scorer and rebounder.

"For real?" a puzzled Reggie Johnson told me when I mentioned his Canes were the first to win twice in a post-season conference tournament. "I had no idea. I guess that means we should have been doing this all year then."

It's far too late for UM (20-12) to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The only way for the Canes to go dancing is to beat top-seeded Duke Saturday and then win again Sunday. But one can only imagine the what-if scenarios at this point.
 
What if Durand Scott would have actually listened to Haith and been more aggressive at the start of the season instead of waiting for the final month to show everybody why he was so highly touted?
> What if DeQuan Jones would have averaged 14 points a game -- what he's done at the ACC Tournament -- instead of losing his spot in the starting rotation, his confidence and riding the pine since Christmas?
> What if Dwayne Collins would have gone pro? Would a full season of Reggie Johnson and Julian Gamble been more fruitful for the Canes?
Would the Canes have blown a 17-point lead at home against Boston College?
Would UM have let their 12-point halftime lead against Duke wilt away?
> Would Miami really have finished in last place?

There's no way to really know. But there is a feeling in the Canes' locker room things would have definitely been different. Scott admitted he was nervous early this season to step on anybody's toes, despite the fact Haith was pushing him to take on a bigger role. 

Friday, though, Scott had no problem handling it. With the game against Virginia Tech in the balance, he scored 11 points over the final six minutes by attacking the basket like it was nobody's business. His teammates were glad he did.

"Coach said four low and just move out the way and let Durand go to work," guard Malcolm Grant said. "Durand's a great driver and a great finisher. It was just great for him to come through. The way I've always felt about it is whoever helps us win, that's who we want to do it."

The Canes are finally coming through this season. Win or lose against Duke, all U can say is better late than never.

I'm certainly not trying to single out Haith, Collins or anybody on this team for its regular season underachievement. What I'm saying is after watching them beat two NCAA Tournament teams in a row here, its obvious they should have been better than last place. This is a young basketball team and its taken time for them to learn how to win, feel confident. But it's obvious the talent was there for better results.

A FEW MORE TIDBITS...

> For those of you still wishing for Frank Haith's reign as Canes coach to be over, ESPN reporter Andy Katz posted on his Twitter account that Haith could be a candidate to replace Jeff Lebo at Auburn, who was fired Friday. Haith and the Canes were already gone when Katz tweeted the message.

> With UM's two wins in the tournament, the Canes have gone from missing the NIT entirely to at least having a shot.

> According to UM's sports information office, Ohio star cornerback Latwan Anderson has formally signed his national letter of intent for his track scholarship.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Losing Collins = Additon by Subtraction = Upset Wins; ah the transitive property

If Haith want to get a fatter contract at a SEC school then good for him. I will not miss and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Unbelievable! Things are looking up for next year anyway.

Go Canes!

Lots of what if's Manny, but what if Haith hadnt made stupid roster moves all year. What if he let Grant play his natural position, PG and let Scott score, what if he played Reggie and Julian more regardless of Dwayne's presence, what if he sat Dews all year instead of relying on his mediocre play.

Now i hope the what if of Auburn luring him comes true!

I'm sick of hearing what-ifs. What is, is there's a game tomorrow.

Y'all are the most negative bunch. What if you just sat and enjoyed the ride? What if you actually supported your team instead of crying after WINS?

Go Canes, keep ignoring the doubters.

Why are we dwelling on the past?

It's a whole new season come tournament time and we're playing like a whole new team. 2 down, 2 to go. Let's get it Canes!

Thanks Manny, I can't wait to follow all the NIT talk...Are you kidding me? Is there a website for taking your sister to the prom, because I would be just as interested.

Good questions posed by ny miamialum. I am wondering "what if" ny miamialum had been head coach all year, would UM basketball team be undefeated? What if Perry Clark was still head coach? What if Frank Haith had not been interested in the impossible UM job? What if Frank Haith didn't have the experience of recruiting six Mcdonald's all Americans? What if Frank Haith hadn't coached six players who are now in the NBA?

You Cane fans are unbelievable!!!! Still you cry about Haith. He is the only true coach a UM basketball team will ever have. There is no way a good coach would ever want to go to a place where the fans are awful, zero tradition, etc. SEC schools must not know anything about B-Ball...they keep trying to get Haith to coach their teams!!!

Great job Canes. Hard to figure the better play w/o Collins, but no doubt some skilled kids on the team that are just frosh & sophmores, so if Haith could ever lure another stud at power forward and/or center, this team could be a factor. STOP recruiting guards Frank...we're overloaded with them as it is!

Totally agree with Manny and with the bloggers here. I have said it all along, and it is surprising that these boys are "coming out" now. Where were they all season long, had they won 3, 4 more wins in the ACC they may have had a shot at going dancing.

The asnwer- coaches poor decisions. And true Collins probably should have left. And Haith leaving, clearly addition by subtraction.

This young team showed how good they can be. Definitely not the worse in the ACC

Manny, first let me tell you something. Frank Haith is not going anywhere just because the fans were asking for his head. If he goes somewhere else, is because of the money. Miami is cheap just ask Randy Shannon. The coaches they have hire without head coaching experience just because Shalala thinks she can do it better than Florida, Alabama, or LSU where they get experience head coaches. Sorry, we had to put up with inexperience coaching for the last three years to get to this. Now, if somebody comes, and takes Frank Haith is not because of the fans is because Shalala is cheap.

Thanks Manny

I was born and raised in Miami, but live in Virginia now. It is hard to defend Miami fans who only seem to support their teams when they are winning. Haith is a qood coach and an excellent recruiter = there is no other way to explain how he keeps the Canes competitive in the ACC and is able to attract quality recruits - despite have zero fan base, zero tradition and no home court advantage. You don't know what you got until its gone, and before long he will be gone and some other school will benefit.

Incredible how people want Haith fired. Without him the program would prob be no existant. With all 30 people that go to games it is difficult to recruit and he is doing an amazing job. We will not get a coach of that caliber and talent. Apparently the fans are the only ones who think every coach sucks. When has the basketball team ever won a national title for everyone to expect that they would be winning every season. You guys are incredible

K-man and others who claim the Um bb program would be no where without Haith. LOL, You are the opposite of the negative ninnies- you all live in a fantasy world. The criticism come from horrendous game coaching. poor motivation skills. etc. How else can you explain the terrible losses this season, when UM had a game won and they folded miserably down the stretch?

You know, they had a 12 pt lead on Duke in the 2nd half and they literally fell asleep. Who else do you blame? So nobody can be held accountable?

i hate those stupid fans who always want the coach fired. theyre such idiots. they dont know wtf theyre talking about. and theyre the same people who never go to the games.

Auburn huh? Oh well, peace out Haith. Now lets find someone who can coach.

Haith has tried hard but he probably should be coaching at the high school level. Why the U never gave the job to Rick Barry will always be a mystery to me. Another and even more important mystery is why none of Rick's sons were ever offered a scholarship to the U? All three of them made the NBA but were not good enough for my good old school. Can anyone explain?

The comments to this entry are closed.