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Haith: 20 wins, postseason berth would satisfy

When the University of Miami men's basketball team started the season 15-1 it seemed inevitable the Canes would reach the 20 win plateau. Now, with only one regular season game left to play Saturday afternoon against Florida State at the BankUnited Center, all coach Frank Haith is hoping for is that his team still gets there.

Frank Haith Miami (18-11, 4-11 ACC) hasn't had the type of second half it was hoping for. But with a win Saturday against the Seminoles and a win Thursday in the first round of the ACC Tournament, UM will reach 20 wins -- likely good enough to earn a second straight NIT berth. And for Haith, who said his team shouldn't have lost at home to Boston College and North Carolina State, that would be good enough.

"I haven't had a chance to reevaluate the whole season. But I felt like if we would have gotten to seven league wins, that would have been awesome for these guys," said Haith, who said before the season he thought his team could finish in the top half of the ACC.

"We lost a whole lot with Jimmy Graham. You realize what those guys meant to your program as you go through the season. Jack McClinton, Jimmy Graham, Brian Asbury, Lance Hurdle, they were here for a long time. They won a lot of games and played in a lot of games. With that said, we're trying to build a program here. You want to have consistency, some winning ways. If we would have gotten to seven wins, that would have been awesome for me and the program to say we've been able to sustain winning, losing great players. Because you're going to take a dip. There's no way you're not going to take a dip when you lose guys that meant so much to your program... With that said, we still have an opportunity to get to where we want to be."

That would be the post-season for the third consecutive season -- and for the fifth time in Haith's six seasons as coach. Going to the postseason three years in a row is a rare feat at UM. It's only happened one other time when UM made it six seasons in a row from 1996 to 2002 -- the first four under Leonard Hamilton and the last two under Perry Clark.

"That's would be a pretty nice little deal for [our seniors]," Haith said. "I think for our program, you look at the history of our program and the tradition of our program, that's a nice little feat."

UM will honor its three seniors -- guard James Dews and forwards Dwayne Collins and Cyrus McGowan -- before Saturday's game. Haith said he doesn't know if Collins, who suffered a stress reaction in his leg, will play. Haith talked a little about both Collins and Dews Friday and what they've meant to the program.

"His freshman year, we wanted him to be a defensive stopper, something he probably hadn't had to do his whole career," Haith said. "But it was what the team needed and he was willing to do. His sophomore year he was a part of the team that went to the NCAA Tournament and was a critical member of that team, came back his junior year and we changed his role a little bit there. He's a guy who went through role changes his whole career. Now, he's been one of the leading scorers and been asked to to be a leader. There's no question James has been a special player for us and a special player for me to coach. You've seen his growth over four years. He's been not only a valuable player, but a valuable person on this team."

Collins, a player Haith pushed to attend NBA camps last year, hasn't had the type of senior season Haith was hoping for. But he said the 6-8, 241-pound forward has had to endure a lot during career.

"He was kind of thrown to the wolves as a freshman," Haith said. "We had a lot of injuries that year and Dwayne was asked to do so much early in his career. We lost Jimmy Graham, Ray Hicks, Anthony King for about nine games and he was the only post player we had and he had to play with a walk-on and a three-man at the other post position. To see him grow from that to where he is today is great."

Despite a few disappointments this season, Haith said he feels good about the direction of the program. He talked a lot about the growth of freshman Durand Scott and how he and redshirt sophomore Malcolm Grant will be a solid foundation heading into next season.

"We only have one senior on our team next year, that's Adrian Thomas," Haith said. "I'd be encouraged by what I see if I'm a fan and what's on tap for this program the next couple years."

> The Sean Taylor Foundation will host a celebrity All-Star Game Saturday at 3 p.m. at St. Thomas University to raise money for local youth programs. For more info, click here.

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Adrian Thomas is getting a 6th year??? The whole post-season thing means nothing anymore considering almost anyone makes the NIT or the new CBI or whatever it is called. Anyone who watched the UNC game, and the unconscious 50ft threes taken in crunch time, can say this team was not very well coached this year.

It is hard to feel encouraged when we lose the same way every year no matter what. The refusal to cover the wing guys and they get wide open 3's along with Haiths' horrible substitution patterns mean this program isn't going anywhere.

It's guaranteed that UF football has more wins in 2010 than UM football.

GUARANTEED

POSTSEASON?

Are you nutz, bro?

Guess what. Your dream ( or better hallucination) of 20 wins is over, haith. B/c you stink as a coach. You have the personlaity of a shoe and my granma can better motivate a team than you.

tactically, my pet yorkie knows more bball than you.

I say that based on alll of the close losses and blown leads that you have allowed/

had Um lost by 10, 20 every game, ok. But these games are games that a good coach would win.

You stink.

Hocutt.

The time has come to cut your losses.

The baseball team is headed in the same direction with the old man.

And...pressure or not, If randy shannon does not win at least 11 games next year, with the talent on board, a junior qb, and a stable of future NFL rbs in the back field...

You know Spring football is happening right?

Manny, the bottom line on Hurricane hoops is that we have not improved one bit from the first game to the last. We may be the softest defensive team in the ACC and have no big time closer to take the game winning shot when we need it. James Dews has been absolutely horrible down the stretch. With the exception of his game winner vs. GT (and he missed two free throws just before that) he has disappered this year. Collins cannot play physical defense, and Julian Gamble and Reggie Johnson are not much better when the game gets rough. Here is my thought on coach Haith. He seems to be a vocal leader and likes to compete, but my question would be his teaching of fundamental tough basketball. We just seem to fade when things get physical, or teams press our ball handlers. Turnovers, bad rebounding, and missed free throws have hampered this team all year. We also are terrible defending the three point line. We have lost a lot of games this year with late 3's shot by teams that typically don't shoot them well(ie: FSU in both games). Haith needs to get more recruits from the northeast corridor (like Grant and Scott)and less from North Carolina and south Fla. There is a reason these players are not going to Duke, or NC. Those northern kids just seem to have a toughness about them and if you look at Syracuse, Duke, Georgetown, and even Villanova they own that area just like Coach Shannon is doing recruiting football in South Florida. I would give him one more year. Hopefully by this time next year we won't have to win the ACC tournament (and we have no shot this year) to get a berth in the "Big Dance".

Haith's goal isn't the tournament(which it should be) it's the postseason and if you ever want to acheive excellence you have to strive for it and accept nothing less. He has a losers mentality and that along with his lack of gametime coaching skills means we'll never be more than a 6 seed who gets knocked out in the 2nd with him coaching us. Although right now a 6 seed would sound pretty good but he can't even deliver that.

Haith needs to go...

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