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'Melancholy mood' for Johnson, Canes

RALEIGH -- There is still enough time for the Miami Hurricanes to turn things around and make the NCAA Tournament. But right now, these stinging losses -- like Sunday's 72-70 heartbreaker at N.C. State -- and a 12-game road losing streak in the ACC is weighing on the Canes.

Reggie Johnson "It's a melancholy mood right now," said center Reggie Johnson, who scored 20 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, blocked five shots and turned his play up in the second half to help the Canes rally from a 17-point deficit and have a chance at winning late.

"Everybody is hanging their head right now. But we still have a season to play. We're not giving up hope. Guys got to keep fighting at the end of the day."

It was the second game in a row UM had a chance to tie on its final two possessions and failed to score. Durand Scott, who missed a pair of lay-ups in the final 10 seconds of a 55-53 loss to Florida State Wednesday, had the ball stolen away by N.C. State's Ryan Harrow on his way to the basket on UM's next-to-last possession with 20 seconds left.

Johnson then had the ball stripped from him by Tracy Smith near the basket with under three seconds to go. A scrum ensued for the ball and the remaining seconds ticked away. UM coach Frank Haith said the final play was drawn up for Malcolm Grant, who led UM with 23 points and made all five of his three point attempts.

Grant couldn't do much. He was defended well. "When I came off the screen I felt I wasn’t going to get a good shot off because I felt he was crowding me and his length was going to cause a problem," Grant said. "But I guess I should have just put it up on the rim. I got it to Reggie. But those guys did a good job of swiping the ball and knocking it out of his hands."

Haith said Grant should have gone to an open shooter. "It was a double screen and they covered it up," Haith said. "[Grant] just went to make a play. I thought he had Rion Brown in the corner, he just didn't get the ball to him."

The bottom line for UM here is that they need Johnson to play at a high level or they have little shot at competing in the ACC. While Grant and Scott are capable of carrying the load when they get hot, UM needs Johnson to at least keep the other team honest on defense. Sunday, they were down 17 in the second half when Johnson snapped out of his his funk. After starting 4 of 12 from the field and struggling on defense, he made his final five shots and UM actually took the lead on a Scott layup with 1:04 to go. The last two possesions after that, however, were bad. The Canes never got a shot up.

"I knew once I got going, the guys would feed off me," said Johnson, who scored 22 combined points in his three previous games. "That's a responsibility I put on myself. If I'm playing well, I think the guys tend to feed off me and just get going."

Johnson insists he's no longer feeling the effects of the bone spurs in his right foot (suffered the day after the Duke loss on Jan. 2). But the truth is he is still not playing hard enough every time he's on the floor and he knows it. "A lot more energy," Johnson said of his strong finish Sunday. "First half I felt I was flat coming out -- cold air in my lungs. I just had to get over all that, come out and play harder."

The Hurricanes aren't running out of air yet, but they're getting close. North Carolina (13-5, 3-1 ACC) visits Wednesday night. Then, it's a trip to Virginia Tech (12-5, 3-2). Unless the Canes turn it around quickly, I'm afraid this season could spiral the wrong way quickly. That's not good for Haith or anyone on his staff -- especially after what we saw this past football season.

I'm not saying anybody should or will be fired. Kirby Hocutt has always liked Haith and has repeatedly told me he's happy with the job Haith has done. But a shakeup of some sort is always possible. This team was expecting to contend for an NCAA berth. They have to start winning some of these close ones soon.

QUICK RECRUITING NUGGETS

> Los Angeles Harbor College defensive back Byron Moore is expected to become a ‘Canes commitment officially later this week after visiting UM this weekend. InsideTheU.com is calling it a done deal. Moore wants to make the announcement himself, but Patrick Onwuasor, who made the trip with Moore and several other players from California, told InsideTheU.com Moore has already committed.

> Defensive end Anthony Chickillo told our Susan Miller Degnan today he reaffirmed his commitment to UM. Coral Gables linebacker Denzel Perryman said last night he expected Chickillo to do so.

> Here is the link to an interview I did recently with Hurricane Sports Nation.com about Al Golden recently.

Comments

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Thanks for keeping us posted Manny about the status of recruiting. Sounds like the U is really finishing strong!

Hey Manny, any word on an O-line coach???

Thank God for those commitments. Both were must gets. Keep the updates coming on the recruiting because bb season is already over.

Need qb golden

Chickillo said he was 200% committed to the Canes. This kid is a GREAT get and understands the work it takes to be a great player and thus great team.

Congratulations to Coach Golden and his staff.

Why is there any BB talk? This is a critical time for Miami football. I could care less aboutthe Um bb team. They have a horrendous. Let me spell it h-o- rendous coach. They can't win a game and they can't put together 40 minutes of basketball to save their lives.

Great thing Chik. You are a true cane we always knew that.

I'll say it for you:

Firehaith.com. Now or wallow in this pathetic mediocrity. Kirby. You need to do something here.

Maybe kirb can hire the bb coach from temple too.... j/k...

Since there is so little interest in college basketball in this town, Haith gets a 10 year pass. This is the same mediocre team year after year. Like Randy Shannon, this guy's reputation is an "excellent recruiter". Either this is not the case, or he is as bad a gameday coach as Shannon.

Haith blew that tbh.

One weekend down and one more to go! If next weekend is anything like this one - look out!

Perry Clark got fired for less. UM Basketball struggles because the powers that be (Hocut for example)think it's okay to have an unproven coach who's teams constantly lose close games, come out flat, have no offense in crunch time, and don't seem to have urgency ever.

Haith has brought in some great recruits, and maybe that is why he has this 7 year pass, but he has done nothing with them. I'm tellin' you, if it wasn't for this rediculous abhoration called the NIT, half the coaches in the NCAA would have been fired or better exposed by now. This rewarding the mediocre keeps some pretty inept coaches on the sideline.

so the ones who complain on here about basketball arent true cane fans, there just football fans.when i went to school it was about the school in whole. oh how times have changed.i went to football games and basketball, even womans sports.your school shouldbe your school, not just football.just me thinking out load.

Davidtn44...You are a girly man. Our basketball team is pathetic in terms of beating quality competition (Yeah, we can beat lower level D1 or DII teams). You want to support a loser go ahead but my support isn't one way...You want me to support something you better give me something to support. Haith is pathetic...Man, you only need like 5 really well coached guys to win in basketball and he can't do it...

Kirby needs to start looing for a new BB coach ASAP. This team takes "SUCKS" to a new level. It is AWFUL.

U gotz anymore underdeveloped Sam37's waitn to play cover corner in 2011 ?

U really don't do U ?

Loving the Derrick Brooks tweet that's now gone viral:

"Cutler has adopted the Urban Meyer rule...quit when the going get's tough!"

Thank you Derrick for voicing what we all know to be true!

Although UM will never win any title in BB Haith has to be held accountable. That was some of the worst decisions at the end of the game, number one dont call time out till you cross half court especially when your five feet from the line number two even the announcers said if it was them they would try a three and end the game. Even if you miss the three you still have a chance at the rebound or a quick foul and make them hit two freethrows to close the game. He is just like Shannon too much talent and experience for this to happen.

Great news on getting those recruits and I am especially happy for Sam Shields he had a grat game against the Bears still cant figure how RS couldnt coach him up while at theU.

Posted by 1 on 1:

Look at the self-loathing Pig back with his pseudo-ghetto speak. What a waste of human life you are, Pig.

Why do you hate your race, Pig?

From the Gators Rivals.com blog:

"Golden hired after Muschamp but has 10 commits to Muschamp's 1?"

Hee-Haw Hillbilly's...better tie down those trailers extra tight as there's a hurricane coming your way!!!!

14 seconds left N.C. State has no timeouts left ,Miami has the ball. Don't call your final timeout under your own basket, get over half court then use if needed. What a lousy last 2 pocessons for Miami,don't even get a shot off. Scott is an all-american? Well he needs to start playing like one instead of turning the ball over at the end of game or make a layup against FSU the game before.

To all players being recruited by the U, specially Rudock! Read this quote from Green Bay Packers General Manager, Ted Thompson; “Our scout Brian Gutekunst liked him (Sam Shield) quite a bit. We thought he had a good mind, a spirit to play the game. Like a lot of “The U” players, he’s not awed by it. The NFL doesn’t intimidate him. That’s a trait most players that come out of that university have."

You want to support a loser go ahead but my support isn't one way...
----
Scuba i want to support a Canes team, win or lose. i couldn't possibly imagine a more front-running comment. Have you been to a football game since 2005?

14 seconds left N.C. State has no timeouts left ,Miami has the ball. Don't call your final timeout under your own basket, get over half court then use if needed. What a lousy last 2 pocessons for Miami,don't even get a shot off. Scott is an all-american? Well he needs to start playing like one instead of turning the ball over at the end of game or make a layup against FSU the game before.
-----
Agreed. I expeced more out of him this year, but at the same time i didnt expect as much out of Grant as we have gotten. It makes sense though, Haith can teach 3-pt shooting, but he doesnt know anything about developing a slasher like Scott is. Our pass around the perimeter until someone is open for 3 offense doesnt exactly play to the strengths of a 6-4 guard with a quick first step but only ok jumper

Running out of patience with Haith.

His teams always lose close games. They never seem to win them.

UofM has too much going for it (ACC, on-campus arena, good private school in the middle of paradise) to be this lousy in BB year after year.

Yessssss. The idiot train keeps on rolling in Trailerville:

Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been arrested on a marijuana possession charge, his second arrest in the past 20 months.

Jenkins was arrested early Saturday in a Gainesville nightclub. Corporal Tscharna Senn, public information officer for the Gainesville Police Department, says an officer found Jenkins in the club's bathroom with a "small, clear bag of cannabis."


The cesspool of college football is what that town is.

The bigger question is how does the NCAA, and ALL of the powers that be keep allowing this program to go unscathed, unquestioned, un-investigated?

Seriously. If this were Miami, ESPN, SI, The Sporting News, Fox Sports, Jason Whitlock, and everyone would be calling for UM to shut down its program. They did it before.

30 Arrests under one coach.

1 arrest under another coach. And he hasn't even started spring ball!

Seriously

To the Mommy’s & Daddy’s of players being recruited by the Gators:

Your baby boy is being asked to play for a school that rarely sends a player to the NFL who becomes a star. Yet, they do send players to the Alachua County Jail on a regular basis.

If you want your boy to be part of a family, get a great education and possibly become an NFL super star, then the “U” is your choice.

If you want to send your boy to a school where he will be used up and then thrown out like used jet trash and most likely boast a criminal record with no diploma, then Florida is the perfect school for your son.

Idiot fans calling for another coach to be fired. UM basketball is a young program that is run clean and by the rule books. Commit to the team and the coach time by showing up to games in support. It kills me that UM's attendance is worse in the conference and bottoms in the country, but co called fans complain about the team losing ACC games to well funded well supported teams. You try selling a big time basketball recruit on playing home games in front of 1,000 fans.

Kehoe supposedly has been hired as O-line coach....

KEHOE IS BACK!!


Why is there any BB talk?

Posted by: The Golden Age is here | January 23, 2011 at 05:45 PM

Because real Hurricane fans root for the Hurricanes in all sports. And who really gives a sh*t what you want to read or not, jack@ss?


Davidtn44...You are a girly man. Our basketball team is pathetic in terms of beating quality competition (Yeah, we can beat lower level D1 or DII teams). You want to support a loser go ahead but my support isn't one way...You want me to support something you better give me something to support. Haith is pathetic...Man, you only need like 5 really well coached guys to win in basketball and he can't do it...

Posted by: scuba | January 23, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Typical piece of sh*t South Florida fan. I'm sure if the Hurricanes hired John Calipari tomorrow, you'd be all over them. Scum bag.


Idiot fans calling for another coach to be fired. UM basketball is a young program that is run clean and by the rule books. Commit to the team and the coach time by showing up to games in support. It kills me that UM's attendance is worse in the conference and bottoms in the country, but co called fans complain about the team losing ACC games to well funded well supported teams. You try selling a big time basketball recruit on playing home games in front of 1,000 fans.


Posted by: SF | January 24, 2011 at 05:08 PM

Frank Haith is terrible. You know nothing about basketball, idiot. And when was the last time fan attendance decided a game? Recruiting is not his problem, retard.

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