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21 posts from May 2014

May 31, 2014

Breaking news: If you are a Miami Hurricanes baseball fan, a blog that will make you happy.

First, the No. 5 national seed Florida State Seminoles fell 6-5 to Alabama on Saturday in the NCAA baseball regional in Tallahassee.

Next, the No. 2 national seed Florida Gators fell 5-2 on Saturday to North Carolina.

What the Florida loss means for the Miami Hurricanes: If the Canes win their regional at Alex Rodriguez Park, they will be one of eight teams around the country to host the next round of the NCAA tournament -- the super regionals. If Florida and Miami both ended up winning their regionals, Miami would have had to go to Gainesville for the super regional.

However, the Canes, who beat Bethune-Cookman 1-0 Friday night, are losing 2-0 to Texas Tech heading to the bottom of the third.




Batter up! Next games in Coral Gables Regional drawing near (& UM OF Willie Abreu likely to sit with hamstring injury)

    Day 2 of the NCAA Coral Gables Regional is upon us, with No. 4 seed Bethune-Cookman (26-32) ready to face No. 3 seed Columbia (29-19) at 2 p.m. Saturday. The team that loses is eliminated from the tournament.

    The top-seeded Hurricanes (42-17) defeated Bethune-Cookman 1-0 in a doozy of a pitchers' duel late Friday night.

    The Canes will take on Texas Tech (41-18) at 7 p.m. Saturday in the winners' bracket. Tech defeated Columbia 3-2 in the ninth innings on Friday afternoon.

      Bethune pitcher Montana Durapau was amazing, as usual, last night against MIami. Here were his late-night comments after the game:

Q: Montana, you were matching Suarez—only difference was that he was able to keep his pitch count low. What were the Canes doing to cause this to happen?

Durapau (held UM to no runs and 3 hits in seven innings, but threw 109 pitches): I don’t think it was anything they [the Canes] were doing per se, I just fell behind. I should’ve just attacked, attacked, attacked, but you just have to make the best of it and that’s what I tried to do.

Q: Montana, when you came out of the game, what were the thoughts going through your head after you just pitched 7 shutout innings? Do you feel like the momentum was on your team’s side that some thought you were going to win?

Durapau: Oh, for sure. I have all the faith in the world in my guys. As a starter, you just try and give your team the best opportunity to win and you do that as long as you can. I had faith in our bullpen—I wasn’t mad coming out of the game. We have a job to do—we have to fire guys up and just stay in the game.

Q: How would you say that you being able to win here earlier in the season helped your pitching today—if at all?

Durapau: You know, I faced Miami a couple of times: two starts against them, two wins. You get to see the hitters so many times, you get to see holes, you see things you can exploit—that only helps you as a starter.

Here's Bethune-Cookman coach Jason Beverlin's reaction to game:

Opening Statement

What a great couple of baseball games—both games—coming down to the last inning, both of them. Hats off to all the teams in this regional. I thought everyone played extremely well, and that’s the way baseball is supposed to be. It’s nip and tuck in this part of the year and coming down to the last inning and executing that last inning. What a great day of baseball.

Some Q and A with Beverlin:

Q: How disappointing was this knowing what a great pitching effort Durpeau had?

A: Yeah, he was unbelievable; he has been all year. I’ll put him up against anybody’s number one…he’s pitched that way no matter where we go—we could go play Washington, Miami—it doesn’t matter. All the teams in our league, he’s the same guy and he deals—that’s what he does. And that’s the bottom line. It doesn’t matter what conference, what team—he pitches the same way, and it’s good. But it is disappointing, there’s no question, but I’m not disappointed in the way we played at all. I thought we hit the ball pretty well. His pitch count was low, and he obviously did a good job of getting out of trouble and making pitches when he had to—no question. But with the approach we had, because he has good breaking stuff and he was able to bury his slider late in the count, we were trying to get to him early, and that’s where we got some of our hits but also got a lot of our outs and kept his pitch count down for him.

Q: What was the reaction of the players after the game coming so close to upsetting the #1 seed in the regional and having it end the way it did?

A: No question, they’re disappointed and rightly so. I’m disappointed, but I’m definitely not disappointed in the way they played. I told them to play that way tomorrow. That’s the way I want them to play, and I’m very proud of the way they went about their business and played the game. We just didn’t get a big hit when we needed it, but that’s baseball—it happens.

Q: It was a very clean game until the last inning—the right fielder with a blunder and that pitch at the end. When you talk about that, is that uncharacteristic for your team?

A: I thought we played great defense like you said until that last inning. We made a couple mistakes the last inning but like I said, I’m very proud of the way we played. It just so happens that was the same inning and the last inning, so it is what it is. But overall, I think we played excellent defense and did a good job.

 Q: What is it about your team that has you guys stepping up to the challenge?

A: What I try and pass on to our guys is regardless of who we play, you’re going to play to win the game. That’s why we play—that’s why there’s a scoreboard. There’s no moral victory- hey, we kept it close and lost- no, they’re disappointed we lost because they played to win the game today. I don’t care who we play, if it’s the number 1 team in the country or the #1 team in the regional, we are playing to win—not just to make a good showing. I think they really take that to heart, and that’s why you see what you see. They do a good job of not being intimidated and playing the games to try and win regardless of what the name on the other jersey says

 Miami Players: Winning pitcher Andrew Suarez (complete game shutout victory), David Thompson (he scored the winning run on a wild pitch with two outs in the ninth)

Suarez on his night:

I felt like all of my pitches were working and my command got better as the game went on. I was leaving some down the plate and they were getting some hits and then after that I just worked on keeping the ball low.

Suarez on the complete game:

It feels good, finally getting the win once I go nine innings.

David Thompson on the last play:

I thought it was a strike the catcher just missed it and ran home, plain and simple.

Thompson on what was said in the middle of the 8th:

Our captain, Tyler Palmer, brought us together and he was just telling us ‘this is our season, our season is on the line’. We struggled all game, we struggled through the ninth inning but we found a way to win. And that’s what he was telling us, we just have to find a way to win no matter what.

Thompson on the win:

It was awesome. It’s just a blessing to be back out on the field. You know I didn’t play that well today but I found a way to get on base and we just, Andy pitched a heck of a game and we just found a way to win. It was an amazing feeling.

Thompson on Bethune-Cookman’s Durapau

I wouldn’t say we were trying too hard. He was a really good pitcher and he just  pitched well against us the last time we played them and he pitched well against us today and he kept us off balance all game.

UM coach Jim Morris (Note that he says freshman right fielder Willie Abreu will likely sit out Saturday night's game with a hamstring pull.)

Opening Statement

First of all I’d like to congratulate in particular Durapau for the pitching performance. It was an amazing game pitched by both guys. Both guys pitched just as good as Suarez pitched and I don’t know about Durapau but he can’t be any better. He’s pitched good against us his whole career, thank goodness he’s a senior. We knew it was going to be a tough outing because he has beaten us twice before so he’s outstanding and they have a really good club and they’re well coached and its just a great win for us, huge win. You just have to find a way to win and that was a crazy way to win it but that’s a huge win.

Morris on the offense, Suarez:

We hit and ran once and hit it up the middle and it was a force out and got caught trying to steal a base one time to try to get someone in scoring position. He had to try to make something happen because as a normal rule he’s a guy who’s not going to beat himself and he’s just an outstanding competitor. Suarez of course had a great game and I know some people were asking me about pitching him, he’s probably our top draft pick come the 5th of June and that’s because of the way he pitched tonight. He’s pitched some gems, our first complete game of the year. We always go to our bullpen and try to save our guys until NCAA tournament time to even consider going with them a complete game and he would have gone another inning because he threw 94 pitches and he wanted to stay in the game and we would have let him throw one more inning so it was a great outing. We played some good defense and of course Lopez go the big hit right center to get David Thompson to third, don’t want to forget that and all the things that happened tonight.

Morris on B-C reliever Scott Garner

His ERA is five something and he comes in and strikes out the side and I’m thinking why in the world his ERA is five something to be honest with you. So it was a crazy thing and I know I was checking, we were checking pitch counts all night hoping that Durapau’s pitch count got over 100 and got out cause I’ve seen him pitch. Suarez did a great job of keeping his pitch count down all night.

Morris on  play of Abreu:

Well he’s just struggling. He’s got a hamstring pull and its bothering him to play a little right now and I think he probably needs to rest and get well because he’s been a great player all his life. He’s a USA Baseball guy that’s played in every level, at the top of the level. He was drafted and turned down a lot of money to come to school. He’s just struggling a little bit which is reflected by the fact that he’s still bothered by that pulled hamstring. I’ll probably give him the day off tomorrow too.

Morris on deciding to start Suarez Friday:

It’s the same way we do it every year. I’ve been here for 21 years and we’ve never thrown my ace one time, opening day. Our pitchers Suarez is very good, B-Rad is very good and Chris Diaz is an All-American so all three of them are very good. It can be anybody on a given day and I was more worried about getting a run than our pitching. We’ve don’t that every time since I’ve been here for 21years. Being the one seed if were 1 seed then we haven’t started our number one starter. 

 Thanks to UM and Taylor McGillis for the transcription.



May 29, 2014

UM baseball coach Jim Morris wanted very badly for the Heat to win Wednesday. Can't blame him...

   University of Miami baseball coach Jim Morris, a fan of many sports, was watching the Heat game with extra interest Wednesday night.

  Morris wanted the Heat to win as much as any Miami fan – probably more.

   Because Miami lost to Indiana, the Heat are back home to play the Pacers at the AmericanAirlinesArena at 8:30 p.m. Friday for what could be the deciding game in the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals.

   Morris’ top-seeded Hurricanes (41-17) open their NCAA Coral Gables Regional play at 7 p.m. Friday against No. 4 seed Bethune-CookmanUniversity (26-31).

   Morris told me he has already talked to folks who have season tickets for the Heat and Hurricanes. He said they told him they'll be at the Heat game Friday night and back at Alex Rodriguez Park on Saturday for the double-elimination regional. 

     “I hope we have a great crowd,’’ Morris said during a news conference Thursday afternoon. "Last night I was pulling really, really hard for the Heat. And now they’re matching up against us… And that does make a difference in this city. It’s a big city but it makes a difference. These people have finally figured out what basketball is all about.

   “When I came to Miami I had a TV show. The basketball coach did not have one, just to give you a comparison. They’ve really caught on fire the last couple years and it does make a difference. Hopefully we’ll have a great crowd for everybody. It would be a fun atmosphere to be in.’’


   Miami left-handed junior Chris Diaz was named a Louisville Slugger first-team All-American Thursday. Diaz is 9-0 with a 2.31 ERA. The Canes won every 2014 regular-season game started by Diaz.

    Diaz, who has a career record of 18-6 with a 2.25 ERA, is the 10th Hurricane in UM history to be named to the Louisville Slugger first team.


   Get well soon to Columbia ace pitcher David Speer (7-2, 1.86), who had emergency appendectomy surgery on Monday and is unable to play in the regional with his Lions. Speer is a senior, and that has to be a heartbreaker for the left-hander and his team. He’s also the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, having led the nation with four shutouts.

   The No. 3 seed Lions ( 29-18) will go with right-handed sophomore George Thanopoulos (5-2, 2.81) to face No. 2 seed Texas Tech (40-18) at 2 p.m. Friday at Alex RodriguezPark.





May 27, 2014

News: UM Canes will start LHP Andy Suarez to go opposite Bethune ace Montana Durapau on Friday

University of Miami baseball coach Jim Morris will start left-handed redshirt sophomore Andy Suarez (5-3, 3.22 ERA) in the Hurricanes' Coral Gables Regional opener at 7 p.m. Friday.

 Suarez will pitch opposite Bethune-Cookman ace Montana Durapau (11-1, 1.71).

Morris said he wouldn't announce any future pitchers until he sees who he's playing and who would best match up.

Durapau, a right-handed senior from Deltona, Fla., has faced Miami three times in his career. He beat the Hurricanes 7-3 this past March 11th, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on nine hits and two walks in eight innings. He struck out seven.

Durapau also beat the Canes 5-3 on April 3, 2013 in Coral Gables. He allowed two earned runs and struck out seven in seven innings. 

In 2012 as a sophomore, Durapau pitched three innings of relief in a game that UM won 5-4. However, Durapau did not allow a hit and struck out four batters in his stint.

As for Suarez, his last start was Wednesday in the ACC Tournament opener against Georgia Tech. UM lost that game 6-3, but Suarez got a no-decision (Cooper Hammond got the loss) in that game, Suarez allowed three earned runs on nine hits and a wild pitch in 6.1 innings. He allowed no walks and struck out five. He also made an error.

Suarez usually is the second-day weekend starter for UM, with Chris Diaz usually the Friday-night pitcher. But Diaz pitched last Thursday in UM's second game of the ACC tourney, and "he had some problems with his index finger,'' Morris said Monday.  Morris said Diaz had problems throwing his knuckle curve "because of not being able to put pressure on it,'' and therefore not being able to locate his pitches.

Morris said "he's fine now.''

Said Morris on Tuesday: "I'm very confident in all our pitchers and we feel this is the best rotation for us.'' 

Of course, we actually don't know the tournament rotation for the Hurricanes yet, but we will soon enough.


Just in from Miami Hurricanes' women's basketball program: Zach Kancher named assistant coach


CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Head women’s basketball coach Katie Meier has announced the hiring of Zach Kancher as the newest assistant coach for the University of Miami women’s basketball team.

Highly regarded within college basketball circles, Kancher comes to Coral Gables with over a decade of experience ranging from the high school level to the highest level of Division I women’s basketball.

“Zach is an absolutely tremendous hire for us,” Meier said. “I felt very challenged trying to find a coach to replace Carolyn Kieger. It was a very big hire for our program. The challenge was to find high basketball IQ with a tenacious personality and a great court demeanor—and I think we found all of that in Zach. I also think he’s going to help us recruit the northeast, which he’s done for many years. His track record as a head coach and his proven success going to the Final Four with Maryland, he really adds a lot to our program and it’s something that we are very excited about. I have so much respect for Coach Frese and the Maryland staff and that’s a big reason why Zach was at the top of our list.”

Kancher has spent the previous three seasons (2011-14) as the Director of Scouting and Player Development for the University of Maryland, where he helped the Terrapins reach the NCAA Sweet 16 or beyond each year.

“I’m extremely grateful to Coach Meier for granting me this opportunity to become a Hurricane,” Kancher said.  “She runs a first-rate program that has won an ACC Championship in the last five years.  The ACC is a fantastic league for women’s basketball and Miami has proven to be a perennial championship contender. I can’t express how fortunate I’ve been to have learned from Coach Frese at Maryland and the experience I’ve had in the past three years—reaching a Final Four and winning an ACC Championship. I will hopefully be able to replicate that success at Miami, and I couldn’t be any more excited.”

In his role under head coach Brenda Frese, Kancher was responsible for scouting report generation of opponents including full breakdowns and analysis, analytics, and personnel tendencies.

“Miami made a terrific hire in Zach,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. “He will have an instant impact on their program like he did ours. He’s a dynamic guy who is really passionate about the game and life in general. We are really proud of what he did here at Maryland and look forward to seeing him grow in his role at Miami.”

Prior to his time in College Mark, Md., Kancher coached two seasons as the top assistant at Division II Goldey-Beacom College, and in his final year also took on the role of recruiting coordinator while guiding the Lightning to a CACC Championship and NCAA tournament appearance.

His first stop in the collegiate ranks came at the Division III College of Mount Saint Vincent, where he was the head coach and assistant athletic director for operations and facilities.  In his lone season at Mount Saint Vincent, Kancher led his team to the ECAC-Metro Quaterfinals, to the Skyline Conference Semifinals, and to the Hudson Valley Athletic Conference Championship.

In his first coaching stop, Kancher spent four seasons at The Shipley School, spending two as the assistant boys coach and two as the head varsity coach. In 2006-07, The Shipley School went 22-6 under Kancher with appearances in the Pennsylvania Independent School Finals and the Friends School League Finals.

Kancher spent his undergraduate years as a practice player for the women’s basketball team at The George Washington University from 1999-2003, while earning his bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in creative writing.

Currently, Kancher is working towards his master’s degree in sport administration from Canisius College. 

For more information on the women's basketball team, follow @MiamiWBB on Twitter. 


May 26, 2014

Miami to face Bethune-Cookman at 7 p.m. Friday in Coral Gables. Also coming: Columbia, Texas Tech.

As expected, the Miami Hurricanes were not named one of eight national seeds Monday for the NCAA Division I baseball tournament coming this weekend to 16, four-team regional sites around the nation.

However, the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee graced the Hurricanes with one of the least intense regionals.

Coming to Coral Gables this weekend: No. 4 regional seed Bethune-Cookman (26-31, 208 RPI) of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference; No. 3 seed Columbia (29-18 and No. 35 RPI) of the Ivy League; and No. 2 seed Texas Tech (40-18, No. 17 RPI) of the  Big 12.  

 The No. 1 regional seed Hurricanes (41-17 and No. 15 RPI) will face Bethune-Cookman at 7 p.m. Friday (according to ESPNU) at Alex Rodriguez Park, with Columbia vs. Texas Tech opening the Coral Gables regional at 2. 

  Miami is 1-1 this season vs. Bethune-Cookman. On March 11 UM lost 7-3 to Bethune. A week after throwing the second perfect game in program history, Javi Salas was thrashed for six runs in the game's first inning. Bethune's Montana Durapau allowed three runs -- two earned -- on nine hits in eight innings. He walked two and struck out seven.

  Durapau (11-1, 1.71 ERA) is expected to start against UM Friday. UM coach Jim Morris said he is still deciding who to pitch Friday.

 UM defeated Bethune 10-1 on April 2. Salas earned the victory in relief.

 Bethune-Cookman got into the NCAA tournament by winning the MEAC Tournament last weekend.

 The Hurricanes have not missed the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship since 1972 – a stretch of 42 consecutive seasons - and own an all-time record of 117-43 (.731). Miami’s all-time mark in the postseason is 178-91 (.661).

 “It’s a credit to our administration to give us an opportunity to compete at that level, to our players and our coaches to be able to keep that string going,” head coach Jim Morris said of the program’s postseason streak. “It’s an amazing thing."

Second-seeded Texas Tech finished the regular season with a 14-10 record in the Big 12 and have played UM only once, losing 13-0 to the Canes on May 23, 1998 in the Coral Gables Regional.

Third-seeded Columbia made its first trip to Coral Gables in 2013, when Miami won back-to-back games. The Ivy League champions finished 2014 with a 15-5 league record.

 The Coral Gables regional is opposite the Gainesville regional, with No. 1 regional seed and No. 2 national seed Florida hosting tough competitors in perennial powers Long Beach State (the No. 2 regional seed at 32-24), North Carolina (the No. 3 regional seed at 34-25) and the College of Charleston (the No. 4 regional seed at 41-17).

 If any team other than Florida in the Gainesville regional wins the Gainesville regional, and UM wins its regional, UM would host the next round's super regional.

However, if Florida wins its regional, and UM wins the Coral Gables regional, UM would travel to Gainesville for the two-team super regional.



May 25, 2014

Miami Hurricanes baseball named NCAA regional host for 25th time -- extends postseason consecutive berths to nation-leading 42 years

   The NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament is returning to Coral Gables.

   The University of Miami baseball program learned Sunday night that it will host an NCAA regional at Alex Rodriguez Park for the first time since the 2012 season and 25th time in school history.

   Though the NCAA will announce at noon Monday (ESPNU) UM’s three regional opponents and the full field of 64 teams for the tournament, Sunday’s announcement means that UM has extended its nation-leading streak to 42 consecutive NCAA postseason berths in baseball.

   The regionals will be played next weekend, beginning May 30.

    Included among the host sites are Florida (40-21) in Gainesville and Florida State (43-15) in Tallahassee.

   The Hurricanes (41-17) hosted Stony Brook, UCF and Missouri State in 2012, but fell in the regional and never made it to the super regional round.

   Last season UM traveled to Louisville and also was eliminated in the regional.

   The Canes likely eliminated their chance of being named one of eight national tournament seeds by losing two of three games this past week at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

    Each of the eight national seeds has the advantage of hosting a two-team super regional should it win its regional. Should UM win its regional but not be named a national seed, the only way the Canes would stay at home for a super regional would be if the national seed in the corresponding bracket is eliminated in its regional.

   The last time the Canes traveled to a super regional was in 2010 at Gainesville, where Miami lost to the Gators.

The 16 Regional Round sites and hosts: Miami (41-17, 24-6 ACC), Coral Gables, Fla.; Virginia (44-13, 22-8 ACC), Charlottesville, Va.; Florida State (43-15, 21-9 ACC), Tallahassee, Fla.;  Florida (40-21, 21-9 ACC), Gainesville, Fla.; Indiana (42-13, 21-3 Big Ten), Bloomington, Ind.; Louisiana-Lafayette (53-7, 26-4 Sun Belt), Lafayette, La.; Oregon State (42-11, 23-6 Pac-12), Corvallis, Ore.; Vanderbilt (41-18, 17-13 SEC), Nashville, Tenn.; Ole Miss (41-18, 19-11 SEC), Oxford, Miss.; TCU (41-15, 17-7 Big 12), Fort Worth, Texas; Louisiana State (44-14-1, 17-11-1 SEC), Baton Rouge, La.; Oklahoma State (45-15, 18-6 Big 12), Stillwater, Okla.; Cal Poly (45-10, 19-5 Big West), San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Rice (40-18, 23-7 C-USA), Houston, Texas; South Carolina (42-16, 18-3 SEC), Columbia, S.C. and Louisville (45-15, 19-5 The American)., Louisville, K.Y.



May 22, 2014

Hurricanes football roster (updated Thursday) has 11 new scholarship players, including QBs Kaaya and Rosier, 2 new walk-ons -- & 2 deleted from roster

The Miami Hurricanes football team had its roster updated Thursday, with 11 new scholarship players, two walk-ons -- and two deletions.

The deletions: scholarship cornerback Larry Hope, who would have been a redshirt freshman in 2014; and walk-on quarterback Garrison Lassiter, the former minor-league baseball player with the New York Yankees organization who gave up baseball to come to college and give football a try. 

A UM spokesman said he had no additional information on Hope and Lassiter. Hope played in two games last season and had three tackles. Lassiter never played.

Here are the new 11 (and their jersey numbers), taking summer classes and getting ready for fall ball:

No. 7: S Marques Gayot of Lake Worth Park Vista Community High.

No. 9: DE Chad Thomas of Miami Booker T. Washington.

No. 12: QB Malik Rosier of Mobile, Ala., Faith Academy.

No. 15: QB Brad Kaaya of West Hills, Calif., Chaminade-Madonna.

No. 22: DB Kiy Hester of Wayne, N.J., DePaul Catholic.

No. 57: DE Mike Smith of Miami Northwestern.

No. 68: OL Nick Linder of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

No. 82: WR Tyre Brady of Homestead South Dade.

No. 92: DL Courtel Jenkins of Wayne, N.J., DePaul Catholic. 

No. 95: DL Anthony Moten of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

No. 44: DE Demetrius Jackson of Miami Booker T. Washington.

Here are the walk-ons:

No. 16: P Justin Vogel by way of UF and before that, Tampa Berkeley Prep.

No. 24: K Michael Badgley of Summit, N.J. High.

No. 43: FB Tyler Odems of Manassas, Va., by way of Dean JC (I'm told he didn't play) & Osbourn Park High. 

Practice expected to begin Aug. 5th.




After bad start, Hurricanes set to meet Clemson at 7 p.m. in next round of ACC baseball tournament

After a bad start, the No. 1 seed Hurricanes will meet No. 5 Clemson at 7 p.m. Thursday in the 2014 ACC baseball tournament. The game will be broadcast on the ACC's Regional Sports Networks with an ESPN3 simulcast. 

The Hurricanes, winners of 27 of their past 30 games until Wednesday, became just the second top seed in the past 29 Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournaments to lose their opening tournament game.

 Georgia Tech made a late comeback to defeat the Canes 6-3.

 The Hurricanes (40-16) took early leads of 1-0 and 3-1. Georgia Tech (34-24) scored two runs in the seventh, two in the eighth and one more in the ninth.

Andy Suarez allowed nine hits and three earned runs in 6.1 innings, and also had an error that got things started for the Yellow Jackets.

Reliever Chris Hammond took the loss in 1.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. He's now 5-1.

"We've been hot lately," said UM outfielder Dale Carey, who went 3 for 4 with a home run and two stolen bases. "Just because we dropped one today doesn’t mean we can’t start another streak. That’s what we're planning on doing."

  The good news for Canes fans is that UM swept Clemson April 25-27 in South Carolina. Those scores, in order, were 5-2, 3-2 and 10-2. UM's usual rotation during those weekend starts: Chris Diaz, Andy Suarez and Bryan Radziewski. ACC Co-Pitcher of the year Diaz (9-0, 2.32 ERA) is slated to start today.

  This is a round-robin format, with the winner of Pool A (UM, No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Clemson and Georgia Tech remains) playing the winner of Pool B (No. 2 seed FSU, No. 3 Virginia, No. 6 Maryland and No. 7 North Carolina) at 1 p.m. Sunday for the championship.

In other games, FSU beat UNC 7-1; and Clemson beat Duke 5-3.

 On Thursday, Maryland was scheduled to play Virginia at 11 and Duke was set to play Georgia Tech at 3 p.m., before Miami's matchup.

  Miami has off Friday, before resuming Saturday at 11 a.m. against Duke.


May 20, 2014

Hurricanes ready to take on winner of (today's) Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest at 3 p.m. Wednesday

After an amazing regular season, the Hurricanes will enter the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament at 3 p.m. Wednesday needing to stretch their success to ensure being awarded a national seed for the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament that begins May 30.

After winning two of three from North Carolina, the Canes, who have won 27 of their past 30 games, actually dropped in the NCAA RPI from No. 10 last week to No. 12. Go figure. As much as the people who decipher those factors take into account how UM's opponents do, which, like in football, affects how they are viewed, keep in mind that Miami has a nation-leading 15-game road winning streak going. That is mighty impressive. So are four road sweeps -- just one fewer than the rest of the conference had combined going into this past weekend.

But regardless of being No. 10 or 12 in RPI, Miami (40-15, 24-6 ACC) needs to have a good showing at the ACC Tournament that begins today for the Georgia Tech (32-24, 14-16) vs Wake Forest (30-25, 15-15) and North Carolina (32-23m 15-15) vs NC State (32-22, 13-17) matchups that will determine the final two tournament teams.

UM will meet the winner of the Georgia Tech-Wake (3 p.m. Tuesday) game at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The Canes lost two of three at Georgia Tech this season -- the last game a 3-2 score decided in 10 innings.  Miami has not played Wake Forest this season.

"This tournament is huge,'' ACC Co-Pitcher of the Year Chris Diaz told me in a phone interview Monday. "It's the time of year when the best teams make it to Omaha. We're not just trying to win a couple of games here. We're trying to get a ring here, too.''

The Canes have not lost a game that Diaz has started since May of 2013 at this tournament. Diaz, a left-handed junior, is 9-0 with a 2.32 ERA.

Zack Collins earned ACC Freshman of the Year on Monday. Not bad for a guy who started the season 0 for 17 and 1 for 27 -- and ended up with a .285 average, with 46 RBI, eight home runs and a .520 slugging percentage.

"It's an awesome feeling,'' said Collins, from Pembroke Pines. "Obviously when you have that start... there are things going through your mind -- is it the college pitching or is it you? I just kept doing my best and knew it would come one day.

"It's almost like a fairytale ending to the regular season to get these awards when you start like I did. Now it's time to win the ACC tournament, get a national seed and go to Omaha and win a national championship.''

 The ACC tourney, at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C., uses a round-robin format, with the winner of Pool A (the No. 1 seed Canes, No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Clemson and winner of Georgia Tech-Wake) facing the winner of Pool B (No. 2 seed FSU, No. 3 UVA, No. 6 Maryand and the winner of Tuesday's UNC-NC State game) for the ACC championship at 1 p.m. Sunday.

  On Monday, Memorial Day, the NCAA will name the 64-team field for the Division I Baseball Tournament -- including the top eight seeds (national seeds). The day before, the 16 sites that will host the first-round regionals will be announced. UM will almost surely be awarded a regional in Coral Gables.

   National seeds are guaranteed to host the second round of the tournament -- the super regionals -- if the win the first round.

   In addition to Collins' and Diaz's honors Monday, FSU's DJ Stewart (.362, 47 RBI, .588) won ACC Player of the Year.

   Brian O'Connor of Virginia (43-11, 22-8) won ACC Coach of the Year -- over Jim Morrris, who brought the Hurricanes from 13-12 early this season to 40-15 and a regular-season ACC title. What Morris and Gino DiMare and J.D. Arteaga and weight-training-and-conditioning coach Brian Gabriel and assistant Rich Witten did to keep this team focused and finishing the way they have, to me is deserving of Coach of the Year for Morris

   ACC coaches vote for the honorees but are not allowed to vote for their own players (not sure about themselves).

   Diaz was the only UM player to make the All-ACC first team, with outfielder Dale Carey (.295), starting pitcher Bryan Radziewski (7-2, 3.14) and closer Bryan Garcia earning second-team honors.

  Collins, outfielder Willie Abreu (.299) and pitcher Andrew Suarez (5-3, 3.15) made third-team All-ACC.

   An oversight, in my opinion, was leaving left fielder Tyler Palmer off one of the All-ACC teams. Palmer finished with a .304 average with 31 RBI (only behind Collins team-wise), a .441 slugging percentage (only behind Collins) and a team-leading 18 stolen bases (sixth best in ACC).



May 16, 2014

David Thompson makes impressive return to Miami Hurricanes baseball lineup after major surgery

Young athletes -- at least this young athlete -- have incredible healing power.

Less than two months after Miami Hurricanes infielder David Thompson had surgery to remove a rib and repair a situation that caused a blood clot in his right arm, the former Miami Westminster Christian star is back in the UM lineup.

Thompson, who had surgery March 24 to address his physical ailments caused by venous thoracic outlet syndrome, was in the lineup to start at first base and hit eighth Thursday night at home against North Carolina -- until the game was postponed because of torrential rain.

That game was rescheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, followed by the regularly scheduled 7:30 p.m. game at Alex Rodriguez Park.

Thompson's .328 batting average still leads the team. He started all 19 games in which he played this season, playing much of the time at third base -- though that position has been solidified by freshman Johnny Ruiz, another medical marvel who returned to the lineup last week after partially tearing the right labrum of his shoulder.

The No. 7 Canes, 38-14, lead the ACC with a 22-5 league record.

UNC is 31-21 and 14-13.

We talked to David, a sophomore, this past Tuesday, when he just needed the OK by team doctor Lee Kaplan to be cleared to play. As always, he was upbeat about his chances.

"I feel like I'm ready to go,'' Thompson said. "I'm hoping I can play this weekend. Whatever my role is, even if it's a pinch hit, I hope I get the opportunity.''

 He said it's been "real tough'' not being on the field with his teammates as they went from 13-12 the day of his surgery to winning 25 out of the next 27 games. "But at the same time it's fun to see some of the young guys step up and start making a big impact. I hope I can come back and help us win some games.''

Thompson conceded he's "definitely not as strong,'' which is to be expected.

"My arm is not as strong as it was before, but that will come back with time,'' he said. "But my body feels good and I'm ready to get out there. I still get sore a little bit, especially in my neck where they went in for the surgery, but that is expected to happen after the surgery I had.''

According to the Mayo Clinic, venous thoracic outlet syndrome is defined as "a group of disorders that occur when the blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and first rib (thoracic outlet) becomes compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers.''

Here's hoping David makes a smooth transition back. He deserves it.





May 12, 2014

Senior Dale Carey named ACC Player of the Week as Canes continue to surge nationally in baseball

Once again, the Hurricanes are making news on the national baseball front as senior center fielder Dale Carey was named ACC Player of the Week on Monday, the same day that UM saw its highest rankings in all the polls.

 UM is ranked fourth by Collegiate Baseball, seventh by Baseball America and 12th in the USA Today coaches' poll.

The Canes are now 38-14 overall and 22-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, having won 25 of its past 27 games and a nation-leading 15 consecutive away games.

UM is coming off its fourth consecutive ACC road sweep, with Carey making a big contribution to the effort.

Carey, from Marietta, Ga., led the team with a .429 batting average (6 for 14) in three games against the Blue Devils. He hit his first career grand slam in Saturday's 9-1 win and led UM with six RBI for the weekend. He also finished 3-for-3 in stolen bases.

In the series finale Sunday, Carey hit a game-tying RBI single and started another game-tying rally later with a double.

The senior is the only Hurricanes who has started all 52 games this season, going 2-for-3 with two walks and an RBI single in a 7-2 win over Florida Gulf Coast.

The Canes have the best record in the ACC, and end the regular season against ACC foe North Carolina (30-21, 14-13) with a three-game set Thursday through Saturday at Mark Light Field. 

After that it's the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., and then the NCAA tourney that should begin with UM hosting a regional.

For those who haven't come to a game, I'd highly suggest it. It's a really nice, low-key, kid-friendly atmosphere and the fans are among the best I've seen in college sports.

See you Thursday.




May 10, 2014

7th-round UM Cane Seantrel Henderson "quintessential underachiever,'' says Polian; QB Stephen Morris & WR Allen Hurns go undrafted.

The Canes end up with three players drafted this year: Offensive guard Brandon Linder in the third round to Jacksonville Jaguars, punter Pat O'Donnell in the sixth round to the Chicago Bears and offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson in the seventh and final round to the Buffalo Bills.

Naturally, the networks talked at length about Henderson, who was suspended multiple times at UM for what he eventually admitted was because of marijuana smoking. Then it was revealed by ESPN's Adam Schefter last week that Henderson tested positive for marijuana while at the NFL Combine.

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr on Henderson: "This kid was the no. 1 guy. He was who everybody wanted coming out of high school. He was supposed to be the next Jonathan Ogden – that type of player coming out of the prep ranks. If he can stay focused, if he can just be all football and no other problems, then he can be a factor in the NFL. But he got pushed way down, beyond where any player with his physical prowess should be."

ESPN's Todd McShay on Henderson: "For 6-7, 331 pounds he runs pretty well. He’s got power. And when he’s on his game, he’s dominant. He could have been a first-round pick if he had done all the right things right. Even if he had done things right the last six months he may have been a third, fourth-round pick. He falls in the seventh round for one simple reason: you can’t trust him. Maybe this is the wakeup call he needs."

ESPN analyst Bill Polian on Henderson: "...He is the quintessential underachiever. You’ve got to make a decision as an organization, do you want an underachiever in your building or don’t you? They took a chance and we’ll find out. He’s got one chance and one chance only."

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock: "Here's a situation where a kid has more God-given natural ability than you can even believe and he took all that ability and because of all the issues off the field turned himself from a first-round pick to a seventh-round pick. I wish the kid well. I hope Buffalo is able to help him grow up. I'd like to see nothing more than this kid grow into and mature into this massive talent that he has, and become a really good guy.'' 

 As for undrafted free agent quarterback Stephen Morris and wide receiver Allen Hurns, they will join Linder and former UM offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch with the Jacksonville Jaguars. UM reported they signed contracts with the Jaguars.

 I talked to Stephen Morris' dad, Colin Morris. As expected, he was disappointed. "It's been a very tough day,'' Colin Morris said. "But thankfully, he's getting ready to head off to another city and start working with another team. I know that Stephen is very excited about going to Jacksonville.''

 Also signing free-agent contracts, according to UM, were linebacker Jimmy Gaines (Buffalo), defensive tackle Justin Renfrow (Arizona Cardinals), fullback Maurice Hagens (Atlanta Falcons), tight end Asante Cleveland (San Francisco 49ers), guard/center Jared Wheeler (Carolina Panthers), safety Kacy Rodgers II (Kansas City Chiefs), defensive end Shayon Green (Miami Dolphins), safety A.J. Highsmith (San Francisco), defensive tackle Curtis Porter (Oakland Raiders).    





How's this for a twist? First Canes player taken on Saturday in NFL Draft: punter Pat O'Donnell.

Miami Hurricane Pat O'Donnell of Lake Worth, yes, PUNTER Pat O'Donnell, just got selected by the Chicago Bears 191st overall -- the 15th pick in the sixth round -- in the NFL Draft.

I've said it numerous times (and so has UM coach Al Golden): O'Donnell is a beast.

O'Donnell played his first three seasons for Cincinnati before transferring to the Canes and being allowed to play immediately because of the exemption graduated senior transfers get from the NCAA. He was a graduate student.

He's the first UM player taken in Saturday's final day of the draft and the first kicker of any type taken in this draft -- and he's an amazing athlete.

O'Donnell, 6-4 and 220 pounds, earned All-America honors from USA Today and set Miami's single-season record by averaging 47.1 yards per punt that ranked second in the nation en route to being named a 2013 All-ACC selection.

At the NFL Combine, O'Donnell's time of 4.62 seconds in the 40-yard dash tied former USC kicker David Buehler from 2009 as the fastest 40 for a kicker or punter since 2006. O'Donnell also did 23 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press -- more than six tight ends, 19 running backs, 21 defensive linemen and all 37 wide receivers.

In the final regular-season game of 2013, O'Donnell earned ACC Player of the Week honors. 

Against Pitt, O'Donnell kicked four punts for a 44.2-yard average, including three kicks inside Pitt's 20-yard line. However, his biggest play occurred on the opening kickoff, when he forced a Pitt fumble which was recovered by UM's Garrett Kidd. That forced fumble resulted in a touchdown by Stacy Coley.

It's almost impossible to believe he wasn't even named among the SEMIFINALSTS for the Ray Guy Award. 

Not that any of it matters now. Be assured that O'Donnell will be an NFL success.

Meanwhile, quarterback Stephen Morris, receiver Allen Hurns and tackle Seantrel Henderson still wait.


My interview with Brandon Linder (he's giddy with joy) after being drafted by Jacksonville Jaguars.


  (AFTER MIDNIGHT) -- Former Miami Hurricane and new Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Brandon Linder and I just had a phone conversation.

  To say he's happy is an understatement.

   "A Florida boy, born and raised, and he’s staying home,’’ Linder, from Southwest Ranches in Broward County, said about himself. 

    “Crazy, right?,’’ said Linder, who was drafted 93rd overall -- the 29th pick in the third round -- on Friday night and leaves for Jacksonville Sunday. “I’m so happy right now. It was me and my family sitting down, no real expectations, and I get a call from Jacksonville and didn’t even know they had traded up with the Patriots to get a pick. I was ecstatic. My family and I were going crazy.''

   Linder, a guard who also played some tackle, will be coached by his former offensive coordinator at Miami -- Jedd Fisch. It would be hard to finda nicer, friendlier, more intelligent peson than Jedd Fisch, by the way. Linder is truly lucky. Fisch is a talented teacher and good man.

   “I can’t wait to get there and get to work. Coach Fisch is my guy,'' Linder told me. "He coached me for two years and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with him.

    "It’s been a crazy day. I talked to Jedd on the phone. He said, ‘Congratulations, we’re excited to have you as a Jaguar,’ when they were passing the phone around. I was at a loss for words. I can’t believe the opportunity I’ve been given."

   Linder said Jags’ general manager David Caldwell was the first person who spoke to him, then head coach Gus Bradley and then Fisch.

   "I didn’t know they traded up so when I heard it was the Jaguars I really didn’t know what was going on. Then someone on the phone said they traded up.

   “My parents were just sitting there filming me.’’

   Linder said he and his brother Nick, a fellow offensive lineman who will be joining the Canes as an incoming freshman next week, gave “each other a big hug.

   "This is just a childhood dream for both of us. I’m sure he’ll be accomplishing this down the road. He’s my best friend and my biggest fan and I’m his biggest role model. And we’re just in a complete state of happiness.’’

   Linder said he’s gotten so many text messages he hasn’t been able to read through them all. He said he is rooting for his draft-eligible teammates to be taken Saturday.

   “They’re going to be great picks for anybody that takes them,'' he said. "I know what great talents they are and can’t wait to see where they end up so I can cheer for them.’’


May 09, 2014

Big congratulations to OG Brandon Linder, who gets picked in 3rd round by the Jacksonville Jaguars (and his former offensive coordinator, Jedd Fisch)

     All was quiet on the University of Miami football front Friday night at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and across Hurricane homes everywhere – until the silence was broken at about 11 p.m.

   That’s when the first UM name was called in the 2014 NFL Draft.

   That pick: offensive guard Brandon Linder to the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose offensive coordinator, Jedd Fisch, previously coached the 6-6, 312-pound Linder at Miami.

    Linder was selected 93rd overall – the 29th player taken in the third round – when the Jaguars gave up Nos. 105 and 179 to the Patriots to draft the Hurricane from Southwest Ranches in Broward County.

   “Crazy, right?,’’ said Linder, who leaves for Jacksonville Sunday. “I’m so happy right now. It was me and my family sitting down, no real expectations, and I get a call from Jacksonville and didn’t even know they had traded up with the Patriots to get a pick. I was ecstatic. My family and I were going crazy.


   “I can’t wait to get there and get to work. Coach Fisch is my guy. He coached me for two years and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with him.’’

       Linder, who also has played tackle, not only will be staying home in Florida, he’ll have a chance to protect the top quarterback taken in the draft, No. 3 overall pick Blake Bortles from UCF.   

    “Congrats to my boy @BrandonLinder65!’’ tweeted UM quarterback Stephen Morris, also awaiting his shot to become an NFL player. “love ya bro!’’

    And this tweet came from senior Hurricane defensive end Anthony Chickillo: “Congrats to my brother linder! Proud of him man, great player even better person.’’

    UM extended its streak of 40 consecutive years with an NFL Draft pick.

     The selection marked the first Hurricane taken as high as the third round since 2012, when defensive end Olivier Vernon went to the Dolphins and linebacker Sean Spence to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

   Last year UM had cornerback Brandon McGee go in the fifth round to the St. Louis Rams and Mike James to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the sixth.

    Linder was a four-year starter at Miami, with 37 consecutive starts to end his career.

   NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said last week of Linder: “The more coaches get involved, the more they like Linder. He’s not as physically gifted as some players in this draft, but he’s smart and he’s tough. He could climb.’’

    No other Hurricane received that magical phone call to warn him that he was about to realize his dream.

    Some flirted with the prospect of 6-7, 335-pound right tackle Seantrel Henderson going as high as the third round until it was reported Monday by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Henderson tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine – and that NFL teams were notified of such last week.

   That dropped Henderson’s worth, leaving Linder and Saturday’s hopefuls that include Morris, receiver Allen Hurns and punter Pat O’Donnell.

         Linder said last week that he’d be happy no matter when he gets drafted. “It’s all about the opportunity I’m given,’’ he said.

   His father, Kent, said Friday that Brandon would be home for the draft with his younger brother Nick, an incoming UM freshman offensive lineman who also played at St. Thomas Aquinas.

   “I’m kind of one of those guys who doesn’t get excited,’’ Kent Linder said. “I mean I freak out inside and I let it out without it being seen. I’m optimistic but I’m also realistic. We’ll see where he ends up.’’

      Morris’ dad, Colin, said Stephen would spend the weekend in Sunny Isles with his family.

   “We’re just going to hole up in our place,’’ Colin Morris said. “He’s really excited. We all are. It’s tempered with a great deal of uncertainty as you can understand and imagine.’’   


Busy weekend for UM. What's in store tonight? Football on tap (& baseball, tennis & graduation)

It's hoppin' now at the U, where 70 Hurricanes student-athletes participated in graduation ceremonies Thursday and Friday at the BankUnited Center. Fifty of those students received their bachelor's degrees Friday, and some, who will complete their degree requirements this summer, were allowed to participate in the ceremonies.

UM reported that all 18 teams were represented with a least one spring graduate. Track and Field led all teams with 15 graduates, followed by football with eight (A.J. Highsmith, who earned his undergraduate degree in December, got his masters Thursday. Seniors Jimmy Gaines, Kacy Rodgers II, Maurice Hagens, Asante Cleveland and Tyrone Cornileus earned their bachelor's degrees. Redshirt juniors Jon Feliciano and Sean Harvey also received their undergraduate degrees).

   Guard/center Jared Wheeler said he expects to receive his bachelor's in mechanical engineering in a few weeks.

   Over at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on UM's campus, the 12th-ranked women's tennis team defeated Boston University 4-0. It's on to the second round of the NCAA tournament at 2 p.m. tomorrow for the Canes, who will face No. 18 Oklahoma. 

   The Sooners defeated Wichita State in the first round Friday morning.

       In baseball, Javi Salas, Sam Abrams, Brad Fieger, John Lawroski, AJ Salcines, Bryan Radziewski and Adam Sargent all earned their bachelor's degrees and took part in Thursday's grad school commencement so they could be on board a 9:50 p.m. flight out of Miami International Airport -- headed for Durham to face Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Duke. 

   The Hurricanes (35-14, 19-5 ACC) who have won 22 of their past 24 baseball games, take on Duke (30-18, 15-9) beginning at 6 p.m. tonight for a three-game series. They are ranked eighth by Baseball America and fifth by Collegiate Baseball and will return home Sunday to prepare for their final regular-season series -- at home against North Carolina.

   But while the Canes play tonight, my focus at 6 p.m. will be on the NFL Draft, as the second and third rounds get played out on television for the world to see. Tomorrow at noon the fourth through seventh rounds will be televised.

  There's a decent shot that nobody from UM gets drafted tonight. Guard Brandon Linder, quarterback Stephen Morris, tackle Seantrel Henderson, receiver Allen Hurns and punter Pat O'Donnell are the Canes widely regarded as having the best chances at getting drafted. But most, if not all, are projected to go tomorrow. However, despite all the analysts and gurus out there, the draft is unpredictable at best.

The Canes I've talked to are staying home to watch the draft with their families. It can be a long, torturous process, so family is always best.

There are also several Hurricanes who likely won't get drafted, but nonetheless hope to get their NFL shots through signing free agent contracts. They include Asante Cleveland, Curtis Porter, Jimmy Gaines, David Gilbert, Shayon Green, Maurice Hagens, A.J. Highsmith, Tyrone Cornileus, Justin Renfrow, Luther Robinson, Kacy Rodgers II and Jared Wheeler

   Either way, be assured that all of them will get increasingly nervous as the hours tick away. And all of them, I'm sure, are excited. After all, this is what they've been dreaming about for years.

   "All I really want is a shot,'' said safety A.J. Highsmith.

  "It's kind of crazy how fast it's picked up,'' Stephen Morris told me and a group of reporters at UM Pro Timing Day when I asked him how fast these past four years have flown. "You come here as a freshman and don't really think about the NFL. Then in your sophomore and junior years it's kind of in the back of your head.''

   He said that this moment was basically in his mind all senior season.

   "Now it's here and you have the opportunity to do something you've been dreaming of.''

   Guard/center Jared Wheeler, who graduated from Plantation American Heritage and is from Hollywood, also will be with his family this weekend. 

   "Of course you're a little nervous because there are 32 teams and you don't know which ones are going to pick you up,'' Wheeler told me. "So you get anxious. There are so many possibilities, but in the end I'm excited because I'm ready to get started. Someone is going to pick me up and I'm going to have a chance to start a new career.''

   I talked to Stephen Morris' dad Colin yesterday. He said Stephen would be with his family in Sunny Isles watching the draft.

   "We've always had plans ever since he graduated and put up the Miami Hurricanes' shoes that he was going to work really, really hard and get ready for the draft knowing that he'd be hanging out with his family during the draft,'' Colin said. "We're just going to hole up in our place. He's really excited. We all are.

   "It's tempered with a great deal of uncertainty as you can understand and imagine. We don't know where he'll go, but this last week he's heard from 20 teams I'd say. But you never know. You know how the draft is a very fluid event. But he has received such positive feedback from teams. We're just hoping he goes real quick.''

   I also talked to Linder and his dad Kent. Brandon will be at home in Southwest Ranches in Broward with his younger brother Nick, an incoming UM freshman offensive lineman who also played at St. Thomas Aquinas.

   "I'm kind of one of those guys who doesn't get excited,'' Kent Linder said. "I mean I freak out inside and I let it out without it being seen. I'm optimistic but I'm also realistic. We'll see where he ends up.''

   "I think it really hasn't hit me yet, but you can never tell with Allen because he's real humble,'' said Erica Wilson, Hurns' mom. "But our family is all excited because they've all flown in from everywhere. We have at least 50 to 60 family members who flew in to celebrate with us.'' 

   When I asked her if Allen was nervous, she said, "No. He's done a lot of smiling. I know that much.''

    In a perfect world, they all would realize their dreams. Here's hoping that in one way or another, they all do.


May 07, 2014

NCAA: Miami Hurricanes get five teams honored for being in top 10-percent in Academic Progress Rates

 Released this evening by UM:

 Five University of Miami teams were publically honored for being among the top 10 percent in Academic Progress Rates (APR), the NCAA announced Wednesday.

 Men’s basketball, men’s diving, women’s swimming, and men’s and women’s cross country were recognized with APR Public Recognition Awards. It marks the third straight year that women’s cross country received an APR Public Recognition Award and the second straight for men’s basketball. It was the first honor for women’s swimming.

 Miami’s five APR awards are tied for the most in program history. The Hurricanes won five in 2012 and have won at least three in each of the last four years.

 Miami has received 30 public APR awards in 11 sports since the program was instituted nine years ago – women’s golf (2006, 2011, 2012, 2013), indoor men’s track & field (2009), outdoor men’s track & field (2006, 2008, 2009), men’s cross country (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014), women’s cross country (2012, 2013, 2014),  women’s swimming (2014), men’s diving (2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014), football (2010, 2011, 2012), men’s tennis (2011) and men’s basketball (2013, 2014).

 “Our Hurricanes student-athletes consistently demonstrate their ability to achieve excellence in the classroom and in athletics,” said David Wyman, Associate AD for Academic Services. “This recognition is not only a tribute to them, but to the faculty of the University of Miami that valiantly serves to inspire and educate our students. We are all tremendously proud of this accomplishment.”

 The Academic Progress Rate, a multi-year rate based on the most recent four years of data, is a real-time measure of eligibility and retention of student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team. The most recent APR scores are based on scores from the 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years. This year marks the 10th year of APR data for most teams.

 In the fall of 2011, the Division I Board of Directors approved tougher academic standards, including setting a new standard that teams must meet to participate in postseason competition. The goal of the NCAA’s academic performance program is improvement, not punishment. Not only does the program ensure accountability for student-athletes, teams and institutions, but also it provides fairness by considering individual circumstances per team and school. Under the revised penalty structure, the Division I Board of Directors has set a cut score of 930 (out of 1,000) as a threshold for teams to meet or face possible sanctions. As was also the case a year ago, no sports from any ACC institutions are subject to penalties from this year’s APR release.

 Among its 2013-14 membership, the ACC’s 15 current schools had 77 combined teams recognized, the most from any Power 5 conference.The ACC was one of only two of the Power 5 conferences to see all of its 2012-13 schools have at least one team recognized.


2006 (4) – Women’s Golf, Men’s Track & Field (Outdoor), Men’s Diving, Men’s Cross Country
2007 (2) – Men’s Cross Country, Men’s Diving
2008 (2) – Men’s Cross Country, Men’s Track & Field (Outdoor)
2009 (4) – Men’s Cross Country, Men’s Diving, Men’s Track & Field (Indoor and Outdoor)
2010 (1) – Football
2011 (4) – Baseball, Football, Men’s Tennis, Women’s Golf
2012 (5) – Baseball, Football, Men’s Diving, Women’s Cross Country, Women’s Golf
2013 (3) – Men’s Basketball, Women’s Cross Country, Women’s Golf

2014 (5) – Men’s Basketball, Men’s Diving, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Women’s Swimming



May 05, 2014

Report: Seantrel Henderson failed drug test at NFL combine

Citing multiple league sources, ESPN reported Monday morning former Miami Hurricanes right tackle Seantrel Henderson tested positive for marijuana use at the NFL scouting combine. 

It's hardly surprising news. The 6-8, 339-pound former USA Today Offensive Player of the Year told The Miami Herald in January before the Senior Bowl marijuana played in a role in his three suspensions at UM.

Last month, Henderson failed to complete his UM pro day workout for scouts. His agent said he was dehydrated and felt sick. He was also eight pounds heavier than he was at the combine.

Henderson, who started 26 of the 43 games he played in at UM, is ranked the 14th best offensive tackle prospect by NFLDraftScout.com and projected to be a third day pick in this week's draft. 

May 02, 2014

Miami Hurricanes president Donna Shalala takes over as chairwoman of ACC Council of Presidents

This was released earlier today by UM:

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala has been appointed as chairwoman for the Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents effective immediately.

 President Shalala, who was to take the position July 1, transitioned early after Charles Steger announced that he was stepping down as President of Virginia Tech.

 "The Council of Presidents has shown tremendous leadership in positioning the ACC for the future, ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. "I appreciate President Shalala beginning her tenure a few months early and I know she will continue the positive momentum through her energy and guidance. I want to thank President Steger for his outstanding service this past year."

 All 15 member institutions are represented on the council.