Basketball

Patel: Almost not good enough for basketball team

Coming into a season they started ranked No. 16, the Hurricanes men’s basketball team fell victim to the “almost” bug.

The Canes lost six of their 11 regular season losses by five points or fewer, including three overtime losses. This landed Miami in the NIT, instead of an expected birth in the NCAA tournament, where Miami suffered a 74-60 loss to the Florida Gators after having knocked off Providence in the first round.

Miami’s inability to close out tight games and their mediocre performances in the second half of games are two of the major reasons the team had to settle for a 19-13 record.

Similar to their late-game letdowns, the Canes dropped nine of their last 13, including a first round loss in the ACC tournament and the second round NIT loss.

Besides the “almosts,” the season was also marked by inconsistency.

From coming up big in certain games to being invisible in others, junior forward/center Dwayne Collins had a roller-coaster season, disappearing in games where he was needed most. Additionally, senior guard Lance Hurdle, senior forward Brian Asbury and junior guard James Dews did not contribute in the same way, down the stretch, that they did last year.

Why note these things? The reason is quite simple. The team from two years ago had no expectations, but they rose to the challenge, finishing the season on a 9-4 run and making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Despite the increased expectations, this year’s team, on the other hand, faded down the stretch, going 4-9, and got knocked out of the NIT in the second round.

This disparity was magnified by the inconsistent performance of senior guard Jack McClinton during the last eight games of the season, as he struggled to find his stroke while dealing with an injury.

It will be interesting to see how this team responds next season. With the departure of star player McClinton, Dews, Hurdle and senior Jimmy Graham, all of whom started throughout or at some point this season, the Hurricanes will not have the burden of expectations on their shoulders. It will be left to see if the young Canes learn how to spread their wings and soar in an always-competitive ACC.

March 25, 2009

Reporters

Pravin Patel


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

After assembling one of the nation’s best groups of skill position players in the 2018 recruiting cl ...

Coach Kool, AKA Craig Kuligowski, is gone from the University of Miami, which is entirely uncool wit ...

He is considered among the finest defensive line coaches in the nation. And now, according to a writ ...

This is the time of year when every win or loss can make a difference in a team’s NCAA Tournament ch ...

Mike Brey doesn't pay much attention to the NBA draft stock of opposing players, but the Notre ...

At the University of Miami, the professor has the last word on whether students can use their laptop ...

Members of the University of Miami first response teams remind us of resources available and what to ...

Mexican activist, poet and novelist Javier Sicilia deplored the violence stemming from the “drug war ...

From the North Pole to the South Pole and everywhere in between, the art of UM alumnus Xavier Cortad ...

Former Hurricane guard signs 10-day contract with Indiana Pacers. ...

The University of Miami track and field team will compete against fellow conference members at the 2 ...

After capturing its opening series with Rutgers, No. 24 Miami continues a season-opening, seven-game ...

The latest edition of Quick Hits introduces middle blocker Bridget Wallenberger ...

The No. 25-ranked University of Miami women's golf team finished ninth at the 2018 Allstate Sug ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.