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

University of Miami fans no doubt are loving the Hurricanes’ two newest tight ends. What they’re pro ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ Though UM wasn’t called for a single penalty against ...

Two of the best athletes and a freshman quarterback on the No. 21 University of Miami football team ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday: ▪ The Miami Hurricanes are honoring their 1983 nation ...

With Jaquan Johnson still sidelined with a hamstring strain he suffered on Saturday against Toledo, ...

The trailer for a documentary exploring the relationships between UM students and Holocaust survivor ...

New technology could help workplaces and schools identify violent intruders before they enter the do ...

A University of Miami professor has created software to detect fraud in standardized tests. ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Students attending Monday night's State of the U address by UM President Julio Frenk offer thei ...

The 1983 national champions will be back on campus to celebrate the 35thanniversary of Miami's ...

The University of Miami volleyball program begins ACC play on Friday night against Wake Forest at 7 ...

Head coach Katie Meier announced Wednesday the ninth annual Miami Women's Basketball Fantasy Ca ...

The yearly Miami Fall Invite will take place Friday through Sunday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center, ...

Through three games, Miami is No. 1 in the country in tackles for loss and the entire Hurricanes def ...

TMH Twitter
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.