The Hurricanes were off to their best start since the 1959-60 season with a 15-1 record and had hopes for a NCAA Tournament berth.
Their team had a mix of experience and youth. They were full of energy and were lighting it from anywhere on the court. They had it going on.
But then they hit the ACC stretch of the season.
There is still hope, but chances are getting slimmer and slimmer with every loss the Hurricanes keep taking. If the Hurricanes don’t fix three things, then this will not be a successful season for the team, and they know it.
The Hurricanes have to stop turning it over. They drastically need to improve their road woes, and they need a leader – a true leader.
Winning the turnover battle is one of the biggest statistics in college basketball. Miami just seems to have that problem this year in the ACC. Careless turnovers have plagued them. They have averaged more than 17 turnovers the past four games. That’s too many, especially in the ACC.
Another thing is head coach Frank Haith has voiced his displeasure that his team is lacking senior vocal leadership. Haith knows seniors James Dews, Adrian Thomas and Dwayne Collins are not like former great Jack McClinton in the leadership aspect.
“[Dews, Thomas, and Collins] are really not vocal players,” he said. “That’s the not the type of player they are. They rather lead by their play. We are lacking a senior leader vocally.”
This is the first season without McClinton, and it truly shows that they are missing his presence. There is no one that can put this team on their back and carry them to the NCAA Tournament. So far, on the road no one seems to have taken that step to lead the team when the team is down.
As a player it’s hard after watching McClinton lead for the past three seasons, to be thrown into that role.
Miami is focused at home and their problems don’t reside at the Bank United Center. Their problems stem from being away from home. The Canes have been blown out three times on the road this season in the ACC. They had to fight off a 16-point deficit at Boston College and had to rally from down 17 points at Wake Forest. The Hurricanes are just getting into a hole on the road in the ACC. They need to turn it around quick.
They were 2-6 in the ACC two years ago when they made it to the NCAA Tournament. That team won six of their last eight regular season games. Haith has been down this path before so he knows what it feels like.
However, it’s not that simple. This is not Miami’s year for a great run like two seasons ago. But, this team will be definitely better next year.
Lelan LeDoux may be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org