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  • Video of Practice!

    I attended practice on Wednesday.  One interesting thing was that former Purdue star Robbie Hummell was there and addressed the team briefly.  Hummell played a couple of years in the NBA and several in Europe, evidently he has retired and will be doing basketball games for the Big Ten Network.  His talk was mostly about how much fun it was to play college basketball, he thought it was the best time of his life and he wanted the guys to throw themselves fully into it and enjoy the experience.

    Precious Ayah was practicing but has had a recurrence of his knee problems and is currently not practicing.  It is a very good thing that the coaches were able to add Bam Bowman  to the roster.  With injuries, I was apprehensive that we would not have enough big guys to make it through the season.  Bowman looks like he will be able to help out right away.

    In watching one practice, the most impressive players that day were Nike Sibande, Darrian Ringo, and Logan McLane.  In practice they were emphasizing spacing and learning an offensive set. They did some defensive drills on closing out and did some scrimmage time and score situations.  Before practice they had a weight training session.

    In looking at the 6 new players, I would say that all of them can contribute right away, it was an outstanding recruiting class for us, especially considering just how late Coach Owens got the job and he had to put together a staff ( impressive resumes for these guys too) and recruit and do tons of interviews and try to find a house and move all in a short period of time.  If we can keep all of these guys healthy and eligible and they stick with the program until they graduate, they can form the nucleus of a top level MAC team. 
    Love_and_HonorTAW92skin66RenmancoBash_RiprockThe_Sackmangentbaseball12MooreHawkAORedHawk33DSnyder15and 1 other.
  • Coaching on Saturday

    We were really well prepared and I thought the coaching was pretty much flawless for 3 quarters.  Using Gus as a runner was a big part of the game plan for the first time this year.  We established the run, for the first time this year, and that opened up a bunch of single coverage and we got some big plays out of the passing game.

    On defense we sent more rushers and got great pressure on their QB, without letting him get outside containment.  I do not think we had a single 5 yard penalty for some sort of snap infraction.  Not one time did we have to call a TO because we were running out the play clock.  We had no wasted timeouts, the few we used were excellent timeouts.

    Reversing what I thought was  a mistake at Minnesota, going against the wind in the last minute of the first quarter, with third and long, we called a run play and then were standing around waiting for the quarter to run out so we could punt with the wind at our backs.  BG's coach saw that and called a timeout, so we still had to punt into the wind, BUT at the end of the first half, BG was trying to get downfield for a field goal attempt and ran out of time and could not get the kick off as they were out of TO's.  Good coaching strategy Chuck.

    The entire game BG's offense was subbing in guys between plays and then we would send in subs on defense.  This was done flawlessly and with great success.  As the game wore on our players were getting more and more fired up as we were continueing to tee off on their QB and shut down their offense and we were moving the ball on offense.  I am sure I saw more excitement and enthusiasm than any other game as all the things they have been working on were finally working in a game.

    Now comes the negative comments.  Chuck and his staff seemed to forget about coaching the 4th quarter and finishing off the game.  This should have been  30 to 40 point victory, we were playing that well, but the coaches simply did not finish off the game.  Once we got ahead 31-3 halfway through the 3rd quarter, I do not remember a  single pass or QB run.  In fact, I think every single offensive play was a run by our tailback.

    With a little over half the 4th quarter to go, we pulled our starters and the guys who sub in for them during the game and started playing guys who never get to play.  BG kept their starters in.  We were 4th and 3 on their 41 and Chuck decided to go for it (with our subs) and I got mad right then.  We needed to punt the ball downfield and pin them in deep ( PJ Fleck did that to us 3 times in the second half as they were protecting their lead, but then he coaches the entire game).  Instead we went for it with the subs, got stuffed  and then BG, with great field position and their starters against what was really our 3rd team went right down the field and scored and it was 31-10.  The whole game we had been running in defenders almost every play but not with the subs in.  There was now  5 minutes left,  and we still had our second/third team backups in on offense.  We ran the ball into the line 3 times, after every play the BG coach called a TO, and we had to punt.  

    Now Chuck had given the BG coach a break by subbing deep into the bench and just running it up the middle and the BG coach was taking advantage of Chuck.  What you do in that case is put your starters back in and open up the offense.  But Chuck was basically asleep at the helm.  BG once again went right down the field and our third team defense was left out there, no subs, no timeouts..  When they got to the 6 yard line Chuck put the starters back in and BG hit a TD pass to cut it to 31-17 with still over 3 minutes to go.  Fortunately we recovered the onside kick and Chuck finally put the starters back in and we were able to go down and scored with under a minute to go, 38-17.  We then used a strategic pop up kickoff.  Chuck went back to the third string defense and BG hurried downfield and got close enough to try a Hail Mary pass.  Now in the first half when Chuck was coaching the game he called a timeout and got everybody ready to stop a possible last second score, but with totally inexperienced players on the field he just let them play it out and sure enough they threw a long pass into the end zone and two Miami db's were fighting each other to intercept instead of knocking it down as they should have been coached to do and the ball pops off of them for a TD.  Final score 38-23.  How about coaching the entire 60 minutes and giving the players the big win they richly deserved!!

    Also, when you put your subs in, let the play!!!!!!!  Stop just making them hand the ball off and run up the middle.  Those receivers and the backup  QB's need the chance to execute the things they have been practicing every day, not just run the ball up the middle.  Also, continue running subs in and out just like you do the rest of the game.  It is like you don't want those guys to do anything they have been practicing every day all year.  And if you don't have them prepared to do all the things the starters do, that is on you.  Maybe that is why we seem to do such a poor job of developing talent.  Also, don't keep running your third teamers against BG's starters. Run  a few experienced guys in there to help out.   

    After being really excited about how well we were executing in all areas, I left the game a little pissed off and I was not the only.  I hope the players were not as upset as I was because they really played great.  Just coach for 60 minutes from now on and put a lot more effort into into coaching and preparing ALL your players.

    UptownWhilrlMooreHawkgentbaseball12Love_and_HonorAORedHawk33ChrisW1980BlackbirdnaptownHawkRedseaChiefPanicand 1 other.
  • Florida Candidate claims to have graduated from Miami. Miami says “Nay!”

    But she looks great!  She could still win.
  • Chuck Martin will be fired at the end of this season

    I know Spanks and Jive Hawk are really into football recruiting ( and you do a great job), but I would just say from my experience, saving a recruiting class is the worst reason for not replacing a coach who is not getting the job done.  IF we hire the right guy, most of the recruits will still come and the new coach will bring a few guys in ( like Coach Martin brought 3 graduate students who started including a very good QB with him from ND, plus found Q on campus plus picked up Ragland and a few others).

    A recent example in basketball is when Coach Owens was hired in April right before the spring signing period and we promptly lost the Weathers twins and a few other players. But how did that work out??  Somehow Coach Owens got 4 freshmen and 2 junior college players who were our top 6 players by the end of the season, and we had our best season in 6 or 7 years and are now ready to take the next big step. 

    Or how about women's basketball where the recruiting was finished and nobody left and Coach Duffy took the same team which had won 12 games the year before and improved the RPI about 150 places and finished third in the MAC and almost pulled off an upset of MAC champ CMU who went to the Sweet 16 ( we had a 3 point lead with a minute and a half to go but missed our last 6 shots).

    If the team does not finish up strong and David Saylor fires Coach Martin and hires the right guy, we will be much better off and most of the recruits will stick with Miami.

    RedseaLove_and_Honorprofholt82The_RockBash_RiprockRenmancoJHVMUFBAlumQuinoaburgerAORedHawk33grumpy1and 2 others.
  • Reminder... open scrimmage Saturday

    Bam Bowman looks to be a great pickup, especially to get him in the middle of the summer.  He is a bit of a playmaker, kind of a point forward ( role last played by Tim Pollitz).  Bam is a wide body who knows how to use his body to protect the ball.  When he backs someone down, if you double team he passes very well and very willingly to the open man.  He has a decent perimeter shot and can be used on the pick and pop. Posted up, he has some nice post moves.

    Dalonte Brown looked much better to me today than he did a couple of weeks ago.  He is very athletic and wiry strong, 6-7 and long.  Today he was under control with the ball, none of the off balance shots that he threw up the first time I saw him.  He has big upside.  He can be outstanding in all areas and looks to be working hard to get there.  Both Dalonte and Bam add a lot that we were totally missing last year.

    Nike Sibande is playing the shooting guard, he has a very nice pull up jomper off the bounce, plus he can take it strong to the whole and finish.  I don't know all the freshmen in the MAC, but I could easily see Nike giving us our second straight MAC freshman of the year.

    The other new player who was very good again was junior college transfer Darrian Ringo, who is a very good player other than perimeter shooting, and he really shoots from outside very little.  Good defensively, he creates turnovers, he had a few steals and coast to coast layups.  He will get a lot of assists, I think he knows how his teammates score and sets them up nicely.

    Jalen Adaway is the one new guy that I feel has not quite found his comfort zone.  He is 6-3 or 6-4 and is a great leaper and I think he played mostly inside last year in high school, while he is playing mostly outside on a wing this year.  If you remember last year, Marcus Weathers was in the same situation, and he struggled early in the year, but by the second half of the season he was probably our second best player.  From watching Jalen's highlight videos and watching him handle himself now, he is a talented player but with the position change may take a while to adjust.

    The other new scholarship player is Isaiah Coleman-Lands, who along with Ringo will run our team from the point guard spot.  He will be able to compete and hold his own from the beginning, Isaiah is quick and handles the ball well and has a nice perimeter shot and can drive.

    At the moment, we only have 4 returning players from last year, kind of hard to believe since we had no seniors last season.  Logan McLane,  Rod Mills, Jake Wright, and Darius Harper plus 2 walkons.  Precious Ayah is still out with a leg injury, Milos Jovic is out for the season because of an injury this fall, both Zach McCormick and Deon Wade have retired because of injuries.  Abdoulaye Harouna is listed on the roster but has not been seen.

    Right now we have 10 scholarship players, I would guess they will all see some time in each game starting the season.  Just going by what I saw today, I would probably have picked a starting lineup of McLane, Bowman, Brown, Sibande, and Ringo.  My opinoin on that changed a little bit from the first practice I attended, so this is definitely a work in progress.  Overall, we have more talent and potential than last years group.  I think some of the new guys bring a better understanding of how to play the game, something we have been missing.
  • Miami Honors Dem. Congressman John Lewis

    John Lewis is one of the people I admire the most, to me he is a true hero.  He was deeply involved in the Black Civil Rights movement in the 60's, and led the march across the Edmund Pettis bridge outside Selma, Alabama depicted in the movie "Selma".  There the protestors were attacked and beaten by the sheriff and his men.  Lewis was a close follower of Dr. Martin Luthur King, and has always preached and practiced nonviolent protest.

    In 1964, on Western campus, hundreds of students were trained and sent to the South to recruit and help register blacks to vote.  Some were harassed or beaten.  If you have ever seen the movie Mississippi Burning, it was about that time period..  There is a plaque on the Western Campus which describes Oxford's part in that time.

    I was 15 at the time and closely followed the coverage on the networks and in the papers, and some of those confrontations shaped many of my lifetime beliefs.  I really admire John Lewis.
  • WBB HC Search

    I think Sayler got caught flat footed on this and panicked. Clearly the things that impressed him did not impress recruits 

    I dont that is fair at all. I dont think if Megan Duffy was being hired now she would be able to hang on to somebody else’s recruits when they had power 6 offers.

    I do think Saylor was caught off guard which probably is somewhat Duffys fault. A lot of praise for Duffy but she really didnt do Miami any favors leaving so soon without any hardware and without any lasting impact. Sort of like Haywood without the championships

    Most if not all coaches follow the money. If you do not take the opportunity when it comes, it may never come by again. Hardware and championships may be nice but you can't spend them.

    I get that point and if was her agent and a power 6 job came calling I would tell her to take it. But i guess i just dont understand the love affair with her and animosity towards the new coach when Duffys team last year didnt do as well as Martin’s in the league standings....right?
    That is a terrible comparison.  MAC women's basketball was the 7th ranked conference out of 32.  Miami had a power ranking of #45, which is the best we have ever had since RPI started.  Our football team plays in the weakest division ( MAC East) in D-1 football.  Martin is playing with all players that he recruited.  Duffy basically was playing two players that she recruited, and the best one blew out her knee in December.  What we accomplished without Clark the rest of the year was remarkable, but at the end of the season other teams finally figured it out  

     Also, to say that she left the program in a bad spot is ridiculous.  She took a program in a bad spot ( 4 straight 20 loss seasons, RPI's in the 200's.  She left us with a two year first team All MAC point guard and a second team all MAC post player returning , a wing who blew out her knee who would have been the first or second best freshman in the league last year AND perhaps our best recruiting class ever ( the three girls who left went to Michigan, Illinois, and Xavier and one of the girls who is still coming averaged 27 ppg last year and has, IMO, more long range potential than the two guards who went to X and Michigan).  It is not Coach Duffy's fault that those three girls left, she did not take them with her to Marquette which she probably could have.  Not keeping them is more on our AD for not immediately hiring one of the assistants and keeping as much of the staff in place as possible. Obviously, he feels that Coach Hendrix is better suited to lead the program than any of those assistants.

     I do notice that at this point not a single returning girl has transferred, so those  girls are still hanging together and they must be OK with our new coach and with Miami as their school. Coach Hendrix does have a very nice record at High Point, and would have been viewed very favorably if not replacing a sensationally good coach.
  • Miami at Wright State today for a DH, carried live on ESPN+

    We swept Wright State 6-0 and 4-2.  Now16-12.
  • @ Kent tomorrow (2/5)

    I think Coach Owens has to take the blame for some of what we are seeing.  Time and score is a huge part of coaching your team and definitely should have been a big part of that TO right before NIke did not know the time.  It also has to be part of drills and preparation and guys have to be held accountable.  Good teams do not make those kinds of errors, they are too well prepared.  Brown was not ready to defend on the last key play vs Toledo the other night and gave up a layup, again after a TO.  The difference in the Toledo and Kent games was maturity vs immaturity, and coaching and preparation.

    I was not happy with some of the  things I was seeing out of our guys well before that misplay at the end.  We have guys making good plays and then freezing or talking to the fans or other bench or styling. Stick that! It is a live ball  and the game is going on.  Today that was Adaway and Lairy.  Sometimes it is Brown or Ringo.  Today when Brown made a bad play, he froze and looked at the floor for a second.  It is a live ball, HUSTLE.  Ringo also does that all the time.  It is bad attitude, it is showboating, it is immature, it is for LOSERS.  And our coach has not stopped it or corrected it.  Thinking the game and not taking seconds off is the difference between having a 6 game winning streak  and being 4-6.  These things should have been corrected a long time ago and not doing so is biting us now.

    The good thing is that these things are not that hard to correct. Coach just needs to lay down the law and let players know that it is not acceptable and then enforce that.  We also need some work on late game situations at both ends of the court.  Make teams shoot over you, don't foul on defense.  We are right now one of the best teams in the league, but we just gave away two potential wins over two of the top teams in the league, got to learn from it and correct it.  And that goes for both our players and our excellent but first time so still learning some things head coach.

  • Miami hosts Tiffin in an exhibition game this afternoon

    Here is my report.  Starting lineup was Kluesner at center, McCoy at power forward, Reid at small forward, Purvis at shooting guard, and Dickerson at point guard. So 3 seniors and two juniors. First sub for one of the two post players was Kristen  Levering, first sub for the 3 guards was freshman Nia Clark.  Abbey Hoff also played the post and Kenzie Schmitz and freshman guard Kennedy Taylor also played the wing spots.  I would guess that we start the year with this 10 girl rotation.  Just like last year, I think eventually it will narrow down to 7 or 8 girls, but that won't be until January or February.

    So what looks different this year?  Baleigh Reid is no longer saddled with that big,heavy brace and she looks much quicker and faster and was better able to run the court.  Abbey Hoff is back, she is wearing a brace.  I think it is slowing her down just a little bit. She is a very smart player. Savannah Kluesner was the star of the game.  Tiffin was a quick team with good ball handlers and shooters, but no one to go up against D-1 post players.  Even considering that size advantage, Savannah has made another big step forward,and I think we will be talking about our 3 all MAC players this year, as she is going to share that with Kendall and Lauren.  Nia Clark is very fast and has good skills, she lacks the  strength of the older girls, but she will improve quickly and by January she possibly could be starting.  Kendall McCoy was taking charges like Molly did last year, she kind of started working on that at the end of last season.  We pressed for a few minutes and that is something I could see us using with certain personnel as our freshmen have some quickness and aggressiveness.

    When Lauren is off the court, Leah Purvis will slide over and play the point.  Baleigh Reid was the only player who played both a guard and a post position ( for a few minutes) although I think Abbey Hoff, who was a post today, will also play a wing at times.

    3 girls did not get in till the last 5 minutes, but they all played well. Freshman Alexis Straw is a wing who is pretty aggressive,  Freshman Vannessa Garrelts is a 5-4 point guard who made a couple of sweet no look passes, and sophomore post Kelly McLaughlin is big and strong and can score and rebound but still needs work on defense. Freshman forward Tihanna Fulton is out for a couple more weeks with a lower leg injury.