Canes Lose Scott; Fall To Noles

Miami fell to Florida State on Friday in Atlanta, 82-71, bouncing the Canes from the ACC Tournament and most-likely ending UM’s bid for a NCAA Tourney berth.

That’s the headline, but the real story was the hours-before-tip-off suspension of leading scorer, Durand Scott.

You hate to play the role of ‘conspiracy theorist’ as a sports enthusiast, but Florida State has now received three ‘gimmies’ from the NCAA timing-wise, with Miami paying a steep price on each occasion.

The first can be chalked up as bad timing and a preventative act by Miami, when suspending safety Ray-Ray Armstrong mid-November, days before a showdown in Tallahassee. The Canes fell to the Noles, 23-19, with a depleted secondary that could’ve used the sophomore’s athleticism.

Armstrong had a ritsy dinner with a lady friend who happened to be publicist and owner of a PR firm that represented professional athletes in charity and foundation ventures. He then Tweeted about the event and for a program already in the midst of an NCAA investigation, UM suspended Armstrong, who was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Late-February, Florida State got a true lucky bounce when center Reggie Johnson was suspended for one of the bigger home games of Miami’s season. The Noles won on the hardwood, in Tallahassee, early February, 64-59.

Amped for a rematch, The BUC was a packed house two weeks later, though UM was forced to play with one hand tied behind it’s back, sans Johnson, who was MVP of the upset at Duke weeks prior.

Miami was able to prevail without Johnson, as players like Scott stepped up. Scott led all Canes with seventeen points in the upset of Florida State and his 33 minutes played were second only to forward Kenny Kadji, who played 37 and scored fifteen.

With the NCAA bid on the line and win over the Seminoles a must, the Canes were without Nole-killer Scott in arguably the season’s biggest game.

Malcolm Grant got his nineteen and Shane Larkin put up sixteen, with leading scorer Scott’s touch was definitely missed. Miami struggled early against Florida State’s man-to-man defense, making only 9-of-32 shots (28.1 percent), giving the Seminoles a 36-27 halftime lead, fueled by seven first-half three-pointers.

Still, the Canes fought hard in the second half and with 5:34 to play, the Canes trailed, 57-52. Miami applied the pressure and with 3:53 remaining, cut the deficit to 62-59, though it was short-lived and Florida State again made it a five-point game within seconds.

Down 64-59, the Canes fouled Michael Snaer, despite please from head coach Jim Larranaga not to get a hand on the 78 percent free throw shooter. Snaer drained both and it was, 66-59, FSU.

From there the comeback attempt was officially through and the Noles rolled. Especially from the charity stripe, where Florida State was a whopping 16-of-18 in the game’s final three minutes.

The loss is frustrating, enough, as is (most-likely) falling a gnat’s eyelash short of a NCAA Tourney big in Coach L’s first season. Miami overcame an early-season injury to Johnson, as well as a handful of random, poorly-timed suspensions, en route to an 18-12 season. The Canes also left a few head-scratching losses on the table. Games that could’ve and should’ve been wins, that would’ve provided the difference between March Madness and the NIT.

The future remains bright with Larranaga in charge, but that’s of little solace the morning after yet another suspension and a season-defining loss. – C.B.



8 thoughts on “Canes Lose Scott; Fall To Noles

  1. I would love consistency but it’s hard to be consistent when the NCAA keeps
    Suspending players. They couldn’t have at least waited one more day to suspend Scott. Miami has paid a high price for the actions of former coaches, and unlike other programs like Ohio state that received their punishment in one fell swoop, ours has been slow and torturous. Granted quite a bit of it was imposed by the university (smartly) but nonetheless I think we’ve served our punishment and the “adults” that have cost us so dearly better be next in line.

    1. … fully agree. Jones gone early. Johnson / Scott both out at key moments. Honestly, when you add it all up, Miami lost upwards of four to six games due to suspensions this season … for stuff that happened a year or two ago.

  2. Let’s face it: All our major men’s athletic programs just BLOW CHUNKS! That combined with having the NCAA on our backs, and you’ve got disaster! Hopefully Coach Golden and Coach L can get this mess straightened out eventually, but I am convinced Jim Morris doesn’t have it anymore. We stink it up against every team in the state except FIU and FAU. At this rate, they’ll own us just as surely as FSU, UF, and USF do now. It’s just a disgrace!

    1. A bit harsh to state that ALL programs — football, baseball and basketball — “blow”. Could they be better? Yes. Have they been better? Absolutely. But it’s off base and a bit entitled to say that all are terrible and to simply expect better.

      Miami has already overshot the moon regarding titles won in baseball and football and while the desire is always to win more, in a system that has become all about the almighty dollar, a private school like Miami isn’t going to have the success a Florida or Florida State does — at public state universities. Sad, but true.

      It takes a special coach and the right group of kids and honestly, both Al Goldena and Jim Larranaga seem like the right coaches at the right time. Both should be able to get their respective programs back to an acceptable level — competing for ACC titles, post-season runs and big time wins.

      As for Jim Morris, time will tell. A lot of baseball left to be played in 2012 and a lot of time to turn things around. Miami has three losses — all to the No. 1 team in the land. Not many teams would’ve fared better.

      Let’s see where the Canes are at baseball-wise come June before we start calling for coach’s heads. Morris is a good coach. Does he still have it? Yes. Is he as good in 2012 as he was in 2002 or 1992? No. A big difference between being a fiery up-and-comer, versus a guy who’s reached the top of the mountain. That said, he’s earned his respect and deserves support this season.

      Also, let’s can the overemotional chatter. Miami doesn’t stink against “every team in the state except FIU and FAU”. C’mon now. Florida has Miami’s number, and has for a while now, but Florida State and Miami are formidable foes and always give each other hell. Miami fell 6-5 and 2-0 at Tallahassee last year before responding with a 5-1 Sunday win. Add the three games up and UM outscored FSU 10-9 in the series and gave away Game One with seven errors.

      The year before, Florida State took two-of-three in Miami, but the Canes rolled the Noles 9-3 in the opening round of the ACC Tourney.

      Also, last I checked, it’s 4-0-0 regarding national titles, as two of the Big Three have failed to do what Miami has done four times over now.

  3. The history is nice. But did an FSU supporter entice him into something or did he personally mess up. I can,t understand this conduct. A biggame with obvious NCAA implications, and he screws up. Bad mentality and a complete disregard for the TEAM.

    Oh well, the first year for coach, so its not really BIG. And there,s the not invited to the tourneament tourneament (NIT).

    Not nearly as bad as baseball losing 11 in a row to UF, and falling off the college baseball mountaintop.

    1. Ken – Scott’s suspension stems from the Nevin Shapiro investigation. He didn’t do something recent that had him suspended for this big game. Like the Reggie Johnson suspension weeks back, it’s a timing thing and has everything to do with the NCAA investigation – who chose now to hand down the suspension. We’re going back to the Frank Haith era regarding allegations with Scott, Johnson and DeQuan Jones, yet all the punishment was delivered in 2012 on Jim Larranaga’s watch, costing Miami upwards of a half dozen ball games.

      1. Are you sure that the NCAA handed this down, or did UM do it to preempt the NCAA?

        In any case, the toming was bad, but maybe GOOD, because UM basketball needs another year, and L can do NIT.

        Gotta be honest. Im worrying about UM falling off the baseball “mountaintop”. It’s damn tuff to climb back up after you fall. Better to stay up there if you can.

        Final question – and i’ll admit ignorance. Has Jim’s recruiting taken a hit. This is where it all starts.

        1. Doesn’t sound like it was done to preempt anything and sounds like the Johnson situations. The information had come to light, the suspension was implemented and now UM is seeking reinstatement.

          As for baseball and recruiting, Beast broke it down in an article last year and I believe he’ll revisit soon, regarding scholarships and how hard it is to recruit a kid to Miami – due to the family’s financial obligations with a partial scholarship – versus going to Florida or Florida State where in-state kids get in-state tuition. That definitely hurts, but besides that, the program still has underachieved as of late and something has to give regardless of scholarship issues.

Comments are closed.