Miami Basketball wins Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic

Friend of, Kartik Krishnaiyer is crazy about Miami Basketball and will be providing content for us all season long. Check out his thoughts below regarding the Canes winning the Puerto Rican Tip-Off Classic:

Tonight’s sloppy first half by the Hurricanes was a definite cause for concern. However poor as the offense was though, the defensive intensity never waned and ultimately you can win on cold shooting nights if your defense holds up.

The Canes held Providence to under 36% from the field, and began to make some plays in the second half to win the Puerto Rico Tip Off Classic. This is Miami’s first in-season tournament title since Tito Horford’s Miami team in 1987 won a late season event against a bunch of Division II teams. In other words, this was a historic night for Miami Basketball.

What makes this accomplishment all the more remarkable is in recent years Miami has been invited to smaller less prestigious tournaments with weaker fields and have embarrassed themselves and the conference in the process of losing to such minnows as Buffalo, Cleveland State, Air Force and Rhode Island. In this event Miami beat three teams that played in the post season last year and easily looked like the best team in an event which had some big name teams: most notably Arkansas and VCU (whom Miami beat), as well as always tricky Temple and Houston.

I’ve been asked over the last few months why I’m so pessimistic about Miami Football and so optimistic about Miami Basketball. My Football pessimism came from the same source as my Basketball optimism: Analyzing the roster and player attributes for myself and not relying on pre-season previews or recruiting services to do so. Miami has a good team. I knew they would before the season. Quite frankly this team is a ball handler away from being very good, good enough to compete for an ACC Title.

Sadly, we don’t have that ball handler this year because the guy we had was foolish enough to get kicked off the team and of course now is with Kansas State.
Some other thoughts:

– The Canes look lost without Anthony King in the lineup as we saw in the first half. With him they look almost impenetrable in the paint. King’s shot selection is so good, his passing efficient and his defensive presence second to none. I’m sure other ACC schools will be wishing the NCAA had repealed that 5th year injury redshirt rule already!

Jack McClinton’s lack of floor savvy is really bothering me. While he has a great work ethic he takes so many ill advised shots, still can’t handle the ball against pressure and bails out way too many players with dumb fouls on the defensive end.

– I love Brian Asbury. He’s tough in the lane, has a sweet outside shot and fights for every lose ball. He could be all-ACC this year.

Jimmy Graham and Dwayne Collins both took major steps backwards tonight with poor shot selection, and an inability to pass out of double teams. Their struggles opened the door for Ray Hicks to get his most meaningful playing time in over a year.

Eddie Rios scares me, but when he had to settle down late in the game he did. But he’s still miles away from being the player the recruiting services seemed to think he was.

Frank Haith’s quality as a coach shows in the sets Miami runs coming out time outs. It seems he always gets the right matchup and puts the team in a position for an easy bucket.

– Nice to get some national love from ESPN. Fran Frascillia was a good color commentator this whole week in Puerto Rico, and I hope we see him calling another Miami game or two soon.