The Miami Hurricanes have now lost three of four with the latest loss coming by way of a buzzer beater from Georgia Tech on Wednesday night at home.
The once second-ranked team in the nation has unraveled the past few weeks, and head coach Jim Larranaga believes it could just be the wear and tear of a long season, according to Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald. Miami has one more regular season game to get back on track with Saturday afternoon’s home game against Clemson.
“We need to regroup,” said Larranaga. “We need to have a chance to get back physically, mentally and emotionally to a level that we feel good about ourselves.
“We have one game remaining, and we have positioned ourselves to be the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament,”
Although, the Canes appear to be the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament, they’ve done everything to give it away. Maybe Miami is tired or maybe the U has peaked, either way it doesn’t look good.
The problems didn’t just arise when Miami was dropped by 15 by Wake Forest. Miami squeaked out a win against Virginia on Feb. 19, which was aided by a defensive miscue when two Cavaliers bit on Shane Larkin’s fake to Kenny Kadji on the perimeter, leaving Reggie Johnson alone for a uncontested layup. Before that, against the Clemson team they meet on Saturday, Miami scored 45 points and still one. It took a late three from Kadji’s, his only three of the day (1-for6), for the Miami to remain perfect in ACC play.
A week ago, Miami allowed Ryan Kelly to go off for 36 after he had been sidelined the previous 13 games. Duke is rolling with Kelly back and the way Miami has looked the past few games, those blowout wins against Duke and North Carolina seem like a distant memory.
The ACC tournament will be packed with competitive games especially if the Canes get the top spot. They have the potential to take on a Virginia team that needs to get some key wins next week as the Cavs sit on the bubble. It could also end with a third encounter with the Blue Devils. A strong showing against Clemson on Senior Day would get the U back in the right direction.
After a successful career that included stops at Western Kentucky, UMass and Seton Hall, Derrick Gordon, Division I college basketball’s first openly gay player, will not pursue professional opportunities and will instead become a firefighter.
The 6-foot-3 Gordon averaged 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pirates, helping the team reach the NCAA tournament during his graduate transfer year. By making the NCAA tournament with Seton Hall this past season, Gordon became the first college basketball player to reach the event with three different teams.
A tenacious perimeter defender who could have earned a pro contract if he stuck with basketball, Gordon will instead pursue a career as a firefighter in San Francisco.
“I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way,” Gordon said via his Instagram. “But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!”
While Gordon likely would have never made the NBA on talent alone, his defensive prowess would have likely given him a shot overseas or in the D League. It’s hard to say why Gordon is making this decision, but given what we saw with all of the attention surrounding Michael Sam when he tried to play in the NFL, Gordon was probably going to face a lot of scrutiny wherever he decided to play.
Hopefully Gordon finds his calling as a firefighter and brings the same energy and leadership that he brought on the floor to helping other people outside of basketball.
Washington incoming freshman guard Markelle Fultz is going to be one of the premier players in the country next season as his unique game is going to be fascinating to watch.
The 6-foot-5 Fultz is currently playing with the USA U18 team in Chile for the FIBA U18 Americas as he’s second on the team in scoring and first in assists as the Americans play Canada for the title on Saturday.
Against the host country, Fultz had an electric spin move in the paint and finished with an easy dunk. If you’re not willing to stay up late to watch this dude play this year, then set your DVRs, because Fultz is going to have some fun moments during the season.
(H/t: Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report)
The Las Vegas AAU events are all going on this week and it’s the final event for rising seniors.
At the Las Vegas Fab 48, forward Chris Seeley of the Splash City 17U team put down one of the best poster dunks of the summer as he skied over a defender for an emphatic finish.
The Class of 2016 forward attends Central High School in Fresno, California as he’s receiving plenty of buzz for his recent play.
LAS VEGAS, NV — Five-star Class of 2017 forward Jarred Vanderbilt has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the country since he was a freshman in high school.
The 6-foot-8 native of Houston is beginning to wind things down in the recruiting process as he cut his list to nine schools on Friday. Vanderbilt’s list includes some of the most storied programs in college basketball and plenty of schools from his home state of Texas.
“I just followed my heart. Went with the schools I liked the most and who I have the best relationships with. Thear were the schools I could see myself playing for,” Vanderbilt told NBCSports.com.
Regarded as the No. 13 overall prospect in the Rivals.com national rankings, Vanderbilt is currently recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot.
Vanderbilt will see a doctor in three-to-four weeks as he’s currently in a boot to help his foot heal.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has previously expressed a desire to coach a game at the legendary Palestra in Philadelphia and it appears he’ll get his chance in a Big Ten game this season.
According to a report from Brendan F. Quinn of MLive, Penn State will use the Palestra as its home gym for the Jan. 7, 2017 Big Ten game against Michigan State. It is the only time the two teams are scheduled to play during Big Ten season and Penn’s home gym will offer a unique setting for the game.
Since the capacity of the Palestra is 8,722, it should make for a fun atmosphere for both programs since this will be a game both fan bases will likely want to attend.
With Nittany Lions head coach Pat Chambers making Philadelphia a major recruiting priority for his program, a game like this in Philadelphia makes sense while Michigan State has always been open to playing games in unique settings such as aircraft carriers.
The Palestra has been a college basketball mainstay since it was built in 1927 as it hosts all Penn home games and, in the past, hosted a lot of Big 5 Philadelphia college games between La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova.
Overall, a fun idea that should make for an interesting experience for both programs. It’s not often that a team will change its home venue for a conference game, but it could be the start of something we see other schools look to do.