Monday, September 23, 2013
3-point shot: Uncertainty at Miami
By Andy Katz
1. Miami coach Jim Larranaga will teach five to six classes this semester as a guest lecturer. His topics will be on Teamwork and Leadership, much like he did at George Mason in the school of management Executive MBA Program. Larranaga's position on the Miami faculty gives him even more influence on campus. But he is still at the whim of the NCAA in awaiting an eligibility issue. The Hurricanes will start practice Friday but won't know if Kansas State transfer Angel Rodridguez will be eligible immediately. Larranaga said Sunday there is still no indication on when Rodriguez' case will be heard. But he can practice. If he can't play this season then the 'Canes will go with a freshman, either Manu Lecomte from Belgium or Deandre Burnett, as the point guard.
2. Missouri actually has a transfer who sat out last season and who will have a major impact after improving during his redshirt/transfer season. As practice nears Friday, Missouri coach Frank Haith is extremely high on former Tulsa wing Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson averaged 14.2 points a game for the Golden Hurricane and will be expected to score in a similar manner for the Tigers. "He's very talented, a good combo,'' said Haith Sunday. "He can do everything on the court. He'll get plenty (of minutes).'' The Tigers were looking for a fresh face to be a go-to scorer. Haith has fancied this team all summer, one that has received probably the least amount of buzz in his three seasons. That's usually when a team overachieves. If this occurs in a wide-open SEC from three on down then Clarkson will be likely one of the main reasons.
3. The package deal comments about coaches going with players to a school has been going on for years and in some form will continue for years to come. Let's get a few things straight. Staffs that are secure usually don't partake in such a practice. If there are assistants on a staff who are well compensated at a high-profile school then they are less likely to leave. So, these coaches don't need to go hire an assistant to get a player since they aren't going to have an opening on the staff. Some will be creative and do it anyway if the player is worth the trouble. But some have no choice but to act to have a chance for relevance. If Seton Hall goes ahead and hires Brooklyn Lincoln High (N.Y.) coach Tiny Morton to complete a deal to get Isaiah Whitehead as part of the recruitment then that's probably what Pirates coach Kevin Willard needed to do to get Seton Hall out of the cellar. He already had made positive moves on his staff by adding former Rutgers head coach and one-time Northwestern assistant in Freddie Hill, a mainstay in New Jersey. Getting St. Raymond's HS coach Oliver Antigua, a well-connected high school coach and brother of Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, made sense too. Willard is in the fourth quarter of his Hall career. He needs to make a play before its too late, especially in the new Big East. He's being proactive because what he was doing in the past, simply wasn't working well enough.