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Cinco de Starters-o: Miami Hurricanes

It’s a hurricane.

I’ve sat here for about 20 minutes searching for the perfect Miami joke to lead with, and all I can think of is the “Moons Over My Hammy” dish at Denny’s. That stuff’s the bomb (are the kids still saying “the bomb?”). Broseph would often go rogue and order the “Moons Over My Sausage,” which sounds like something altogether different from a breakfast dish, but still something I might be willing to try.

The ‘Canes blow storm (damn you, Mosley) come into Rupp sporting a respectable 4-2 record, with losses to UConn and Ohio State. The loss to the Buckeyes came at whatever arena Miami plays their home games, while the Connecticut loss came in a preseason tourney…somewhere tropical…I can’t remember where…Virgin Islands, maybe? Anyway, their front-court is big, strong, physical, experienced, scary, and deep, with their back-court featuring the talents of All-ACC performer Jack McClinton. In addition, sophomore guard Eddie Rios has been reinstated after his indefinite suspension for breaking team rules Tuesday.

Boys and girl(s?), My Hammy:

#20 Cyrus McGowan, 6’9”, F, Junior

2008-09 Stats: 8.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg

Cyrus McGowan

McGowan started his career under Stan Heath at Arkansas, but bolted after sucking. It’s true. He’s forced his way into the starting line up for the ‘Canes despite a talented front line, mostly due to his high energy and rebounding ability. He’s not afraid to step out and pop a three, and he registered his first career double-double in the loss to Ohio State, going for 10 points and 12 boards. And, according to South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Juan Rodriguez, he looks like Usher. Seriously. That was in the mother trucking newspaper.

#21 Dwayne Collins, 6’8”, F/C, Junior

2008-09 Stats: 12.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg

Dwayne Collins

Another beast on the glass, Collins does a lot of his damage on the offensive end with second chance points and power moves in the post. Last season, he was named the most underrated player in the ACC by Athlon Sports, and this year he appears to be affirming that lofty billing with solid play. He has two double-doubles already, including a 16 and 14 game against UConn’s monsters in the paint. In that game, the explosive Collins took off over 7’3” Hasheem Thabeet, twice cramming on the consensus All-American (uh, I haven’t seen that. So, it may not be entirely true, but it’s mentioned here.). Collins is wide and quick for his size, as he goes 238 pounds and has a 7’4” wingspan. He’s fearless, and he may be too much to handle in the post, especially if Patterson gets in foul trouble.

#1 Lance Hurdle, 6’2”, G, Senior

2008-09 Stats: 9.4 ppg, 2.2 apg

Lance Hurdle

Hurdle, who took over the starting spot of the recently suspended Eddie Rios, has been a fairly adequate lead guard, as the old folks say, though wildly inconsistent with his scoring. He scored 14 points in McClinton’s absence against OSU, but shot an abysmal 2-10 from beyond the arc. A hustle player and a very good foul shooter, Hurdle was injured the first four games of this season with a sprained ankle. His main objective will be getting the ball to McClinton where he can shoot it, and Collins where he can dunk it.

#23 James Dews, 6’3”, G, Junior

2008-09 Stats: 6 ppg, 2.5 rpg

James Dews

After last season, Dews seemed poised to be a perfect back-court scoring complement to the explosive McClinton. Instead, after averaging over 10 points a game last year, Dews is playing Keith Bogans as a junior to McClinton’s Tayshaun Prince, as he’s been largely ineffective thus far. Knowing my luck, however, Dews will deftly drop 40 on the Cats tomorrow evening. Hopefully, Dews will remain in his funk, and McClinton will be “revved” by someone.

#33 Jack McClinton, 6’1”, G, Senior

2008-09 Stats: 15.5 ppg, 2.5 apg

Jack McClinton

By now, everyone has heard of McClinton’s tickle fight with Ohio State’s Anthony Crater, but what exactly could this suggest about his game? He’s a tremendous scorer, and to my knowledge (which is vast) he hasn’t shown a propensity for violence before his tantrum Tuesday night. Ergo, frustration may be his kryptonite. Although, he was 4-4 from three at the time of his suspension, so maybe he thrives on it. Hell, I don’t know. This is why I’m not a coach.

Regardless, McClinton’s had a few off nights, and when he’s not hitting, Miami struggles. The key will be, and I don’t think this is a secret, how McClinton reacts to a harassing defense. Getting him off his game will be paramount, and he is apparently prone to being rattled, or “revved.” Unfortunately, Miami is strong enough in the post to compete at a high level without McClinton scoring in droves.

And this is why the Ramon Harris injury could not have come at a worse time. He’s our revver!

Key Reserves:

Eddie Rios, 6’0”, G: His minutes had been dwindling leading up to his suspension. I bet he called the coach a “peckerwood.”

Jimmy Graham, 6’8”, F: 11 and 13 against San Diego, Graham is yet another front-court player that can push people around.

DeQuan Jones, 6’6”, F: A big time recruit out of high school, Jones is known as a high-flying slasher, and is getting solid minutes off the bench in his first year. Here he is dunking on John Wall. MY GOD. Actually, don’t watch that.

Brian Asbury, 6’7”, F: Another solid, experienced post player, Asbury scored 14 points in 17 minutes against San Diego.

UK looks for its 6th straight win, and first over a ranked opponent this year…this game marks the front end of two games in 22 hours for the Cats…<—that seems odd, why are we doing that?…Kentucky is Miami’s last real non-conference challenge, and the ‘Canes haven’t had an easy road thus far…Miami was top ten to start the season (that seems a little high)…game televised live at 5:30 p.m. EST on ESPN…if you think I’m going to list all of the affiliates carrying the game on the radio, you’re insane

Article written by Evan Hilbert