Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Miami dealt another blow

Frank Martin never officially lobbied publicly for the head coaching job at Miami, but it was obvious to just about everyone involved that he wanted the gig. Martin earned his stripes coaching high school and AAU basketball in Southern Florida and is of Cuban-descent.

It made sense.

And that's why everyone thought Martin would have been a perfect fit and were so confused when he wasn't even considered to replace Frank Haith.

Now, nearly five months after the fact, Martin probably could not be happier that he stayed at Kansas State. For starters, there's the scandal that Charles Robinson and Yahoo! broke wide open last week. And while that story focused on the football, there was a little nugget in there about the Miami program more-or-less buying then-recruit, now-rising senior DeQuan Jones for $10,000. You can probably rest assured that will draw the NCAA's attention. At the very least, every other coach in the country recruiting against Miami will make sure that the kids they are targeting believe as much.

That wasn't the only piece of bad news the Canes got this summer. Back in July, potential All-ACC Reggie Johnson injured his knee and will be out of the lineup until the New Year. And now Julian Gamble, a forward that started 13 games last season, has undergone surgery to repair a torn acl and will be out for the season.

"We feel awful for Julian Gamble," said UM head coach Jim Larranaga said in a statement. "Tearing your ACL is a devastating injury at any time in your career, but particularly in your fifth year of eligibility. Julian is a bright, hard working and competitive athlete. We will do everything we can to support him in his efforts to rehabilitate this injury. We know he will also be there supporting his teammates, because that is just the kind of person he is."

Miami's front court will be in big trouble this year.

They are left, more or less, with two bigs. Kenny Kadji is a former top 50 recruit, averaging 4.4 ppg and 2.7 rpg as a freshman at Florida in 2008-2009. But its been two years since he played a full season (he had back surgery in 2009-2010). The other big is sophomore Raphael Akpejiori, who saw action in just 20 games a year ago.

I don't think Larranaga's tenure at Miami could have gotten off to a worse start, but I'm positive Martin isn't concerned about not getting that job anymore.

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