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Recapping '05 and Lookin' Ahead -- Miami Hurricanes

Miami finished the year 16-13 with a loss to Souf Klina in the NIT, but the team had a much better season than that end result suggests. The Hurricanes held their own in their first year in the ACC, finishing 7-9. At one point, the Canes were 16-9 (7-7) and very much in the NCAA at-large picture. They finished the regular season with three consecutive losses, including a devastating defeat at the hands of UVA in the ACC tournament, sealing their NIT fate.

Here are the individual numbers from the season...

Some of the numbers explained here.

Hurricanes 2004-2005PlayerO Rtg% PossMin/GPPGFG%3FG%Floor %Pts Prod/GPPFGAGuillermo Diaz11625.8%34.318.645.6%36.3%0.5217.11.13Robert Hite11823.1%33.417.341.7%38.1%0.5015.11.08Anthony Harris10126.3%29.612.438.2%33.1%0.4413.10.97William Frisby10720.6%23.88.744.7%36.4%0.518.81.05Anthony King11312.8%28.86.353.2%00.576.91.07Gary Hamilton10313.5% Hicks10415.2%6.41.750%57.1%0.481.71.11Eric Wilkins7312.6%10.51.536%00.371.60.77Antoine Mayhand6713.3%5.70.819.2% Batemon7116.5%3.50.522.2%00.370.70.54Brandon Okpalobi5610.5%9.70.520.7%

As you can see, Miami wasn't particularly deep, as only six guys got significant playing time, with a couple of others getting about 10 minutes per game. The team was very guard-oriented--the Diaz-Hite-Harris trio combined to use about 75% of the team's possessions when they were in the game together, and they took care of most of the scoring. Of the 561 three-pointers attempted by Miami this season, the trio took 514 of them (92%). They also took 67% of the team's total field goal attempts. That thar is a chunk.

Here's the strange thing about the Hurricanes: Miami had an Offensive Rebound Rate of 39.3%, which was third-best in the ACC behind Wake and UNC. You wouldn't expect such a guard-centered squad to be a good rebounding team, but that's what Miami was. Carolina and Wake were well-known for their frontcourt play...Miami's own players didn't even know they had a frontcourt (rimshot).

Miami ranked dead last in the ACC in the FTA/FGA and FTM/FGA categories, which is much more indicative of the kind of team the Hurricanes had. I'd expect a team that grabbed a lot of offensive boards to 1) have some good low-post players; 2) draw fouls and get to the line, because that's what good forwards do; yet neither of those things were the case. It would seem that Miami's forwards rebounded and did little else. It seems completely counter-intuitive for a team so good at grabbing offensive boards to be so poor at getting to the free throw line. I guess those offensive boards were kicked out to the perimeter more often than not.

The numbers in the table support the notion that Miami's forwards did little other than rebound. Frisby, King and Hamilton grabbed the bulk of the boards for Miami, and all three played more than 20 minutes per game. But look at their respective %Poss numbers. Only Frisby had would could be called a normal usage of possessions while he was in the game; the other two guys were afterthoughts who clearly weren't relied upon at the offensive end.

Remember that the guard trio used 75% of the team's possessions when they were on the court together, and considering they each played at least 29 minutes per game, they were on the floor together a lot. That left just 25% of the team's possessions to be spread among the other two guys on the court. So it's no wonder that King's and Hamilton's %Poss are so low.

Anthony Harris, my man, we gotta have words. You're the biggest possession-hog on the team, and your production doesn't justify the usage of 26% of your team's possessions. Your offensive rating was poor, and your PPFGA was [not good]. Your field goal percentages suggest that you aren't a great shooter, so here's a thought: shoot the ball less. Take fewer shots and you'll become more efficient. Those forwards you like to neglect might deserve a few more touches...and a little more credit.

Rumors have had Guillermo Diaz considering a possible jump to the NBA, and that'd be a major loss for the Hurricanes. But I think he'll be back, and if the 'Canes can get some added depth out of a pretty solid recruiting class, they should be better in 2005-2006.