Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
The depressing news has finally been revealed. It was as if the maw of some terrible monster opened and spilled out a few, and equally terrible words: Reggie Johnson has broken his thumb. If you're a fan of 'Canes Hoops, this hits you like a bag of bricks in the gut. Steel-tipped boots to the groin. Having Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson repeatedly smash your big toe with a sledgehammer. If your first reaction was . . . watch below . . . then you need to take a few deep breaths and hopefully begin to see the forest through the trees.
Greatest freak out ever (ORIGINAL VIDEO) (via wafflepwn)
While the cloud of back luck that seems to follow 'Canes basketball appears to be an almost tangible thing - like a billowing nightmare created out of the Stygian darkness of an endless, horrific void, this is not the end of the road for Miami. Last year it was injuries to Reggie, Julian Gamble, and Garrius Adams that depleted the roster. Throw in suspensions to DeQuan Jones and Reggie - and Durand Scott just before the 'Canes took on FSU on the 2nd day of the ACC Tournament last season. How many more games would this team have won last year without all the bad luck? 3? 4? 5? More?
This year, most of those problems had been resolved like dumping 1,000,000 pounds of a Tums/Prilosec cocktail on a field of gastric acid. Garrius Adams' lingering injury seemed to be the only setback. Just when the 'Canes were peaking, Bishop Daniels left and the 'Canes headed to Hawaii - now officially dubbed Paradise Lost by SOTU. Trey McKinney-Jones was hit by a temporary - and thankfully cured - case of Ebola, and then Reggie broke his mighty thumb in a freakish moment early on in the first practice before the Diamond Head Classic was set to get underway. One could argue that before Paradise Lost, the 'Canes were strutting along the Yellow Brick Road to March Madness.
Follow The Yellow Brick Road - The Wizard Of Oz (via WBMoviesOnline)
Most 'Canes hoops fans think that this team is capable of great things. And Reggie is a big part of those big dreams. The senior C was arguably playing some of the best basketball of his life before the injury. Reggie was diving for loose balls, hustling like a madman, playing incredible interior defense, scoring when called upon, and setting crushing screens. And while this injury feels like the basketball gods are waterboarding 'Canes fans, the season isn't over.
Erich "Mancow" Muller Waterboarded - Conservative Radio Host Say It's Torture (via Superplatanoman)
Let's look at the big picture in no particular order of relevance. . . and then reassess.
1) While Reggie's thumb is healing, Tonye Jekiri will gain vast and important experience which will pay dividends the next 3 seasons. Jekiri has mentioned that he's starting to pick things up and adapt to the college game. Now, he's going to have to play as big as his 7-foot frame in order to help the 'Canes. Look for Jekiri to start logging more minutes.
2) Rafael 'Rok' Akpejiori has shown flashes during his career of being an excellent defender and a capability of cleaning up junk around the hoop. In fairness, he's also shown a propensity to pick up fouls at an alarming rate. Even before Reggie's injury - it was obvious based on the lack big men on the commitment list so far that 'Rok', like Jekiri, will have a big role to play next season. Logging more minutes this year will hopefully teach him how to use his physicality a bit smarter and refine his game. 'Rok' has the size and physique to be an excellent Trash Man - a name I use with utter reverence.
3) Julian Gamble has filled in admirably for Reggie. Gamble brings a ton of energy to the court and gives everything he has when he's in there. Without Gamble, Miami would have been down big at the half against Hawaii and the seemingly demoralized 'Canes might have laid a Goose Egg in Paradise - no, it's not the new breakfast franchise of Jimmy Buffet. Look for Gamble to finish up his 'Canes career with a flourish.
4) Coach "James T. Kirk Larranaga" is a master of post-season tournaments. You could argue that as good as his George Mason Final Four team was, this 'Canes squad - even sans Reggie - is way more talented. I mean, look at the way he handles the strange hybrid of Duke's The Blue Devil and Georgia Tech's Buzz . .
Best Kirk Fight Moves - The Wall of Destruction (via Kayla Iacovino)
5) Durand Scott's ankle will heal. Enough said. Despite idiotic rumors, this didn't happen
MISERY - HERE COMES THE HAMMER REMIX (via Secundas)
7) Rion Brown has one of the sweetest shots you'll ever see. Jerry said that his stroke from downtown reminds him of Reggie Miller's - and I don't disagree. The results aren't there right now for Brown, but that's going to change. I'm no stockbroker, but I do know that the Cardinal Rule is 'buy low, sell high'. In that case, I'm gobbling up shares of Rion Brown as fast as Goldman Sachs can pump them out. And you can take that to the bank . . . or have to answer to the one and only . .
Steven Seagal - Blood Bank (via ptyalisme)
8) Reggie will be back. He did not follow Gollum into the fiery depths of Mount Doom. If the 6-week timetable holds up, that would put Reggie back on target for mid-February - just in time for the back end of the ACC schedule and a run in the ACC Tournament.
'Canes fam, we've got until Jan 2nd at 9PM to process this crap news. Then, the 'Canes host LaSalle. We need to nut up, and show up. Miami is down a man - a very big man - and that's' all the more reason to support the team.
And as the great Ernest Hemmingway titled: The Sun Also Rises.