It’s Monday, which means it’s time to hit the “purge” button on the random Canes tidbits floating around in the recesses of my brain....
1) I did not see that run coming in Greensboro. I all but did the crucifix symbol and proclaimed this season dead and buried after the Canes squeaked by league-worst Boston College at home 80-76. It seemed nice to finish the season with a feel-good win heading into a sure-to-be-quick ACC tournament.
Insert any “wrong” .gif here.
Miami opened with a 79-73 win over Pitt in the opening round, which saw Miami break a see-saw 2nd half with a clutch 9-0 run in the final minutes. They followed that up with another thrilling win over tourney-bound Clemson, which they all but tried to give back in the game’s final minute after leading during the final ten. In the quarters against Georgia Tech, they fought like heck, but simply ran out of gas in their third game in three days with a depleted roster, falling 70-66.
What really stings is that if they had found a way to win that game, they would have advanced all the way to the championship against FSU due to Virginia’s COVID-19 situation. Give that team a day of rest, and who knows what could’ve happened.
In any event, what last week showed me is that this team, regardless of the adversity, has fight and is playing hard for Jim Larranaga. Isaiah Wong and Kameron McGusty were oustanding.
2) However, what this roster will look like next season is hard to say, as Earl Timberlake is reportedly transferring, per Barry Jackson. Jackson also notes Miami’s tall task of persuading 6 seniors to return/stay, and to keep Chris Lykes at home - who Jackson notes as being linked to Georgetown.
This could end up being some of Coach L’s most important recruiting work to date, and will tell a lot about the perceived state of the program by how successful he is. Losing Lykes would be the ultimate gut shot. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.
3) In happier news, Canes baseball finally won a Friday night game!!!! Alejandro Rosario got a more-than-deserved Friday night start (which hopefully will become a regular thing), and he absolutely delivered a gem, striking out 7 over 7 innings while allowing a single hit and two walks. Could end up being the start of the season, perhaps. Rosario might not be just the best freshman pitcher in the conference this year - he’s pitching like the best overall one right now. Numbers and stuff don’t lie, and his haven’t, yet. Keep it up, Alejandro.
4) Speaking of red hot, Anthony Vilar is mashing right now, with 3 HRs and 10 RBIs in his last 4 games. He’s sporting a .327 average so far, but is adding pop. Speaking of pop, Alex Toral went Bing Bang Pa la Calle for the first time this season in Miami’s Friday night win. The Canes need their big guy to take off, who has just 1 HR and 4 RBIs in 32 ABs and a .250 overall average so far this young season. Sometimes it just takes that one hit, and hopefully that was it for Alex.