IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT’S MONDAY! Which means it’s time to pop the top on some orange-and-green thought juice and dump it down our throats. Let’s get to it...
1) Kamren Kinchens was named first team All-American by the Associated Press today. That’s the big one. That’s pretty much the flashiest, most renowned award a player can receive, aside from the Heisman Trophy. It’s what defines programs and is celebrated/bragged about for decades to come. Miami has a hall of draft picks and All-Americans that they trot recruits out through to get photos. Now, Kam’s name will be among them.
And he will be above the practice field that he practices on next fall, as that’s where fellow recipients of such honor have their names placed. That’s kind of cool. And all of this amid a completely lost 5-7 season. But there can be little doubt that he earned it. I’m thrilled he’ll be back in 2023, taking away half the field for a defense that really, really needs it.
2) Speaking of football, Miami has a pair of big recruits making announcements this week in Samson Okunlola and Rueben Bain. My reaction? I hope they pick UM, of course, but I’m just not feeling the stress about recruiting this year like I normally do. I’m more worried about landing some good impact players from the portal. And that will be a continued option for the coming weeks as players sort out their options, where they want to go, where there is availability, etc. It’s honestly becoming as much of a recruiting thing as traditional recruiting. Can Miami land the next Charleston Rambo, an accomplished player who is polished and ready to kill it on day one? That’s more where my thoughts lie right now.
3) Miami basketball has started December off the way it finished off the 2021-2022 season - with some heart-stopping moments. The Cornell-Miami game was on the turd-tastic network that is Bally Sports, which means I’m blacked out even on the ESPN3 app. Absolute hot stinky garbage of a setup with that stupid network. As such, I was checking updates on my phone, and it appeared to be a ping-pong game with each team scoring and the next team scoring and then back and forth over and again. Miami tried to give it away, but they came up with a huge block to seal the game and avoid a major disaster. Then, they fell down by 16 points to NC State on Saturday before rallying with a 46-point second half for an 80-73 win to move to 2-0 in ACC play. This team is going to have first halves like Saturday and defensive lapses like against Cornell...but man, they’ve got the personnel this year to turn on the jets and come roaring back against anyone. It’s gonna be small ball last year, but few teams in the ACC can boast the depth and quality of guards like Miami can. This is looking like a tournament team through the first 5 weeks.
4) Oh, and they’re ranked #25 this week, and deservedly so. Well done, gentlemen!