The 'Canes opened the season short-handed due to highly-touted freshman DeAndre Burnett's season-ending wrist injury. At Wednesday's presser, Coach Larranaga seemed plenty concerned about where he was going to get the points the team was counting on from Burnett.
Last year's National Coach of the Year looked like his prognostications were on target as the 'Canes struggled to score. Period. Taking a goose-egg from beyond the arc (0-15) was just a symptom of an overly hasty offense. Both teams had trouble scoring, but towards the end of the first frame the 'Canes started looking for Donnavan Kirk to take advantage of his size advantage down low.
The Terriers adjusted and took a 1-point lead heading into the break. Miami came out with energy, but their opposition was every bit as scrappy as their moniker suggests. The game went deep into the second stanza with Miami trailing and trying desperately to find points. Tonye Jekiri racked up his 4th foul early, and sat for a good part of the second half. With 4:14 left in the game, Jekiri picked up his 5th foul and was sent to the bench for the rest of the night.
The game was as ugly as it was agonizing to watch, however, there was a bright moment just before the end of regulation when Garrius Adams scored on a spinning drive that forced the game into overtime. Whatever momentum the 'Canes may have seized with Adams' last-second save was obliterated in the extra frame.
The Terriers held tough and gave the 'Canes a tough-to-swallow loss. This is the time to put the game in perspective - it's just one game. While the expectations aren't nearly as high as they were last season, the 'Canes will get better and will be a better team down the road.
The Bottom Line: There aren't many worse ways to kick-off a season. The injury to Burnett was like being on the receiving end of a Mike Tyson liver punch. I thought from the beginning that this season would be a rebuilding year - and that hasn't changed - even with this deflating loss. I fully expect the 'Canes to get better - much better. However, with limited depth and limited scoring opportunities, it could be a long season in terms of wins and losses. There are some longer-term positives to this predicament. With more minutes and shots to go around for a smaller group of players, watch the hastened development of Tonye Jekiri, Manu Lecomte, and Devon Reed.
The Good: The Good stuff happened before the game
The Bad: The 'Canes looked like they took The Basketball Time Machine several years back and struggled mightily to inbound the ball in key spots.
The Ugly: A video of this game in its entirety should appear next to any definition of the word 'ugly'.
Game Metaphor Footage:
|St. Francis (NY) Terriers|
|Jalen Cannon, F||30||6-13||2-4||0-0||4||6||10||0||0||0||0||3||14|
|Matt Milk, C||7||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||1||0||1||3||0|
|Kevin Douglas, G||34||1-6||1-4||3-4||2||2||4||0||0||1||3||3||6|
|Anthony White, G||10||1-3||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||2|
|Ben Mockford, G||38||4-12||3-10||0-0||0||3||3||2||0||0||1||0||11|
|Wayne Martin, F||28||6-13||1-1||4-7||4||4||8||2||2||1||5||4||17|
|Amdy Fall, F||18||3-4||0-0||0-0||1||3||4||0||0||2||1||3||6|
|Lowell Ulmer, F||7||0-0||0-0||0-2||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|P.J. Santavenere, G||10||1-2||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||2||2|
|Aleksandar Isailovic, G||4||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Brent Jones, G||26||0-3||0-1||7-8||1||6||7||4||0||0||2||4||7|
|Sheldon Hagigal, G||4||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||0|
|Yunus Hopkinson, G||9||0-2||0-2||1-2||0||0||0||1||1||0||1||1||1|
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Donnavan Kirk, F||35||6-8||0-1||4-6||7||3||10||0||1||2||4||3||16|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||23||2-7||0-0||2-2||1||8||9||1||0||1||2||5||6|
|Manu Lecomte, G||34||3-10||0-2||3-4||0||1||1||1||2||0||2||2||9|
|Garrius Adams, G||40||4-18||0-8||7-9||1||2||3||3||3||0||1||2||15|
|Rion Brown, G||42||3-10||0-3||5-6||1||6||7||0||0||0||1||1||11|
|Erik Swoope, F||23||0-3||0-0||2-2||1||3||4||0||0||0||0||3||2|
|James Kelly, F||5||0-0||0-0||0-0||3||1||4||0||0||0||2||2||0|
|Raphael Akpejiori, F||5||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|Davon Reed, G||18||1-5||0-1||1-2||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||1||3|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None
Officials: Bernard Clinton,Brian Dorsey,Louie Andrakakos