Final Report Card: UM Basketball

The Miami Hurricanes are coming of their deepest push in a postseason tournament since the Leonard Hamilton-led ‘Canes advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2000. After knocking off Oklahoma State and Creighton, the ‘Canes succumbed to Michigan's physical play in the NIT quarterfinals seeing their season end at 18-16.

That loss also saw the end of the career of shooting guard Robert Hite and center Gary Hamilton as they are both seniors. But it also saw the expected departure combo-guard Guillermo Diaz who declared for the NBA Draft following his junior year.

Having already signed with an agent, Diaz cannot return to college if he's not happy with the projections of where he might be drafted.

With that said, we'll grade out each position and the coaching of the University of Miami men's basketball team this year.


When Anthony Harris missed the first seven games of the season with a broken foot, the ‘Canes struggled at point guard having to start freshman Denis Clemente at point. While it gave Clemente a lot of experience, it cost the ‘Canes in terms of victories and that may have ended up being the difference with Miami earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament and not earning one.

Upon Harris' full strength return to the line up, the ‘Canes clearly improved, but late in the season, it seemed like Harris hit a wall. His play slipped and it became evident that Clemente was starting to get better and earning more playing time in key parts of games.

Either way, the ‘Canes point guard play was overall as inconsistent as the team's overall season. How the point guard play pretty much determined how the ‘Canes played. When the ‘Canes won, the point play was rather good. When the ‘Canes lost, the point play was bad.

Both Harris and Clemente return next season. It should be interesting to see what Frank Haith does with the duo.

Grade: C


We'll Guillermo Diaz the shooting guard and Robert Hite the small forward under this grading system because technically that's the position both played.

Diaz was far from the Diaz that dominated as a sophomore. It might have even served him better to have declared for the NBA Draft following his sophomore year rather than after this season because his numbers this year weren't close to what they were as a sophomore.

In truth, Diaz regressed a bit as a junior. Could it have been the off-season knee surgery he had between his sophomore and junior seasons? He clearly didn't have the same type of spring he had in the past. The dunks were rare if ever and he didn't have the burst he had as a sophomore.

Yes, opponents were preparing game plans to stop him and sent double teams at him, but that didn't matter when he was a sophomore.

Not until later in the year did Diaz finally start to play like the Diaz of old, so as he enters the draft the question is, has Diaz capped out? Can he really get much better?

Either way, his uneven season hurt the ‘Canes this season because the expectations of him were huge.

Grade: B


Robert Hite played his senior year like it was the end of the road. He played like any game could have been his last.

The effort, the desire, the quality of play, everything about Hite's game was improved from his junior year. Without question, Hite was the team's most consistent player and the team's MVP this year.

Hite averaged 16.4 points per game, good for second on the team behind Diaz, but he also rebounded like a horse averaging 5.8 rebounds a game.

At only 6-foot-2, Hite, with his 44-inch vertical leap, skied above bigger players for rebounds. He had to as he played in the blocked in Miami's 2-3 zone.

Hite was usually the creator of some of Miami's flashiest plays this season; the emotional plays that got the crowd jumping. His energy in the BankUnited Center was constant. He broke the Miami record for three-pointers in a season and shot 45% from the field to go with his 82% shooting from the free throw line.

Hite will enter this year's NBA Draft with the chance of getting drafted, but there's no doubt that he will get a chance somewhere because a shooter like Hite is hard to find.

Grade: A


Anthony King got a little better on the offensive end, but remained the steadfast presence on the inside that was able to block shots and grab rebounds.

However, his limited offensive production hurt Miami. The ‘Canes lacked the inside production they desperately needed to have this season in order to have a very successful season.

He averaged only nine points that was below the expectations Haith had of him coming into the season.

And at times, he missed shots that were simply unbelievable. Generally, those were easy lay ups and it left he and his coach frustrated.

The reality in King's season is that he was able to dominate against the smaller opponents, but when he faced a player from a conference opponent he generally struggled offensively.

As he returns next season, King has to make the decision on whether or not he wants to dominate. He has the ability to average 15 points a game, but has to simply do it.

Grade: C+


Gary Hamilton is the type of guy that most teams need. The problem for Miami is that on most teams, he's the type of player that comes off the bench to give a team energy and an emotional spark because of the way he plays.

It may not be pretty and it may not be aesthetically cute, but Hamilton does the things that all teams need, the dirty work.

For Miami, he starts and when your center barely averages five points a game, it's a problem.

For all that Hamilton does and tries to do for his team, it simply isn't enough as a starter in the ACC.

Grade: C


The bench is something Miami didn't have in Haith's first year. It's something that was a bit improved this season, but still nothing that would strike fear into opponents.

Thankfully, Raymond Hicks stepped up down the stretch and made plays for Miami. He gave Haith something to look forward to next season as he returns for his junior year. Hicks will more than likely be a starter next season and be the ‘Canes primary option in the post.

Clemente came off the bench after starting earlier in the season. He had some good games and some struggles. But he improved as the season went on and will give Haith something to look forward to next year as well.

But the reality is, point production was something the ‘Canes simply didn't get once again this year.

Jimmy Graham didn't provide much offensively. Early in the year, he started, but the freshman clearly wasn't ready. He is very physical, but very raw and needs work on developing a post game and not fouling people like crazy.

But the major disappointment had to come in the loss of Eric Wilkins who missed most of the season with a back injury. He was expected to be a major contributor off the bench, but without him the ‘Canes struggled to find a guard to replace Diaz or Hite.

Another disappointment was the lack of production that Miami got from freshmen Adrian Thomas and Brian Asbury. In spot duty, they didn't do much this year clearly not having adjusted to being role players from being the stars in high school.

Grade: D


It's hard to criticize Haith because you can only do so much with what you have, but the ‘Canes defense has to become more complex.

While a 2-3 zone can work lovely against teams that simply can't shoot, Miami has to play more man-to-man defense and press opponents more often. The ‘Canes with the lack of a post game needed to create more offense from their defense.

The ‘Canes couldn't stop teams or even slow teams like North Carolina State or Duke because they shot Miami right out of the zone.

The reality is, Miami was a soft team on defense. The ‘Canes were not physical regardless of what the stats say. Most of the games that they held opponents to low point totals were early in the season. Most of the ACC teams simply lit Miami up from the perimeter.

The ‘Canes also faded down the stretch for the second consecutive year. It's easy to say the players choked down the stretch, which in a sense, they did, but the coaches have to be the individuals who find a way to get them over the hump and down the stretch, the players simply didn't get over that hump.

Grade: B

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat is a Basketball Staff Writer with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

Canes Time Top Stories