UM Hoops: News & Notes (1/28)

Miami's misery on the road continues, and that's not good news for the Hurricanes, who have only two games at home over their next five outings.

Unless they can turn things around, they are going to be in too deep a hole in the conference to do anything about it when the schedule finally turns more favorable over the last month of the season.

With their losing streak now at four games, their longest skid since the 2006-07 team lost seven in a row at a similar point of the schedule, the Hurricanes are firmly settled in the ACC cellar at 1-5.

After starting the season 14-1, they have fallen to 15-5 overall.

It doesn't take a lot of digging to see why.

In the three road losses in the skid, they shot only 34.6 percent from the field overall and 23.7 percent from 3-point range.

Though they hit 47.3 percent for the game and 41.2 percent on treys in the loss at home to Boston College, they slumped to 34.5 and 11.1 percent, respectively, in the second half after opening on fire.

In their other home contest in January, which they hung on to win 67-66 over Wake Forest, the Hurricanes shot 48.3 percent from the field.

In addition to having to go on the road, the Hurricanes also must look forward to a couple of tough rematches in their next two games.

Virginia Tech, which embarrassed Miami by jumping out to a 30-point lead in the first half of an 81-66 victory to start the losing streak, comes to Coral Gables on Jan. 31.

Two days later, the Hurricanes are at Wake Forest, where the Deacons will be out for revenge.

MARYLAND 81, MIAMI 59: For the third consecutive time on the road, the Hurricanes fell behind early, trailing 12-2 at the outset. Though they managed to make a bit of a run approaching the midpoint of the first half, cutting their deficit down to five points under the 12-minute mark, they quickly fell back again by double digits.

The Hurricanes trailed 48-31 at the halftime break and were behind by 24 less than seven minutes into the second half on their way to an eventual 32-point hole (76-44) with under eight minutes left.

In addition to shooting problems in the second half, the Hurricanes lost the boards 35-29 and had only five assists, a season low. They had 17 turnovers for the game with 13 coming in the first half, which helped limit them to just 16 field-goal attempts.

They also had no answers defensively for the Terrapins, who were 28 of 55 from the field and 7-for-15 from behind the 3-point arc.

--A review of the game tape showed that it wasn't necessarily poor shot selection that cost Miami in the second-half collapse of the loss to Boston College. It was the timing of the Hurricanes' shots. "We did get good shots and we missed them, and that's going to happen," said coach Frank Haith, who would have preferred his team to run some clock once it got a 17-point lead early in the second half. "We did take two or three quick shots, and that's the youthfulness of our point guards."

--Poor shooting has killed the Hurricanes in the three losses. Throw out the 16 of 26 performance in the first half against Boston College and the Hurricanes are shooting only 33.3 percent (48 of 144) in the other five periods.

ON THE SPOT: Someone is going to have to step it up to take the pressure off Dwayne Collins inside. That task would logically fall to senior F Cyrus McGowan, but after scoring six points against Maryland, he has only 10 points over his last five games and is only 3 of 11 from the field over that span.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "People feel like it's doomsday for our team, but it's not. We've just got to keep on plugging away, got to keep working. We've got to be positive even if everybody else around is negative." -- Coach Frank Haith, after Miami's 1-4 start in conference play.

SEASON RECAP: Miami has dropped four in a row since hanging on to beat Wake Forest for its first ACC win. The loss to Boston College after squandering a 17-point second-half lead hurt in many ways, not the least of which was giving BC its second win over the Hurricanes in the two meetings.

PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- F Dwayne Collins, F Adrian Thomas, C Reggie Johnson, G Durand Scott, G James Dews. G Key Subs -- F Cyrus McGown, F DeQuan Jones, G Garrius Adams, G Malcolm Grant.

Virginia Tech 81, Miami 66
Virginia 75, Miami 57
Boston College 79, Miami 75
Maryland 81, Miami 59

vs. Virginia Tech, Sunday, Jan. 31
at Wake Forest, Tuesday, Feb. 2
at Florida State, Saturday, Feb. 6
vs. Georgia Tech, Wednesday, Feb. 10

IN FOCUS: The Hurricanes need a quick turnaround to avoid falling out of sight in the conference race.

--Senior F Dwayne Collins did not start at Maryland but came off the bench to register his second consecutive double-figure game in rebounds with 10 boards. He was frustrated by a Maryland defense that swarmed around him, however, and got off only three field-goal attempts, making two and adding a free throw in four attempts for five points, about eight under his average coming into the game.

--Freshman G Durand Scott led the Hurricanes in scoring with 13 points at Maryland, going 5-for-9 from the field. He is 17 of 34 from the field over the last five games along with 14 assists and 11 turnovers.

--Senior G James Dews might be coming out of a shooting slump in which he went only 10 of 35 from the field over a three-game stretch against Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Virginia. He is 8-for-18 over the last two games and 3-for-7 on treys. With 11 points against the Terps, he has scored in double figures in his last four games.

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