Indiana State game was a wakeup call

Or maybe you could say the honeymoon is over. ISU had a thorough scouting report and their players executed it very well. They recognized that we have been running our offense through Mirambeaux. They force him to come out and get the ball and one of their 6-10 centers took him one on one. They denied his passes to 3 point shooters and also took away all back cuts and most other cuts. When Morris came in they were taking the ball away from him. So really good defense. All that was left for Anderson was to back their big center down and try to score over the top of him. He had a poor shooting night. He went 3 for 11. They crowded Billy Smith and took away his 3’s. He had no answer and went 1 for 6 and 0 for 4 on threes. Many of the cut to the basket layups to Safford were denied or turned into turnovers. Lairy is always an option when other things fail, and he came through big at Georgia when that happened, but he shot very poorly ( 2 for 10 and 0 for 7 on threes). Some days he might hit those shots. Mabry, who has played so much better when he comes off the bench, was the only guy who actually hit his shots and played pretty well.

Defensively, we did not take away their bread and butter. They are a 3 point shooting team ( we have been that as well with 3 starters missing a lot of games) and they took ours away but we did not deny their’s at all. They average 11 and we average 9 per game, which are both big numbers, but in this game we were a horrible 3 for 19 ( all by Mabry) and they were 16 for 34. That is a 39 point difference.

When teams are draining 3’s on you, a game can get to a 20 point margin in a hurry. They had 11 threes in the first half ( that is 33 points), I think we had 2. That is why we got down 30 at halftime. Much the same thing happened vs Marshall.

Those are reasons we got blown out so bad. We really are not good enough at this point to compete against that level of a team. We are playing too many freshman and inexperienced guys to compete successfully with top 100 type of teams, much older more experienced teams. Without Lewis or Williams, we did not even have a guy on our active roster to try to match up with their 6-4 star who had 24 points at the half. He was either too tall or too quick for any of our active players too match up with him. Now those are reasons we got hammered. Reasons are sometimes labeled excuses, but that does not change the truth.

We have 5 games on our schedule which I would call scheduled wins, 3 NAIA teams and two 300 level teams, all at home. Our 3 wins all came from that list of teams. In those games we could run our offense and get great shots. Teams like Marshall and ISU took those things away from us and pointed out just how far we have to go.

I think this was a wake up for the coaches as well. They had to be really disappointed with the fan/student turnout. Just wait till they see the crowds the next 6 weeks as students and many townspeople will leave. With Christmas vacation and then J-term, it will be the last weekend in January before there will be fans, bands, dance teams, pep bands, and students. There is a major task ahead to rebuild support, and this game was denied what could have been a big student crowd by all the national attention given to students in uptown bars supporting Team USA. That was the big event in town on Saturday.

There were a few other issues which popped up at the ISU game. Our players lost their confidence and appeared to be hanging their heads and looked beaten. Coach Steele fought hard early in the game, arguing with the refs and talking sternly with the players. Then he got a Technical for yelling at one ref several times ( no bad language, just bitching too much and too often). However, after that he also did use some poor language, which is nothing compared to what Coach Martin or most all football coaches do, but sitting in a quiet gym about 20 feet away from the bench, it is another situation and several people in the stands were not good with it. He also yelled at his team when they were standing at mid court with their heads down, which I really liked.

The second half was much better, we actually outscored them a few points, as both teams played everybody. We did fight and scrap in the second half so they got that corrected at halftime.

We have played way too many freshman this season. Unless you have big time stars, a good program is not going to start more than one. While Mirambeaux is a 4th year players, this is the first time in his career that he has played a big role in D-1. Lairy has great experience, but has always been more of a scorer, not a passing point guard, This role is new for him. Safford, in his first year here, seems just fine to me. We need more of that. I personally think our two best players are Lewis and Williams, neither played Saturday. They both have nice size and length, good athleticism, and they can both kind of do it all. Last year Williams got to start the last 10 games, and averaged in double figures in those starts, but his offense was strictly catch and shoot from the perimeter, and get a few stickbacks. This year I was really excited about what he showed in the exhibition game, because he had expanded his skill set in the off season. Besides being a catch and shoot 3- point expert, he had added a game off the bounce, both a midrange jumper and taking it to the hole and finishing. Everybody has seen what Lewis can do, what an all around game that he has. When we get to the point where we can start Mirambeaux at center and Lairy at the point and Lewis, Williams, and Safford in between, I think that would be a lineup which can compete against good D-1 teams. Our best freshmen, Smith and Mabry and Morris will still get plenty of minutes. Too me that looks like a team which can compete at a much higher level than we are at right now.


Great synopsis Dick.

People like you, mz343, and LaxDaddy are why I continue to read this Board.


The lack of any apparent interest within the student body, faculty and staff continues to amaze me. It’s not as if our academics are so rigorous that the majority of students develop neuroses and have constant bouts of anxiety like at the truly elite institutions. And there are no beaches, casinos or ski slopes nearby, just cornfields. The Greek houses don’t have constant hot weather and swimming pools like they do in Tempe or Tucson. Cincinnati is 45 minutes to an hour away and it’s not a party town like Las Vegas, NYC, New Orleans or even Chicago.

The growing student and fan apathy and constant mediocrity of our big four athletics programs coupled by our shrinking revenue stream is highly worrisome.

It seems to be creating the perfect storm for an eventual total deemphasis of our athletics programs.


I will never blame students for lack of interest until I sense the BOT and upper echelons of Miami administration gives a s***.

I believe in tone at the top.


Well it’s a good thing they aren’t coaches. Regardless of how our fans want to treat Millett, it’s not a tennis match. And I guarantee whatever coach is their favorite is throwing around just as much profanity.

I don’t know that I would say the honeymoon is over. Everything that’s happened is pretty well expected, even by the staff. I think the one thing they’re frustrated with is how poorly we’ve handled older, physical teams. Marshall bodied us all over. ISU grabbed and pushed while we were cutting and we just weren’t strong enough to get through them. They’ve got 4 years in the weight room over most of our guys, but that’s still not enough for how badly we wilted after we got punched in the mouth. Totally agree about the bad 3 point defense; my opinion is it’s a side effect of over-helping and not trusting your teammates enough, but I would need to rewatch to be sure (and I don’t feel like rewatching that game).

Steele has said every decision he makes is for year 3. Smith, Mabrey, Morris, and Rylee are only getting more experience so they can be the core of a good team by that time - and I think they each have the potential to do that if they continue working and growing.

For anyone who hasn’t, I highly recommend watching Steele’s press conference after. The comment about team culture is one that doesn’t surprise me at all


Grinnin’ Greg Crawford was sitting courtside, throwing t-shirts during time outs. My hope was that he was slightly embarrassed by the empty arena, but I doubt if he thought much about it.

One of my great regrets is that Sayler has been unable to bring any big name program into Millett. Look at the crowd for UC. Miami students have always responded to that, and I understand those teams don’t want to come to Oxford. Maybe Travis has a Rolodex that might yield such a game, much like Darrell Hedric did with his friends Bob Knight and Dean Smith.


And Gene Keady.


Watching the game, it looked like a couple guys were struggling physically. Smith appeared to be just plain tired. He’s a kid who hit campus in July and hasn’t stopped yet. Including playing 40 minutes one game. And without the guys who are out, we lose 2-3 starters to begin with. Also, our size is greatly diminished w/out Harrison, Etzler and Williams and Julian a big guard.
I am not surprised that we got whacked a couple times. Good basketball requires that people play as a team. These guys haven’t been together long enough to react by knowing what the other guy is thinking. Like Charlie’s defense. But they are getting better every game. I look forward to some good wins.


The Administration at Miami (define as you wish and as far down as you care to go) simply isn’t interested to the point of doing anything about improving Miami’s woeful fan support.

P.S. Tossing t-shirts is hardly leadership.

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My only disagreement with Steele, and it is a minor one, is I would be making decisions for year 2. ISU turned around in 2 years. Other programs have as well. Make decisions for year 2 with perhaps an eye on year 3 and beyond. With the portal, everything has changed. It is sad, but true. Decisions now have to be made in FB and BB with more sense of immediacy. Looking at the here and now. The days of roster building for years 3 and 4 are essentially gone.


Just a quick comment about lack of fan support. Miami is great at alienating fans (students or alumni). Proof of this is the parking situation at west Millett.
The majority of ticket holders are seniors, and many 70 plus, but yet the students are now allowed to park their cars close to Millett, foring the ticket holders to walk a long way to the building. The ticket office even sent an email last week telling everyone to “get their early” to find a place!
Simple answer would be to make students park at the far west end and reserve enough parking close to the building for the few loyal fans.


Can’t disagree with that, especially coming from an era where students having a car parked there would get you expelled.


Welcome by the way!


I had a damn hard time finding a place to park my horse and buggy!


Under the water tower on High Street is where the hitching posts used to be. Just about a mile walk to Millett.

This is the situation. Instead of two weeks of school and then a week of finals after Thanksgiving, this year they only have one week of school and then Finals Week. So the University allowed students to drive back to Oxford and park at Millett and then drive home after Finals. So it is a temporary thing and there were probably more than double the number of usual student vehicles in Millett.


Semi-funny car story. Last two years i lived off campus in Oxford i had a car and of course no permit. One time in early 2nd semester drove my car and couple of teammates to intermural bball game at Withrow. Later game and of course dark and cold. Figured it was safe to park my beater with all the others. Kind of figured the Seekies wouldn’t be out writing ticket at 25 dedree weather. After the game we all pile into the car and had just pulled out and wase heading out of the back lot when a cruiser pulled behind me. He flashed his brights but not his siren. I kept going and he followed me all the out down towards Millett and out Bonham into the corn and beans untill he finally gave up and turned a round.


By '77 or so cars weren’t a hanging offense but were a stiff ticket for a semi-poor college student.


Arrived June 4th

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Anyone know when Lewis is going to be back?