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From Inside Carolina



Frank(ly), Miami needed a change. Two consecutive losing seasons in the Big East and the move to the ACC opened the door to clean house ... so Miami athletic director Paul Dee swept out coach Perry Clark.

Enter 38-year-old Frank Haith, one of those young coaches whose name kept coming up on short lists for head jobs the past two years. He helped Rick Barnes build a powerhouse at Texas the last four years, and before that he was with Dave Odom at Wake Forest, so he's no stranger to the ACC.

Most importantly, though, Haith is a proven recruiter, recently named this year's top recruiter in the nation, in fact, by Rivals.com, a service that tracks the recruitment wars. And a quick influx of talent is the surest way to right the Hurricanes as they enter a new era, likely to begin in the lower echelons of the top-heavy ACC.


PROGRAM OVERVIEW: Frank Haith inherits a young team that doesn't look positioned to be much of a threat in its new league, though sophomore guard Guillermo Diaz could be a star in the making.

Along with the graduation of leading scorer and rebounder Darius Rice, sophomore point guard Armondo Surratt opted to transfer. Ditto sophomore reserve forward Karron Clarke and talented fall signee C.J. Giles. The Hurricanes look inexperienced and undermanned heading into that initial ACC schedule, a lethal combination against an unforgiving slate.

Haith certainly knows how to perk up future hopes, though. In late June, he secured a verbal commitment from South Miami High hero Brian Asbury, who will enroll in 2005. The 6-6 Asbury led the Cobras to the Florida 6A state final as a junior and will be one of the state's top seniors this year.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I want to spend more time watching tapes and watching this team, but I know we are close. We have to improve in some areas. ... Our main theory is going to be that (the players) have each other's back and I want them to know that I have their back also." -- Coach Frank Haith.


KEY RECRUITS AND TRANSFERS: Forward Raymond Hicks -- A 6-7 forward from Longview, Texas, Hicks has the ability to play on the wing but also go inside when necessary, according to Haith. Hicks, who averaged more than 21 points and 10 rebounds at Longview High, chose Miami over Indiana, Texas A&M, Baylor and Tulsa.

Guard Antoine Mayhand -- The 6-2 product of Washington, D.C., prepped last year at Massanutten Military (Va.) Academy and is the more polished of Haith's two signees. He averaged 23 points, seven rebounds and eight assists and chose Miami over Georgetown, Illinois and Arkansas. He led H.D. Woodson High to an 88-7 record and two state championship appearances in three years.

INJURY IMPACT: No significant injuries.
07-13-2004 06:15 PM
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