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The Opposing View | miami

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, c-a-n-e-s canes!  That’s right, it is time to head 900 miles south and 40 degrees north of Blacksburg to sunny Miami, Fla.  You can also check out The Opposing Taunt – Niemo Mocks Sebastian the Ibis

Niemo interviewed Kartik Krishnaiyer, his new favorite u of miami fan, who is the publisher of a website covering miami football and basketball. He has been attending miami football games since 1981 and miami basketball games since 1986. Despite graduating from the university of florida, he bleeds orange and green, and continues to hold season tickets for miami football and basketball. He also hosts the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network which deals with the US National Team, MLS, and NCAA Soccer.

Niemo’s Note: LOL!  Another canes fan that didn’t actually go to miami!  If I hadn’t driven through the campus, I might think it didn’t even exist and was just a front to allow quality citizens to play collegiate sports.  Maybe I just saw cardboard, two-dimensional buildings?  Honestly, have you ever met someone that actually went there?

Seriously, though, I like Kartik a lot and this was one of the more enjoyable interviews I’ve done.

Enough sappy-time, let’s get to the questions.  Since this is a rivalry, I’ve put the Rivalry/General Questions first with Basketball Questions to follow.

Rivalry/General Questions
Q: How strong is the VT/miami rivalry from the miami point of view?
A: Massive. You are our biggest conference rival in football, since FSU and Miami fans tend to get along better with one another and have a similar hatred for Florida. Your fans on the other hand are fairly obnoxious, not the genteel, sophisticated types that uva seems to travel with. Miami fans I can safely say dislike VT on the whole a lot more than FSU at this point in time. You can take pride in that.

Niemo’s Note: Honestly, I don’t hate the canes anymore.  We’ve beaten them too much lately to hate them, as Kartik points out below.  My hate level has gone way down since the 2002 VT/miami football game when I stormed out in the 3rd Quarter in a stream of profanities that still hover over the Orange Bowl. But it is good to know the dozen or so canes fans left dislike us.
Q: Back in the mid-90s, the Hokie Bird beat the crap out of Sebastian the Ibis for shooting silly string on him.  It turned out the Ibis was a woman and the Hokie Bird got suspended for 2 games.  Why hasn’t Sebastian ever tried to settle the score?  miami doesn’t usually let people punk them like that.
A: Sebastian was worried the media would get the NCAA to investigate Miami if he retaliated. That is despite the fact that we’ve had less active players arrested in the past ten years than Florida has in the past ten months.
Q: Since joining the ACC, VT is 28-6 in ACC football games, including 2 ACC titles and a division title.  miami has gone 16-16 with not even a division title.  VT has owned the canes by a 7-2 clip in football and basketball combined. What has happened to the mighty canes?
A: The “Mighty Canes” are in a long descent which believe it or not has not hit rock bottom yet. We are going to be even worse next year and potentially EVEN worse the year after. The Empire has fallen. and on the ashes you have a program that will never be great again. We have intense competition in recruiting and inferior budget and facilities to the rest of the league. However in basketball we should ascending which is why this season is so frustrating. We’ve got a great arena, a new practice facility about to open and the attractiveness of being an urban school in the best perceived league in the country. (I say perceived because I am of the opinion that the Big East is MUCH better than the ACC in basketball)

Q: Is moving to Dolphins Stadium a good thing for the program?  How much will you miss the Orange Bowl? (I’ve been there for 6 VT/miami games myself)
A: It’s a terrible thing for the program. I just cannot fathom Miami without the OB which may be part of the reason I am so down about the future. 
Q: Who are the real bad boys of the ACC?  I think the canes have lost their mystique!
A: virginia! I mean we all love thomas jefferson……………….Seriously the bad boys are maryland’s basketball fans. They whine, they cry and they are rude. But other than 2002 they haven’t won a darn thing and are filled with envy towards Duke and UNC! Heck soon they’ll be looking up at you guys also.

Niemo’s Note: I won’t say, “He had me at hello”, but Kartik definitely won me over with that comment.  I hate maryland so much, I even wrote an article about it.

Basketball Questions
Q: What are the strengths and weaknesses of this cane team?
A: Strengths:  Inside game, the ability to play in a half court set. The shooting touch of Jack McClinton and the ability of our interior defenders to play rough and tough inside.

Weakness: Poor ball handling, bad shot selection in transition and lack of speed. Questions still persist about Frank Haith’s game management as well.
Q: The canes started 12-0, including winning the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, but have since limped to a 3-6 record.  Why the big drop-off?
A:  Anthony King started out the season after his medical redshirt very hungry and determined and was cleaning up the boards and scoring inside. Then he had a miserable game in Starkville against a very good Mississippi State team and hasn’t recovered psychologically. He made three critical mistakes in the last 17 seconds of overtime which cost Miami a game it had won in Raleigh against NC State and since then the Canes have been in a tailspin. In addition the Hurricanes perimeter defense has collapsed since entering the ACC and while teams cannot go inside very easily on Miami, it doesn’t matter when we are so weak outside. The talent is here now. The facility is top class and the league is down. So losing is totally unacceptable. This isn’t football where Miami is in a prolonged rebuilding state. This should be the time Miami basketball returns to the heights we achieved in the Big East in the late 1990s. Obviously this team is a bitter disappointment to many of us down here.
Q: What do you think are the keys for miami to upset VT on Saturday?
A: Deron Washington is going to get his looks and points. A.D. Vassallo and Jeff Allen however both can kill an opponent and Miami must keep them in check. We need to be able to dominate the boards and give ourselves some second chance points. I am however expecting to be beat. Our guys with the exception of Jimmy Graham and undersized senior Ray Hicks are mentally weak. Another key could be Lance Hurdle – he’s learning to play the point guard position out of necessity because of Eddie Rios’ growing pains and Jack McClinton’s need to be able to square up and pop shots without taking a step or two on the dribble. He’s a catch and shoot type player and having to handle the ball was killing his game.
Q: What is your opinion of Seth Greenberg as a coach?
A: He’s one of the best around. You guys are lucky to have him. After a joke like Ricky Stokes it must even be that much more rewarding for your fans. I’ve watched Greenberg longer than most – as an assistant here at Miami in the 1980s, then at Long Beach State in the 1990s and on to South Florida. For many years Greenberg was fixture on local radio here calling in for a College Basketball power hour on the Hurricanes flagship station down here because Leonard Hamilton our coach at the time had a bad relationship with some of the personalities at that station. It was widely assumed thus when Hamilton bolted for the NBA and a potential deal with Rick Pitino fell apart that Greenberg would get the job. I am fairly certain he wanted the job but Perry Clark was instead hired and Miami’s program which looked like it was on the verge of becoming a national power in 2000, is eight years later looking like an also ran if not worse.

What Greenberg has done with the Hokies is remarkable. Your first year in the ACC we had a better team and assumed we’d sweep you. Instead you swept us and essentially kept us out of the NCAAs. Going 8-8 was remarkable and the next year Greenberg fought through all the injuries and family death’s and that darn shot by that punk from Duke that beat you. Why does Duke always get those breaks? Anyhow, you bounce back after that awful year with a near miss at the ACC title last year. Now this year you are better than ever with a kid like Jeff Allen just beginning to reach his potential. He could be your best player since Ace Custis. The losses to Richmond (which I saw) and ODU (which I did not see) are now safely in the rear view mirror.

Niemo’s Note: Hold on, I’m calling my parents to ask if I have a long lost twin brother… Did you hear that?  He hates ricky stokes and he didn’t even go to VT!  Wow.  I have a new best friend.  Seriously, ricky stokes was the worst coach ever.  But I digress…
Q: Why has Virginia Tech had so much more success than the canes in the ACC in terms of basketball, especially considering the canes did better in the Big East?
A: Seth Greenberg. Seriously, that is the reason. VT was always written in ink as a victory for us when we faced you guys in the Big East. You guys were a joke. An absolute joke in the Big East. Cassell Coliseum was like a morgue and VT was always a welcome sight when we needed a win. We went 7-1 versus you in the Big East and are 1-4 versus you since joining the ACC. That’s Greenberg at work. Also the ACC doesn’t impress me. I think the Big East was a much much tougher league which probably should tell you how bad Florida State would have been all these years if they were in the Big East.

Niemo’s Note: Cassell was a morgue, eh?  Kinda like the Orange Bowl was, BankUnited Center is, and Dolphins Stadium will be?  Snap!  Sorry, had to jump on that.  No hard feelings though, especially since VT is 3-1 in football and 4-1 in basketball against the canes since joining the ACC.  Nothin’ but love for ya, gator… oops, I mean “cane”.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1284 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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4 Responses to “The Opposing View | miami”

  1. DuffHokie says:

    Great Q&A… love to see that Kartik has a solid unbiased opinion. Need more Q&As like this.

  2. vt1fan says:


    C A N E S, CANES!!!!

    Ok, I’m done.

  3. startako says:

    Kartik is a pro, with well spoken answers backed up by numbers. Smart likable guy. I am impressed.

    As far as stokes goes, I saw most of my games while he was in charge, and my diagnosis was that he was a better recruiter and talent evaluator then coach. He was just too nice and the players didnt listen, but the talent of Terry Taylor, Jumon Gordon, Coleman Collins(…even Phil McCandies) proved that he picked good players.

  4. Niemo says:

    Gordon and Collins were not big time recruits, though, and that’s part of the problem. And that was his 4th recruiting class. I agree it is great to find some diamonds in the rough, but you have to go after, and get, big time guys to really build a program up. Guys like Tim Duncan, whom stokes got while an assistant at wake. Stokes, according to my contact, never talked to Boo Williams, the power coach of VA, or DeMatha while at VT. Greenberg quickly made more in-roads and the result is obvious – much better recruits have come in. So, in my opinion, stokes even failed at the thing he was allegedly good at.


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