Niemo has once again interviewed his good buddy, Kartik Krishnaiyer, his favorite u of miami fan, for The Opposing View. Kartik is the publisher of canes rising, providing unique insight into miami football, basketball, and baseball. 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.
Here are the past articles from Kartik:
You can also check out The Opposing Taunt – Niemo Mocks Sebastian the Ibis
OK, let’s get to the questions:
Niemo: Describe this year’s miami team.
Kartik: Battle tested: A tough tournament down in the Virgin Islands which the team quite frankly wasn’t prepared for. We came back home and suddenly had to deal with the McClinton incident against Ohio State, and three days later had to withstand a great game from Patrick Patterson to get a great victory at Rupp [miami won at ky-kentucky], but then embarrassing ourselves on national TV against Clemson two weeks later.
Since the Clemson game, the team settled down and is playing at a fairly high level. Wins at St John’s and BC were good signs. But still the team is limited in its inside game. Jimmy Graham has been solid but cannot seem to stay out of foul trouble. Dwayne Collins is good but at times can be tentative. ArkansasÂ transfer Cyrus McGowan was outstanding earlier in the year but seems to be a bit soft: what would you expect from a SEC transfer, and is not making an impact since ACC play began.
The Canes won a NCAA Tournament game last year and that imparted a toughness to get through what has been a year filled with distractions like Jack’s ejection, Hurdle’s injury, and the ongoing Eddie Rios soap opera.
Niemo: How well do you think VT matches up with the canes?Â
Kartik: The Hokies match up well with everyone in the league it seems [he obviously hasn’t seen us play nc state], thanks to AD Vassallo’s unique skill set for a 6’6” guy. Seth Greenberg always has his troops ready for ACC play. The problem with the RPI and Selection Committee is that once again this year they are going to want VT to win 10 games in the ACC, a nearly impossible task. The selection committee can claim they pick the best at-large teams, but they don’t. I still do not accept any explanation for VT’s exclusion last year. In fact I believe Florida State and Maryland had good cases as well. Our league is tougher night in and night out that any other league in America. I just do not understand how Big East teams get credit for playing each other tough, but last year the Hokies took UNC down to the wire in Greensboro, and that was conveniently ignored the next day when the selections were made.
Niemo: What are miami’s keys to win?Â VT’s?
Kartik: Miami must establish Dwayne Collins inside early, and not have to chase the game as we did against FSU and Maryland. Miami won both games, but those teams are more mistake prone and less experienced that the Hokies.
For VT, AD Vassallo creates headaches for opponents and Miami doesn’t have a guy that can really match up with him. It is possible we will see Frank Haith start DeQuan Jones, the freshman, or Adrian Thomas simply due to the need to guard Vassallo. Thomas has actually been playing very well since ACC play began after contributing little during the non-conference slate.
The other option for Miami is to play zone from the get go and Haith is not afraid to do that.
Niemo: McClinton and Delaney are both from Baltimore (the Crab Dribblin’ state!) and may be matched up on Sunday.Â Think they will have some extra motivation to one-up each other?Â Who wins the head-to-head battle?
Kartik: McClinton should win it, but Delaney is quicker and probably will spend as much time guarding Lance Hurdle as Jack. If Delaney gets matched up with James Dews, whose head seems not to be on basketball lately, he’ll explode.
Really this question brings another issue up: the collapse of Maryland from the national elite. I get the sense that for years the ESPN driven Tobacco Road elitism resented the Terps success. Now that Maryland is just another ACC team, they cannot protect their recruiting base and seem to be safely ignored by the national media. That’s good for stealing kids out of Baltimore or DC if you are VT or Miami, but may not be great for the ACC as a whole.Â
Niemo: Seriously, Anthony King is gone?Â He should have his doctorate with all the time he played for you guys!Â And this is still a very veteran team.Â Is that a good thing, or are you ready for some new blood?
Kartik:Â Lindy’s Preview issue said 37 years in ACC Basketball for King. It wasn’t quite that long, but it seemed like it was [he actually started out in the Big East with the canes]. Now the ACC has Harvey Hale to celebrate as an ACC lifer.
Back to Miami: this is a veteran team that has been through the ACC wars and is engaged in battle again this season. Next year, Miami welcomes Durand Scott, the top high school player in New York City and three other prized recruits into the program. Frank Haith is recruiting well and the team is benefiting from not having any ties to the failed regime of Perry Clark remaining. Much like VT took off the second the last Ricky Stokes recruits were history.Â [LOL — Kartik knows how to play to me — he bashes stokes in every article!]
Niemo: You have a 6’9″ 290 lbs. freshman.Â What is the ideal height for someone that fat?Â Um, is he in the wrong sport?Â Are you trying to sneak in O-Lineman on basketball scholarships?
Kartik: He’s so fat he’s being redshirted. Why? He needs to lose weight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Niemo: The canes aren’t even averaging 4k per game at home, worst in the ACC.Â What can we expect for atmosphere on Sunday?
Kartik: It’ll be a good atmosphere. Most of those games were during the winter break from school. Miami Basketball is very student driven, unlike Miami Football which is… well, I’ll skip that, but you know it’s not students who hassle your Hokie fans at the football games.Â
Niemo: If McClinton could girl-slap one Hokie, who would it be?
Kartik: Probably Delaney. Old Baltimore thing. But then again Jack is really a good kid who had a moment of madness. [McClinton basicallyÂ slapped an ohio state player in theÂ ACC/Big(11)Ten challenge and got tossed from the game… can’t believe Kartik missed the obvious Jeff Allen/referee reference here!]
Niemo: Where do you predict miami finishing in the ACC regular season standings?Â VT?Â Tourney bound or NIT?
Kartik: 5th or 6th for the Canes and dancing again. VT should be somewhere between 5th and 7th. Florida State will be the other team in the mix for an NCAA bid in the league. Maryland just seems too weak inside and not able to close out games on the road. I think the Terps are staring down the NIT again this year.
FSU has more talent than Miami or VT, but again the Noles have a penchant for collapse at the end of every season when they need one more win to secure an NCAA bid. Should we expect any different this season?Â
Niemo: In 3-5 years, do you see miami’s basketball program getting better or worse?Â Where do you see VT’s?
Kartik: This is easy: both programs are emerging. The ACC elites got more than they bargained for inviting these two schools. The real victims I guess are Georgia Tech, NC State and YES, UVA, who now cannot compete year in and year out in the ACC. The Cavs wasted all that money on an arena no one is going to care to play in. The real question is how long until Virginia and NC State completely collapse? I don’t think either program can compete regularly in the current ACC. Think about it this way: Pete Gillen recruited top class after top class to Charlottesville yet UVA has two NCAA appearences in the last ten years? That’s pathetic. Now that they are lacking in talent consistently under Leito I don’t see a way out for them.
Niemo: What did you think of that 3rd ACC football title the Hokies locked up this year?Â Lessen the joy of your rare win over VT any?
Kartik: Never. These days any win over the Hokies is cause for celebration. I guess you can claim success after scoring 14 points at home against Duke. I’ll give you guys credit for knocking out TJ Yates, otherwise UNC would be celebrating today. Oh wait, they don’t celebrate football wins anyhow.Â
Niemo: Your alma mater just won another football title.Â Think about jumping ship back to the gators?Â miami sports aren’t exactly on the rise (might need to rename your site).
Kartik: No way. The Gator fans are what drove me from my alma mater in the first place. I actually still support UF in basketball, much as I did when I was in school there. It was lonely being a hoops fan in Gainesville in the mid 1990s. Really lonely. But in football, UF has all the money, the prestige, the power: why would I jump on that bandwagon? It would be like rooting for UNC or Duke in basketball!!!!! (Then again, I did not want to see OU or Bob Stoops win a national title. Did any of you?)
Niemo: Wish you could be back in the Big East?
Kartik: NO! How about you guys? As my co-host on our podcast Nate Skinner said the other night, the Big East is more a collection of teams than a real conference. Seriously does anyone really think of USF as a “Big East school?”
Niemo: Bigger punk: Eddie Rios or Robert Marve?
Kartik: Marve, although you guys have the rare distinction of having lost to him this year, one of only two ACC teams that will ever lose to him. Rios was a real disappointment. Committed to UM as a sophomore in High School but never grew into the point guard role and eventually became one huge distraction.Â
Niemo: Is Wet Willie’s the greatest drink place in the world?Â (this is really a rhetorical question)
[For those of you that have never been, Wet Willie’s features drinks that can be only described as “slurpees on steroids” – they are frozen drinks filled heavily with grain alcohol.Â They are currently banned by theÂ Weekend WarriorÂ for good reason.]