By James Blackburn

Miami Hurricanes basketball

Opening game of 2011 ACC Tournament

Miami wins 69-62(OT)
Box Score

Game Recap/Thoughts

1st Half

• Miami- Too many Turnovers- guards cant handle the defensive pressure by Virginia
• Miami- Relies on 3’s; they are making them today
• Virginia doubled Johnson every time.
• Miami is getting a lot of offensive rebounds
• Miami can score efficiently inside
• Virginia is playing very well defensively- they are making Miami shoot over them.

2nd half

• Virginia is a smart team- patient
• Both teams are struggling to score early
• Very few transition opportunities this half for either team.
• Miami is playing a 2-3 zone in the middle of second half.
• Miami as a team is too anxious and jumpy on defense- not disciplined- go for a lot of pump fakes and they gamble too much.
• Miami can’t buy a basket in second half.
• Virginia lacks a solid inside presence when Sene is out of the game.
• Virginia is keeping Miami in the game with their poor FT shooting.
• Miami almost scored more points in last 30 seconds than they did in the entire 2nd half.
• Everything that could go wrong for Virginia in the last 35 seconds of the game happened to Virginia- turnovers, missed free throws, not securing rebounds. Blew 7 point lead.
• Neither team wants to win- Miami had a chance to win it with 11 seconds left and does not even get a shot off.
• This game is crazy- you wonder what will happen next. Virginia throws bad inbounds pass with 2 seconds left and Miami got a last second 3 off- no good.
• This game is wild and is going into OT.


• Grant for Miami is carrying Miami in the extra period- is confident and wants the ball in the crunch.
• Miami is finding its stroke just in the right time.
• Virginia chooses not to double Johnson with 50 seconds left and Johnson made them pay.
• This game was about Virginias collapse and Miami not giving up and their incredible comeback.

Scouting Reports


Reggie Johnson (C, 6’10”, SO)

Strengths- big body down low, good back to the basket player, sets wide/solid screens- good P/R player. Good rebounder- even when he can’t secure rebound- does a nice job of tipping the ball to teammates. Takes it right at the defense. Good shot blocker. Can finish with contact- strong. Made a couple of big baskets in OT.

Weaknesses- not used to double teams- looks uncomfortable when they come in 1st half. To his credit he adapted through out the game and did throw several nice passes in 2nd half- turned and faced double team .Got in foul trouble early- was not a factor on defense early in 2nd half because of fouls. Needs to improve footwork and midrange game. Poor FT shooter.

Overview- Could not get into a rhythm in this game because of constant double teams by Virginia. The double teams show the improvement of Johnson since his freshman year and the respect teams now give him. Had his coming out party against Wake Forest last year in the ACC tournament. Big body, strong rebounder, and decent post game. He needs to continue to improve his conditioning and improve overall offensive game, but has come a long way from being just a hustle player. The NBA is in his future.

Durand Scott (G, 6’3”, SO)

Strengths- Attacks the rim, good defensive rebounder. Quick. Big steal and basket with the foul with 14 seconds left in game to tie the game. Good shooter.

Weaknesses- Forces the issue at times- TO prone. Needed to assert himself more on the offensive end.

Overview- Was quiet for most of the game and disappeared for long stretches. Tied the game with a big lay-up after the steal. Capable of scoring a lot of points. Streaky shooter.


Sammy Zeglinkski (G, 6’1”, JR)

Strengths- Active defender- had an athletic, creative reverse finish in transition early, good passer, good shooter w/ NBA range- can shoot the midrange, changes speeds well, does a good job of playing off the ball, can play PG or 2G- has a 2-1 assist to TO ratio for season. Does a good job of coming off screens for the catch and shoot- quick release.

Weaknesses- made some poor decisions – took some poor shots and had a shot clock violation. Needs to improve FT shooting. Had a big TO with 18 seconds left. Struggled with game on the line- TO’s and missed FT’s.

Overview- Up and down game today from the junior guard. Smart player but had really fell apart at the end of the game. Does a lot of things well at the college level- but has a long shot to get to the NBA- being undersized and lack of speed and athleticism will hurt him- will have a long career overseas. Struggled through injuries through out the season- missed 7 games due to injury.

Mustapha Farrakhan (G, 6’4”, SR)

Strengths- shooter, scorer- left handed, capable of playing either guard position, can finish with either hand at rim, good FT shooter, good first step. Quick in the open court.

Weaknesses- struggled with his shot today- to his credit he attacked the basket since outside jumper was not falling.

Overview- Solid game today from Farrakhan who was named Honorable Mention All-ACC. Injured foot w/ 5:30 left but returned with in a couple of minutes. Good size for a PG- will have to improve play making ability to have a real shot at the NBA. Solid shooter and scorer who can get to the rim who will most likely get a chance to play for an NBA summer league team and then the D-League to fine tune his game.

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By Marcus Shockley

Thomas Gipson is a beast.

Gipson (PF, 6’7″, 2011), is a power player with a penchant for hammering away in the post, one of those big men that attack the basket with a ferocity that can’t be taught, he works hard, runs the floor and has a massive wingspan. Definitely a player to watch from the state of Texas, Thomas obviously relishes the role of being willing to face the hard knocks needed to play inside.

Thomas joins us for our inaugural installment of ‘7 Questions’, where we can find out more about Mr. Gipson and his alter ego, ‘Beast’.

Thomas Gipson basketball

1. The first question (it always is): Which schools are you considering, what offers have you received or what colleges have been communicating with you?

School Interest Level
Baylor Medium
California Medium Offered
Florida International Medium Offered
Georgia State Medium Offered
Iowa Medium Offered
Kansas State Medium Offered
Marquette Medium
Oklahoma State Medium Offered
Southern Methodist Medium Offered
Texas A&M Medium
Tulane Medium Offered
West Virginia Medium Offered

Note: Since this interview, Thomas has committed to Kansas State.

2. Do you have a timetable for your college decision?

Thinking Spring 2011 right now. That way I can take time and take some official visits to schools in the fall (before basketball season starts). But you never know, if the right offer comes along…could sign today….(laughing)

3. What are the parts of your game that you feel are the strongest?

My post moves and rebounding. I’m really strong for my age. I weigh between 230-245lbs all the time. I been playing post a while and it is second nature to me. Me being strong helps. My wing span is over 7’ too. I usually make most of my free-throws too. People also don’t think that I can only play inside. I actually have a good jump shot.

4. What are the parts of your game you are currently working on?

I am working on my ball handling and it has come along really well. I played in a game on this past weekend and was able to play power forward because my AAU coach (Stacy) let’s me do it. Most coaches have always put me at post because I was the tallest kid on the team. Now going to college, I know I have to put in the work to show them that I can do that too.

5. Are any coaches giving you feedback on your game, and if so, what are they telling you they want to see?

My trainer (Coach Tim Mason) always tell me to let them see my versatility. So what they are wanting to see is my ability to play the power forward position and ball handle, face the basket, and shoot jumpers. So I let them see that I can do all those things. I am 6’7” and some coaches underestimate me. I have a 7’2 wingspan, so I let them see what I can do with that too.

6. Can you name a current or past player or a coach (at any level) that you may admire and why you admire them?

Amare Stoudemire – he’s a great player. Think he’s a beast like me. That’s what they call me. He’s a [player who] runs the floor, rebounds, he can shoot. He’s kinda quiet from what I can tell. He doesn’t show a whole lot of emotion but he can play. He does his thing no matter what. Just like me.

7. If you could tell people one thing about you that you wish they knew, what would it be?

a. When I was a kid, we lived on 19 acres, took care of 100 acres of land that had 75 cattle on it. I would ride on the tractor with my mom…You wouldn’t believe it!

b. I was on Sports Stars of Tomorrow with Pat Summerall.

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