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February 16, 2009
Hamilton, Haith talk FSU-UM, and elbows
On Monday afternoon, Florida State's Leonard Hamilton and Miami's Frank Haith participated in their weekly teleconference. Among the topics discussed are Florida State's loss to Wake Forest, the play of Toney Douglas and Jack McClinton, the focus on elbow incidents coming from officials recently, and more.
Miami head coach Frank Haith
"We are just coming off a tough loss last night against North Carolina. I thought our kids played really hard and competed. A couple of breaks just didn't go our way and bounces and what not. So we have to get ready to go play on the road against a good Florida State team and then come back home against Boston College next week."
Q: With how you have played the last three games, do you almost feel you should be on a three-game winning streak if you had played anybody else in the country?
Haith: (laughs) At times because I think we played three of the best teams in the country. We have been right in every ballgame. … We only won one game, the Wake game here (in Miami), so we are playing good basketball right now. We are playing the best we have played all year. Obviously we didn't have Dwayne Collins last night but I still thought our guys put ourselves in position to win that ballgame.
Q: Can you talk about the difference with Toney Douglas this season compared to last year?
Haith: He is really confident. He has always been a really good defender in terms of having really quick hands and active hands, but I think just the way he plays, last year he had those other two guys, Jason Rich and Isaiah Swann and even (Ralph) Mims, they shared the responsibilities. You can see him just becoming a better leader and taking control out there. He is one of the best guards in this league, that is as an all-around guard, because he does it on both ends. I think his leadership qualities show this year and his ability to just take over the game, particularly late in the game. Like the kid we have, Jack (McClinton), he has that ability when the game is on the line to make plays.
Q: Do you think there are more elbows being thrown now or is it just a point of emphasis this year?
Haith: I think what happened is there was a situation in the Big Ten that caused a focus on it and they have cracked down since that incident in the Big Ten with Michigan, I think it was. They have been told, officials, that even if there is no contact and there is an elbow thrown it is a violation which was the case last night with Cyrus (McGowan) and I think they are really looking for that and trying to clean up the game and not have an incident like they had in the Big Ten.
Q: Are you okay with the way it is being officiated and called?
Haith: (laughs) I mean, we have got to adapt to what is going on. I think I don't want to see guys throwing elbows and anybody getting hurt. I don't like that. But I think if a guy is rebounding a ball and just makes one movement to move the ball away from the defense then he is not throwing an intentional elbow and I think that is part of the game. An aggressive play and not getting tied up when people are reaching for the ball but obviously I am not encouraging a blatant elbow in trying to create space.