Preview: Miami (OH) RedHawks battle Wildcats on Monday, November 16, 2009

miami
Miami of Ohio - 2009-2010

MIAMI CONTINUES ROAD STRETCH AT KENTUCKY: The RedHawks will play their first five games away from Millett Hall. Miami continues its road stretch at No. 4/5 at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16. The RedHawks are coming off an 82-71 loss at Towson, while the Wildcats posted a 75-59 win against in their season opener on Friday.

 

ABOUT THE WILDCATS: is coming off a 75-59 win over in its season opener on Friday. Eric Bledsoe led all scorers with 24 points, while preseason All-American tallied 20 points and a game-most 12 rebounds. chipped in 15 points in the winning effort. The Wildcats sunk 50 percent of their field goals and outrebounded Morehead State by a 43-24 margin. Although the Wildcats pulled out the 16-point win they were without the services of highly-touted freshman John Wall, who will be available to play in the matchup with the RedHawks on Monday.

 

SERIES WITH THE KENTUCKY: Monday marks the 24th meeting between Miami and with the Wildcats leading the series 20-3. When playing in Lexington, the Wildcats lead the series 15-3. The two teams last met on Nov. 15, 2006 with Kentucky posting a 57-46 win. The Wildcats have won 18 straight against the RedHawks with Miami’s last win coming during the 1927-28 season, 36-31.

 

 

OPENING TIP: Friday marked the 36th time Miami opened the season on the road. After an 82-71 loss at Towson, the RedHawks are now 70-35 in season openers and are 15-21 in season openers on the road. Miami had won its previous two season openers, defeating Weber State, 70-66, in a neutral-site game at the 2K Sports Classic Benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer at UCLA and downing at home in the 2007-08 season opener, 59-57.

 

SECOND-HALF FIRE?: In both of its exhibition games, Miami used strong second-half efforts to pull out 17- and 22-point wins. In its season opener on Friday, Miami had its best effort in the first half. The RedHawks shot a sizzling 55.2 percent from the field in the first half, scoring 42 points in the opening stanza but mustered just 29 points in the second half while shooting 39.1 percent from the field. In exhibition action, the RedHawks shot a scorching 69.2 percent from the field in the second half against California (Pa.), including 58.3 percent from 3-point range, and scored 47 second-half points. Miami finished the game shooting 53.6 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc. Against Saginaw Valley State in exhibition play, Miami scored 45 second-half points and shot 59.3 percent from the field, including 66.7 percent from 3-point range. Miami outscored its exhibition opponents 92-52 in the second half, while being edged 61-60 in the first half.

 

FOR STARTERS: Junior guard Rodney Haddix II and sophomore guard Kramer Soderberg made their first career starts against Towson.

 

CAREER NUMBERS: Several RedHawks set career-high marks against Towson. Sophomore guard Kramer Soderberg set career highs with four assists and three rebounds and 26 minutes played. Junior forward Nick Winbush set a career high with three blocked shots and tied career highs with five rebounds and two steals. Junior guard Rodney Haddix II set career highs of four steals and 26 minutes played. Junior guard/forward Antonio Ballard tied a career high with one blocked shot.

 

TURNING 105: Miami’s game at Towson on Friday, Nov. 13, marked the start of the 105th season of Miami University Basketball.

 

THE RETURNERS: Back are senior starters Adam Fletcher and Kenny Hayes, along with a cast of returning letterwinners in juniors Rodney Haddix II, Antonio Ballard, Sean Mock and Nick Winbush, and sophomores Julian Mavunga and Kramer Soderberg. Also returning is redshirt sophomore Vince Legarza, who is coming of a medical redshirt last season, and Adam Thomas. Last season, Miami remained in the regular-season title hunt until the very final game of the conference season, coming up just short. A key for Miami will be to find scorers to fill the void left by the graduated seniors. Miami returns just 40.9 percent of its scoring, with 44 percent of its scoring coming from Bramos and Dierkers last year. But with the unknown comes great opportunity, and Coles believes he has the personnel capable of stepping up to continue keeping Miami a formidable contender for the Mid-American Conference title and a return to postseason play.

 

FRESH FACES: Joining the mix this season are four true freshmen: forward Drew Kelly, guards Allen Roberts and Orlando Williams and center Drew McGhee.

 

HAYES NAMED PRESEASON MAC ALL-EAST DIVISION: RedHawk senior guard Kenny Hayes was selected to the East Division All-MAC Preseason Team, the conference office announced on Oct. 28. Hayes was an Honorable Mention All-MAC selection in 2007-08. He started last season strong, averaging 13.9 ppg and shooting an impressive 53.3 percent from 3-point range through eight games before suffering a season-ending wrist injury in early December. He received a medical redshirt, allowing him to return to the hardwood this season. Hayes was joined on the East Division All-MAC Preseason Team by Akron’s Brett McKnight and Anthony “Humpty” Hitchens, Rodney Pierce (Buffalo) and Chris Singletary (Kent State). The West Division All-MAC Preseason Team was comprised of Eastern Michigan’s Brandon Bowdry and Carlos Medlock, David Kool (Western Michigan), Jarrod Jones (Ball State) and Darion “Jake” Anderson (Northern Illinois.

 

EXHIBITION ACTION: Miami played two exhibition games a tune-up for the 2009-10 season. The RedHawks defeated California (Pa.), 82-65, and downed Saginaw Valley State, 70-48. Senior guard Kenny Hayes averaged 19.0 ppg and averaged a team-leading 34.0 minutes per outing. Hayes also had three blocked shots and averaged 4.5 apg. Junior guard Rodney Haddix II averaged 15.5 ppg and shot 90.9 percent from the field, including 100 percent from 3-point range. Sophomore guard Kramer Soderberg averaged 12.0 ppg and 4.0 apg.

 

20/20 VISION: Senior guard Kenny Hayes and junior guard Rodney Haddix II erupted for 22 and 20 points, respectively, against California (Pa.). In his first game back after suffering a season-ending injury early last December, Hayes wen 7-for-12 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, while dishing out seven assists in 37 minutes of action. Haddix was near perfect from the field, going 7-of-8, while nailing all five 3-point field goal attempts.

 

HOT ROD: Junior guard Rodney Haddix II was on fire from 3-point range in exhibition action for the RedHawks, draining all eight of his 3-point attempts. Haddix was 5-for-5 in Miami’s first exhibition against California (Pa.) and was 3-for-3 in the RedHawks’ exhibition game against Saginaw Valley State. He missed just one shot from the field in the two exhibitions, going 10-for-11. Against Towson, Haddix was 1-for-3 from 3-point range.

 

NATIONAL NUMBERS: In the final statistical rankings, forward Michael Bramos ranked among the nation’s top 100 in two categories. Bramos ranked 71st in free-throw percentage (.833) and 74th in scoring (17.9 ppg). As a team, the RedHawks ranked ninth in scoring defense (58.9).

 

THEY ARE MIAMI THROUGH AND THROUGH: All four of the RedHawks’ coaches hold degrees from Miami University: Head Coach Charlie Coles earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1965, associate head coach Jermaine Henderson earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1997, assistant coach Ryan Pedon earned a master’s degree in sport organization in 2002, while assistant coach Jason Grunkemeyer earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 2001. Additionally, second-year director of basketball operations Jimmy Lallathin is a 2003 Miami graduate.

 

NUMBER CHANGE: Junior guard Rodney Haddix II will wear 00 for this game.

 

A MIAMI WIN WOULD ...
• Snap an 18-game losing streak to Kentucky.
• Be Miami's first win over a ranked team since Dec. 20, 2001 when the RedHawks defeated No. 11/10 Boston College.
• Be the highest ranked team Miami has ever defeated. (Miami had topped a No. 6-ranked team twice.)
• Even Miami's record at 1-1.

A MIAMI LOSS WOULD ...
• Make Miami 0-2 to start the season for the first time since 2006-07, also the last time Miami played Kentucky, which was Miami's second opponent of the season.
• Drop Miami to 21-3 against the Wildcats.
• Extend Kentucky's win streak against the RedHawks to 19.

 

No. Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Year Hometown
13 Aluise, Michael 6-5 200 G/F SR Cincinnati, OH
35 Ballard, Antonio 6-4 222 G/F RS JR Jeffersonville, IN
41 Fletcher, Adam 6-9 241 C RS SR St. Albans, WV
1 Haddix II, Rodney 6-3 220 G JR Georgetown,
14 Hayes, Kenny 6-2 183 G RS SR Dayton, OH
00 Kelly, Drew 6-7 253 F FR Franklin, TN
55 Legarza, Vince 6-9 246 C RS FR San Francisco, CA
4 Mavunga, Julian 6-8 245 F SO Indianapolis, IN
50 McGhee, Drew 6-11 231 C FR North Ridgeville, OH
11 Mock, Sean 6-6 207 F RS JR Oxford, OH
3 Roberts, Allen 6-3 211 G FR Middletown, OH
12 Soderberg, Kramer 6-0 174 G SO St. Charles, MO
40 Thomas, Adam 6-7 227 F RS SO Springboro, OH
15 Williams, Orlando 6-4 173 G FR Cincinnati, OH
20 Winbush, Nick 6-7 226 F JR Shaker Heights, OH

 

Coaches
Charlie Coles – Head Coach
Jermaine Henderson – Associate Head Coach
Ryan Pedon – Assistant Coach
Jason Grunkemeyer – Assistant Coach
Jimmy Lallathin – Director of Basketball Operations