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Frank Haith: The "His Record at Miami" Issue

I'm still working on the big "What to Expect" post, but in the meantime, I wanted to briefly address Frank Haith's tenure at Miami.

First, I want to highlight a comment made by The 7th Floor purveyor rayrayrayrayrayrayrayray in this morning's gigantic comments thread:

just a few things i’d like to note:

- frank likes to run his offense from the inside out, ideally. the team shoots a lot of threes (especially when we had jack mcclinton) but if you look at ken pom’s individual offensive ratings in the ACC you’ll notice that the #2 rated player in the whole conference is our center, and he was fed the ball a lot (when he was on the court, his usage rate is low cuz of foul problems). i think the team has been guard oriented because of necessity, but frank always made it a point to throw the ball inside, especially early and especially early in road games.

- defensively the team’s numbers were poor this past year but it was a pretty unlucky team. one of our big guys broke his hand a few games into conference play and was out for a while, and our fourth big guy transferred out (homesickness apparently, he was from michigan) so frank really had a frontline that was held together by scotch tape. we played a 6’ 5" power forward at times.

- frank has won a few high profile recruits, but what’s encouraging to me is that his best players have been guys that nobody wanted. jack mcclinton was a transfer from siena who became a two time first team all acc player. the aforementioned reggie johnson was a center from north carolina who had an offer from VCU and is now one of the best players in the conference. of course some recruits will wash out (it is recruiting after all), but i don’t think it’s true that he doesn’t "develop" players.

- the guy won’t be intimidated going into places like KU or K ST. he has extensive coaching experience now going into cameron indoor (including being one overtime from away from being one of like 3 coaches in the past 6 years to win there or something) and the dean dome (he won there twice i believe, though my memory might be off). likewise in the past two years, we played both UNC and duke to within a point and three points respectively in the acc tournament on a (semi) neutral floor. so i’m not sure that he can’t game coach either.

- like i noted in my post on our blog, i doubt that anyone in miami is sad about this, but miami has outright awful fans so don’t listen to them.

I don't have anything to add to that ... just wanted it highlighted a little bit.

Now, to the record.  In seven years at Miami, Frank Haith did not prove that he can win conference titles, play into the second weekend of the tournament, etc.  But when looking at the Miami job itself, some context is needed.

The great College Basketball Reference site has a nice, elegant rating called the SRS (Simple Rating System), where they evaluate teams' performances based simply on points scored and allowed.  Like the Est. S&P+ figure I used for my Varsity Numbers Top 100 of the Last 100 Years countdown last summer, it is limited, of course; but it excellent for making quick evaluations over large periods of time.  Using SRS, here are Miami's ten best seasons since they brought their basketball program back to the D1 level in 1985:

Top Ten Miami Teams According to SRS, 1985-2010
1. 1998-99 (Leonard Hamilton, 23-7)
2. 2001-02 (Perry Clark, 24-8)
3. 2007-08 (Frank Haith, 23-11)
4. 1999-00 (Leonard Hamilton, 23-11)
5. 2008-09 (Frank Haith, 19-13)
6. 2009-10 (Frank Haith, 20-13)
7. 1997-98 (Leonard Hamilton, 18-10)
8. 2010-11 (Frank Haith, 21-15)
9. 2005-06 (Frank Haith, 18-16)
10. 2004-05 (Frank Haith, 16-13)

Or to put it another way, Haith's seven seasons at Miami produced six of the program's ten best seasons in recent memory.  Haith still has plenty to prove, but while we all wish he'd have done more in Miami right about now, he still proved something just by accomplishing what he accomplished in the last seven years.