Wednesday, December 08, 1999

Miami late getting home


RedHawks play Millett opener

BY JOHN FAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Charlie Coles likes to play the best competition he can before the Mid-American Conference schedule, but even he admits he went overboard this year.

        As a result, tonight's home opener with Xavier (7:05 tipoff, Channel 12) is the latest in the season Miami has opened at home since beginning the 1957-58 season on Dec. 9, 1957. It's the first time they've opened the season with four straight road games in 70 years.

        “It's very strange,” Coles said. “We probably went too far.”

        The thing that led to the late home opener was scheduling the Temple game. Coles wanted to get the Owls on the schedule, and it was a one-for-one deal (Temple comes to Oxford next year), so he couldn't pass it up.

        “It's been pretty tough,” Coles said. “I would have liked to have another home game before Xavier. Opening with Xavier at home is rough.”

        The RedHawks enter tonight's game 1-3. That's their slowest start since the 1988-89 season.

        Coles is pleased with the progress his team has made since the loss Saturday at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

        “I think we're getting better offensively,” he said. “It went pretty good (Tuesday).”

        Coles would like an atmosphere tonight similar to the last time Xavier came to Oxford, Dec.9, 1997.

        A crowd of 9,193 (the 10th biggest in Millett Hall history) watched the RedHawks upset No.7 XU 80-72 that night.

        “I just hope there's a beautiful crowd for both teams,” Coles said. “I usually don't care about the crowd. I'm too worried about the game. But I think if the adrenaline is flowing for both teams, it's good for us.

        “The last time Xavier was up here, it was just electric. I hope it's like that tonight.”

       



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