Sunday, March 11, 2001

Miami Notebook

Coles already looking ahead to next year

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CLEVELAND — Charlie Coles hated to see his Miami team's season end Saturday night with a 67-61 loss to Kent State in the Mid-American Conference finals. But he's already looking forward to next year.

        “We're going to be all right,” he said. “We've got a good class coming in. Danny Horace is going to be special.”

        Horace is a 6-foot-6 forward from Western Hills. He has the look of an impact player. Nate Vandersluis, a 6-11 center from northern Ohio, also signed with Miami.

        Chet Mason, who sat out this season under Prop 48, will be eligible.

        “He'll make us much quicker,” Coles said. “He's the quickest guy on the team. It'll take him some time, but he'll help us.”

        Mason has practiced with the team all season. He was co-Mr. Basketball in Ohio last year.

        Miami loses Mike Ensminger, Jason Grunkemeyer and Rich Allendorf. Together they represent one-third of Miami's scoring.

        MR. MARCH: Coles' record in March is 14-8. He is 13-4 in the MAC tournament.

        IN THE 40s: Saturday night's game figured to be low-scoring. Miami and Kent had met twice previously in the MAC tourney title game. Kent won two years ago 49-43. Miami won 42-40 in 1984. Miami won the regular-season meeting 48-45.

        But, with both teams shooting so well in the first half, they went over 40 four minutes into the second half.

        JUST SHORT: Alex Shorts made 14 free throws in Saturday's game — he hit his first 13 in a row. The MAC Tournament record is 15 made FTs in a game.

        ALL-TOURNEY TEAM: Grunkemeyer and Shorts made the all-tourney team. Also on it: Kent's Trevor Huffman, the MVP, and Andrew Mitchell and Ohio University's Brandon Hunter.

        NOTED: Kent has won 23 games each of the last three seasons ... Miami has lost to the No.2 seed in the MAC finals each of the last three years ... Miami outrebounded Kent 21-14 in the second half.


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