Saturday, February 1, 2003
Hausfeld's shooting touch gives Miami needed boost
Bacon graduate makes difference as starter
By Mark Schmetzer
OXFORD - Miami RedHawks coach Charlie Coles was looking for offense when he turned to freshman guard Josh Hausfeld 10 games into the season.
The new offense, in which patience puts a premium on getting the most it can out of the few shots it generates, was choking on poor shooting.
Miami had made more than 40 percent of its field goal attempts in just three of its first 10 games.
The RedHawks won two of those games and were 3-7.
Hausfeld, a 6-foot-3 Roger Bacon graduate, became a full-time starter as Miami got serious about Mid-American Conference play.
His 3-point marksmanship gives the RedHawks an alternative to junior guard Juby Johnson.
It's more than a coincidence that Miami has won five of the seven games since Hausfeld entered the starting lineup and has shot better than 40 percent in five of those games, winning four of them.
The RedHawks (8-9, 6-2 MAC) hope to extend their current winning streak to five games - their longest since the 1998-99 Sweet 16 season against Buffalo (3-13, 0-7) at 3 p.m. today at Millett Hall. B.J. Walker, a 6-9 freshman from Mount Healthy High, has moved into the starting lineup for the Bulls, who are on a nine-game losing streak.
How important has Hausfeld become to Miami? When he asked Coles for a breather midway through the second half of the RedHawks' win over Akron two weeks ago, Coles said no.
Hausfeld ended up setting career highs with 40 minutes, 19 points, five rebounds and six assists.
Coles' reasoning for leaving Hausfeld in the game was simple. Johnson was accumulating fouls while working feverishly to shut down Akron's Derrick Tarver, the MAC's leading scorer, and Coles needed Hausfeld's scoring. .
"I don't do that," Coles said. "That's like the old (North Carolina coach) Dean Smith rule of, 'Tell me when you're tired.' Well, I'm different. Don't tell me when you're tired.
"Josh has got good talent. When you get those players playing good, you don't want to take them out. We were trying to get that edge. If Juby went out, I was concerned about who was going to hit that outside shot."
Hausfeld joined the RedHawks after being named MVP of the Ohio high school Division II state tournament in which his Spartans beat the Akron St.Vincent-St.Mary team led by LeBron James in the championship game. Hausfeld enjoyed a brief appearance in the spotlight by scoring 11 points in MU's nationally televised loss at Maryland in the second game of the season, and he scored 10 points against Cincinnati at U.S. Bank Arena. His contributions have become more substantial since he cracked the starting lineup.
Besides the 19 points against Akron, Hausfeld has been one shot away from double figures in four other games. His 19 3-pointers and 37.3 3-point percentage both are second on the team to Johnson.
"It's been difficult," said Hausfeld said. "The game's a lot faster at this level. The players are bigger, stronger, faster and smarter.
"I had to find my role, fit in and not make mistakes. I just want to go out there and contribute offensively and, defensively, do whatever it takes to help team
"I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable. The whole team is starting to feel more comfortable."
Buffalo at MiamiTipoff: 3 p.m. today, Millett Hall (9,600), Oxford.
Records: Buffalo 3-13 (0-7 Mid-American Conference), Miami 8-9 (6-2).
Radio: WCKY-AM (1360), WMOH-AM (1450), WFMG-FM (101.3).
Series: Miami leads 7-1.
Line: MU by 13.
Coach: Reggie Witherspoon (22-75, fourth season; same overall).
Coach: Charlie Coles (115-87, seventh season; 207-173 overall).
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