Barry Jackson

Heat’s Whiteside responds to latest snub; UM’s Richt assesses offense

Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside gets a rebound from San Antonio Spurs' David Lee in the first quarter at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida on Sun., Oct. 30, 2016.
Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside gets a rebound from San Antonio Spurs' David Lee in the first quarter at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida on Sun., Oct. 30, 2016.

A six-pack of Heat, Marlins and UM notes on a Monday evening:

• What did Heat center Hassan Whiteside think of not getting a single vote in the best center category of the recent general manager poll?

“I don't really care what those GMs say,” Whiteside said. “99 percent of them said no to me anyway, so I don't expect them to come back and say, 'No, he's good,' after we said no.

“If I listened to what everybody said about me, I would probably be in the YMCA still. I never got any just due in my career but I don't steer away from what I'm going to do with the Heat.”

Incidentally, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the notion of opposing centers trying to get under Whiteside’s skin is an “old scouting report,” but Whiteside strongly suspects teams are still trying to irritate him.

“I feel [Charlotte’s] Cody Zeller did [Friday]; I think the head coach tells him to do that,” Whiteside said. “I don't see what's the reason for it.”

Whiteside is determined to handle those situations calmly, better than he did in his first season in Miami (2014-15).

• Heat guard Wayne Ellington remains out with a quad contusion and is walking with a limp.

“This is the worst [contusion] I’ve ever had,” he said Monday, adding there’s no timetable for his return.

• UM coach Mark Richt on WQAM’s Hurricane Hotline on Monday night: “We’re really not that far away from being 6-2, even 7-1…. It’s not like we never get it right. We get it right a lot of times, but we don’t get it right on a consistent basis.

“The other team has scholarships and good coaching. You can’t expect to win every single battle in every game. You’ve got to win the war in the end…. When will it turn around? I don’t know. But it will.”

• Richt said: “We’re hitting 60 percent of our passes in straight drop back passes. Obviously, the sacks are too many. Some of it is offensive line play. Some of it is backs blocking. Some of it is the quarterback not getting the ball off soon enough.”

He said some of the responsibility is on him to give Brad Kaaya a plan to allow him to go through his progressions to “get the ball out quicker.”

Richt said UM is “really pleased” with freshman running back Travis Homer and said tight ends David Njoku and Chris Herndon have both been named captains for this week’s game against Pittsburgh (Richt is very happy with both of them).

Richt implored fans to attend Saturday’s Pittsburgh game: “To me, if you’re a Canes fan, you show up, you support. I understand the disappointment of not getting a victory here or there.”

He said a “bunch of great players” will be at the game on unofficial visits and five are coming on official visits.

• Barring a surprising change of heart on either side, we hear the Marlins are expected to hire former manager Fredi Gonzalez as their third-base coach. He would replace Lenny Harris, who was dropped.

Gonzalez was 276-279 in 3 ½ seasons as Marlins manager. He was fired as manager of the rebuilding Braves on May 17 of this past season, with Atlanta at 9-28.

He was 434-413 in five-plus seasons as Braves manager and is liked and respected around baseball.

• A few TV notes: Channel 33 picked up Saturday’s Pittsburgh at UM game at 12:30 p.m…. The UM-Notre Dame game produced a disappointing 4.7 local rating on NBC-6, equal to 4.7 percent of Miami-Fort Lauderdale homes with TV sets….

Lesley Visser says she will have a feature on Lakatriona Brunson, the first female high school football coach in state history, on CBS Sports Net’s “We Need to Talk” at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Brunson’s Miami Jackson team is 3-6 entering Friday’s Soul Bowl against Northwestern.

For Dolphins nuggets from today, please click here.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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