Barry Jackson

Heat players with some impressive achievements; Canes, Butch Davis notes

Miami Heat forward James Johnson, drives against Bucks' forward Jabari Parker, in the second quarter of the Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks, NBA game, at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thurs., Nov. 17, 2016.
Miami Heat forward James Johnson, drives against Bucks' forward Jabari Parker, in the second quarter of the Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks, NBA game, at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thurs., Nov. 17, 2016. pportal@miamiherald.com

A Sunday six-pack of Heat, UM and Butch Davis notes:

• Though their shooting has been erratic, don’t overlook this about two Heat newcomers: James Johnson entered the weekend holding the player he’s guarding to 27.7 percent shooting, best among all qualifying NBA forwards.

Dion Waiters is holding the player he’s guarding to 36.4 percent, second best among all starting shooting guards (behind only Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope).

Incidentally, Hassan Whiteside ranks second-best among starting centers in that category, holding the player he’s defending to 37.5 percent, behind only Indiana’s Myles Turner.

• Courtesy Elias this morning: When Whiteside scored 18 points and secured 18 rebounds in Miami's win in Washington on Saturday night, it was the tenth time in his NBA career that Whiteside had that many points and rebounds in a game. The only player in Heat history with that many games with at least 18 points and 18 rebounds is Rony Seikaly, who had 21 such games for the Heat.

Whiteside's 194 rebounds in 13 games this season is the most for any Heat player in his first 13 games of a season in franchise history. The only NBA player over the last five seasons with that many rebounds in his first 13 games of a season was Andre Dummond last season (232).

• Will the way the Big Three broke up hurt the Heat in luring free agents?

Former Heat forward and new SEC Network analyst Antoine Walker gives pause for thought, telling Sirius Radio: “I think the situation with Dwyane Wade rubbed a lot of superstars the wrong way, to let Dwyane Wade walk out the door. I think Dwyane Wade played excellent last year. I think he played good enough where he could have deserved a big-time contract. It was a no-brainer. He was healthy pretty much the whole season."

I would be surprised if the Wade/Heat divorce hurts Miami in free agency. Miami remains a very attractive spot for players, for a number of reasons.

• UM basketball people believe that with last week’s addition of five-star guard Lonnie Walker, the Hurricanes should be preseason top-10 next season.

UM’s recruiting priority now is luring (Fort Lauderdale) University School five-star 6-9 power forward Vernon Carey Jr., son of the former UM and Dolphins lineman and the eighth-best prospect in the 2019 class.

• The ACC announced late Saturday night that UM’s regular season finale at home against Duke will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and be televised by ESPN2.

Here’s where some UM offensive players rank nationally this morning:

Brad Kaaya is 22nd in passing yards (2854), 39th in passer rating (143) and 46th in completion percentage (61.1).

Mark Walton is tied with seven others for 21st in touchdowns this season (14) and ranks 40th in rushing yards (1005).

Ahmmon Richards is 41st in receiving yards (849) and 11th in yards per reception (19.7).

• Does Butch Davis believe he can turn FIU into a top 25 program? “Sure,” he said. “In the immediate future? Maybe not.”

He said he plans to tell all recruits about what he accomplished at Miami and the “kids who became first-round picks” when he coached there. “Schools weren’t knocking down the door to Ed Reed; we have to find kids like that.”

At the Heat game on Tuesday, Davis quickly showed me 216 texts on his phone, and he said half were from former Canes, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and North Carolina players congratulating him.

My other weekend links: Here are a bunch of postscripts, thoughts and reaction from UM’s win against NC State... Here’s an assessment of the Dolphins offseason moves, in retrospect... Please follow me on Twitter (@flasportbuzz) to get instant links to posts.

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