Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday:
Canes fans better hope that their cable or satellite provider adds ACC Network by its Aug. 22 launch or within two weeks after that. Otherwise, you won’t be able to watch two of UM’s first three games on television.
ESPN, which is partnering with the ACC to run ACC Network, announced Wednesday that the Hurricanes’ second and third games of the season will air on the fledgling channel.
ACC Network announced it will carry Miami’s Sept. 7 game at North Carolina at 8 p.m. and UM’s Sept. 14 home opener against Bethune Cookman at 4 p.m.
So far, only DirecTV, Fios, Googe Fiber, Optimum, Vue and Hulu TV have struck carriage deals with ACC Network.
ESPN and the ACC hope to reach ACC Network carriage deals with Comcast/X-Finity and AT&T Uverse (which are South Florida’s major cable providers), as well as Dish Network and Charter/Spectrum/Time Warner (which has a bunch of subscribers in upstate Florida and throughout ACC territory), among others.
ACC commissioner John Swofford told reporters in Greensboro, N.C., earlier this month that he was confident deals will be in place with key cable and satellite providers before the season starts.
“All of them will come into play as we work towards the launch,” Swofford said. “You’ll be able to get the network one way or another just about anywhere. We think it’s must-see television, in our unbiased opinion.”
As we noted in March, Miami officials always suspected that the ACC and ESPN might place the UM-North Carolina game on ACC Network, in part because they want to load up the channel’s early season schedule with attractive games to incentive cable and satellite providers to add the channel.
Toward that goal, ESPN and the ACC gave ACC Network the most attractive game on the first Thursday night of the season – a Georgia Tech-at-Clemson game airing Aug. 29 opposite the final night of NFL preseason.
Among other appealing games given to ACC Network: Notre Dame-at-Duke on Nov. 9 and FSU at Virginia on Sept. 14, following the Canes-Bethune Cookman game.
The ACC Network, which will be operated out of ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. studios, will televise 40 football games each season as well as spring games, plus at least 150 men’s and women’s basketball games and live events in many other sports.
Former UM coach Mark Richt recently joined ACC Network as a studio analyst.
▪ Definitive times and/or TV information have been determined for only two of UM’s 10 other games. The UM-UF opener in Orlando will kick off at 7 p.m. Aug. 24 on ESPN.
UM’s Nov. 23 game against FIU at Marlins Park will kick off at 7 pm, but television plans are undetermined.
Also, UM’s one weeknight game this season - on Friday, Oct. 11 at home against Virginia - is likely to air on one of the ESPN networks, with the start time to be determined.
▪ Couple TV college football notes: A source confirmed that Fox has hired Brock Huard away from ESPN to join Joe Davis on its No. 2 college football team. He replaces Brady Quinn, who’s joining Fox’s star-studded pregame show featuring Urban Meyer, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt return as Fox’s No. 1 team. ...
Fox announced this week that its most attractive college football game each week will air at noon -a smart strategy considering CBS airs SEC games at 3:30 and ABC and ESPN traditionally have attractive games at night...
ABC announced its first three Saturday night games: Auburn-Oregon on Aug. 31, LSU-Texas Sept. 7 and Clemson-Syracuse Sept. 14.
UM basketball has two scholarships remaining after adding three players this offseason: UF grad transfer forward Keith Stone (who will be eligible this season), Cincinnati transfer center Nysier Brooks (who won’t be eligible this season but can play the 2020-21 season at UM), and Montverde Academy four-star shooting guard Harlond Beverly, who is rated by Rivals as the 42nd best player in the 2019 class.
Those three join two well-regarded incoming freshmen: four-star Pennsylvania based point guard Isaiah Wong (rated by Rivals as the 76th best recruit in the country for 2019) and three-star New Hampshire-based power forward Anthony Walker.
And two players who didn’t play for UM last season will do so this season: Oklahoma transfer guard Kameron McGusty and center Rodney Miller, who used last season as a redshirt year to improve his body and his game.
Coach Jim Larranaga told WQAM’s Joe Zagacki on Hurricane Hotline this week that with at least one of the two remaining scholarships, “we would love to get someone in the 6-7, 6-8 category who is a versatile performer. We could utilize some size and skill in our front court. We need someone in that 240, 250 [pound] category.
“We have two scholarships and we’re still recruiting. There are 900 [players] in the basketball transfer portal. We keep our eyes and ears open to that every single day.”
Larranaga said if the season started today, UM would have 10 eligible players on scholarship – wing players Chris Lykes, D.J. Vasiljevic, McGusty, Beverly and Wong; power rotation players Stone, Miller, Deng Gak and Walker, and forward Sam Waardenburg, who’s 6-10 but attempted 54 three-pointers last season.
That will be a considerable improvement over last year’s team, which had deficient depth because of injury, Miller’s redshirt year and most significantly, Dewan Hernandez’s season-long NCAA suspension. Hernandez, incidentally, was invited to participate in this week’s NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.
RICHT’S NEW GIG
While his father begins his television career, former UM QB coach Jon Richt this week announced his new job:
“Coaching QB’s is my passion and the ability to do so enables me to help develop young men on and off the field,” Jon Richt tweeted. “I will be starting a familiar but new career in Private QB Training through Catalyst. Hit me up if you are in Northeast [Georgia] and want to get some work in.”
That means every one of UM’s 2019 offensive assistants – all dismissed by Manny Diaz – are now working.
The others: Thomas Brown (running backs coach at South Carolina), Todd Hartley (tight ends coach at Georgia), Ron Dugans (FSU assistant) and Stacy Searels (North Carolina offensive line coach).