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A Lot to Prove in Little Rock

We'll start getting a better gauge of what the FIU hoops team is all about when it begins Sun Belt play on Saturday night at Arkansas-Little Rock.

Galindo_2 At 3-4, the Golden Panthers have not exactly had a promising start, but with so many new players adjusting to veterans like Alex Galindo, Chris Fuller, etc., 3 wins out of 7 games is not a shock. Now comes the Sun Belt competition, an area where FIU could and should be able to win a number of games. Just what number is that, remains to be seen.

Of the 21 games left this season, 18 are against Sun Belt foes. The other three games are against NCAA powers: George Mason (at FIU) and on the road at Purdue and Kentucky.

With a current 3-4 record, the GPP would like to know: How do you think FIU hoops will finish this season and what are your expectations for the Golden Panthers at the end of the season. Which of the 4 is your choice:

1) NCAA tourney, 2) Sun Belt contenders, 3) FIU baseball can not get here soon enough or 4) When does spring football practice start??


Will still be taking questions for TT past Saturday since he is out of town and the Q&A will be pushed back a few days.

Due to some housekeeping in the last two blogs, the 1st Annual GPP Football Awards will now debut early next week. This will not be your typical awards show with the exception of having a lovely presenter handing out the awards.

FIUBlueandGold: That was CrazyC's unedited blog in its entirety.

24/7: The reason for CC's blog getting an immediate response from the GPP is because this is an FIU blog. The GPP is more than happy to sacrifice getting only 8 to 10 posts on a certain blog to ensure the integrity of the GPP. We're not selling out here. There will be plenty of "golden opportunities" to increase readership and blog hits down the road. Once FIU starts winning on a consistent basis, which it will, the traffic will increase on the GPP drastically, because of the bandwagon nature of this town. When I was pumping gas in my car yesterday I came across some blog material. A perfect example of Mar Heat bandwagon Miami. The guy on the pump across from mine had those little flags on top of his car of a Marlins World Series champion banner and a Heat NBA champion banner. I asked the guy where's your Dolphins flag? His response: nah, they suck. Now if the Dolphins were 9-4 and thinking playoffs, I guarantee you that flag would have been atop that Honda Element.


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I don't think CC's blog was THAT bad. I laughed at some of the reasons. I thought it was sort of creative... definitely not what I expected. I mean... seriously, people... he IS a UM fan... what else did you expect???

I liked Pete's response, too.

And I second Baltimorepanther in the last blog on La Carreta. Man, what I wouldn't do for a decent "bistec empanizado" in Winston-Salem... all they got here is freakin' Mexican, Chinese and Southern restaurants. First thing I'm doing when I go back to Miami next month (hopefully) is hitting the La Carreta next to my parents' place in Pembroke Pines and ordering up one of those babies. You can keep the plantains, Pete. I'll take the fries instead. Or those ridiculously huge empanadas.

Anyway... as for the hoops team... I have to say that I'm disappointed so far. I expected a lot better. Losing to Florida Gulf Coast? I mean... geez... as bad as Donnie Marsh was, even he didn't lose to FGCU. That better have been a wake-up call. That's just an awful loss. Hell, even beating them close would've been a bad thing. I hope Sergio gave them all one hell of a tounge-lashing and made them run sprints until they dropped after that one.

With that said... the potential's still there, so I'll say they're Sun Belt contenders so long as they can take their heads out of you-know-where. The Sun Belt isn't that good (20th in league RPI last season). With Pelphrey gone from South Alabama, that'll help things for everyone else. The conference is still theirs to lose (along with WKU and MT), but none of those teams are invincible. We need better PG play and shooting (from what I've seen and heard) and Hicks better start playing harder. Where the hell is N'Diaye, too? I've heard squat from him this season. And for all the talk I heard before I left about him, Redd's been a MONUMENTAL flop so far.

Fortunately, it's early... no need to panic yet, I think... tons of season left here.

I dunno about you guys, but I think a W over Mason at home and tight games against Purdue and Kentucky on the road could do a LOT for this team.

At the end of the year, I fear for Sergio's job if this team isn't .500 or better. I like the man a LOT, and he's got some good transfers coming, but there's no freakin' reason this team shouldn't be over .500 in the Belt. NONE. Even he'll say that, I'm sure.

Sun Belt Contenders. When is the George Mason game?

As far as the FIU hoops team, I think they will be middle to lower end of the pack (4th or 5th) in the Sunbelt Conference.

Oh, and baseball season definately can't get here soon enough! 69 days until Opening Night!

Pete I know you don't like to talk about recruits because it is not a sure thing until signing day. But other beat writers and publications nationwide make a big deal about the oral commitments to other universities and I am sure that helps their coaches with recruiting, when you see the quality of players that could be their future team mates. I might be wrong but I think if you can write more about the recruits to FIU that could help the coaches bring better kids to our program.
About the hoops, I think Baseball can't get here sooner. For now I got to go and find me a lechon for next week, we don't have Sedanos in Baltimore.


I second the sentiments of expecting more from the men & women's hoop team (even though our women DID beat UM!). The Florida Gulf Coast loss was tragic, however we TRULY hope lessons were learned. The REAL season starts TONIGHT as the first conference game is played.

For anyone who saw the FIU / UM game last week, did you notice the freshman Tremayne Russel? Wow, he is LIGHTNING quick, athletic, and a big leaper for a guard. Whenever he came in, UM's scorer McClinton was shut down. We should of put him earlier. He looks very promising. Your thoughts Pete. Additionally, Hicks showed SOME toughness by aggressively blocking 5 shots. He needs to keep that going plus some help from Ndiaye, who has NOT shown me anything.


Before the start of the season, on paper this team looked strong. It appeared Rouco recruited well and filled the glaring needs a promising FIU team displayed the previous year.

I thought we had a 50-50 chance to win the SBC and go to the NCAA tourney. The SBC is better than most people think but we seemed to have a great mix of size, speed and shooting.

Now I think we will finish 16 and 12 at best.

Pete, this is 3-4 against a very weak schedule, weaker than the SBC (except for UM... USF lost to Cleveland State, Buffalo so they don't count) plus it was all at home.

I think its amazing how the skinny we heard on Rouco when he was first hired has come to fruition. Great recruiter, not an experienced X's and O's coach.

PG either finds him a great assistant coach next year or Rouco may be gone. I like him I hope he get this team to perform consistently, thats a coach's main job.

I'm still aghast at the fact that Rick Mello rewarded Rouco's first three years of mediocrity with a 4-year contract renewal. Sounds like reason enough to let go of Mello.

Right now, I don't believe all the hype (primarily generated by Rouco himself) in this team. First he complains about height and now he has it. The new excuse is that these guys need more time in the weight room.

How about we just get some W's. I agree that losing to FGCU was a major step back.

One quick question, will the fact that Rouco has so much time left on his contract prevent his dismissal should this season go south.

Unfortunately I think baseball season can't get here fast enough. I'd love to be proven wrong but I'm lowering my expectations for the season.

I wouldn't say the hype has been primarily from Rouco. Sure, he did... but every head coach does that. I heard lots of people within the program hype this team up as a potential SBC winner this season. I include myself on that list, too.

It's clear that a lack of interior presence was the biggest reason we weren't at least a .500 team last season. Guards were and are decent and the forwards were and are pretty good, too. There were times last season where I looked at Hicks on the bench and thought to myself "I wish that guy was out there." He would've made a big difference, I think. Nothing against Essola, Bright, Giorgi and everyone else, but that guy's mere presence last season would've altered a lot of things.

Just looking at the stats, it seems Hicks is starting to get better and get more into the flow. Ditto for Redd White. I wish I could say the same for N'Diaye. Pete, any light you can shed as to why he's been a non-factor?

As bad a start as it's been - and it's been a BAD one, let's not kid ourselves - there's still lots of time here. Better to play bad in November and December than late in the season. If this team can regain the mojo they had late last year and get good interior play, there's no reason we can't be a force in the Belt.

Also... realistically speaking... the out-of-conference sked isn't THAT important. It'd be worth more if we had a shot as an at-large to the dance, but we didn't have one even if we went undefeated. I don't mean to give excuses, but to me, this team needs its best basketball for the conference games. If a couple of dud games early lights a fire and gets us playing well in the SBC, I'll take it. That's a good trade-off.

On another note, I'm pissed I can't hear tonight's game on the Internet at all. Since we apparently don't have a rights-holder for men's basketball anymore, I'm hoping at some point this season that WRGP can get out and do some road games. We did it for the women's team one year when I was there and did it at the cost of a plane ticket and transportation to the game. It doesn't get much cheaper than that for a radio broadcast, especially with students involved.

Dissapointing loss for men's hoops! It is still early in SBC play, however THE TEAM BETTER WAKE-UP! WE EXPECTED MUCH BETTER THAN THIS.


Update from the Ravens-Fins game: Beautiful sack by El Monstruo right before half time!

Another sack by EM!

2 sacks? Wow...

El Monstrou attacks again. I cant wait for next season. With a year under his belt and some offseason training Antwan should terrorize greatly next year.

Did anyone see my "El Monstrou Barnes #50" sign at the game?? I was in section 412 with what seemed to be the Ravens section. Lots of purple.......

Now with Ray Lewis provably out for the rest of the season El Monstruo will get more play time and that could mean more sacks. Too bad the Ravens O Line looked like swiss cheese today and Boller got too much sun in Miami this weekend.

An ALMOST perfect day! The FINS win, A. Barnes has an excellent game against the FINS, however N. England won.

GO FIU & the Fins!!!

it was great to see the fins win.. and barnes get a sack.. 2 would have really said something but i think it was only one. hes goin to be good. i agree w/ balt. panther. even though talkin about recruits should not be done. it still is. and unfortunatly kids are goin to go where they toot their horns. would be nice. i think ill be watching the George mason game.

CJ, you're right. Somehow, Antwan did not get credit for two sacks, only one. He did put lots of pressure though.

Hey Pete I saw your article about the Dolphins in the Herald today. I like how you interviewed El Monstrou after that deflating loss. Your the only one that gave Antwan any mention in the entire Herald. Meanwhile Issac Bruce is mentioned in the "local report" section. I guess 'Twan needed more stats to be recognized by the Herald......

I am man enough to admit when I was wrong - unlike most FIU fans on this blog. I do believe now that Barnes will be successful in the league as a linebacker. After being able to watch him on tv for a few weeks now, I do think that with Ray Lewis tutalidge (spelled wrong, I know) Barnes will become a very good LB. Just so you all know, for the past two mornings, Joe Rose and Jason Jackson, on their morning talk show on 560, have mentioned Barnes and how he is fast and strong and hos his special teams play is outstanding.

That is how it is done FIU GPP community. UM fans will respect FIU players, when they have earned it. Respect is not something jusdt given away, as many of you begged and pleaded us to do with Keke and Barnes. Neith er was crap at FIU (I know he one all those awards) but it was the SunBelt, which you all know sucks and they were winless. But Barnes has EARNED respect and for that, as a Ravens fan (Lewis, Reed, Mcgahee) I amm now a Barnes fan.

lol glad to see the admitting 24/7. pete when are we goin to see your blog on the updates of the new stadium... is that a gpc xmas gift.. lol. or i know its not your cup of tee but possibly a recruiting post for the gpc faitful.. i know it doesnt mean much till the x goes on the dotted line but still.. its something to get through the off season

U 24/7,

I think most of us here, myself included respect your beloved U. Heck, I grew up a fan and had season tix for 7 years after college (FIU). However, my allegiance is to my alma mater now. I suspect that many of the GPP folks share a similar experience.

It would of been easy to not acknowledge that FIU started football and kept my 100% loyalty to your U. Many of my college friends did exactly that and criticize FIU, the school they graduated from beyond belief. Of course it's easy to say we SUCK, but blind ignorance is a sign of deeper personal strife.

Many GPP bloggers are offended when we get the typical FIU banana republic shots across the bow and which become border line racist and totally off topic.

Anyone who comes clean and changes their tune or offers respect, when perhaps they previously saw things different has my respect.

I want nothing more than a BCS title game with MIAMI vs. FIU !!! It can happen. Won't happen for Los Angeles, those schools are in the same conference. How cool would that be ??? Imagine the BCS title game was at Dolphins stadium ?? How many HS kids would want to play ball in Miami-Dade county at that point ??

For now, I'll settle for a more competitve regular season game. Thanks for giving Barnes his props. The stats don't tell the whole story but I think he has a promising future in the league.

Any rumors on a replacement for D-coordinator Tim Walton ?? Is NIX next ?


U24/7...that was great you showing respect to Antwann Barnes. I've said it a million times, I don't like UM but I respect them.

Talking about Barnes, I was at game on Sunday and he was definitely excited being back home. I'm seriously considering buying an Antwann Barnes BAltimore Ravens jersey.

Did anyone watch Coach Cristobal on WSVN Sports Xtra on Sunday night? He was pumped up about recruiting and the stadium. I really hope he can get three of those Booker T. Washington kids. He already has Willis committed, hopefully he can get Jonathan Jackson and Tarvis Pullins.


Good stuff U24/7. I might as well give you your props now since my team is an embarrassment in so many ways. Nice pick up with Arthur Brown, kid is a great linebacker and I've had the opportunity to see him play live. He has a mean streak and will do well and his brother should end up with him too and is a better prospect than him. (You should pick up Matt Patchan as well and maybe C.J. Holton from my boys). Your drafted players are doing well i.e. Beason (if it wasn't for Patrick Willis maybe DROY) and Merriweather.

Congrats out to the FIU community as well in getting their first win and in Barnes' success.

Good pick up FIUJM on MC on Sports Extra! Timing is of the essence! MC shows up when the top NW players are there. I know those three are going across town, however I'm sure ALL their teammates plus the players from Booker T & St. Thomas were watching Sports Extra to see their respective schools state championship highlights. Talk about a freebie, they get to hear MC talk about FIU's future, the stadium and excitement. Any press is better than NO press!

Important early SBC game tonight for the men's hoops. They better get back with a road conference split in order to build momentum. If not, with three BIG non-conference games coming up, they may slide the wrong way! The game will be on the Panther Pass! Support the GPs!!



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