In what is looking like the first of the final four games between FIU and the Hurricanes in the three major sports, we'll have a live hoops blog on Saturday night sitting courtside at Pharmed Arena. Game time is at 7 p.m. on Saturday and the GPP expects to be on-line at around 6:45 p.m. for the live blog.
With the football series between the two schools done with, the Golden Panthers and the HCs play in hoops this season and next season in Coral Gables. The word is the series will not be renewed after 2009. And the two baseball teams meet for the final two games of their series this upcoming baseball season. FIU and HCs likely will not play thereafter unless they both land in the same regional.
FIU will retire Raja Bell's (right) number on Saturday and that may be one of the few Golden Panthers hoops highlights on the night.
Yes, FIU defeated Buffalo on Wednesday by 13. The same Buffalo team that beat South Florida earlier this season and the same USF team that routed FIU. But the whole common opponent stat is overrated. If the Golden Panthers do not consistently score, hit their free throws and play some interior defense Saturday then it could be a 20 to 30-point blowout by the orange and green. FIU hoops has not shown any consistency this season and its interior defense has been non-existent. HCs centers Anthony King and Dwayne Collins could have huge nights in the paint. Not that the Hurricanes should book a ticket to the Final Four, but they have some pretty good athletes on that team and FIU is a work in progress.
One Golden Panther hoopster, who has stood out lately has been sophomore guard Erick Nsangou (below left). The 6-foot dynamo has been one of the scoring leaders the last couple of games for FIU putting up 17 last Sunday against Florida Gulf Coast and a double double of 15 points and 10 rebounds against Buffalo. EN got his first start of the season against Buffalo and was all over the court offensively and defensively. Now I know it's a small sample of games, but Nsangou is looking like the Paul McCall of FIU hoops. A guy that is showing what kind of talent he has when given the chance. The last few games and at other times this season coming off the bench, EN has been the best FIU hoopster out there.
Nice job by FIUrulez in his rookie blog debut. CrazyCane must be writing a novel for his blog. No word yet from CC or his lawyers (24/7 and NY Josh) on his blog.
Puma: Glad to know we don't have a GPP reader with no-name. My understanding is that former AD Rick Mello gave SR a four-year extension just before he got canned last September. As far as El Monstruo, I too cannot find anywhere to watch the sacks (I did see them live on ESPN), with the exception of the NFL Network, which nobody gets on their cable system. You might want to try Inside the NFL on HBO when they show the Pats/Ravens highlights. I believe the show airs on Saturday at 11 a.m. By popular demand, will keep the Cowgirls as regulars on the GPP. Although, we need to find some FIU Cowgirls at the new stadium next season. That's right FIU girls: Here's your chance to become regulars on the GPP. IMO, FIU has much better looking girls than FSU.
Puma & Quijote: I think that clause in MC's contract is good for him and the football team. If the players he recruits are academically eligible, then MC doesn't have to go through all the red tape to get those guys in. I know state universities are tightening admissions, but if FIU is committed to building a top notch athletic program it all starts with the football team and getting those eligible players in, because that's the sport that will bring the athletic dept. and the school the money and recognition. Again if those players have the grades and test scores, then there should be no reason why they cannot attend FIU especially if they are going to help the football team get better. I know this may sound narrow-minded, but that's the point we are discussing here to make the football team better.
fiugrad78: Please move away from the horse. I promise we got the baseball blog on deck soon. Next week after the GPP's Football Awards Show, we'll start taking questions for FIU baseball coach Turtle Thomas for our Q & A blog with the new Golden Panthers coach. Just like we did earlier this year with MC, it will be a chance for FIU fans to ask TT their pressing baseball questions.
CJ: The FIU coaches are out and about on the recruiting trail. But until I see some signatures on the dotted line of national letters of intent with FIU's logo atop of it by February, then there really isn't much to say about recruiting.
FIU Student: Welcome to the GPP. Did not see Audric Adger get the helmet sticker on ESPN, but I heard about it. Two days later on ESPN, El Monstruo gets his first two NFL sacks.
XorZero: Welcome to the GPP.