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Back to Sun Belt Hoops

The non-conference part of the Golden Panthers hoops schedule is done after the games at Purdue and Kentucky this past week. FIU is down to 16 games this season -- all Sun Belt opponents.

On Saturday night, the Golden Panthers (3-9) tip-off the first of their final 16 games against FAU at 7:30 at FIU. This month, the Golden Panthers play 4 games at home and 4 on the road. We already got a Hicks_2 pretty good idea that the FIU hoops team has not lived up to the preseason hype. This team may have been overrated from the start.

Center Russell Hicks has been steady and forward Chris Fuller has played a stingy D, but the Golden Panthers have yet to find a way to get forward Alex Galindo more involved in the offense. I know SR likes to run the offense through Hicks and having a 7-foot agile center I don't blame him. But the when the offense has been stagnant for most of the season, getting a good shooter like Galindo more involved can only help.

The other thing is 12 games into the season and FIU still cannot handle defensive pressure. Watching that game against Kentucky on Monday, every time the Wildcats pressed FIU, the Golden Panthers either panicked and were forced into a bad shot or they turned the ball over. By the way, good heads-up by Roman for alerting that the game was on Sun Sports. I was covering Kansas football all week and completely forgot about it.

Kind of ironic that FIU is retiring former point guard Carlos Arroyo's jersey on Saturday night and the Arroyo most glaring weakness on FIU this season has been the point guard play. The Golden Panthers don't have one point guard that can drive the ball through the press or that can create in the half court for the other Golden Panthers. Anybody out there sure that Arroyo does not have any eligibility left?

These next 8 Sun Belt games are for lack of a better word "crucial" for the Golden Panthers to show some life in Sun Belt play -- an area where they should be near the top of the conference. If we continue seeing the same lackadaisical effort, then for sure this team will be one and done when the Sun Belt tournament begins. 49 days left until FIU baseball!


BBPanther: Yes, it is alarming having only one South Florida area player (Tremayne Russell-South Dade High) on the FIU hoops roster. Our area down here is not just a hotbed for football and baseball talent. There is plenty of basketball talent down here that has not been tapped in the recent years. You ask if this is the worst showing by FIU hoops in recent years? I'm not sure, but it might be close. Former FIU coach Donnie Marsh had some awful teams that would have had trouble beating a local rec team.

fiufan751: Way to swing it over to the positive. We'll get TT's Q & A on here real soon before they begin preparing for the season in less than 10 days.

TheFIUFan: Been a long time since your last post, good to hear you're still around. As far my travelling with the FIU hoops team, I've been told by the MH that when they start winning, I'll start travelling with basketball. Your question about the FIU Spanish radio broadcasters. Yes, they are fluent in English. Their broadcasts in Jc Cast_2 Spanish are informative and entertaining. Jerry Del Castillo (English translation on last name: Jerry of the Castle) and Pepe "Chamby" Campos (Pete Fields and the Chamby is for Wilt Chamberlain, Wilt because PC thinks he's that good of a hoops player, but he's not.) do the basics well, giving down and distance, identifying ballcarrier and tackler on each play. Plus, they mix in some humor as well. They were the ones to give Antwan Barnes the nickname "El Monstruo". As far as I know they are not scheduled to do any FIU hoops or baseball broadcasts this season.

Baltimorepanther: True about Festivus in Baltimore. The year the Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl, then-coach Brian Billick told his players not to use the word "playoffs" during the season when being interviewed, so the Ravens decided to use the word "Festivus" each time they wanted to say playoffs during an interview. True, funny stuff.

Puma: The FIU cowgirls might have to start as an open casting call at the new stadium. You add them with the Golden Dazzlers and you have the two finest groups of cheerleaders in the NCAA.

fiual: Welcome to the GPP. MC and co. are recruiting. There will be an update on that later this month. Thanks for your readership.


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I checked out rivals.com and it appears that FIU football has 6 players committed so far (surprisingly 2 from California). What is this recruiting class looking so far? Best so far since the birth of the program?


You are welcome...also just wanted to let everyone know that Carlos Arroyo will be in the house tommorrow night for the retirement ceremony. Unlike Raja earlier this season who was traveling, Carlos will be at the Pharmed Arena on Saturday night.

Women play at 5:15 followed by the men at 7:30 Should be a fun night with hopefully a pair of wins!!!

Forgot to add to this post. Tight end Moses Hinton joins the FIU hoops team on Saturday night. Hinton, a 6-3 power forward in high school, has been working out with the hoops team and will start the game on the bench. As we've seen all season, FIU could use the muscle under the basket.

good add about hilton playing basketball would be intersting to see him play... do you know if the FAU game will be on tv?

Thanks for the blog, PP. Interesting information on Hinton joining the team...as I recall he was an All State hoops player as well for his high school team, which played in State Finals...

As far as recruiting and non-binding oral commitments go, I have read through different sources 9 commitments so far. The three not included in rivals as of yet are: Aaron Davis (DE/LB), Joey Harris (TE/DE from Chiefland HS), and A.J. Grant, a linebacker/safety Jacksonville Sandalwood HIgh School. Rumors are FIU has anywhere from 16-20 commitments so far, according to some anonymous posts I've read...and seen on TV as well....

pete i found this article from JAX... http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/122307/hig_228361267.shtml is their any truth to AJ GRANT coming to FIU

ya fiu fanatic... i got it off this article about hs. kids up in JAX great minds think alike i guess lol

HInton is a good athlete and a strong kid, but 6'3" is still a bit short for a power forward, even in the Sun Belt, isn't it?

And who cares about football recruits just now, when there are NEW recruits arriving on campus expecting to play baseball in a FIU uniform 49 days. Any news on who / what to expect? Heard a couple of catchers, a shortstop (not that the one we have needs replacing), possibly some outfielders and pitchers. When do they have to release the official roster? Hope we don't have to wait 48 days for it.

PP great stuff, but u gotta get on the baseball situation quick!!! things are starting to heat up with TT bc i heard a bunch of players have transferred out and scholarships are being taken away...as far as the recruits....two catchers one from hialeah high the other from UCF, an outfielder from Cali and a pitcher....get on it PP!!!

NYCFIUFan, actually Cedrick Mack is coming back to Miami. He originally is from Miami but is playing at EL Camino C.C.. Jermaine Malcolm(07 commitment from West Palm Beach) is all playing ball there. Seems like the coaching staff is beefing up that OL/DL!!! I have heard of Aaron DAvis and AJ Grant(3 star) committed. I just hope FIU adds a stud RB in this recruiting class.

As for Moses Hinton, hopefully he can contribute...though I can't believe he's listed at 6'3. On the football field he looks like he's over 6'7. Hopefully, he's works hard on basketball court because the basketball team needs any help it can get at the moment.


Also, Corey Lattimore, Mack's teammate at El Camino JC in California, also played HS ball in Miami, so both recruits from El Camino JC played high school in Miami.....

On the upside, if FIU beats FAU this Saturday that will be the first time FIU has beat FAU in a long while. The Shula Bowls have been recent disasters for FIU, as was Men's Basketball last season, dropping three games to FAU.

I wouldn't get too excited about the billions of people who have pre-committed to FIU. A lot of them are picking up FIU but holding out for a better offer (as is to be expected). Sad to say it but FIU is at the bottom of the football barrel and no matter how good of a recruiter MC is, he's going to lose talented in-state recruits to USF, UCF and FAU. It's laughable to think that 3+ star guys are going to come to a 1-23 program, even if it has a shiny new stadium. FIU is going to have to do what FAU did this year to get noticed.

Well, those are your very subjective comments. I have followed this FIU recruiting thing since day 1...and it has never looked as promising as this...I give you that commitments don't hold water until signing day. I guess you will have to come back here after the day, and we will discuss what happened then. I'm not saying they are necessarily coming here, but I do find it interesting how you know it's "laughable" this early. Remember, only 9 commitments have been discussed here so far by names.

I do find interesting how rivals has already FIU with 6 solid commitments, while FAU only 1. Again, time will tell....

You make a great point FIU Fanatic. Recruiting has never looked as promising as this year. Last year MC and his staff did the best they could in such a short span. He added Marquis Rolle, Colt Anderson, Jason Frierson, etc.

Even if FIU has gone 1-23; there are many things the coaches are selling these talented players. For starters, new stadium and living in the city of Miami. I can't wait for that list to come out, but from what I'm seeing this staff is working hard and the team could only get better. Previous staff wasn't as active as this staff. Finally, the coaches are selling playing time. Very simple, you work hard...you'll get to play.


Just look at basketball. FAU had a fairly succesful season last year, including 3 tough wins against FIU. Tonight, FIU beat them soundly and worse than the score indicates...it doesn't necessarily means squat.....

Good much-needed win by our hoops teams, as the women also beat those ugly birdies tonight..They lead FAU 21-1 in their series....

My understanding is that FAU does not release recruit info... something about Schnellenberger policy.

I don't know how that intertwines with Rivals.com but there have been many cases in the past where Rivals.com has not kept up with the latest developments.

In any case, it's wonderful that MC is picking up kids from all over. I just think it's a very tough sell, even if you say you get playing time, because all the parts have to work together. A three star quarterback isn't going to do much if his offensive line crumbles. Similarly, a three star wide reciever can't do his job if the QB under/overthrows. This is especially pertinent as FIU sorts through its QBs to find one that is effective.

On teams like UF, you as a recruit know everyone there is talented. You don't have to worry about being a diamond in the rough because they're all diamonds. At newer schools, schools that don't have that same pull in the recruiting world, you don't have that promise. Therefore, it's a gamble that a good player with lots of options (FIU offered you early but then Rutgers and Auburn discovered you) might not want to take. One star guys are lucky to get any offers and have to go with what they can get.

Not that they're always bad, of course. Consider FAU's Rusty Smith. Only recruited by FAU. Cnnsidered the top QB in the Sun Belt. Ranked #15 out of 100+ in the NFL Scout Watch, etc etc

Sometimes you find gems. Sometimes you recruit 4 star or five star guys, like at Notre Dame and FSU, and they just can't cut it.

As you said, time will tell.

My understanding is that no one can offer recruit information, until they sign the dotted line, as it would become a violation of the NCAA. The information as for commitments is "released" by local newspapers and national recruiting websites and "experts". So, the assumption that FIU is "releasing" recruit info is just plain wrong.

I do agree that it behooves programs like FIU and FAU to keep their oral commitments, especially the 'better' ones, as close to the vest as possible, since then the 'bigger' schools can come in and raid them. Heck, that happens..not just with FAU and FIU...but see how UM's commitments have switched and on and on...

If you recruit enough talented players..they don't have to be rated 3-4 stars by all services...eventually the talent level around you will make you play better. It sure seems MC is doing a great job recruiting and raising the bar at FIU. We will see.

FIU men's & women's hoops need to play like they did last night for ALL remaining Sun Belt games. They both have the talent to challenge for the conference title. The men's team definitely looked more cohesive last night.

It was great to see Arroyo. He was great with ALL fans. Signed ALL autograph and picture request and took time to talk to everyone at the Pharmed Arena. Thanks Carlos!

Pete, did you get a chance to talk to Carlos while he was there? Would love to get an idea of what he thinks of the program now.


Good question ultimatefan....I would love to read what Carlos has to say about what is going on....Oh my...when we had Carlos at the point it was a show...wasn't it?

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