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 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 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 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, 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.