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Hilltoppin' With Bruce Lee; New FIU Hoopster

So that's how the FIU hoops team can play when it has some players back on the court. Big win for the Fiuhoop_2 Golden Panthers hoopsters over Western Kentucky -- the Sun Belt's top team and a Sweet 16 team from a year ago that finished ranked No. 22. (Thanks to Sam Lewis and Alex Hernandez for the photos)

FIU played with an intensity against Western Kentucky on Thursday night Blee that had not been seen all season. Heck, even SR doing his best Bruce Lee impression was excited about it shattering an AT&T plastic sign with a karate mule kick. Don't think there is an AT&T endorsement in SR's future, but maybe Sprint, Nextel, T-Mobile or Verizon will come calling. "Can You Hear Me Now? Good"

FIU scored the most points it has all season (81), made a season-high in field goals (28), free throws (15) and 3-pointers (10, 6 of which came from Michael Dominguez (right) who was 6 of 6 from 3-land) and the Panthers didn't turn the ball over 20 times Thursday. Until there were 5 minutes left in the game, FIU had only 4 Md turnovers.

Slowly, but surely the Golden Panthers are getting healthier and the results are showing on the court. With more talent on the court, there are more players for opponents to worry about. Alex Galindo gave FIU a boost with his return against Fordham 2 Mondays ago and getting Tremayne Russell back yesterday also helped.

Also, when the Golden Panthers are hitting from the outside, the inside opens Fa up for center Freddy Asprilla (left), who had a season-high 21 points on Thursday.

While Thursday was only one game, it gave a glimpse of what FIU is capable of on the hardwood. You can vote on Thursday's game below.

Apaw Wesley Carroll is not the only recent transfer to FIU. Guard Martavis Kee (below, right) transferred from Temple and started classes at FIU this week. Like WC, MK played his high school ball at St. Thomas Aquinas.

Kee was a 2nd team All-State for St. Thomas in his senior season in high school. He averaged 19 points, 8.7 assists and 5 rebounds. His junior Kee season he averaged 23.5 points.

At Temple, he played in 5 games during the 2007-08 season. SR said: "Martavis is in that category of a Josue Soto, who was a top prep player in Florida. We are trying hard to recruit the best players out of Florida. These are the type of kids we need to bring success to our program."

Like WC, MK has to sit out a year and will be able to begin play at FIU a year from now in January 2010.


OCPanther: Pete, whats the deal with TY playing b-ball? Not gonna happen?

GPP: Been told TY is concentrating on putting on weight for football and getting ready for spring practice.

class09: Will Tevin McCaskill and Wade Tolbert join Dillard, Times, and Hargrett in visiting FIU?

GPP: I'm not aware of TM and WTolbert visits, but I wouldn't be surprised.

FIU Fanatic: Pete, isn't Alonzo Phillips also one of the WR/special teams losses for next season? I thought he was a Senior...or is he coming back for one more year,

GPP: How could I forget about Blue25? Yes, AP has graduated and will not be back. And neither will Jerrell Lamb (those who have been reading the GPP for a while will get the JL humor)

Apaw_2 Seems to never fail here on the GPP, we put up an FIU football poll question and fans from all over Hk_2 the world come on out to vote. The latest is a reader in the Central District, Hong Kong, who voted that the more competition, the better at FIU QB in 2010. InHkf  that poll question, 59 percent of you agree with our new friend in Hong Kong. 30.1% say what do we know about QB, let the FIU coaches figure it out and 10.8% of you say FIU has too many QBs. Poll is still open and so is the hoop poll below the updated GPP scorecard....



26 COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Venezuela, Vietnam.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.


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I don't know about any of you, but yesterday convinced me that we are capable of playing top notch basketball... we just gotta be able to put it together!

As usual Pete, thanks for your info. On Martavis Kee, rivals.com had him as a 3-star player in the class of 2007, ranking him as Florida's pre season #17 player, the same season rivals.com had FIU's own Asprilla as Florida's #12 ranked player...Seems Sergio is now bringing in more talented players...the question is...are they going to get injured as well?.....He is listed as a 6-3 point guard, the tallest we would have in years...Seems to be a crafty, left handed shooter.

Pete, did FIU get to sign in hoops any of the two early commitments we had?...Terrance Beasley from Tallahasse, and the guy from Olympia HS in Orlando?

I saw a photo of Bruce Lee's... um, I mean, Sergio Rouco's... work on that AT&T sign. For his sake, I hope they're not his cell provider. He might get billed for busting that sign. But, on the positive side, SR might be able to get work as a karate instructor if FIU cans him after the season. That was one hell of a hole Sergio made.

Seriously... if this is Rouco's last season, at least he's going down with some fight. One of the things that pissed me off the most about Marsh's final year was that his kids quit on the season early. Rouco's guys clearly aren't doing that, and he's not, either. Who know what happens the rest of this year, but I for one am glad to see that this basketball team has pride and fight still in them. That bodes well for next season... or whenever the hell FIU finds that injury bug and gives him a few injuries while booting him off-campus. Which, God willing, happens this season.

Beating WKU was a good start, but that wasn't the same team that went Sweet 16 last season. Middle Tennessee is probably the team to beat in the SBC. Let's see how they do tomorrow night. We'll probably have a good idea then of FIU's realistic chances of making a tourney run. But even then, I suspect we're not going to really see what this team can really do until Hicks and Soto, at the very least, are back on the court.

Either way, men's basketball just became more interesting. About freakin' time. Praise the Lord.

Well that ranking of Kee has me fired up because if he's even close to Asprilla's level we are going to make alot of noise in the SBC.

I finally got to see Asprilla play, the last game against WKU and this kid is a BALLER. He was unstoppable, a beast.

No on in the SBC has a player that height (6'10"), that big/strong (he could play O-line) and that athletic ...and he's just a freshman.

He was shooting jumpers, doing reverse layups, etc.

I think I have good eye for talent and if his work ethic matches his talent, he has a shot to play at the next level.

Big deal one conference win, which apparently we nearly blew. We are only 1-3 in conference play. It'll take much more impress me, other fans and Pete Garcia.

Great win last night, was only there for the first half, but that was crucial.

Just wondering, Pete, how do you see this team doing in the SBC Tournament?

I just read on Rivals.com that FIU landed Nico Flores as of yesterday!!!

Can you confirm this Pete???

If this is true, I'M VERY EXCITED for next year!

Pete, I know nothing is set....but IF we do get all the verbal commits to actually sign... how would u rate this class?

Best class we have ever had?

FIUFloridaPower&Light, there is no news of Flores committing to FIU. There was a story on his page that referenced Markeith Russell, his NMB teammate, committing yesterday.

Wow...when I read FPL's message...oh well... there's no commitment, at least not yet.

Man....FIU hoops had a great comeback, after being down by 14, to go ahead of MTSU by a couple, but couldn't get it, as we lost by 4 in a real tight game in MTSU, The Raiders are in first place undefeated, but were killed all night by Asprilla, who had high 20's or 30 in points plus double figures in boards as well. Galindo got hot at the end, ended up with 19 or 21 I think...Gosh...it would have been a significant win away from home......

Ohh thnx for the clarification.

Kind of sneaky for Rivals to do that!

What's the info on Markeith Russell? It says his one of the top linebackers in Dade.

Is Tourek Williams a verbal to FIU ? What position will he play in college ?


Rivals claims FIU has a new commitment tonight? Who is it?

Rivals is reporting that Terrance Taylor committed this weekend

Scout.com is reporting that Joshua Forney committed

Pete what do you know about former USC WR, Vidal Hazelton coming to FIU?

Hazelton was a 5-star receiver, who rivals had him ranked out of prep school as the nation's #7 overall player, and #2 receiver in the country.


Lots of good news lately, seems this will be our best recruiting year.

MC is earning his paycheck at least.

This 5 star receiver I think is a bit of a stretch, but I wouldn't be shocked if we grabbed a guy like this.

Pete, can you give us an update on the status of Javon Hill? Do the coaches expect him to be in camp this Spring?

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