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1st Commitment For Isiah

Dw Gillette (Wyoming) JUCO guard DeJuan Wright committed to FIU this afternoon to become the first player to join new coach Isiah Thomas's team. Wright, who played at Ferris State last season, was the No. 7-ranked (rivals.com) high school player out of Michigan.

Wright, who is 6-4, averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals last year at Ferris.

"Isiah Thomas's name really speaks for itself," said Wright, via phone about an hour ago. "He's a great coach and it's honor to play for him at FIU next season."

Wright will don the blue and gold at FIU for the 2010-2011 season when he will be a junior.

PG said at the press conference that he had received more than 500 texts or e-mails from prospective student-athletes after they heard Thomas was hired. Wright is the first.


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Pete, i hope you took credit for breaking the news that Isaiah Thomas was going to be our coach. Thanks for the great information you provide this blog.

Welcome to FIU DeJuan Wright!!! You're going to love it in Miami. Looking forward to seeing you play next year.


wow already paying dividends. Great to hear!!!

In the short term there are many benefits for FIU with this signing. The biggest one is the publicity that this provides FIU. FIU has been on ESPN more times in the past 2 days than it has been in the last 35 years, including after the brawl fiasco. Thats a positive. Any exposure is good and FIU is certainly getting a lot of exposure.

The other benefit is the amount of kids that will want to play for Isaiah. Honestly noone knew who the hell sergio rouco was. Even a local sun sentinel sports writer had no idea who he was, and he writes about sports for a living. Whether or not Thomas will succeed is something that we will have to wait and see, but in the short term he will certainly provide a HUGE boost to FIU basketball. Lets put it this way, FIU basketball cant get any worse. There hasnt been a winning season in forever and noone has any clue where FIU is. Isaiah has already remedied the latter of the two, the former will have to come later on.

On another note, Pete I have a Marlins question. Is there a reason why the Marlins use Ronnie Paulino when Josh Johnson pitches? Is that his personal catcher? Thanks.

Welcome to the FIU Family DuJuan Wright!

welcome to FIU homie

PETE!!! Glad your posting.

Couple of things:
1) Tim Hardaway as assistant coach? Isiah said on 790 that he was in consideration. Have you got any info

2) I heard on 560 that you were taking a job with FIU's Media Relations. Is this true?

3) How many emails/phone calls/text did you get from national media trying to get information on FIU?

GO PANTHERS BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looking forward to seeing Isiah and what he can do at FIU! Pete, any news on players that will be staying/going because of this? I'd love to see Freddy stick around and play for Isiah.

welcome to the fam. kid

It's important to keep Freddy & Josue on this team. I heard Michael Dominguez transferred to a Div II school. Pete is this true?


Ronald Berkman, FIU Provost
You are real man, that is a good leadership for FIU, and a great example of what our community and Alma Mater instills or should in all FIUers. honesty and accountability of our mistakes.
You have earn my respect.

Pete, can you account for the current players? Who stays and who goes? Any hints?

Wow, way to grab a big recruit early. You have to think IT has a few more solid recruits waiting to sign up. Welcome to FIU DeJuan Wright, it will be great to see you wearing the Blue and Gold.

Dear South Florida Media,

Why the hell-bent determination to ridicule every aspect of FIU? From its conference, to its small yet growing fan base, its student-athletes and everything in between, the amount of deep-seeded venom spewed in the direction of FIU is alarming but ultimately disheartening.

The hiring of Coach I. Thomas is controversial. But to ricochet so much negativity on Miami’s only public university and the largest producer of college graduates in this region, I wonder why the almost instinctual inclination to slam FIU soo hard for simply trying to make a splash, gain attention and secure a national platform to tell the good story of a growing university who’s secured many notable achievements in its relatively short history.

Today, Jim Mandich went off on the Sunbelt because their teams are not located in world-class cities like NY, San Francisco, Chicago, etc. Mr. Mandich, when was the last time someone confused Happy Valley Pennsylvania, the home of the Mighty Litany Lions of Penn State for Chicago? And if a direct flight to a city with a major airport is the indicator of a great university, tell us Mr. Mandich, how many direct flights from MIA to Tuscaloosa, Alabama have you been on to watch the Crimson Tide?

Mandich’s sidekick on the show (don’t know his name nor care to) starts arbitrarily slamming the FIU football program. He says, “If Mario Cristobal starts to win, he’ll leave FIU for a school like USF.” First it was, “FIU would never leave UM.” Then it was, “Mario will never win at FIU.” Now it’s “when he wins, he’ll leave FIU for USF.” For the record, FIU beat USF twice today in baseball, taking the double-header (way to go Coach Turtle Thomas and team!)

A few days ago, I heard the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman going off on our FIU Arena, labeling it a high school gym. Mr. Winderman, we all agree that the FIU basketball program has underachieved historically, is located in a lackluster college basketball market and doesn’t have the historic name brand to leverage (yet), so not having an arena that rivals even the slightly above average NCAA basketball arenas is almost to be expected. The surprise would have been to have a state-of-the-art arena at FIU, not the other way around. You could have stated the facts and ended it by saying, "perhaps some notoriety will get the community to support the program at a level that will ultimately improve the basketball facility." But why do that when sticking it to FIU is so unoriginal and easy? The sad thing is that I enjoy your Heat coverage so I know you can do better.

The list goes on and on…the local media haters know who they are. The funny thing is that the job of sports journalist is soo darn easy. They ratio of time spent spewing negativity about anything, particularly FIU, is about 100 to 1. Let me use a MLB example. Last year, Mandich spent countless minutes before the Marlin’s baseball season guaranteeing 100 losses for the Fish and a last place finish. The team went 84 and 77 and just missed the playoffs. Mandich barely made mention of that fact months after his seemingly endless campaign to soil the image of the 2008 Marlins.

When it comes to FIU, the largest university in this community who’s student population and alumni actually are a reflection of South Florida, we’d prefer a “go get ‘em Panthers.” If that’s too much to ask, then we’d prefer you simply not mention us at all. Thanks to Isaiah Thomas, the national media is doing a much better job of that.


Al in Pembroke Pines
FIU ’98 and ‘09

There are a lot of people in miami that are seriously losers... I love seeing everybody get bitter when FIU takes another promising step in the right direction. If it were j-UM hiring Isiah, i can guarantee you that they would all be ecstatic, including the losers in the media (that does not include Pete; he is non-loser media)... FIU is on a serious tear right now and Pete garcia is doing some big time things. Right now, i can honestly say that we are serious competition for everyone in S. Fl..... FU(* THE HATERS!!!!!!!!

... and big congrats to the baseball team for sweeping the double header against USF today. USF is currently tied for 1st in their conference and those were 2 big wins for us. Lets keep this up for the weekend!!!!

this guy named Orlando Alzugaray went on ESPN news and just about tore FIU to pieces calling us all kinds of names and ridiculing IT's decision for joining the "almighty FIU". The other 3 panelists were astonished with his negativity of course he resorted to comparing FIU to ucg just like every scUMbag. Unbelievable how people in this sport journalism business make a living out of ridiculing and judging others. I've never been so disappointed with the lack of professionalism by these so called professionals.

Thanks Pete for all you do. Reading cote's commentary make me appreciate you.

gpantera....that was one of the best posts of the season. I share the frustration of listening to these "hometown" sportcasters and radio "personalities" talk...and write. It's evident that for some reason...or reasons...they have a way or trying to ridicule, minimize, and/or immediately criticize anything that FIU tries to do. It's almost as if FIU was in Michigan, not in Miami...

Also, did Mandich's company (MZM Productions) lose the broadcasting rights to FIU Football? It must be, because Jim has been mercilessly attacking FIU ...and Pete Garcia in particular.... the last several days. He NEVER used to be this negative...at least since he had the radio rights with FIU. While listening to him...and his young sidekick...I was surprised...

I also read Alzugaray. How disappointed I am in this guy, who seemed intent on trying to compare... almost uncontrollably anything about FIU to UM...Why?...nobody was comparing, nor it was part of the discussion, nor relevant....It's obvious some people have their deep-rooted allegiances to other institutions, and prefer the status quo, where there is only one relevant college in Miami.....it bothers me, but it's a prevalent attitude in the media. It's frustrating as hell. Really. But those days are, hopefully, over....TDAOS.

Again, gpantera...great post.

Great post gpantera.

What we need to do as true FIU fans is boycott and bash these dbag local journalists...especially the on-air "personalities" which are closer to cement than personalities anyway...call them and email them and bash them. They have heard nothing but SILENCE from FIU since our existence. NO MORE. If this hire has done ANYTHING for the FIU alum and fanbase (all 60 of us according to "EVERYONE") is to awaken us as to the hatred there is for us...hatred against breaking the status quo, the usual connections and friends built on decades of butt kissing and blind following. This episode has seperated the normal people, from the friends, from the enemies, and we all know how to treat enemies.

I'll give a shot out to 790's Steve White, the fill in for Sid in the morning, he has backed us (somewhat) while his dbag counterparts have destroyed us. DRAW THE LINE FIU FANS....one thing is to disagree on a decision, but these "journalists" and talking mouths have crossed that line and savored bashing us. DRAW THE LINE!

we should have pete come out with his own website and paper and all subscribe to that. Cote is fat, manny is fat, they all are fat. Pete just doesnt fit in with these "milk" guzzlers... They too feel the movement that is taking miami by storm. They are getting that fear feeling. I like it

And for those of you looking to express your displeasure with a dbag named Orlando Alzugaray about his hometown bashing of OUR state school of south florida, email the Bauder College grad at:


Did Franky really call UM "j-UM".

Wow, for a school that caters to an overwhelming number of majorities, that's a grievous error to make.

Congrats on the hire, I hope it works out for you, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I know the attorneys for FIU are wringing their fists right now.

That comment was Fomenterly retarded

Heard Mandich yesterday and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He's just bitter for losing FIU broadcasting rights. Let's boycott these fools that want to put down FIU whenever they get a chance to.

Steve White and Stugotz(790 The Ticket) actually support hiring of Isaiah. I believe Steve Shapiro is someone else that likes and covers FIU the right way.

Great post gpantera. Local media has been an embarrassment.


gpantera, that was a great post, but you know what, lets not worry about the haters and lets just wait for our boys to prove them wrong in a few years, and then you will see those haters jumping in the FIU bandwagon like most of the fans in South Florida.
Last summer I kept on saying that SR needed to go and we should hire a big name coach to get some blue chippers in here and turn this program around and some people in this blog, even FIU fans, kept saying that no blue chipper will come to FIU, But I guess now we have the big name coach, and it is just a matter of time before we get some McDonald All Americans in the bank.
I was a student in UF when they hired Billy Donovan, and before Billy there was a level of success but not too much talent in that team, the O'Connell Center was half empty and the student tickets were $2 I think, BD open change the admission to free for student in an effort to pack the house, brough some good players and 4 years later he was in the final four, and now it is hard to get tickets for Gator bball.
I hope Isiah can do the same at FIU and turn our program from mediocrity to victorious.

The best local coverage of FIU atheltics recently hands down has been by CBS-4 and their sports crew. They even created a facebook page called FIUUnfiltered if you are a member of facebook make sure you join that. They have constant updates on FIU athletics.

i think we should all grow some tough skin... i understand where you all are coming from.. it SUCKS to hear your local media ride your team like a pony at a kid party. but tell me something. who the hell gives a rats @.S.S. what Jimbo mandich says, who is Sedano really but some guy that TALKS about sports ranther than plays sports... really all they are doing is their jobs... taking a hard line stances on something and trying to get a rise out of good people like us one way or another.. you really what to show them do not "boycott" them.. it wont do you anything... laugh what they say off now and WHEN FIU starts to WIN. throw it back in their faces and make them eat their words

Pete, second follow up question. Did we really fire Jim Mandich's production company. Is my dream coming true and we don't have to listen to the torture that is Randy K on our broadcast's (and hopefully with Coach Thomas we might get some baseketball coverage too?) Go F I U!


While I am disappointed in general with the "local" coverage these broadcasters provide...and used...for the Isiah Thomas hiring in particular, I don't think it behooves us to take a stance like a boycott or anything like that.

I do think we should mostly engage these people, let them know what we think of their coverage, and make them aware we are here to stay, and that South Florida, like it or not, is...and should not be...a one-team town anymore. And I'm not even thinking or think we should include the silly comparisons with the other "local" university. It is about FIU and their coverage of us. We are at least, as "local" as UM...if not more...and deserve a local-type coverage. I would hope some of them will change their stance with appropriate comments by some of us. Let's not go crazy on this, even though we can vent our frustrations here, as I've done already....

Anyways, regardless of the ill intentioned comments and hurtful-intended remarks, it was a great National coverage about FIU and our wonderful institution as a whole.

Seems like when we get "local" coverage, some of these broadcasters just talk about FIU in a negative tone. For some reason, they kept bringing up what a dbag Pete Garcia is but they fail to mention that he is leading FIU in the right direction in athletics.

You guys remember Lamar Thomas? Bashed us on TV and then he wanted to come work at FIU. I'm sure he would have made a good receivers coach, but he burned himself with his action. These "local" broadcasters should be more careful about what they say. I refuse to listen to some of those clowns. Just like they have opinions of FIU, I will send it right back to them.

National attention FIU has received is great for school. It would be nice to make a bowl next year and NCAA regionals to keep momentum going.

Pete, how many more recruits can Isaiah add to team? Thanks in advance.


Ok, just like the loss versus FAU last year in football I have come to grips with facts. Isiah Thomas is our coach, even though I don't like it and I think at the end it will wind up being a Dick Cheney (shooting us in the face) it is what it is. I am wishing for the best but my instincts tell me you can't change a dog's spots and past patterns are an indication of things to come.

Excellent post Gpantera!

Please forward to local media!

Great post gpantera. I agree with you.

First you have to understand that these sports commentators aren’t journalists in the traditional sense but rather entertainers. This is a business.

These guys who are supposed to love sports don’t know much outside of football. Gotta remember that there was nothing here before the Dolphins so these losers like Mandich, Rose, and Bokamper are still riding the buzz from their glory days. As for the Big O, I really don’t like his poor enunciation and diction and his constant plugging of Presidente beer.

Unfortunately the audience doesn’t demand any better – witness our traditionally low TV ratings during the Final Four. Why was everyone discussing the Dolphins in the middle of the Marlins’ pennant run back in the day? Mandich once ripped baseball as a bunch of guys sitting around in their pajamas. All of these guys love to rip international soccer or the World Baseball Classic for example (which I think are both awesome).

Greg Cote used to try to build momentum for soccer, a job that’s now fallen to Michelle Kaufmann, and both would never drum up support for FIU’s soccer program, which has been the most successful program in FIU’s history until now.

You would think they’d be excited by having an additional team to follow in South Florida but hey it’s a business. WQAM has the rights to Hurricane Sports and want to keep that audience.

They’ll only respect us when we get out and support the team. Best thing to happen to us is to cancel all series with UM.

But absolutely contact the media and let them have a piece of your mind. I emailed Bernardino once who’s an awesome baseball writer (and had written an article on Cristobal) about expanding FIU coverage. His response was that the newspaper would only assign a beat writer once they won more consistently.

Bottom line we’ll get there. Let’s build this thing!

And as for the media tell Cote to come up with something more innovative than his Random Blog (it’s been about a decade, maybe it’s time to move on), tell the Big O to take his remedial English classes, tell the over 40 Le Batard to settle down already lest he become a younger (and nicer) version of the old and lonely Hank Goldberg.

Go Panthers!

I.T. Start the recruiting trips and get the boys a couple great players to make some noise against WKU. If we win the Sunbelt in two years then it was worth every penny. I think I.T. will bring the Sunbelt trophy home in two years.

Forget coaching he just needs to recruit the heck out of the state and the JUCCO. Great start.

Baseball, way to go boys! Keep it going..

Pete, I have a question. Just like in the draft teams do a psychological test on possible players, was there a similar test done on IT to ensure he is stable? He was accused of trying to commit suicide last year and on an interview I saw on espn he did not confirm or deny that fact.

NYCFIUFan, dude give it a rest! I thought you had come to terms with IT. There's nothing you can do about it now, so just support FIU athletics and wish the man well.

I can't wait till the day when the rest of the country, media and haters show some respect for FIU athletics. It's frustrating to hear the media talk nonsense about hiring IT. In fact, one lowlife sportscaster who shall remain nameless went as far as asking how long before FIU goes bankrupt. That lowlife must be scratching his head after learning of IT's generous contribution to FIU. I think the alumni have to do their part in supporting FIU athletics by coming out to the games and cheering on their team. Only then will the media begin to have some respect for us. After all, if we don't support our team, how can we expect the rest of the country to do so?

Great post gpantera!

FIU Season Tickets http://tinyurl.com/FIUBBALLTIX

Those are for last year....they actually are receiving deposits for next year's season now....


Can't find the link to FIU Unfiltered on Facebook. Please post. Thanks.


will post it for you tonight after the baseball game, once I get home.

as a 95 grad ,(yr we went to the tourney), I am happy. Guys, all it takes is 1 good class. Heard of the Fab 5? Why cant Isiah do it? yes he would have to talk them out of the big boys., but ya know FIU will get some TV time now that he is their, and if they win, they will be on TV in the tourney. Its a great move, he can rekindle his career, and FIU is on the map.

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