« 1st Commitment For Isiah | Main | Baseball Adds A Game; Tennis SBC Champs »

FIU BASEketball

Mol Now that the new basketball school known as FIU has introduced its new hoops coach, time to turn the attention back to the diamond where your Panthers (left, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) are coming off a doubleheader sweep of the Big East's No. 1 team in the Tampa/South Florida Bulls.

And you thought the title of this post was about a sequel to the "BASEketball" movie from the South Park creators? Sorry to disappoint.Bas

FIU baseball led by coach Turtle Thompson, is currently sitting in 4th with 6 losses in the Sun Belt behind 1st place Western Kentucky -- 3 losses -- (who FIU beat 2 out of 3), Middle Tennessee -- 5 losses -- (FIU lost its only series this season to the Blue Raiders) and Troy -- 5 losses --  (who FIU beat 2 out of 3).

New Orleans comes to University Park Stadium on Friday for a 3-game weekend series, but don't let the Privateers last place standing in the Sun Belt fool you or fool the Panthers. UNO (the team, not the card game) can hit and if FIU overlooks them this weekend it could put a dent in the Panthers hopes for having a chance to win the regular season Sun Belt title come mid-May or even for an NCAA regional berth.U

Good to see FIU's mid-week pitching take some steps forward this past week. Freshman R.J. Fondon, who has been pretty solid for most of the season, delivered in the first game against USF and Daniel DeSimone (near, left, AJH photo) did as well in the nightcap. Reliever Dd  Eric Berkowitz (below, right, thanks Sam Lewis photo), who his teammates call Harry Potter because of a resemblance with the glasses he wears, has also shown some magic out of the pen.

At 22-12 and 9-6 in the Sun Belt, FIU has 20 games left, but only 7 of thoseBerko games are at home and after next Wednesday at home against Bethune-Cookman, FIU will only have 3 home games left May 1-3 vs. Arkansas State.

In the final 20 games, there are plenty of tough games: at Louisiana-Monroe for 3 games, visits to Fla. Gulf Coast, Stetson, Florida State, South Alabama for 3 and finish the season with 3 games in Boca Raton against the Hooters. We should get an indication, especially with the road games, if FIU can make the postseason for the first time since 2002.

Unless, FIU wins the Sun Belt Tournament or reaches the tournament final in Troy at the end of May, the thought here is that the Panthers would need to finish 14-6 or 15-5 to have a 36-18 or 37-17 regular season and get back to a regional.

Tell us your thoughts and vote in the poll below the Pawse.


alt7787: Pete, I have a Marlins question. Is there a reason why the Marlins use Ronnie Paulino when Josh Johnson pitches?

PP: The reason Paulino has been in there on JJ's starts is that the Marlins have faced a left-handed pitcher each time and Paulino is a right-handed batter. John Baker, the starting catcher, is a left-handed batter and manager Fredi Gonzalez does not like the lefty versus lefty matchup. In JJ's first start, lefty Scott Olsen started for the Nationals. Last Sunday in JJ's start he went up against Mets lefty Johan Santana.

FIUFP&L:  PETE!!! Glad your posting. Couple of things: 1) Tim Hardaway as assistant coach? Isiah saidTh 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?

PP: 1) I called Tim Hardaway on Tuesday afternoon to ask him about that and TH said: "Nothing yet, I'm just waiting for the call. I have a great relationship with Isiah. I'm happy he got the FIU job. He's going to do great things at FIU."

2) Nobody at FIU has talked to me about a job. I enjoy what I do at the MH.

3) Several national media contacted me. I was interviewed on ESPN radio on Wednesday morning. The talk show host said during the interview that FIU has got a solid coaching trio now in MC, TT and IT.

Max: Pete, any news on players that will be staying/going because of this?

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

PP: A little too early to tell Max & FIUPantherFan. What I do know is that IT will have a full complement Sch of scholarships for his first recruiting class. I know IT has met with several coaches and met with Freddy and Josue Soto's former coach Art Alvarez. There could be some turnover, because a new coach, regardless of the sport, always has a different idea of talent evaluation than the former coaches in whatever sport we're talking about. i.e. MC from DS and TT from DP.

Ultimate FIU Fan: I heard Michael Dominguez transferred to a Div II school. Pete is this true?

PP: Yes, Dominguez transferred to Mesa College.

FIUPantherFan: Pete, second follow up question. Did we really fire Jim Mandich's production company.Madd

PP: Mandich no longer holds the broadcast rights to FIU football. There will be new announcers for FIU football this season. Hey, John Madden retired from TV today, maybe he wants to do radio now?

NYCFIUFan: 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?

PP: As PG said in Wednesday's press conference, FIU thoroughly researched the situation. PG said he had an advantage in the process, because he personally knows IT. Since he became FIU's AD in October 2006, PG has only had FIU athletics on the rise and has made all the right coaching hires as MC and TT have proven to the doubters.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Great info, Pete....as usual, thanks....

No wonder on Mandich's sudden switch from an FIU "friend" or "neutral" to an FIU "foe" now....Really, got me by surprise to hear him saying all those negative things, with a bit of bitterness sprinkled around...

As for baseball, I think we need to win 14 or 15 more games in regular season, plus get to the 40-41 win total in SBC tournament for us to secure a spot in the Regionals....

Back to basketball...Landing Tim Hardaway as another assistant could mean landing some extra blue chip recruits with his star power appeal to kids, potentially....like Hardaway's son for example....but IT needs to hire at least 2 solid NCAA -experienced assistants to help him in dealing with college rules and regulations (we don't need another DS-like staff with little knowledge of college football nor the passion for it)...One of them at least, being a "recruiter".....

FIU Fanatic,

Would you agree with Sergio Rouco as the recruiter you alluded to?

I agree...we need Tim AND after that, we need well-known, high regarded assistant from big basketball schools!

I would not include Sergio Rouco, I would rather have a nationally known recruiter from a well known basketballs school.

Pete, wait, so let me get this straight, no more Randy Kassewitz on the radio?! The good news keeps coming!

Pete, you seem on board with what TT and Mario are doing, how do you feel about Isiah as a coach?

Are you guys serious!!!! Do any of you know anything about sports in general?? Please give me an example other than an interim coach where a head coach stayed as an assistant. As much as I like SR personally there is no way he would stay as an assistant. Stop giving the UM posters ammunition on your lack of knowledge!

No more Kassewitz?!?!? YESSS!!!! There is no one in the world more annoying than that guy! Wait, maybe CrazyCane but, Max, you're right, the good news just keeps on coming! Here's another good news, no more little Mandich doing the sideline reporting! Man that guy was USELESS!

i think the best part about that is the fact that we wont have lil mandich asking for the score of the MIIIIICHIIGAN game

Baseball observations:
Team probably needs 40 wins for an at large, we need to make up the two games that were rained out.
Pitching continues to impress, weekends and weekdays. Berkowitz may have taken over the closer role. Fondon is very close to becoming Sunday starter.
Hitting continues to impress, Mollica is back, Townsend continues to be the best hitter in Florida and everyone else is doing exactly what they are supposed to do. Stropp, Guy and Bermudos need to become more consistent and this team can go a long way.
Defense has not been a problem like I thought it might be in the beginning, it has had some moments, but has not cost us anything so far.
Coaching continues to dominate other teams, TT does a lot of little things that most people do not realize.
Team MVP: Junior Arroyo has done a good job defensively and is probably the best 9 hitter in the Country.
The team has a chance to do special things this year with the toughest part of their schedule behind them, will probably need a good conference tournament to make a regional, but if they make one, they have a good enough team to make some noise.
Good Luck

Pete, the whole talent evaluation line, sounds like you are getting us ready for the departure of Soto and Asprilla (which I suspected with Sergio's firing). However, let's be fair, both of those guys are talented (ask ANY SBC fan that saw them play and they would all take Freddy in a heartbeat) regardless of the coach that is evaluating them. If Coach Thomas can't keep them, it's not because he doesn't think they're talented, it's because they wanted to walk away. On another note, if he can't keep them, we are going to be in for a pretty rough season.

I would love to keep those two... they would make the Isiah transition a whole lot easier and imagine how much they could grow under him! I'm sure they would be key parts of Isiah's team.

I would think that (at least) one of SR's assistants will still be (at least as of right now) there, so that some sort of "continuity" remains with the basketball team players and the coaches. You need someone who knows the NCAA kind of "running" daily basketball and non-basketball related activities that every program needs....If I had to pick one it would be either Glick or perhpaps Fricke....I know they are loyal to SR, but it would be smart on IT to keep one of them, at least in the meantime, while he gets his own staff.

SR has been always a very nice assistant coach, with plenty of international rectruiting contacts...but, as someone else said, I don't see him staying at FIU, after a demotion like that, as an assistant to IT.

Ohh....on Soto and Asprilla. They are two very different situations. Asprilla can very well leave, however, Soto has already used up his redshirt year, meaning that if he transfers somewhere he will forgo one more year of elegibility, thus only playing 1 more year as a Senior wherever he ended up (if a NCAA college).

I believe Soto leaving...unless if it is on Thomas' insistence...will be a lot less likely than Asprilla. Since both are kids from Alvarez's AAU teams and such...there's a chance...small chance...both will either stay...or leave...

ULM will be another tough series, as well... But then again, when your in conference there really isnt an easy game. We just need to continue to handle our business and have a solid showing in the conference tournament and we'll be fine.

Can't afford a loss to ULM. Need to keep the pitching coming, as well as the hot bats.

Has Coach Thomas picked up anyone more recruits.. I thought by the third day he would have at least 4 more players (J/K)..

WOW what a bad loss tonight

FANTASTIC news on getting new announcers for FIU broadcasts! The FIU team sounded like a high school experiment. Mandich's sideline reports were comical. It's time to bring in professionals. Everything about the program is improving, and its great to see.

Fill us in....who's got the broadcast rights now?

New announcers for FIU athletics have been interviewed, will be hired and introduced as soon as they finish their current gig as interns for "Sabado en Gigante".

I see another Hater just join FIU Blog. lol

I actually though Jeremy Mark Phelps was ok last year. But Mandich Jr. and Kassewitz were big joke. Looking forward to hearing who will call games next year.

Incase anyone hasn't read it, Michelle Kaufmann has great article on Isaiah Thomas.


@ YourProgramMakesMeLaugh,

"sabado EN gigante"?

Bad joke and even worse attempt to write in Spanish.


Does anyone know if we have any players that might get drafted in the NFL next week?

Does anyone know if we have any players that might get drafted in the NFL next week?

Posted by: Outofthecage88 | April 19, 2009 at 07:40 PM

These are two players that have a chance of getting drafted....we'll just have to wait and see.



Montreal Impact vs Miami FC at Friday night at 8:00 PM at FIU. FIU has announced a special ticket plan: Seats are available for $5 at the school's arena box office or by calling 305-FIU-GAME.

I heard a rumor that our President continuously mispronounced Isiah Thomas as "Isiah Thompson" is that true? You would think that the President would pronounce his name correctly. I received comments that he looked like a clown mispronouncing his name. Way to look good on national TV. Unreal.

NYCFIUFan - I think it was the VP and not the President, but still embarassing.

What happened to the baseball team this weekend? UNO was supposed to be easy, and we go out and lose 2 of 3. Talk about embarassing. Pete, how do these losses, coupled with the mid week losses last week, hurt our chances to go to the post season?

Very excited for the Miami FC game on Friday! Should be a great way to showcase what FIU can become as far as a part of the soccer community. Hope to a lot of the FIU community out there!

And as far as the baseball team, horrible series. Just awful... unless we win out the rest of our games I think it's win the Sun Belt or bust for the Panthers...

Dr. Ron Berkman (FIU Provost) was the person who mispronounced IT’s name. Sometimes the smartest people say the DUMBEST things. Often times these academicians are very intelligent with theory, data, etc. however bring in common sense and "Isaiah THOMPSON" comes out, TWICE!! Extremely embarrassing on a day where FIU received incredible pub!

I truly hope Dr. Berkman IS NOT our new president. Once again, I read this list of finalist and outside of Dr. Rosenberg the others are HUH!!!!! I'll be OK with Dr. Rosenberg; however FIU needed to go national and make ANOTHER splash w / its next President. Absolutely NONE of these candidates will make a splash. Wasted opportunity!

I think we'll let athletics make most of the "splashes" around here... we need someone like Dr. Rosenberg to take us to the next level as a university and with his knowledge of our school and the Florida State University System, he will take us to new heights and build upon what Mitch has done. I would be more than pleased with Dr. Rosenberg as our new president!

The comments to this entry are closed.