And to finish 3rd in the SBC became a much longer shot with the Thursday loss. Troy lost as well on Thursday to South Alabama keeping the Panthers faint hopes of the No. 3 seed alive.
But now Troy must lose the final 2 games and FIU must win the final 2 games for an FIU third place finish. Not impossible, but it's looking more and more likely that the Panthers will be the No. 4 seed in the Sun Belt tourney and will open up play on Wednesday at 4 p.m. against the No. 5 seed -- which right now could be any 1 of 5 teams. We'll have LIVE BLOGS for all of FIU's Sun Belt tourney games from Troy starting next Wednesday.
Here you go Gooch7: With 2 games left in the regular season: South Alabama, Louisiana (both with 15 losses), New Orleans, Florida Atlantic (both with 16 losses) and Arkansas State (17 losses) all still have a chance to finish 5th and anyone of these 5 teams could be FIU's first opponent in the tournament.
The only 2 teams that cannot finish 5th in the Sun Belt are: ULM (17 losses but done with conference schedule) and Arkansas-Little Rock (19 losses).
Of course, FIU can eliminate the Hooters by beating them once in the final 2 games in Boca Raton.
BACK ON THE RECRUITING TRAIL
FIU Fanatic and FIUPantherFan, FIU is in the running for 6-6 guard Lance Stephenson, but been hearing that the Panthers are looking into some character issues. One of them is not LS's father. There have been reports through cyberspace that the father could be a handful, but from what I'm hearing that is not a concern for FIU.
Another recruit that could be headed toward the Bank at FIU is 6-6, 240-pound power forward Kavon Lytch, who also has Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Seton Hall, Kent State, St. John’s, St. Bonaventure, Texas Tech and Alabama-Birmingham after him.
At Midland JUCO, Lytch scored 17.7 points per game and pulled down 9.2 rebounds per game. One possible connection with Lytch and IT is that two years ago, Lytch scored 45 points at a New York Knicks sponsored basketball tournament at Rucker Park in New York. Will try and get Lytch on the phone to see what he's thinking.
nothingxs: Hey Pete, any news on what happened to Delmonico after he finished coaching the Netherlands?
PP: The Netherlands coaching job is a year-round job so RD is not working anywhere else.
blkpanther: We have signed 4 already, how many scholarships we have to hand out? Is not 5 max 6? Pete can you help here?
PP: FIU should have 2, possibly 3 scholies left for this season. Tough to tell right now, because it all depends on who is going and who is staying.
FIUJM: Pete, Great article on Tyler. Who else do you think in this year's team has chance to get drafted and play in the pros?
PP: Thanks. Tom Ebert, Scott Rembisz and Ryan Mollica all have a chance to get drafted. Catcher Steven Stropp could sign a free agent deal somewhere.