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54 posts from November 2010

November 10, 2010

To Tweet or not to Tweet?

More of than not, it's been the latter with me -- and that's going to change.

I'm embracing social media like Cam Newton embraces shady advisors. I'm all over it.

If I come across something in the world of Isiah Thomas, FIU, the Sun Belt or college athletics on the whole that interests me, I'm gonna share it.

Feel free to follow me @AdamHBeasley. You won't regret it.

If you do follow me, you’ve seen insightful Tweets like …

No word yet on any early signings for #FIU basketball, but the week is still young.

FIU's Wow Stat of the Week. Trojans are 88-11-1 at home under Blakeney, including 17-1-1 in homecoming games. http://tinyurl.com/2btsam7

#FIU OC Satterfield on late INT vs ULM: if done over again, 'we would have ran the ball and kicked it.'

… in just the last 12 hours. So c’mon, join in. Everybody’s doing it.

November 09, 2010

FIU men's soccer: 4 Panthers named to All-CUSA team

News release from FIU below

Dallas - Anthony Hobbs, Nicholas Chase, Michael Muehseler and Nicolas Rodriguez-Fraile were named to the All-Conference USA Team, the league announced Tuesday afternoon.

 Hobbs, a sophomore defender, was named second-team all-conference for his efforts during the 2010 season. The Auckland, New Zealand native appeared and started in all 17 matches this season, posting 1,582 minutes and taking three shots. He played in instrumental role in FIU’s four shutouts during the year. Hobbs was named to the third-team a season ago.

“Anthony Hobbs has been the rock on which the defense is built around. He always comes ready to play,” Head Coach Munga Eketebi said about his star defender.

Sophomore forward, Muehseler, played in 15 games while starting 13 in his first year at FIU. He finished the season with six goals, tying him with Rodriguez-Fraile for the team-lead. His only assist on the year came in a 2-0 victory against Memphis (10/12). Three of his six goals came on penalty kicks against Wisconsin (9/10), Georgia State (9/12) and Florida Gulf Coast (9/24). He netted the game winners in a 1-0 win over UIC (9/3) to kick-off the season and in a 3-1 win against Hartwick College (10/22).

“Mike has a good impact in his first season here at FIU,” Eketebi said. “It was unfortunate that injuries slowed him down at the end of the season.”

Junior defender Chase played in and started all 17 games played in 2010. He took 13 shots, including five on goal in 1,539 minutes played.

“Nicholas has been steadily emerging as a force to be reckoned with at FIU and in the conference,” Eketebi said. “His best season is yet to come.”

Forward Rodriguez-Fraile was named to the all-freshman team after amassing a team-high 14 points (six goals, two assists) in 2010. The Gulliver Prep product burst on to the scene at FIU and provided a well-needed offensive spark off the bench. Limited by injury, he played in 10 games, starting one. He led the Panthers netting game-winning goals against Wisconsin (9/10), Jacksonville (9/17), and Stetson (9/19). He was named MVP of the Stetson Soccer Classic for his efforts against Jacksonville and Stetson.

“Nico has been a tremendous addition to the Panther family. His scoring ability is undeniable,” Eketebi said. “If healthy, he could be remembered among the greatest scorers in school history.”

November 08, 2010

Recruiting update: Miami Central QB Rakeem Cato

Smile23 bdade MHS ADD According to Scout.com, Central QB Rakeem Cato (No. 22 on the Herald's top 25 Miami-Dade recruits list) says his commitment to FIU is still "solid," but that the University of Cincinnati has started to show interest.

"I have been talking to Cincinnati," Cato told Scout.com's Mike Bakas late last month. "I like how they rotate their offense."

Cato (left, Al Diaz, Miami Herald Staff) is second in Miami-Dade country in passing with 1,994 yards and has a county-high 21 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions. 

Cato would be a welcomed addition to FIU, but there is some question whether the 6-foot, 185 pound senior will play QB in college. 

"I think he's a quarterback, he's similar to [UCF's Jeff] Godfrey,'' Miami Herald high school editor Andre Fernandez said. "[Cato] can roll out and has good mobility. He has good accuracy and can throw the ball deep down the field. I do't see him playing another position.

He's never had a chance to play in the playoffs. That was the one questions we were wondering. He's never had the chance to play against huge crowds. So far he's handled it. He played his first game in Georgia with 10,000 fans showing up. He beat Northwestern already at FIU. Already has a big win on what could be on his future field."

As most of you know, Godfrey was the starting QB at Central last year when the Rockets lost to Miramar in the semifinals of the state tournament and is currently helping UCF to one of it's best seasons in memory. 


Cristobal on keeping FIU focused after huge win

Had a chance to catch up with Mario Cristobal in the weekly SBC coaches conference call, and asked him about the worry about an emotional letdown this week, after Saturday's emotional win.

Here's what he said:

"I think we had some time in the locker room to sit there and talk about it. Obviously, enjoy the moment, because in football, you really don’t get to enjoy those things until after the season. But we took those few minutes to talk about it, talk about different phases that did well, then immediately turned our focus to things we need to do to get better. We talked about things that helped us in this football game, how we have to continue to emphasize those things, to make sure they carry over and help us going forward. Our team is very focused on what’s at stake, what’s on tap this week. We go Mondays instead of Sundays. Sundays for the players is an off day, but I know our building here was filled up with guys watching film, as they usually do. Those seniors have done a good job of maintaining and helping those players get a mindset of what the process is."

FIU's Hilton named SBC's top offensive, special teams player

T.Y. Hilton's monster game against ULM (291 all-purpose yards, four touchdowns) has earned him a rare double-play. He's the Sun Belt Conference's offensive and special teams player of the week.

Furthermore, Rivals.com named Hilton the conference's top overall player of the week.

More on this to come, but first, the weekly conference call ...

November 07, 2010

FIU-ULM recap; wow, what a game!

TDCATCH07 FIU MHS CJM FIU pulled out an improbable win Saturday night against visiting ULM. I say improbable not because FIU won (I picked them over ULM in the Herald's pig skin challenge this week), but because FIU tried so hard to throw the game away at the end.

Don't take this the wrong way, FIU deserves credit for not giving up and playing back at a talented ULM team, but at times the play on both sides of the ball was not pretty. Going into next week's game at Troy, FIU will need to take a good long look in the mirror and figure out what team they are. Are they the same team that beat ULM and blew out North Texas or are they the team that came out flat and laid an egg against rival FAU?

The FIU defense struggled to stop ULM for almost the entire game, but came up with a stop when it counted most. It's hard to say the defense played well when they surrendered 35 points and 482 total yards. Stand outs for me: Ash Parker laying the lumber over the middle, Toronto Smith for his sack, Anthony Gaitor for well, being Gaitor and Tourek Williams for the "big man's" two sack and four tackle for loss game.

It's been a long time since I have seen a game as entertaining as what went down at FIU Stadium on Saturday. ULM showed they are a really good team with the capability to score a lot of points. ULM receiver Tavarese Maye had 147 yards on 7 catches, including a beautiful diving catch in the end zone. ULM quarterback Kolton Browning waPASS07 FIU MHS CJMs 27 of 38 for 339 yards and 3 touchdowns.

  Give credit to the FIU offense for matching ULM's scoring pace. FIU quarterback Wesley Carroll (left) was 17 of 27 for 227 with 3 TDs and 2 picks. Running back Darriet Perry had 20 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Without question the offensive and special-team Sun Belt player of the week should be T.Y. Hilton  ( photo Charles Mostoller, Miami Herald Staff.) Hilton played his heart out and was one of the MAIN reasons FIU won. Hilton has taken heat for not playing like he did in 2008 and I hope this game silences the critics.

FIU coach Mario Cristobal said about Hilton after the game, "looks like the Hilton we all know."

Hilton now has six touchdowns since FIU started SBC play. Granted four came on Saturday. FIU is lucky Hilton picked them over many other schools. Like former quarterback Paul McCall asked after being witness to Hilton's greatness, "where the [bleep] did you find this guy?"  I have little doubt that ULM is asking themselves the same thing right about now.


November 06, 2010

FIU-ULM live blog

Video on the FIU marching band

November 05, 2010

Live blog; TV info; Sun Belt breakdown

Live blog

Live blog starts at 7:15 from FIU Stadium.

TV info

Sun Belt Network, locally CSS, Radio 790theticket

Sun Belt breakdown

Last week, ULM (4-4, 3-2 SBC) became the talk of the Sun Belt Conference after upsetting Troy 28-14. It was the first-loss for Troy in SBC play since losing to ULM 31-30 in 2008. ULM was lead by quarterback Kolton Browning, who passed for 226 yards and had three touchdown (1 passing, 2 rushing). Wide receiver Tavarese Maye had 4 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown reception.

A few weeks ago my colleague, Adam Beasley, took some heat after quoting a "friend (who knows the SBC pretty well)" say that the SBC - this season - was nothing more than a bunch of bad teams beating up on each other. This game proves what his "friend" was saying was closer to correct than incorrect.

There has been some really erratic play. For example, only Troy has a winning record at 4-3 and there are 4 teams with 3 conference losses. Front runners Troy and Middle Tennessee have both struggled, with Middle losing 51-24 to Arkansas State (4-5, 4-2 SBC). Arkansas State beat Monroe, but lost to Lafayette, who lost to Western Kentucky, who up until a few weeks ago lost to everyone.

Do you see where I am going with this? More after the jump.

Continue reading "Live blog; TV info; Sun Belt breakdown" »

The 500-ton gorilla in the room

Remember this summer, when you all were bashing me for writing about Isiah Thomas' desire to get back to New York?

You don't have to take my word for it anymore. You can take Isiah's, through the pen of ESPN's Ian O'Connor.

Exiled Isiah is itching for an encore

Update: I'm sitting down with IT tomorrow afternoon and will have a story in Sunday's paper.

Isiah Thomas wants local recruits

Here's a writeup from Thursday's men's basketball media day, but one note that didn't make the paper:

Isiah Thomas' Hall of Fame credentials and dogged salesmanship has made FIU a viable option for talented recruits from across the nation, like transfers Eric Frederick and DeJuan Wright and freshman Richaud Pack.

Yet Thomas hasn't had the same success convincing the Sunshine State's best to consider the school.

"For so long, they looked at FIU as a place not to come to, in terms of the basketball program," Thomas said. "We'd like to have some success here locally to also go along with what we're doing nationally."

November 03, 2010

Hoops exhibition opener TONIGHT

Want a sneak peak at the 2010/2011 men's basketball team?

You get a chance Wednesday night, when the Panthers host Webber International at Isiah's House, the U.S. Century Bank Arena.

Tipoff is 7 p.m. and the game is free to the public.

For more information, click here.

November 01, 2010

FIU-Troy game to air on Sun Belt Network

Just got word that FIU's showdown in Troy on Nov. 13 has been picked up by the Sun Belt Network. The telecast will air locally on CSS.

FIU fans up in arms after latest loss

It's a reflex as old as sport itself: When things aren't going right, someone (most often the coach) is to blame, and heads must roll.

After FIU's lackluster 21-9 loss to Florida Atlantic Saturday, that boiling point was reached for many in the Golden Panther Nation.

Need proof? Look no further than the message boards at FIUGoldenPanthers.com, where as of Monday morning, a 43-post thread had exploded, with calls for Mario Cristobal's job.

These aren't your typical FIU bashers, but true-blue fans who have followed Cristobal's three and a half years on campus closely.

When it comes to these matters, I've always taken the long view. Let's get to the end of the season and reassess. A midseason change accomplishes next to nothing aside from a quick PR boost for the school. And the loss to FAU didn't change a whole lot for the Panthers (as I noted in today's Herald).

But if FIU continues down the road it's been on this year -- 2-5 overall, with losses to Rutgers, Texas A&M and FAU that could (and probably should) have been wins -- the question will at some point have to be asked to FIU President Mark Rosenberg, Athletic Director Pete Garcia and the Board of Trustees.

Before we get too crazy, however, here are a few points to keep in mind:

1. Cristobal is Garcia's guy, and given the deep hole they inherited (NCAA sanctions, 0-12, etc.), my guess is PG wants to give MC every chance to succeed.

2. MC has one more year on his contract, and given his relatively lucrative salary (in the neighborhood of $400K), FIU might not have the money to eat that, and hire someone else -- considering the athletic department's entire operating budget is $20 million this year.

3. The Panthers should be really, really good next year. They're losing just four or five starters, and should have even more depth and talent coming in with another year of full recruitment. And if FIU doesn't get it done (i.e. bowl game, winning record) then, a move would be likely.
Combine that with words from a reliable source (granted, which came before last Saturday's loss) that MC wasn't going anywhere, my guess is he'll be back in 2011.

That could all change, of course, if the team completely goes into the tank the rest of the way. Should be interesting to see how they respond Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe.

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