Meant to make this post yesterday afternoon, then last night, then fell asleep early after pounding blackened fish and Rice-A-Roni, still didn't win Lotto, so here I am getting my daily cup of Colombian from Europa with a little mini-jambalaya of topics.
Wide receiver Glenn Coleman got the wind blasted out of him on the play that resulted in Troy's fumble return touchdown, then spent Tuesday dealing with bruised ribs and a stiff neck.
According to FIU coach Mario Cristobal, defensive tackle Joshua Forney suffered a sprained ankle when we went down in the third quarter.
Only on TV.
The Sun Belt coaches voted FIU 5th in the six-team Sun Belt East and honored only one player, DeJuan Wright, with a preseason All-Sun Belt selection (second-team at that). Somewhat predictably, FIU coach Isiah Thomas didn't show pique at the poll even if he felt it.
"We just want to play well every night," Thomas said during Wednesday's Sun Belt men's basketball teleconference. "Clearly, the people making the poll think other teams have better players than we do and they probably do."
But, Thomas said, he hopes the team learned from the way they lost several close games last year.
"We lost with a young group that hopefully learned the importance of making foul shots, not making key turnovers in situations," he said.
Thomas also thinks the team's got a better grasp of defensive concepts he wants to execute, which involve a lot of trapping, switching and rotation. FIU's foul problems last season, he believes, came after they got seduced into "excessive gambling" by their success at making steals: "We were second in the league in steals. I think our team got too excited about trying to steal the ball rather than containing their man and forcing a tough shot."
By the way, FAU coach Mike Jarvis responded to being the East Divsion favorite and the consensus overall favorite with some suspicion and paranoia -- "I know there are people who pick us to win because they don't think we will. It's the ol' set up game" -- but also said, "every team I've coached that was expected to win has."
What Jarvis can't be happy about is the only place FIU's been shown any love, the Sun Belt Network schedule. The Panthers have three games on the Sun Belt Network while FAU has only one. That one is the game at FIU Jan. 21. FIU's also on against North Texas, a Feb. 9 home game, and on the road Feb. 16 against Arkansas-Little Rock.
The FIU women will be on Sun Belt Network Dec. 11 at Western Kentucky live. The women's Jan. 21 home game against FAU will be on the next day at 1 p.m.
Sabrina Gonzalez had a team high 15 kills, Jovana Bjelica had 11 kills, freshman Silvia Carli had three service aces as FIU crushed FAU 3-0 (25-9, 25-22, 25-16) Wednesday night. FIU's 14-7, 6-4 in the Sun Belt. Or, put another way, 14-4, 6-0 in the Sun Belt against everyone except Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State.