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Pitino on college basketball in this town

Minutes before FIU left for its Louisiana-Lafayette-South Alabama trip Wednesday and hours before the University of Miami treated No. 1 Duke like the Blue Devils were Marcellus Wallace in the wrong pawn shop, I asked FIU coach Richard Pitino about the effect FIU and UM's surprisingly good seasons had on college basketball in a city that usually treats college basketball little better than curling.

"Most of the schools in the state of Florida besides Miami, Florida and Florida State are young universities that don't have a lot of great basketball tradition," Pitino said. "Miami could even be said to be that as well. Miami doesn't have a great basketball tradition. So, they go through what we go through (in a) relative (way) -- they're going against Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State. They're trying to build their own tradituion. And, they've got to do it one game at a time and build their fan base that sees basketball. It's not just about football. We're doing the same thing. We're going through it just like they are."

A pair of wins on this trip would push FIU (10-8, 5-4 in The Belt) into second in the Sun Belt's East Divsion behind Middle Tennessee State (16-4, 8-1). A split, particularly a win tonight at Lou-La and a loss to South Alabama, probably leaves FIU in the pack with Western Kentucky and FAU behind second-place South Alabama.




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pulp fiction reference? well done

excellent Pulp Fiction analogy! I'm stealing this one.

DJN, love your work, but why are we asking our coach about the other school in town. I understand that their win against Duke is a big story, but it's just odd to see our coach being asked about UM. You think Jim Larranaga is going to get asked about FIU Basketball is they win the Sun Belt Tournament or something like that? Come on...

Pikedanny, FIU basketball doesn't exist in a vacuum. And this has historically been the nation's worst large market for college basketball, by attendance and TV ratings. So, with BOTH men's Division I programs in town excelling at an unexpected level, it's logical to ask the effects of BOTH successes on this college basketball marketplace. And I asked Pitino BEFORE Wednesday night's game. I don't care whether or not Larranaga is going to be asked the same question in the same manner. That's not my concern. I would've asked it of him Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon if I were covering UM. But different reporters ask different questions.

Just wish we'd focus on FIU. Thanks for clarifying.

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