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4 posts from September 17, 2013

September 17, 2013

New B-Ballers & Old B-Ballers

A reminder folks -- pick a name and stay with it in the comments. It's one of the few ways I can try to keep one or two people from coming off like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Now, to the new among the men's basketball Panthers...

Jason Boswell, a 6-6 guard, averaged 7.3 points per game for the Elizabeth, NJ Patrick School. Before that, Boswell threw in 17.0 points per game for Trinity Catholic in Stamford, Conn. Boswell’s rated at three/four stars by 247sports, three stars by Scout.com, two stars by ESPN.com and unrated by Rivals.com. Nice get for FIU.

Dominique Williams averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game at Charlotte Mallard Creek High School before averaging 19 points per game at Believe Prep. The 6-7 forward was unrated by Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Forward Jonas Page averaged 12.5 points per game for Susquehanna (Pa.) Township and is
unrated by any of the recruiting sites.

As long rumored, Hialeah Miami Lakes graduate Adrian Diaz transferred all 6-10 of himself from Kansas State back to South Florida and will sit out this season. So will Ray Rodriguez, a 6-1 star for Hialeah Gardens’ High’s 2012 Class 8A State Championship team who went to North Florida and averaged 9.1 minutes and 2.4 points per game.

With Tymell Murphy, Raymond Taylor and Rakeem Buckles, if FIU can get some outside shooting, this year's model could be as fun to watch as last year's was. Which makes that whole NCAA postseason ban a shame. Speaking of that...

After Buckles transfer request to Minnesota was denied by the NCAA, Louisville coach Rick Pitino said to ESPN that Buckles didn't know the school would be facing a postseason ban this year when he followed Richard Pitino to FIU in 2012. FIU will insist Pitino the Younger knew when he took the job in April 2012 that the Panthers probably would get an APR-prompted postseason ban in 2013-14. So, we have a few possibilities...

a) FIU's played down the potential penalties to Pitino before the hiring and only revealed them after the hiring orafter Pitino scrambled to throw a team together for 2012-13. Mario Cristobal would say there's precedent for this. He's always made reference to feeling misled as to the depth of the penalties about to crash down on FIU football when he was hired in Dec. 2006.

b) FIU told Pitino and Pitino didn't fully fess up to his recruits because, hey, what player with two years or less left is coming to a school that's looking at a rebuilding year followed by a no-postseason year.

c) FIU told Pitino, Pitino told his players and they didn't care or didn't listen. You know how young folks can be. 

Thursday, FIU will announce a partnership between FIU Health, the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine’s Faculty Group Practice, and the National Basketball Retired Players Association through which FIU Health will provide health and wellness physicals to uninsured and underinsured NBRPA members and their spouses.


Women's hoop schedule, 2013-14

Highlights from FIU's women's basketball schedule for this upcoming season, the last for senior guard Jerica Coley, last year's Sun Belt Student-Athlete of the Year.

Season-opener and first game on Lime Court at U.S. Century Bank Arena (or Miami Mex at The Branch): Nov. 8 vs. Florida Gulf Coast.

First road game: Nov. 15, at Central Florida.

FIU Thanksgiving Classic, Nov. 29 and Dec. 1: FIU, Valparaiso, Montana State and Villanova.

29th Annual Sun & Fun Classic, Dec. 28-30: FIU, Fairleigh-Dickinson, Wake Forest and Florida A&M.

First Conference USA game: Between The Cabanas vs. Rice, Jan. 8.

The FIU Coaches Shootout: That's what I'm calling the Mar. 1 game against Old Dominion, alma mater of FIU head coach Cindy Russo and longtime FIU assistant coach and Hall of Fame player Inge Nissen.

FIU vs. FAU: Jan. 25 in Boca Raton, Feb. 1 at The Branch.

Conference USA Tournament: Mar. 11-15 in El Paso, Texas.

Medlock concussed, Hilliard might start vs. Louisville


Quarterback Jake Medlock ran with his former SST Smash-Up Derby style Saturday against Bethune-Cookman...until a fourth quarter goal line collision left him with no helmet and, apparently, a little less head. FIU coach Ron Turner said Medlock was day-to-day with a concussion of indeterminate degree. He wouldn't rule Medlock out for Saturday, but sophomore E.J. Hilliard worked with the first team and Turner declared his confidence in Hilliard.

If Medlock's out for Saturday, it does make one problem easier for Turner. You could read via social media publicly and hear through private grapevines that some players wanted Hilliard to get a shot at starting after the offense resembled a rusted Yugo the first three games. Clearly, the coaches preferred Medlock. Nothing splits a team like a quarterback disagreement, especially a college team. There's more noise from those around the players than in an NFL quarterback controversy.

For his part, Hilliard says he thinks his play so far this season has been "not what I wanted to be" and "average." He says he's matured over the last year, but still has some growing up to do.

In other quarterback news, Travis Wright, freshman out of Louisville Trinity, wasn't at practice as he got some off the field stuff cleared up. Turner said he expected Wright to be available Saturday. If HIlliard starts, Wright's the backup. Behind Wright? Akil Dan-Fodio, who did quarterback work Tuesday instead of tight end, which is where he's played the last season plus (he did play quarterback in the spring).

Safety Demarkus Perkins will be back Saturday. Sophomore outside linebacker Davison Colimon's still questionable.

Turner said he was mad at himself after Saturday's game for letting the few players, three to five percent in his estimation, dogging it or being selfish on or off the field get him upset with the whole team. So, he said, he'll excise those kids and deal with the ones staying in step. I'll have the full direct quotes later on this post.

Saturday's game will be on ESPN3.



A few from FIU's fall sports, including one that's been specifically asked about often.

Senior defensive tackle Greg Hickman's tackles for loss per game: 1.8, 17th in the nation.

Senior punt returner Sam Miller's per return average: 16.7, 10th in the nation

Men's soccer goals per game: 2.4, eighth in the nation

Passing defense: 196.0 yards per game, 41st in the nation (out of 123).

Rush defense: 242.3 yards per game, 110th in the nation.

Total defense: 438.3 yards per game, 96th in the nation.

Scoring defense: 38.3 yards per game, 114th in the nation.

Passing offense: 126.0 yards per game, 116th in the nation.

Rushing offense: 65.0 yards per game, 119th in the nation.

Total offense: 191.0 yards per game, 122nd in the nation.

Scoring offense: 7.7 points per game, 122nd in the nation.

Retention bonus due Executive Director of Entertainment and Sports Pete Garcia on Oct. 15: $72,504.

How much FIU would owe Garcia if they terminated his contract without cause before Oct. 15: $362,527.



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