Today, Conference USA holds its basketball media day in Dallas. Coaches went. Players didn't.
This morning, there were studio interview sessions that were streamed online with a moderator asking the questions and three or four coaches at a time.
FIU coach Anthony Evans said of forward Tymell Murphy, "He's one of the first guys into practice. He's an athletic kid who gets to the basket. He can make the tough shots look easy." Evans also said Murphy was working on his perimeter game and hit four three-pointers in a game at Valencia during the August Spain swing.
The moderator noted FIU's nationally televised games against defending national champion Louisville and Florida Gulf Coast, then Evans piped up with "Don't forget South Carolina and Georgetown."
The moderator asked, "What was your AD thinking when he scheduled these people?" Evans laughed.
I think the obvious answer to the moderator's question is "money." The Louisville and Gulf Coast home games could be the two most attended home games of the season, although Louisville comes in during holiday break (then again, it's not like most of FIU's students and alumni are that far from campus on Dec. 21).
Women's basketball guard Jerica Coley is the preseason Conference USA Player of the Year and on the watch list for The Wade Trophy, women's basketball's national player of the year award. If you want to call it women's basketball's Heisman Trophy, OK. FIU coach Cindy Russo sounded like she was channeling the late Ohio State coach Woody Hayes talking about the only two-time Heisman winner, Archie Griffin when she talked about Coley: "She's just an amazing person. She's even better off the court than on the court, if you can imagine."
(Hayes used to say of Griffin, "He's a better person than he is a player and he's the best player I've ever seen.")
In explaining FIU's high free throw shooting percentage, Russo said it's a facet that's important in European ball, where several FIU players learned the game and, "Three, four, five, six times a practice, we'll stop and put them on the line under pressure."
No questions were asked about the court.