Fifth-year senior Rakeem Buckles put up double doubles in his first three college basketball games since suffering his second season-ending knee injury two years ago, while at Louisville. The 20-point efforts in the second and third games boosted his average to 17.7 points per game while being consistent in pulling down rebounds -- 12, 13 and 11.
All that let Buckles share the Conference USA Player of the Week awards with Marshall's Elijah Pittman.
Thursday night, the men's team officially opens the cabanas adjacent to the painted beach on Lime Court at U.S. Century Bank Arena with a game against Florida College. The athletic department's going all out for a decent crowd for the home opener, down to calling it "LIV it Up at the FIU Basketball Beach Bash."
Club LIV's not actually involved, although the site of the real LIV (as opposed to the offshoot at Sun Life Stadium), The Fountainbleu Hotel, sponsors the suites and cabanas. There will be, however, a postgame student party with free food, a photo station playing on the basketball and bench themes, a mechanical surfboard (that would be amusing if some of the users tailgated before the game) and giveaways.
Knowing better than to rely on students, especially on a weeknight, it's also FIU Faculty, Staff and Retiree Appreciation Night. Each person who fits the above can buy up to four tickets for $1 each.