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4 posts from November 21, 2013

November 21, 2013

6 for men's hoop, 6x6 for Jerica Coley

I guess Tymell Murphy's OK.

The senior forward came out of Monday night's win against Stetson looking a little hoppy and was a game-time decision. Murphy scored 24, including 13 of 14 from the line (why you practice free throws, folks) and came down with 11 rebounds in FIU's 82-67 win at Bethune-Cookman. The sixth win in a row for the men's basketball team included 17 points and 15 rebounds for senior forward Rakeem Buckles.


Now the Panthers take their winning streak to South Carolina, coached by Miami native Frank Martin (FIU '93). To see the basketball Cocks, the school's offering free food to students, a Gamecock towel giveaway and double Loyalty Points for attending the Sunday afternoon game. Huh...

The women's team has spent the last few days in the Boston metropolitan area. I hope they got a chance to soak up some history (Revolutionary War, War on Busing, etc.), enjoy some fall colors before the town goes totally gray and black, hang out with some of their chronological peers from the many local universities. I hope they did that because the basketball's been rough.

FIU's 0-4 after an 89-69 loss to Boston College Thursday. Senior guard Jerica Coley put up 28 shots, never a good sign for FIU. Coley went four of 10 from three-point range and 12 of 12 from the line in putting up 36 points. Redshirt freshman Brianna Wright actually scored FIU's first seven points. The Eagles landed right on FIU's head, jumping out 15-4 and leading 51-32 at the half.


Two school records set at Mizzou Invite

A stunning 1-2 domination of the 200 individual medley highlighted FIU's first day at the Mizzou Invite hosted by, naturally, the University of Missouri.

Junior Johanna Gustafsdottir and senior Sonia Perez Arau took the top two spots on the podium in the 200 IM with times of 1:58.27 and 1:58.65, both of which beat Gustafsdottir's school record of 1:59.14, set at the 2012 Sun Belt Championships.

Gustafsdottir began the night by leading off a school record performance in the first final of the night, the 200 freestyle relay. Gustafsdottir, freshman Jennifer Alfani, junior Courtney VanderSchaaf and junior Klara Andersson got home in 1:33.58, edging the 1:33.99 by Andersson, Valeriia Popova, VanderScaaf and Marina Ribi in February at the Sun Belt Championships.

The 18-year-old Alfani's already the fourth fastest butterflier in FIU history after blowing out a 55.89 in finishing 10th. Andersson whipped off a 23.48, just .24 off the school record she set at last year's Sun Belt meet. Alfani cranked a 23.41 in the prelims Thursday afternoon.

The 400 Medley relay -- Gustafsdottir, Andersson, Alfani, freshman Jennifer Deist -- finished seventh in 3:46.28. Senior diver Sabrina Beaupre finished seventh in the 3-meter diving. 


Volleyball upsets Middle at C-USA tournament

Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky ruled the Sun Belt volleyball courts in 2011 and 2012. Since FIU last beat Middle, in 2010, Middle hasn't just won five straight matches -- it's swept the five matches 3-0.

So when Thursday's Conference USA Tournament opener for No. 11 seed FIU opened with No. 6 and tournament host Middle whipping off a 25-18 first set win and followed with Middle overcoming a 12-5 FIU lead to take set No. 2 29-27, it looked like another one-two-three-and-out for FIU.

Instead, the Panthers pulled off a 3-2 (18-25, 27-29, 25-20, 25-22, 15-11) upset. FIU faces No. 3 seed Tulsa Friday at 5 p.m. The match will be on the Conference USA Digital Network.

Thursday, FIU found itself down 6-2 early in the third set. Considering the macro trend of history and the micro one of the match, a Panthers collapse would've been predictable, even understandable. Instead, they went on a 7-0 run begun by a Gloria Levorin kill off a Jessica Egan assist and ending with a Martyna Gluchowicz kill. Another 5-0 run pushed their lead to 18-10 on the way to taking the third set.

A 4-0 fourth set run gave FIU a 9-5 lead and the Panthers stayed in front until the match was tied, 2-2. An even third set got opened up with a 5-0 run to 14-9 featuring a kill by Gluchowicz and a kill and a block by Levorin. The same combination that began the match-turning third set run, Egan setting up Levorin, did so for the final point.

Gluchowicz and Castro each had 17 kills while Levorin had 16. Egan racked up 48 assists. Gluchowicz also came up with a team-high 17 digs.


Looking for BAM!

Not to be confused with Bamm-Bamm.

The Comments section buzzes with arguments about  next year's recruiting class. Rivals.com indeed has FIU rated 65th in the nation, tied with Rice for first in Conference USA based on verbal commits. 247sports.com, which has former Rivals.com writer/analyst Chris Nee, ranks FIU at No. 83 overall and fifth in Conference USA.

Truth is, the 50 years past deal in Dealey Plaza is less a mystery than ranking recruits, recruiting classes and especially recruiting classes based on verbal commits. Kids can change their minds on Signing Day. Kids can lose their minds once they get away from home. The light goes on for one young man, the fire burns out in another. Johnathan Cyprien, T.Y. Hilton and Tourek Williams, two star guys entering FIU, start in the NFL. Larvez Mars and Willis Wright, FIU's four-star recruits, crashed.

FIU's offensive skill position commits, however, demonstrate one certainty: the Panthers need for nitro.

FIU's got fast guys. Speed, however, doesn't always add up to in-game explosiveness. The Panthers don't get cheap touchdowns the way they did last year with Wright and Glenn Coleman off play action passes, in 2011 from Kedrick Rhodes or 2008-2011 from Hilton. Fault scheme, fault quarterbacks who've spent the season struggling, but also fault a lack of true playmaking ability at the running back and wide receiver positions.

(It's worth noting here that the player known as The Playmaker, Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin, wasn't a speed guy even at the University of Miami yet averaged 16.9 per catch there and went on to average 15.9 yards a catch as a No. 1 possesion guy in the NFL)

Hialeah running back Henry Bussey, averaging 10 yards a pop, was discussed in an earlier post. Javonte Seabury, the Orlando Timber Creek High wide receiver/running back/free safety, is a 20 yards per catch guy. 


Jarviel Hart, a Frostproof wide receiver, gained 331 yards (23.6 per catch) and scored five touchdowns on only 14 catches and ran for 146 yards on only 13 carries (11.2 per carry).

The numbers for one of FIU's commits, quarterback Alex McGeough, fell off drastically this year: 47.3 completion percentage after 57.3 in 2012, 979 yards after 1,541, a 5/4 touchdown interception ratio after 20/4. McGeough had a reason. Aside from him, the only offensive starter returning was a lineman.

Jacksonville Fletcher quarterback Luke Medlock, current FIU quarterback Jake Medlock's brother, wasn't a high percentage thrower -- 42.2 percent, 62 of 147 -- but threw for 1,347 yards and 14 touchdowns against six interceptions. It's not uncommon for high school quarterbacks to punt also, but the Medlocks do it to a next stage starter level. Luke was the Class 8A-7A Second Team All-State punter in 2012. This year, Luke averaged 36.0 yards per punt with a long of 53.

Luke, Jake or both could wind up being this generation's Tom Blanchard or Tom Tupa, college quarterbacks who went on to good NFL careers as punters.




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