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Monday night, Tuesday morning

No hanging drummers Monday night at The Branch. The athletic department threw another postgame party, though, which helped pack the students into the lower portion of the arena for the win against Stetson.

Early in the game, FIU's movement without the ball on offense could be described as "statuesque" and not the way you'd use the word for fashion models. It was Taylor who eventually got things and people moving.

"In the beginning, I thought we were stagnant because they were playing a 3-2 matchup," FIU coach Anthony Evans said. "It was kind of a switching zone. We were stagnant because we didn't see the normal cuts, the normal post ups that we were looking for. So we had to go to the third and fourth option. Also, if we defend and get out in transition, we don't have to sit in the half court all the time."

Evans sat Taylor down 2:51 into th second half as FIU's 37-30 halftime lead was down to 37-34. Evans also sat Rakeem Buckles down for all but four minutes of the first half, dissatisfied with Buckles' defense. Also, he felt it gives the team a chance to develop a chemistry without Buckles because they can get too reliant on him. Taylor said something similar about rebounding.

"Everybody's just used to him collecting all the boards every time a team misses," Taylor said. "With him not being on the court, it's 'Oh, Rock's not here to rebound.' You've got to program yourself to go back and get the board.

Asked if Buckles' school record-tying eight blocks makes up for a six-point night offensively, Evans laughed, "No. No. He got the eight blocks, that's OK, but naw, naw, naw. I'm proud of his effort in the second half and he played close to what I was asking. So I'm happy with that."

On Dennis Mavin, who had four steals, three assists and two key three-pointers, Evans said, "We can always count on Dennis defensively. The more he plays the more confident he's become. He hit two big shots. He hit a big shot in the last game (Saturday's win against Texas Southern) to put us up two."

Taylor said he hadn't been happy with his finishing at the rim, so he came into early to work on it. 

This is definitely a more athletic team overall than last year's. Defensively, they leave too many open lanes to the hoop. But, as Taylor pointed out, if the season were a game, they'd still be early in the first half. There's time to get it together.


FIU coach Ron Turner said both E.J. Hilliard and Jake Medlock likely will play this week against Marshall. Medlock was limited in Tuesday's practice after injuring a finger Saturday against UTEP.

Turner called Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato "as good as we've seen all year," ranking him with Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida's Blake Bortles. Turner also took the time to extol the Panthers overall effort and persistence in a sudden soliloquy I'll transcribe for later posting.




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Mario Cristobal is in his first season on the Alabama coaching staff as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach, after joining the Crimson Tide in February of 2013. He had been the head coach at Florida International University (FIU) for six years (2007-12) before joining Alabama after a brief stay at his alma mater, Miami.

During his six years at the helm of the FIU program, Cristobal was regarded as one of the country's top young college football coaches and was the architect of a successful program that went to back-to-back bowl games in 2010 and 2011. The 2011 season was the most successful year in program history with the school capturing a program-record eight victories during the regular season, along with milestone wins on the road at eventual Co-BIG EAST Champion Louisville and at home against Conference USA power Central Florida.

FIU began its historic run during the 2010 season, when Cristobal led FIU to its first Sun Belt Conference championship and a bowl victory over MAC champion Toledo. For his efforts, Cristobal was named the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year. Named the second head football coach in FIU history on Dec. 19, 2006, Cristobal implemented his philosophy of hard work and dedication that paid quick dividends both on the field and in the classroom. During his time at FIU, Cristobal also proved to be an effective recruiter, with consecutive recruiting classes in 2011 and 2012 that were regarded among the best in the Sun Belt Conference. Cristobal's teams at FIU produced such NFL talent as third-round pick T. Y. Hilton, second-round selection Jonthan Cyprien and Anthony Gaitor.
Then you fire him. Say what you will he's coaching at the #1 ranked program in the country and we got Turner.

I was disappointed with the way MC was dismissed, too, but can we please move past it? He did put this program on the map, but he also benefited greatly from having a once-in-a-lifetime talent like TY here. TY disguised a lot of MC's game day Xs and Os deficiencies. Yes, he should've been given another year, and anyone with half a brain knows his firing was a power play by the fragile-egoed Mr. Garcia, but the fact is that MC isn't here any longer and this endless comparison is pointless.

HooterHater - I think the fanbase will not ever move past the Cristobal era until that "FRAUD" Garcia is gone.

Garcia set the Cleveland Browns back for 10 years. FACT.

The question now is, how long will it take FIU to rebuild once he's gone ?

He's an assistant!!!!!! For the love of god! No one hired him as a head coach. What does that say about him?

yep...way past time to move on.

p.s. to 46. FIU's recruiting class is currently #1 in C-USA according to rivals.com

FIU will bus homeless people and county jail inmates to the stadium on Saturday. This is designed to fill up that place with bodies for the TV camera. We learned that these homeless people will receive $20 each, probably the same $20 collected by FIU for the four luxury seats and food.

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