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Tough Ball Night


Too bad about that 9-0 first half ending run by Louisville. The second half felt like a MTV/Fox Sports 1 production, FIU Unplugged. Both the team and the crowd. Louisville traveled pretty well, too, which helped fill The Branch in somewhat.

On FIU's first possession, Rakeem Buckles rushed a shot, Louisville got the board and drew a foul in transition. That's exactly what FIU coach Anthony Evans didn't want, and it was a pattern repeated by FIU throughout. Buckles, a stand-up guy, admitted afterwards he forced too many shots (four for 17 from the field, four turnovers). He wasn't alone. As a team, FIU seemed to take Louisville's invitation to take the lane via the dribble, then found the Cardinals help turning the lane into the maw of a Venus Flytrap (and not the cool WKRP kind). What the Panthers got away with against Florida Gulf Coast they didn't in this game. Six assists after 48 minutes says you didn't move the ball well enough to beat another FIU, never mind a Louisville.

The officiating seemed effete for the styles. When you've got pressuring, trapping Louisville and FIU's defense department store, Blocks, you can't call the game like you're chaparoning a first date at Bob Jones University. Or, you can and it winds up playing to the deeper team's advantage. Bench points: Louisville 30, FIU 5. That was 22-0 in the first half.  

I'm not one to complain about concession stands at FIU. Usually, it's student-athletes manning the stands when you know they'd rather be doing, oh, anything else, and they do a good job. Also, speaking as a 46-year-old with the sleep habits of a 22-year-old, I've noted that no matter which team has the stand at a venue, somebody always knows how to make cafe cubano. 

Saturday, fail and it's not on whatever volunteers/student-atheltes were there. Whoever manages the concessions didn't order enough hamburgers. Customers were told the stand was out of cheeseburgers at 5:45, 20 minutes before scheduled tipoff. I knew this because I was standing in line to order a colada, an act that wound up holding up my line for several minutes because nobody back in production knew how to make cuban coffee so the woman handling the line I was in had to go back to do it herself. Several fans worried that they'd miss tipoff. The guy next at the register when the woman left just wound up leaving.

To me, that's two basics of managing -- you're expecting a serious crowd, make sure there's enough food. And at a heavily Latin college in Miami, somebody in the back has to know how to make cuban coffee. This is akin to the football game stuff I pointed out before the Bethune game. Little things, but they go into each individual's image of your school. There were people in that line whose only experience at FIU was that game.


Similar to the men, the women got socked in the first half and couldn't get up, trailing 53-34 to Florida at halftime on the way to a 90-74 loss in the Gator Holiday Classic final. Jerica Coley got 35 points and was named to the all-tournament team.

FIU's women host the annual Sun & Fun Classic next weekend, playing Fairleigh Dickinson next Saturday at 6 p.m. 


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Agree with you djn. We walked in about 5 min before tipoff and noticed the long ass lines. It's the little things that matters. Guess the couldn't order anymore burgers cause they blew the budget on the tshirts. Btw, can someone at the school finally figure out to order some xl shirts. Don't know why but every damn tshirts is a medium. Between Latino body "shapes" and roiders in the stands, no one can fit into those shirts

Now I know also why you didn't want to share a small shot we I came up to say hi djn. Had to wait too long for it. Lol

FIU played pretty well, given the talent we have. Oh, for just one of the six or seven big men who could make a put back that Louisville seem to be running in all night. Recruit hard, Coach

DJN, you should have shown them how to make some Cuban coffee. lol

It was nice game, the Pitino's are a class act. Go panthers, cardinals and Gophers!

As I always have said about FIU athletics, if you can't get the little things right, how are you going to get the big things right? Answer, you're not and we don't. Our athletic department is a Mickey Mouse operation through and through.

Just wish you had included some quotes from Pitino in your article. Would have liked to have heard his perspective. I finally found a few in another writer's article, but wished it could have been in yours to give it from the FIU perspective.

Que bola, it's impossible to know the size of the person when they lay them on the seats like that. I saw them fit plenty of people well. Maybe the should have a booth where people can bring in their smallish shirts and exchange for a laeger size. If they had ordered all XLs, then there'd be people complaining that FIU orders only for fat people.

When you have 3 rows straight of mediums when I tried to get a larger one. It's easier to grow into a larger if you are a kid than have a small look like spandex. Same thing at the football games.

D. Neal, had a similar experience with my niece and popcorn. It took forever. Louisville fans were surprised at the inept operations. Check off another "crud" job by Mr. Garcia. Court looks great, cabanas are cool & different then the "basics" of concessions are high school level. It speaks to the "House of Cards" built by this AD.

My sister saw game on TV in Boca and said arena looked great on TV and some students seemed to be into it. Being there, I thought it was a good crowd. Not Michigan game though. THAT night was electric! Saw Jamal Mashburn at game.


Blue & gold heart, is that you?

Likes like Patrick Bateman aka Nick Walsh has a brand new screen name. Welcome back, Mr. Fountain of Misinformation.

Guys I'm sorry but this is ridiculous. Are we really criticizing the amount of hamburgers available? Is our personal vendetta against FIU so strong that we lose the Forrest for the trees? We hosted the defending national champions at home to a great and passionate cros of FIU students. To focus on cuban coffee and cheese Burgers seems silly and like nitpicking TRYING to always find something wrong. The pure negativity knows no bounds! Maybe the new year bring with it a more balanced approach to give these programs a chance...

FanZone, that "good enough for government work" attitude is what doesn't give FIU's programs a real chance. There's too much patting each other on the back there for a job not completely well done. Concessions are a basic part of the game experience. You don't run out of a basic item before the event starts. Nor do you have a menu item identified with your locale and not know how to make it. I crab anything is on the menu at a game in the state of Maryland, think you'd get "we ran out" or "only that cashier knows how to make it?" Before tipoff, there were some fans who were bewildered and ornery (and tired -- I wasn't the only one in line who wanted/needed café cubano). Maybe it didn't ruin the night for them. I hope not. But it doesn't leave an overall good impression. For the FIU non-student fans for whom this was a first game, it factors into whether or not they want to come back. For the Louisville fans, it factors into the impression of FIU they'll transmit to others. This isn't a hard concept.

David, to be fair stone crabs are probably the most famous South Florida food and you cannot get them at FIU games either.

DJN, fair enough...your point is well taken. I'm making a separate point that I can't remember a positive comment be written by you about FIU in the past two years. Is everything perfect? No. But there's a general sense that you start from a place of schadenfreude (taking pleasure in rooting against them).

Jules, you win the Silver Medal in Missing the Point.

BUT If stone crabs were offered at FIU games, running out before tipoff/kickoff/first pitch/first serve would be a really big screw up. Think they run out of French fries or loaded potatoes at Boise State games 20 minutes before the start? Or, just for the sake of argument, hot dogs or hamburgers...anywhere? Nobody's scratching their heads over coffee at University of Washington games (or, for coladas, Columbus High School baseball games).

This was the one basketball game this season before which everybody should've been told, "Let's get the basics right. Let's cover ourselves. Let's be on our game." There were two other problems that affected only the media (print and TV) as far as I know, but the concession one deals with fans and is something that shouldn't happen at a park softball tournament, much less a D-1 basketball game.

And, FanZone, if you can't remember a positive comment I've written about FIU, you've got a short memory (see the postgame blog after the Gulf Coast game, just to start) or the most selective memory this side of a psychotic ex-spouse.

Fanzone you got to be kidding me that you think that is how you run any business. Stop kissing Pete's ass. It's. Mickey Mouse operation being run and that is the only one impression we have and Louisville fans will speak negatively about. You sound like dp kissing Pete's butt. Dp being a former fiu employee should know better especially how he works for the university of coral gables bow

Djn is on fire with the quick 1-2 punches and seems to have started that egg nog nice an early. That silver medal line was great and I think that the reason you didn't give him the gold is cause b&g gets the honorary gold

Back to fanzones comments, when yo go to a restaurant or food establishment do you expect them to run out of food? Maybe late in the day of a specialty item but cheeseburger? Before the game starts? No jodas pipo. Djn is right. This is the game they needed to impress. Big crowd, future ticket holders, ect. Let alone now you lose sales at the register cause you don't have items and are to backed up to sell items quickly. Have the school of hospitality show you how it's done. Hell, they could even make specialty dishes for the games. Think outside the box mr Garcia. You are the director of entertainment

Don't worry too much about QueBola's comments...
Yes epic failure on Basic Items...considering the limited concession items...Hamburgers and Hotdogs should not have been " out " for a game they knew would out draw most if not all...

However, Que Bola is the same guy who was so upset that FIU had the $20 deal for the Marshall football game (4tix, 4 hotdogs, 4 chips, 4 drinks). Why was he mad, cause FIU didn't do anything special for the season ticket holders.

Now the Tshirts...upset him... As we tailgated outside we had no knowledge that FIU would supply white Tshirts...but Rather than being surprised that they gave him something he didn't think or know about he is upset....

What FIU should have done is have the Tshirts available at the entrance...and let people pick their size....but YES FIU is incapable of forward thinking.

By the way QueBola, hope you enjoyed the extra three shirts you and I took from the empty seats infront of us.


Happy Festivous!

Thinking about it quebola, you and I should have sold our burgers we made. They were better quality(actually delicious) and we would have pumped them out faster than FIU's concession stand.

Section 135 will supply the underground concession market

Merry Christmas to everyone! I'm a little down this year. I asked Santa for a new FIU AD, and I got stuck with same lump of coal AD we already had. Maybe the three kings will do the trick. Lets go Jan 6th!

May those kings do their magic!

David, I was clearly being sarcastic.

JulesFIU07, I guess it wasn't that clear to D. Neal.

D. Neal, are they vacating those 4 wins during Ray Taylor's game? Is that whole case closed? What's the status?

David Neal would run FIU Athletics properly. Garcia's grades continue to deteriorate. Please tell us what he has done well or even close to right. Anything?

In the last couple of days I've watched the Beef O'Bradys bowl & Little Caesars bowl, can't help but feel a little melancolic. Fun days.

Fun days are over, Exasperated Panther. All talent has left the campus. On,y Garcia stealing his paycheck is left.

What's going on at Georgetown?

FIRE PETE NOW. HE is a bum. He couldn't run a cheeseburger stand in Hialeah let alone an athletic department.

Go Louisville! Enjoying this game so, so much!

What's sad? Me wishing a loss on a crosstown rival? What's sad is "so-called" Panther fans rooting for the Canes.

Obviously smoking whatever um smoked while getting cracked by Louisville.

D. Neal, I know you must defend your employer, however the Herald is PATHETIC! FIU has a tight game vs Wake Forrest where Coley (NCAA All-American & NCAA women's scoring champ!) scores 47 & not ONE mention in Monday's paper. Did find space for UM's women score vs New Mexico but NO SPACE for the other Div I-A, albeit 2nd class citizen, seemingly the HERALD's view of FIU.

FIU is absolutely not a 2nd class citizen.

More like 7th class, behind UM, UF, FSU, USF, UCF, and FAU in terms of interest to south Florida sports fans.

Hey Fact, you're more like FICTION because every school you mentioned is Div I-A like FIU. Where FSU, UF & um do get the majority of attention, even FIU, which is the Herald's red-headed step child gets an tad more attention than FAU, UCF & USF.

The FIU is a class act with a classless AD named Pete. That boy needs to go. Now. Fire his ass. He done nothing good.

Tough ball night? Every night is a tough one for FIU when it comes to ball.

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