March 07, 2016

E-mail Questions

Stray thoughts about the e-mail FIU media relations sent out Thursday night regarding The Herald's stories detailing women's basketball captain Destini Feagin's claims that head coach Marlin Chinn was trying to have a sexual relationship with her.

What the e-mail did say that was new?

It placed Feagin's suspension at Feb. 23. Feagin said Thursday night when I contacted her that Chinn told her Feb. 24 she was suspended in the conversation she recorded. 

It stated FIU cops had an investigation open regarding Feagin and the teammate's Athletic Panther Bucks card since Feb. 15. The Herald already reported Feagin used the card to the tune of $350; that she admitted it; that she felt she deserved some consequences for her actions; and that her mother, Joi Nicholson, put that money back on the teammate's account (yes, I saw the receipt). Some readers missed all that amidst the salacious details Chinn's alleged sexual harassment.

But why bring up the police investigation? The misuse/theft/team violation already had been reported, acknowledged and addressed.

(One former FIU director of football operations -- there's about as many of those as former Yankees managers from George Steinbrenner's temperamental peak -- found the revelation of a police connection and putting it at back at Feb. 15 pretty convenient. He told me such card issues never make it to FIU cops.)

What didn't the e-mail say that was new? 

Why was Chinn allowed to coach in a game two days after FIU heard the allegations, THEN suspended two or three days after the game? And who made that call?

Did President Rosenberg hear Feagin's allegations that she was being harassed in a chance campus encounter or not? The Herald asked last Wedensday. Must have gone in the Pay No Mind folder along with some other e-mails we could name...

What really was the reason track coach Eric Campbell departed two years ago? (Whoops, wrong situation...)

What has FIU's investigation into Feagin's allegations found?

Because without those questions, you have to ask...

What was the e-mail's purpose?

 

 

March 06, 2016

Basketball Jones

I'm not gone yet and neither are the basketballs, both of which head for the Conference USA tournaments in Birmingham this week. The first two rounds will be on American Sports Network, which means they might as well be on Bulgarian television for South Florida televisions.

The 13-18 (7-11 in conference) men, seeded No. 11, face No. 6 seed UTEP Wednesday in a game that past performance calls a push -- FIU won by 10 at UTEP, lost by 10 to UTEP at home. But the books put UTEP as the favorite both as the higher seed and that the Panthers lost nine of their last 11. Someone close to the program told me Wednesday there's a "let's get this over with" attitude among the players. Hard to argue when the only two wins in the last 11 games were against CUSA's two worst teams, UTSA and Florida Atlantic (and, the Panthers didn't beat the Owls so much as were less maladroit).

The No. 14 seeded FIU women open Tuesday against UTSA, an opponent with which the Panthers reverse split -- losing by 11 at home, winning by five in Texas. The win at UTSA was one of the two games missed by now-suspended captain Destini Feagin, the team's leading rebounding starter. Brianna Wright pulled down a ridiculous 20 rebounds in that win.

No word from either the University or Athletics as to whether or not suspended coach Marlin Chinn will be back for that game. 

 

March 03, 2016

The University Speaks on Feagin & Chinn...Sort Of

From FIU's Office of External Relations

Dear University Community:

We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and address them. While the University is bound by federal student privacy laws and is respectful of ongoing law enforcement investigations, the University believes that our students and our community should be aware of the key facts regarding recent news stories about alleged misconduct involving a student-athlete and an employee.  

The University has a responsibility to ensure that our classrooms, athletic fields and all of our campuses are free from any form of harassment and that all of our students, as well as faculty and staff, feel safe so that our learning community can thrive. We also have a responsibility to investigate any and all claims reported to the University while we ensure fairness and due process to all involved.

FIU Police opened a criminal theft investigation involving this student-athlete on or about February 15. Based on information provided to the Athletic Department on February 22, the student-athlete was suspended from the women’s basketball team the following day. Subsequently, the student-athlete reported serious allegations against an FIU employee. Investigations have already started under Title IX guidelines and NCAA by-laws. Based on the information gathered so far, head women’s basketball coach Marlin Chinn has been suspended, pending the outcome of the investigation.

We want to reiterate that at FIU there is no tolerance for misconduct by an employee or a student.  We will pursue the truth to the best of our abilities while supporting the victims and ensuring due process for all involved.

We ask the University community for patience as law enforcement, as well as other trained professionals, complete their work. 

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

 

March 01, 2016

Feagin: The First to Talk

I'll forgo my usual blog levity to just link to this. Check out the link or the next two paragraphs will make about much sense as Klingon Sanskrit.

Destini Feagin isn't the first over the five academic years I've been on the FIU sports beat to allege sexual harassment in the athletic department from coaches or managers. But Feagin is the first one willing to make such allegations publicly.

A new statement issued by the University Tuesday afternoon: "FIU is conducting an investigation into allegations made against Coach Marlin Chinn. Based on the allegations, the university has suspended Coach Chinn, pending the outcome of the investigation. Because this is an ongoing investigation, the university will not provide additional comments at this time."

 

February 23, 2016

Past, Present & Future

UPCOMING HOME GAMES/MATCHES

Tuesday -- Baseball vs. St. Thomas, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday -- Baseball vs. Missouri, 3 p.m.

Thursday -- Softball vs. Central Connecticut State, 7 p.m.

Friday -- Softball vs. Siena, 4:30 p.m.

Friday -- Softball vs. Central Connecticut State, 7 p.m.

Friday -- Baseball vs. Seton Hall, 6:30

Saturday -- Softball vs. Central Connecticut State, 4 p.m.

Saturday -- Softball vs. Deleware, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday -- Baseball vs. Seton Hall, 6:30

Sunday -- Baseball vs. Seton Hall, 1 p.m.

Sunday -- Softball vs. Siena, 12:30 p.m.

So, last weekend, men's basketball and baseball went 0 for 5 while softball (8-2) went 4 for 5.

Granted, baseball played Ole Miss, ranked in some polls, receiving votes in others. What's men's basketball's excuse for refunding a game to North Texas, then getting treated by Rice the way teenage George Foreman used to treat other Houston kids before somebody put boxing gloves on his hands?

Men's hoop gets the week off to practice before Saturday's run up the Glades Road exit to FAU. Baseball gets to build its confidence on St. Thomas during Tuesday's home opener. 

SWIMMING & DIVING

FIU goes into this week's Conference USA meet ranked second to Rice in CUSA according to CollegeSwimming.com. Expect FIU to crush all 'round in diving, led by sophomore Rebecca Quesnel. But it'll be swimming depth that decides the meet. 

INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD

The Conference USA meet, in Birmingham, 'Bama, starts Wednesday. FIU fans can binge watch Better Call Saul until 11 a.m. Thursday, the start time for the men's shot put and women's high jump. FIU's got the No. 3 seed in each. Freshman Clarissa Cutliff's 5-8 3/4 and two other jumpers are 1 3/4 inches under top seed Middle Tennessee State's Barbara Vilson's 5-10 1/2. Senior Luka Mustafic's school record set last year of 59-1/2 is about halfway between his best this year, 56-2 1/2, and the 61-8 1/4 best from Western Kentucky's Nick Demaline.

While all this is going on, junior Alton Eliphar (200 meters) and senior Cam'ree Jackson (60 meters) could be contending in their events.

 

 

February 21, 2016

Droppings from Saturday's embrace of Russo and Nissen

Thoughts, sights and sounds from the Saturday ceremony honoring Cindy Russo and Inge Nissen (or "The institution honoring institutions.").

Nobody seemed to be having more fun than the table with Russo's earliest FIU players. That table also stood nearest the alcohol. Possibly not a coincidence, although they sounded more loaded on camaraderie and nostalgia. They talked about running on the soccer field at 5 a.m., flashlights for light, and not touching a ball for weeks early in training camp. My favorite story: if Russo found out two players didn't like each other, she'd make them room together so players either worked out personal beefs or kept them on the down low.

IMG_3551
 

Another table of former players stood shocked as FIU let Rice dribble out the clock on a 68-62 loss. The Panthers trailed by two three-pointers with enough time for two desperate possessions if Rice missed free throws. Alas...

FIU named the women's basketball locker room after Russo and gave her a key symbolizing free admittance to all future FIU athletic events. In the first place, isn't lifetime free athletic event admittance something that should be given to every coach who stays at FIU five years or longer? What, there's a shortage of seats available? FIU really needs the bucks that they can't give the wave-in to every coach who lasts five years in an athletic department perpetually at that awkward age?

Secondly, giving Russo the locker room? I guess that's what left. FIU's sold the court to Lime restaurant. I'm sure they hope to sell the arena name to somebody again (Is there a Sunblazer company making anything, providing any services? Be funny if it were Sunblazer Arena again...). So maybe slap Russo's name on a section of seats? Or, how about both Russo and Nissen's names on the basketball bench?

Speaking of which, Nissen maneuvered players out of Eastern Europe to go to FIU. You think she can't pull a few dollars out of some potential donors? Plus, she's got respect. Find her a job in development for the school or athletic department.

But learn how to pronounce her name first. She was at FIU only 26 years. I'm not talking to you, President Rosenberg. Who am I kidding? Yes, I am. 

Whether Andrea Nagy, Branzova and Dessi Dakova stand as FIU women's basketball's Apollo 11 or Mercury Three, they were pioneers who rocketed the program forward. FIU got the jump on talent from the former Warsaw Pact countries once the Soviet Union collapsed. The success of the Hungarian Nagy and Branzova and Davova from Bulgaria prompted other Eastern European players to consider coming to play at a little known American school in a well-known American town.

"How we got them out, I still don't know," Nissen said. "We got lucky that Albena's dad was affiliated with the (Bulgarian basketball) federation. We had sent packages to the federation. And he found them -- "These have my daughter's name on them, what are these?"

Nissen said Daddy Branzova was told "Oh, no, no, don't touch those" then took them anyway. "Then, we were able to contact them," she continued. "When I called over there -- at times, you couldn't get through and you couldn't hear anything worth a damn in the first place."

Then, there was the language barrier. Nissen spoke French to Dakova's mother, who spoke French, and Dakova.

"American basketball was the standard for that time," Dakova said. "There was nothing like it. It was (exciting) for us to go and actually experience that, to train under and American coach. And we said, "Why not?" I think most of us were adventurous at that time since we had played all over the world before coming here. We didn't know anything about the school. We just knew it was here. Miami! Nice beaches!"

Nissen recalls Branzova had to take the SAT a few times to get into FIU. Dakova said she focused on the math part, got almost all the points she needed for eligibility right there.  

"She gave us lots of freedom," All-American point guard Nagy said describing Russo's style coaching those early-to-mid-1990s teams. "She brought in all these great players that made us a great team."

The last women's basketball team I covered before leaving the Neighbors Northwest-North Central/FIU slot for the Florida Panthers beat played the most aesthetic basketball I saw in this town until the Heat's Big Three era. Later FIU teams with many of the same players reset the program's standards for success. Nagy picked the 23-4 1993-94 season, the first year FIU got ranked and made the NCAA Division I tournament, as her favorite memory.

I wish I'd seen that team or the 1995 team that went 27-5 and made it to the second round of the tournament. Because Nagy's sophomore year, 1992-93, FIU's women performed with the athletically stylish cohesion of a basketball Alvin Ailey company. 

The 6-4 Branzova was the chessboard queen or Eddie Murphy's shoe-throwing mother -- she could mess up your whole program from anywhere. She could score in the post all the way out to three-point range. If she had the ball down low and the defense fell asleep on the backside, she'd whip a no-look pass over her shoulder to a cutting forward for a layup. Nagy ran the fast break with perfect fundamentals, head up, with BMW M3 speed and maneuverability. As soon as someone came open, ZIP! Layup.

 "I think we just got lucky," Nagy said. "We had Albena who was a really good shooter. Myself, who loved to pass and had the speed to push the ball. And we had Tatana (Pokorna) who would get out there and finish the fast breaks. Everybody else were parts to the puzzle to make us something really great."

 

 

February 20, 2016

Cindy Russo's Best Wins

UPCOMING HOME GAMES/MATCHES

Saturday -- Tennis vs. George Washington, 9 a.m.

Saturday -- Women's Basketball vs. Rice, noon

Saturday -- Softball vs. Delaware, 4 p.m.

Saturday -- Softball vs. Holy Cross, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday -- Softball vs. Holy Cross, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday -- Baseball vs. St. Thomas, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday -- Baseball vs. Missouri, 3 p.m.

Thursday -- Softball vs. Central Connecticut State, 7 p.m.

Friday -- Softball vs. Siena, 4:30 p.m.

Friday -- Softball vs. Central Connecticut State, 7 p.m.

Friday -- Baseball vs. Seton Hall, 6:30

FIU honoring former women's basketball coach Cindy Russo and 26-year assistant/associate coach Inge Nissen at halftime of today's noon game against Rice prompted me to ask Russo for her top five wins at FIU. Not an easy task culling five from 667. But here's what she put forth:

FIU 81, Old Dominion 76, Mar. 16, 1995 -- In the first round of the NCAA tournament, FIU knocks out Russo and Nissen's alma mater to get the program's first NCAA tournament win in the senior year of Third Team All-America guard Andrea Nagy and Honorable Mention All-America center Albena Branzova. Freshman Gergana Branzova was a freshman All-America.

FIU 82, Wake Forest 78, Nov. 30, 1995 -- In the freshman year of Dalma Ivanyi, the Panthers upset the Deacons at Wake Forest.

FIU 59, Marquette 45, Mar. 15, 1998 -- NCAA Regional first round game at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

FIU 69, Tulane 55, Mar. 13, 2014 -- No. 13 seed FIU upset No. 4 seed Tulane in the Conference USA tournament semifinal behind 50 percent shooting and 34 points from Jerica Coley. The Panthers closed the game on an 11-0 run, 10 points of which came from Coley. 

Beating the University of Miami over there -- Any of the nine times FIU won at Coral Gables.

 

February 15, 2016

The Weekend That Was

FIUphiles could save the Percoset and just gulp down this weekend's athletic results. Remember Steve Harvey's routine that "White people have wonderful weekends?" Almost that good.

A decade-old indoor track school record fell when senior Brandon Ballard burned through a 400 in 48.19 seconds at the Grand Valley State Big Meet, knocking off Alonzo Phillips' 2006-set record of 48.31. Ballard's time tied for 183rd in the nation this indoor season. 

In Marlin Chinn's first year, defense and rebounding remain areas of deficiency for the women's basketball team. Getting 6-2 Brianna Wright back from injury helps with the latter, obviously. After she grabbed 20 rebounds Saturday afternoon in the Panthers' 59-54 win at UTSA, FIU's 2-2 in Wright's four games after going winless in the first nine Conference USA games. In case you were wondering, the school single game record is 26, set by Barbara Howell against Tampa, Jan. 26, 1980.

That's one of the few significant FIU women's basketball moments for which Cindy Russo wasn't present. She was in the second of two years as Lamar's head coach. (If you've been around FIU long enough to know off the top of your head that Mary Ellen Fiske headed FIU's women's hoops program that season, we keep the Metamucil on the second shelf of the pantry). Saturday at halftime of the noon game against Rice, FIU will honor Russo and former assistant/associate coach Inge Nissen, the two women who recruited, coached, pushed and tugged the women's program to success over three decades.

The men's basketball team broke their five-game losing streak by doing what they should against UTSA's men. FIU's most consistent scorer this season, Daviyon Draper, scored exactly his conference game average of 18, grabbed seven rebounds and played all but the last 30 seconds. But the most interesting aspect of the game jumped out as the five Panthers starters took the floor. Still planted on the bench for the first time in his FIU career: center Adrian Diaz. Too much statistical invisibility for one so large prompted FIU coach Anthony Evans to try benching Diaz for motivation. A roused Diaz scored 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds before fouling out.

Softball opened the season with a late big-inning 7-1 loss to No. 10 Florida State, but did so in front of a full house at FIU Softball Stadium. The Panthers won their remaining four games at the Juiceblendz Invitational. More on softball from second-year head coach Gator Rebhan in the next post.

 

February 08, 2016

Future Watch

UPCOMING HOME GAMES/MATCHES

Thursday -- Men's Basketball vs. UTEP, 7 p.m.

Friday -- Softball vs. Florida State, 7 p.m.

Saturday -- Softball vs. St. John's, 5:30 p.m.

Saturday -- Men's Basketball vs. UTSA, 7 p.m.

Saturday -- Softball vs. Illinois, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday -- Softball vs. LIU-Brooklyn, 1 p.m.

Sunday -- Softball vs. Valparaiso, 3:30 p.m.

The Futures market sells big in FIU Athletics these days.

Make no mistake, it always has. Talk of what could be, should be, will be (maybe) always seems to draw more interest at FIU than what is. Maybe it's just I'm noticing this confluence this year.

Softball starts this Friday at home. Baseball begins a week from Friday at Ole Miss. Sand Volleyball will start soon after finishing last season ranked No. 4 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll. And, of course, we just had Signing Day with the football coaching staff likely looking at a Pack For a Bowl or Pack Up the Office season.

Now, take men's basketball, 11-13 overall, 5-6 in Conference USA, zero for four in its last four. You knew the season had entered the "just get ready for the conference tournament" phase when when coach Anthony Evans exuded an almost sanguine air after the Jan. 30 men's basketball home loss to Old Dominion. FIU did some things well, not enough or as many as Old Dominion and took a four-point loss. They're still trying to gain the cohesion and consistency of a team, which is where they seem to be at this point every year. Even in Evans' third year, there's still a chop shop quality to the roster -- this part from a Hialeah body shop, this piece from Sanford & Son's area, these pieces driven down from Tallahassee. There's not wholesale roster changes, but enough key players change each year that FIU seems perpetually trying to get past the dating stage.

The good news for the women's basketball team (3-19, 1-10)? Everybody makes the conference tournament. The bad news? FIU has to play with this year's team instead of next year's. This year's Panthers show about 72 times more pluck than they did last year. They're still tax refund light on talent and focus. Nobody's looked forward to next year like this since the Brooklyn Dodgers ("Wait 'til next year!") or 1960s Dallas Cowboys (Next Year's Champions).

Here's what FIU gains next year: a pair of three-star freshman forwards, 6-1 Sydney Fields from Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview and 6-2 Jamesia Amand from Dallas Skyline; three-star 5-7 point guard Alexis Gordon from Palm Bay Covenant Christian; point guard Kayla Rogers, who runs the show for Jacksonville Ribault, which has been nationally ranked this year; and 6-4 transfer Erin Garner, a former three-star recruit who transferred from Georgia Tech. Oh, and last year's CUSA Freshman of the Year, 6-1 forward Kiandre'a Pound, will be back from spending a redshirt season becoming a mommy.

Swim & Dive just finished its dual meet season at 8-5 by beating FAU 115-71 and the defending Conference USA champions enter conference meet prep. With the variation how much stress some programs put on earlier season meets, checking out top conference times can be like looking at a Kandinsky -- looks wonderful, but you might not be seeing what you think you're seeing. Still, FIU's got one of the top two CUSA times this year in the 50 freestyle, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 1000 free, 1,650 free (sophomores Kyna Periera and Naomi Ruele, take a bow); 100 back (Ruele), 400 free relay, 800 free relay, 400 medley relay; and sophomore Rebecca Quesnel could sweep the three diving competitions.

But FIU's owned the best individuals at conference meets before and been left to celebrate them while finishing from here to Hollywood from the team title. That changed in 2015 with FIU's depth burying second place Rice. The challenge is to repeat that feat Feb. 24-27 in Atlanta.

  

February 05, 2016

Women's BBall Gets First Conference Win In a Long Time

On Feb. 22, 2014, senior guard Jerica Coley scored 35 points on 12 of 26 shooting from the field and eight of 11 from the free throw line to lead FIU to a 77-66 win against Marshall.

FIU's women's basketball team lost its next 30 regular season Conference USA games. Until Thursday.

Senior guard Taylor Shade went off for an efficient 26 points -- nine of 13 from the field, three of four from three-point range, five of five from the line -- and Destini Feagin dropped in 19 points with seven rebounds and two steals as the Panthers beat UAB 72-61 at FIU Arena. First-year coach Marlin Chinn gets a conference result to go with his upbeat, energetic attitude.

FIU hosts Middle Tennessee State Saturday at 2 p.m.

 

January 29, 2016

Money, No Coffee & TV

When the Conference USA winter meetings broke in Boca, the conference proudly spoke of new regulations on student-athlete/athlete-student time demands. That's a problem that long needed to be addressed. Nothing like giving an athlete an education as payment for playing sports, then giving the athlete precious little time to get that education or the education you get from the whole college experience.

(If the education you got at college was the one they gave you the diploma for, you flunked)

The release spoke nothing of new television deals. That doesn't breed confidence in what the conference has cooking with its TV pals.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Maybe you didn't see it on American Sports Network, whose games involving FIU are often as invisible in Miami-Fort Lauderdale as the rights fees ASN pays Conference USA, but FIU center Adrian Diaz might've cost himself some money Thursday.

Diaz showing some nice spin moves on offense and the deft touch around the rim that's given him the conference lead in field goal percentage in conference games, 69.2 percent. But defense and rebounding top Diaz's can-do list. While Diaz slapped down Charlotte freshman guard Jon Davis like, well, a senior hazing a freshman, he had a problem with Charlotte senior center Joseph Uchebo. Uchebo went seven of 12 from the field and pulled down 10 rebounds going mostly at Diaz.

Diaz doesn't have many true big-on-big matchups this season to put on his tape for whatever or wherever his basketball life goes after FIU. He needs to dominate those few games.

FOOTBALL

You ever avoid going someplace on a date or just looking for a hookup because you know the glare of your competition for attention will render you invisible?

Then you know why FIU moved its season opening home game against Indiana to Sept. 1 from Sept. 3.

Oh, there was some official reason about now there's no chance the game gets jerked into the early afternoon by TV or some such. Yeah, yeah, yeah. As soon as the Hurricane's schedule came out with a season-opening home game against Florida A&M on Sept. 3, the first home game under new head coach Mark Richt, FIU began looking for a different date. Between attendance and attention, even by pulling off the very possible upset of Indiana, that fighting the first glow of Savior Richt would be The Charge of the Light Brigade for FIU.

On into the valley of death, rode the 600 (in the stands)...

FIU got Big Kahuna'd back to Thursday. And I don't blame them one bit.

 

 

January 24, 2016

Who is Daviyon Draper? And Women Up, Though Still Down

Besides the FIU 6-7 senior forward averaging 17.1 points per game in Conference USA play (10th in CUSA), 8.3 rebounds in conference games (sixth) and put up another double-double (17 and 10) in FIU's not-that-close 79-69 win at UTEP Saturday.

What part of Los Angeles did you grow up in and how would you decribe it?

"I grew up in South Central. It's pretty tough in some ways. You learn a lot about being disciplined and what you want out of life.

Which part of South Central?

"I stay at 107th and Broadway, the east side of South Central."

What's on your pregame playlist?

"JCole. Kendrick Lamar."

What's something about you that surprises people who don't know you well?

"I like being around kids. I'm a people person, too."

What age kids?

"Probably 4, 5, 6. I've got a lot of nieces and nephews. I teach them basketball and stuff like that. They look up to me, so I interact with them a lot."

Playing on the playground or Nerfhoop, what player would you imagine you were? And when you were imagining you as you, what team would you be playing for?

"Growing up my favorite player was Kobe (Bryant), I looked up to Kobe, idolized Kobe." As for the team: "The Lakers."

Outside of your parents, who's the one person who believed in your basketball dream and goals?

"All my coaches throughout my life believed I could reach this point. I'd say my grandmother. She's been a big influence on me. She always believed I could make it to this point."

Favorite video game?

"NBA2K."

Now, when you play, do you always take the Lakers?

"Oh, naw, they're not that good. I play OKC."

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

FIU's still winless in Conference USA, 0-7 after Saturday's loss to conference leading UTEP 69-57. And that does show progress.

Playing a team with UTEP's 15-1 record and whatever stature being just outside the Top 25 gives you, the Panthers didn't quit after a 22-0 run buried them 22-3. Instead of giving UTEP a Saturday walk in the park -- er, gym -- FIU gave UTEP a full 40 minutes of work. The Panthers got the margin into single digits at 24-16, then kept playing the Miners on even enough terms that UTEP never could cruise.

A year ago, FIU got blasted by conference champion Western Kentucky twice by 39, to Middle Tennessee State by 49, to Marshall by 24, Louisiana Tech by 23. The players looked like they'd quit. One player said recently she felt the coaches quit on them.

First-year head coach Marlin Chinn's talent light, something he's hustling to remedy in recruiting. He also lost last year's CUSA Freshman of the Year, forward Kiandre'a Pound, to pregnancy and 5-10 Katrina Epnere to a knee injury after Epnere started the first three games. But whether it's the energy of a new staff, new players such as Tianah Alvarado and Kristian Hudson or just the roster finding some pride, FIU's taking the first step to getting off the carpet.

Acting like they want to do it.

 

 

January 21, 2016

Who is Donte McGill?

Besides FIU men's basketball's starting point guard and leading scorer, that is. McGill's 17 games removed from Vincennes junior college and two seasons removed from Division II Goldey-Beacom College.

Tell me something about Newark, Delaware or your neighborhood in Newark, Delaware...

"It's pretty nice. I moved out of Philadelphia when I was younger. It's a pretty good neighborhood. Not too much going on. I get to relax and focus on what I need to do.

"It's like a small city area, almost. There's a little bit of crime, stuff going on. I just try to stay focused and out of that stuff."

What's on your pregame playlist?

"Chief Keef. Some of my friends (Chan Andreas) rap, too, so I listen to their stuff. I really just put my phone on shuffle and let it play."

What's something about you that surprises people who don't know you well?

 "My work ethic. I feel like I worked very hard to get here, coming from a Division II school and a junior college. I've focused on working hard, always staying determined and knowing where I wanted to go in my life. As I got here, I've been double of what I did before."

How'd you find Vincennes?

"There's a guy I don't know too well. I sent him an e-mail with my numbers from Division II and sent him some videotape. Taht was the first school that called me. They were ranked Top 5 in teh nation for junior colleges. So, it was a good fit right off the bat. I was really blessed to get that (offer). All those top players get to leave there and go to good schools. I felt like it was just supposed to happen."

What'd you think about the town of Vincennes (a city of 18,000 in Southern Indiana)?

"I liked it. I actually miss it a little bit. It was small. All the fans come out to the games and support us. It was a good environment to play basketball in. It's a basketball game."

Growing up playing basketball on the playground or Nerfhoop, which player did you imagine yourself being. And when you were just yourself, which team did you imagine you played for?

"I was playing for the Sixers. I liked AI (Allen Iverson) a lot. That was the player I wanted to be like.

Other than your mom or your dad, what one individual most believed in your basketball goals/dream?

"Probably one of my close friends. I call him "my brother." His name's "Rel" (Jerrell). He used to play basketball, too (in high school). He just figured out he had to do something else. He always pushed me. We'd always go to the gym together every single day and work out four times a day. He just helped me stay focused and that I can do whatever I set my mind to. He always pushed me to do better. He always liked to tell me what I need to get better on, stuff like that. I've known him about eight years."

 

January 08, 2016

Western Stories

You know that feeling Thursday when the State of Florida finally got the Florida Lottery website working again, you looked at the numbers and you had nothing? Or, maybe just a free ticket?

That's how the FIU basketballers of each gender left Western Kentucky feeling Thursday.

Up in Bowling Green (the one in Kentucky), the Panthers came from 10 down in the second half to win 75-72. The women hung tough for the full 40 against the best team in Conference USA, one with a 17-2 conference record over the last two seasons and 10-2 overall this season. In the end, some panicky possessions and key rebounds got away from the Panthers, as did a chance for the biggest upset in college women's basketball this season. Still, the 71-69 loss that left FIU 2-11 and 0-2 in conference play didn't leave Chinn upset.

"Our ladies really executed the game plan for us tonight. I couldn't be more proud of their effort to come up against the conference champs," he said. "They've got a really nice club. (Western coach) Michelle (Clark-Heard) does an awesome job with her team. For them to come out and give their best effort was really exciting to see. We had told them prior to the game, we just want to measure up. We want to see what the best team in the conference has and see where we stand. Give our best effort and see what happens."

What happened: FIU, down 33-23 and on the verge of being blown out with 5:37 left in the first half, stormed back behind defense and 5-9 junior Tianah Alvarado. Alvarado scored the next 14 FIU points. That got the game tied 37-37 at halftime because FIU stopped letting Western run layup drills after Chinn called a timeout at the aforementioned 33-23 and 5:37 left. After what looked like a strong excoriation, FIU, which had allowed Western to shoot 60 percent before the timeout, held the Hilltoppers to two of eight from the field the rest of the half.

The second half saw the teams trade baskets evenly, until a few ragged FIU possessions and a few too many offensive rebounds by Western did in FIU. Say this for the Panthers -- despite their record over the last two seasons, they never look intimidated. They've got the confidence actor William Talman injected into Hamilton Burger, the prosecutor who used to get undone by Perry Mason. One person on the show loved Talman's performance because you believed Burger deeply believed he'd win that week.

"We're right there, we're missing one little thing," FIU senior forward Janka Hegedus said after a game-high 22 points on 11 of 14 shooting.

"They're so hungry to get a win," Chinn said. "And they want it really bad. We've just come up short. We've got to learn how to win. Obviously, wins have been few and far between these last couple of seasons. But they seem really motivated to do something about their season, so I'm proud of that."

And, as he said, the losses weren't by last year's embarrassing margins. Western blasted FIU by 39 there and 41 here a year ago.

"I think everybody puts in effort and hard work. Everybody wants to be here," Hegedus said, explaining the difference from last year. "It's like our job. Everybody takes it seriously."

 

 

January 05, 2016

How Does FIU Compare to Its Conference USA Peers? (Part 1)

Curious about how FIU ranks among its Conference USA peers since moving from the Sun Belt Fun Belt in 2013, a curiosity prodded by several people inside and outside the athletic department asking the same thing, I did a little record hunting.

Now, obviously, the best answer to the above would be found by compiling the records of each CUSA school in each sport that FIU plays, weighting for things like missed conference tournaments, NCAA runs, conference tournament runs, individual brilliance (such as FIU's Meghan MacLaren tearing up the 2015 conference golf tournament). But all that would take up way too large a portion of whatever time I have left on this plane of existence. So, here's what I did:

I ranked the schools on overall and conference records since 2013 in football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball and then a wild card sport -- each school's best sport in which FIU also participates.

You play to win championships, so when ranking in conference play, the title winners eat first. When I assign point values later to determine an overall ranking, conference play will get greater weight. You get more credit for beating your peers than you do gorging on lesser punks.

I see the obvious flaws. With a relatively small sample size, one great or abysmal season can swing the results too hard in one direction. That's even more the case with schools that entered CUSA after the Great Sun Belt Migration of 2013 brought FIU, FAU, North Texas and Middle Tennessee State to the league. But, outside of Intelligent Benevolent Dictatorship, no perfect systems exist. 

Here's the rankings for each sport:

FOOTBALL OVERALL

1. Marshall – 33-8, three bowl wins

2. Western Kentucky – 20-7, two bowl wins.

3. Rice – 23-16, two bowl appearances, one win.

4. Louisiana Tech – 22-17, two bowl wins.

5. Middle Tennessee State -- 21-17, two bowl appearances.

6. Old Dominion – 11-13

7. North Texas -- 14-23, won one bowl game.

8. UTEP – 14-23, one bowl appearance

9. UTSA – 14-22 (ranked behind UTEP and North Texas despite a smidge better record because UTEP’s extra loss came in a bowl game and North Texas’ extra game was a bowl win).

10. Southern Mississippi – 13-25, one bowl appearance

11. FAU – 12-24

12. UAB – 8-16 (loses tiebreaker with FAU on, you know, the program being dead, then revived to two-season coma).

13. FIU – 10-26

14. Charlotte – 2-10

FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

1. Marshall -- 20-4, one conference title

2. Western Kentucky -- 12-4, one conference title.

3. Rice – 15-9, one conference title.

4. Middle Tennessee State – 17-7

5. Louisiana Tech -- 16-8

6. UTSA – 12-12

7. Old Dominion – 7-9

8. Southern Mississippi – 9-15 (gets the tiebreaker over UTEP, North Texas and FAU based on a Conference USA West Division title.)

9. UTEP 9-15 (gets the tiebreaker over North Texas and FAU on combined head-to-head record)

10. North Texas -- 9-15 (head-to-head tiebreaker over FAU)

11. FAU -- 9-15

12. UAB – 5-11

13. FIU – 7-17

14. Charlotte – 0-8

MEN’S BASKETBALL OVERALL

1. Louisiana Tech – 68-19

2. UTEP – 55-27

3. Old Dominion – 53-32

4. Middle Tennessee State -- 51-31

5. UAB – 49-32

6. Western Kentucky -- 28-18

7. FIU – 38-40

8. North Texas 36-42

9. Charlotte – 17-28

10. Marshall – 27-52

11. UTSA – 25-50

12. Rice – 24-53

13. FAU – 21-53

14. Southern Mississippi – 41-36 (placed down here for two years of self-imposed postseason bans after fundamental NCAA violations, such as completing homework assignments for recruits).

MEN’S BASKETBALL CONFERENCE

1. UAB -- 20-15, one Conference USA title

2. Louisiana Tech – 31-6

3. UTEP -- 27-9

4. Western Kentucky -- 12-7

5. Old Dominion – 23-12

6. Middle Tennessee State – 22-13

7. FIU – 16-19

8. North Texas -- 17-21

9. Charlotte – 7-12

10. UTSA -- 13-23

11. Marshall – 12-23

12. Rice – 10-26

13. FAU – 7-27

14. Southern Mississippi -- 17-18 (See above)

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL OVERALL

1. Western Kentucky – 40-7

2. Middle Tennessee State – 60-20

3. Southern Mississippi – 60-22

4. UTEP – 52-25

5. UAB – 41-33

6. Old Dominion – 44-37

7. FAU -- 38-34

8. Marshall – 38-37

9. Charlotte – 22-22

10. UTSA – 34-40

11. Louisiana Tech – 33-42

12. Rice – 24-49

13. North Texas -- 23-48

14. FIU -- 20-54

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CONFERENCE

1. Western Kentucky – 17-2, one conference title

2. Middle Tennessee State 30-5, one conference title

3. Southern Mississippi -- 27-8

4. Old Dominion -- 21-14

5. UTEP – 21-15

6. Charlotte – 10-9

7. UAB – 18-17

8. Louisiana Tech – 15-20

9. UTSA -- 15-21

10. FAU -- 14-21

11. Marshall -- 11-24

12. Rice – 11-25

13. North Texas -- 11-25

14. FIU – 6-29

BASEBALL OVERALL

1. Rice – 79-42, one NCAA at-large bid

2. Southern Mississippi – 71-43-1

3. FAU – 70-44, one NCAA at-large bid

4. UAB – 68-46

5. UTSA – 68-51

6. FIU – 66-51

7. Old Dominion – 63-54

8. Middle Tennessee State – 63-54

9. Western Kentucky – 24-28

10. Louisiana Tech – 40-62

11. Marshall – 40-63

12. Charlotte – 38-60-1

North Texas & UTEP – No team

BASEBALL CONFERENCE

1. Rice -- 45-15, one conference title

2. FIU – 29-31, one conference title

3. Southern Mississippi – 38-21

4. Middle Tennesse State – 37-24

5. UAB -- 35-25

6. FAU -- 33-26

7. UTSA -- 33-28

8. Old Dominion – 30-30

9. Marshall -- 22-37

10. Charlotte -- 21-38

11. Western Kentucky – 10-19

12. Louisiana Tech – 13-46

North Texas & UTEP – No team

WILD CARD SPORT

1. Western Kentucky – Volleyball. 62-10, 30-2 in conference, two conference tournament titles.

2. UTSA -- Men’s Track & Field. Two outdoor conference titles.

3. Charlotte -- Men’s Soccer. 37-16-7 overall, 16-5-4 in conference, one conference title, two other at-large NCAA tournament bids.

4. UTEP – Men’s Cross Country. One conference title, one conference runner-up (tell me I was the only one who thought the Miners won this every year).

5. Old Dominion -- Men’s Soccer. 32-18-5, 14-8-3, one conference title (a men's soccer championship is worth more than any other conference title because it's Conference USA’s best sport, by far).

6. FIU – Swimming & Diving. 22-3 in dual meets, one conference title (2015), one conference runner-up (2014).

7. Rice – Swimming & Diving. One conference title (2014), one conference runner-up (2015).

8. North Texas -- Women’s Soccer. 49-16-3 overall, 22-5-3 in conference, one conference tournament title.

9. Middle Tennessee State – Women’s Golf. One conference title.

10. UAB – Softball. 64-46 overall, 30-15 in conference, one NCAA at-large bid (gets close nod over FAU softball on incrementally better conference record).

11. FAU – Softball. 72-41-1, 31-16 in conference, one NCAA at-large bid.

12. Marshall -- Women’s soccer. 32-18-11, 14-9-7 in conference.

13. Southern Mississippi – Volleyball. 61-39 overall, 26-21 in conference.

14. Louisiana Tech -- Women’s soccer. 34-24-3 overall, 14-14-2 in conference.

As this is a multi-part post, the master of the multi-part hit...

 

 

January 04, 2016

Diaz Gets Third CUSA POW Honor

Rarely do you see a player take over a game the way 6-11 senior center Adrian Diaz did Sunday against FAU. Diaz scored 20 of FIU's first 22 second half points and assisted on the other hoop. Defensively, he altered shots and blocked one drive by FAU's Adonis Filer so ferociously, Filer went to the floor and resembled Michael Spinks after he got Mike Tyson'ed. Diaz also later had what Heat coach Erik Spoelstra calls "a hockey assist" (the pass that led to the pass that led to the bucket -- they give two assists in hockey).

Anyway, mainly for that effort, Diaz was named Conference USA's Co-Player of the Week with Louisiana Tech's Alex Hamilton. It's Diaz's third player of the week award this season.

January 03, 2016

FIU Cagers go 1-1 vs. Boca Woodsys Sunday

Yeah, it's a headline straight out of 1956. Basketball players used to be called that because netting or fencing surrounded early basketball courts and the name stuck until the late 1970s.

Anyway, the FIU women lost 87-82 to Florida Atlantic up in Boca despite guard Taylor Shade's 26 points, five rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers. Tianah Alvarado tossed in 22 points with seven rebounds before fouling out. The men showed FAU that size matters and smacked the Owls in the face with Adrian Diaz, whom FIU insists on calling "The Hialeah Hammer" (sounds like a by-the-book cop who works Okeechobee Road). Diaz went six of eight from the field, 11 of 17 from the line for 23 points, pulled down 15 rebounds, blocked three shots and got two steals. 

So, the men sit at 7-7, 1-0 in Conference USA play going to Western Kentucky and Marshall this week while the women are 3-9, 0-1 hosting those two schools at Camp Mitch. 

FAU's men came into Sunday with wins only over Lesser Miami (of Ohio) and a song (Ave Maria). The Owls' leading scorer, sophomore forward C.J. Turman, is transferring and they didn't have injured backup guard Marquan Botley, a junior guard second in assists and steals who plays 20.5 minutes per game. FIU should spank the Owls they way they did. Diaz should Godzilla the Boca Boys the way he did. Then again, mediocre mid-major teams don't always do what they should so that FIU did is to its credit.

“The whole season is about progress and growth," FIU coach Anthony Evans said. "I think the team has more confidence in each other. Now, on the floor, if somebody gets beat, Adrian’s going to be there. The guards are making a conscious effort to keep people in front of them, so they don’t get easy shots, layups. They’re maturing, getting better."

December 31, 2015

Cindy Russo To Be Feted Feb. 20

Live from the Orange Bowl....

FIU's noon women's basketball home game against Rice Feb. 20 will feature the school honoring Cindy Russo, who built the program into a consistent winner over 36 years before retiring a year ago.

Both basketball teams open conference play Sunday against FAU, the women in Boca at 2 and the men at Camp Mitch at 3.

 

December 07, 2015

Diamond Schedules & Diaz Love

Senior center Adrian Diaz wound up the only winner in men's basketball from last week.

While the team compiled a hat trick of losses to Stetson, Elon and Florida Gulf Coast, Diaz averaged 19.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.0 blocks in the three games. For this, he was honored for the second time this season as Conference USA Player of the Week.

 

2016 FIU Panthers Baseball Schedule

Date                       Day                           Opponent                                          Location                                    Time (ET)           

Feb. 19................. Friday                       at Ole Miss....................................... Oxford, Miss............................ TBA

Feb. 20................. Saturday                  at. Ole Miss...................................... Oxford, Miss............................ TBA

Feb. 21................. Sunday                    at Ole Miss....................................... Oxford, Miss............................ TBA

Feb. 23................. Tuesday                  ST. THOMAS................................... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

Feb. 24................. Wednesday            MISSOURI....................................... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

Feb. 26................. Friday                      SETON HALL.................................. FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

Feb. 27................. Saturday                 SETON HALL.................................. FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

Feb. 28................. Sunday                    SETON HALL.................................. FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 1................ Tuesday                  SETON HALL.................................. FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 4................ Friday                      LOYOLA MARYMOUNT................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 5................ Saturday                 LOYOLA MARYMOUNT (DH)...... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 6................ Sunday                    LOYOLA MARYMOUNT................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 8................ Tuesday                  STETSON........................................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 9................ Wednesday            ILLINOIS STATE............................. FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 11............. Friday                      MANHATTAN.................................. FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 12............. Saturday                 MANHATTAN (DH)........................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 13............. Sunday                    MANHATTAN.................................. FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 15.............. Tuesday                  at Jacksonville................................ Jacksonville, Fla..................... TBA

March 16.............. Wednesday            at Jacksonville................................ Jacksonville, Fla..................... TBA

March 18.............. Friday                       at Charlotte*.................................... Charlotte, N.C......................... TBA

March 19.............. Saturday                  at Charlotte*.................................... Charlotte, N.C......................... TBA

March 20.............. Sunday                    at Charlotte*.................................... Charlotte, N.C......................... TBA

March 24............. Thursday                MARSHALL*................................... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 25............. Friday                      MARSHALL*................................... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 26............. Saturday                 MARSHALL*................................... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

March 29.............. Sunday                    at Bethune-Cookman.................... Daytona, Fla............................ TBA

April 1................... Friday                       at UTSA*.......................................... San Antonio, Texas................ TBA

April 2................... Saturday                  at UTSA*.......................................... San Antonio, Texas................ TBA

April 3................... Sunday                    at UTSA*.......................................... San Antonio, Texas................ TBA

April 8................... Friday                      OLD DOMINION*............................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

April 9................... Saturday                 OLD DOMINION*............................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

April 10................. Sunday                    OLD DOMINION*............................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

April 13................. Wednesday            BETHUNE-COOKMAN................. FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

April 15................. Friday                       at LA Tech*...................................... Ruston, La................................ TBA

April 16................. Saturday                  at LA Tech*...................................... Ruston, La................................ TBA

April 17................. Sunday                    at LA Tech*...................................... Ruston, La................................ TBA

April 22................. Friday                      FLORIDA ATLANTIC*.................... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

April 23................. Friday                      FLORIDA ATLANTIC*.................... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

April 24................. Sunday                    FLORIDA ATLANTIC*.................... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

April 26................. Tuesday                  at USF............................................... Tampa, Fla.............................. TBA

April 27................. Wednesday            at Louisville..................................... Louisville, Ky........................... TBA

April 29................. Friday                       at WKU*............................................ Bowling Green, Ky................. TBA

April 30................. Saturday                  at WKU*............................................ Bowling Green, Ky................. TBA

May 1.................... Sunday                    at WKU*............................................ Bowling Green, Ky................. TBA

May 6.................... Friday                      RICE*................................................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

May 7.................... Saturday                 RICE*................................................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

May 8.................... Sunday                    RICE*................................................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

May 13.................. Friday                       at UAB*............................................. Birmingham, Ala.................... TBA

May 14.................. Saturday                  at UAB*............................................. Birmingham, Ala.................... TBA

May 15.................. Sunday                    at UAB*............................................. Birmingham, Ala.................... TBA

May 19.................. Thursday                SOUTHERN MISS*........................ FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

May 20.................. Friday                      SOUTHERN MISS *....................... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

May 21.................. Saturday                 SOUTHERN MISS *....................... FIU Baseball Stadium.......... TBA

May 25-29............ Wed.-Sun.               Conference USA Tournament..... Hattiesburg, Miss.................... TBA

May 29-31............ Sun-Tues                NCAA Regionals............................ TBA........................................... TBA

TBA....................... Fri.-Sun.                   NCAA Super Regionals................ TBA........................................... TBA

TBA....................... Sat.-Tues.                College World Series.................... Omaha, Neb............................ TBA

 

2016 FIU Softball Schedule

Date                     Day               Opponent                                      Location                                                            Time

FIU Invitational

Feb. 12                Fri.                Florida State                                Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 13                Sat.               St. John’s                                     Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 13                Sat.               Illinois                                            Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 14                Sun.              LIU Brooklyn                                Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 14                Sun.              Valparaiso                                    Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Panther Invitational

Feb. 19                Fri.                Holy Cross                                   Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 19                Fri.                Indiana                                          Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 20                Sat.               Delaware                                      Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 20                Sat.               Holy Cross                                   Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 21                Sun.              Holy Cross                                   Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

 

Feb. 25                Thurs.          Central Connecticut State       Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Felsberg Invitational

Feb. 26                Fri.                Siena                                             Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 26                Fri.                Central Connecticut State       Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 27                Sat.               Central Connecticut State       Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 27                Sat.               Delaware                                      Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

Feb. 28                Sun.              Siena                                             Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

UF Invitational

March 4               Fri.                vs. Illinois State                            Gainesville, Fla.                                               TBA

March 4               Fri.                at Florida                                       Gainesville, Fla.                                               TBA

March 5               Sat.               at Florida                                       Gainesville, Fla.                                               TBA

March 5               Sat.               vs. Florida A&M                            Gainesville, Fla.                                               TBA

March 6               Sun.              vs. South Alabama                      Gainesville, Fla.                                               TBA

March 8               Tues.            East Carolina                              Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

March 9               Wed.             Notre Dame (DH)                       Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

March 12            Sat.               Charlotte (DH)*                           Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

March 13            Sun.              Charlotte*                                     Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

March 15            Tues.            Rutgers (DH)                               Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

March 19             Sat.               at WKU (DH)*                               Bowling Green, Ky.                                         TBA

March 20             Sun.              at WKU*                                         Bowling Green, Ky.                                         TBA

March 25            Fri.                UTEP (DH)*                                  Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

March 26            Sat.               UTEP*                                            Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

April 2                  Sat.               at North Texas (DH)*                  Denton, Texas                                                  TBA

April 3                  Sun.              at North Texas*                            Denton, Texas                                                  TBA

April 9                  Sat.               Florida Atlantic (DH)*                Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

April 10                Sun.              Florida Atlantic                            Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

April 13                Wed.             at Bethune-Cookman (DH)       Daytona Beach, Fla.                                       TBA

April 16                Sat.               at UAB (DH)*                                Birmingham, Ala.                                            TBA

April 17                Sun.              at UAB*                                          Birmingham, Ala.                                            TBA

April 23                Sat.               at Florida Gulf Coast (DH)         Fort Myers, Fla.                                                TBA

April 24                Sun.              at Florida Gulf Coast                   Fort Myers, Fla.                                                TBA

April 30                Sat.               at Marshall (DH)*                         Huntington, W.Va.                                           TBA

May 1                   Sun.              at Marshall*                                  Huntington, W.Va.                                           TBA

May 7                   Sat.               Middle Tennessee (DH)*          Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

May 8                   Sun.              Middle Tennessee*                    Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium     TBA

May 12-14           Thurs-Sat.   C-USA Championship               Denton, Texas                                                  TBA

May 20-22           Fri.-Sun.       NCAA Regionals                         Campus Sites                                                  TBA

May 26-29           Thurs.-Sun. NCAA Super Regionals             Campus Sites                                                  TBA

June 2-8              Wed.-Sun.   NCAA WCWS                               Oklahoma City, Okla.                                      TBA

* - Conference USA game


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