April 10, 2015

172 FIU Athletes Make C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll

(Thought I posted this last night. Apparently, I only saved it. A face-down-on-the-keyboard mistake.)

A 3.0 GPA gets you on the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll, which 172 FIU athletes have done this year. FIU ranks eighth most among Conference USA's full membership schools. That's an improvement after 154 and tied for 12th last year.

The names are submitted to the conference by the schools.

Baseball (16): Brandon Cody, Charles Cormier, Cody Crouse, Ian Exposito, Julius Gaines, Evan Holland, David Lee, Spencer Levine, Dominic LoBrutto, Carlos Lopez, Andres Nunez, Mitchell Robinson, Austin Rodriguez, Jack Schaaf, Eduardo Silva, Zack Soria.

Men's Basketball (3): Larry Dennis (Huh? He transferred to a junior college at midseason), Kris Gulley, Hassan Hussein.

Women's Basketball (13): Jade Cheek, Jerica Coley (Say what? Everybody's happy she's still around campus doing graduate work, but how is she counting for this year? Was somebody just throwing names in there to see if C-USA was paying attemtion?), Marita Davydova, Arielle Durant (Uh, director of basketball oerations this year, not a player), Katrina Epnere, Aajah Hawkins, Amari Hawkins, Zsofia Labady, Tynia McKinzie (dismissed from the team at midseason), Taylor Shade, Nikolina Todorovic, Ciera Wheatley, Brianna Wright. 

Football (17): Chris Ayers, Richard Burrows, Christopher Cummins, Akil Dan-Fodio, Ricky Fernandez, Chris Flaig, Adrian Francois, Cody Hodgens, Yousif Khoury, Jose Laphitzondo, Fred Porter, Anthon Samuel, Donald Senat, Yohan Soares, Delmar Taylor, Scott Wade, Cory White.

Golf (8 -- the entire team): Coralia Arias, Sophie Godley, Carla Jane, Katerina Krasnova, Meghan MacLaren, Camila Serrano, Ashley Shimmel, Jasmine Wade.

Sand Volleyball (9): Marina Boulanger, Anna Budinska, Morgan Crawley, Aren Cupp, Alexa Diaz, Alexandria Johnson, Giovanna Pasos, Darija Sataric, Tina Toghiyani.

Men's Soccer (10): Quentin Albrecht, Roberto Alterio, Luca Giovine, Marvin Hezel, Nicholas Midttun, Deshawon Nembhard, Nico Pasquariello, Adam Sibiski, Robin Spiegel, Jesse Wear.

Women's soccer (16): Shelby Bowden, Ellen Crist, Marie Egan, Cyan Jean-Baptiste, Talia McMurtrie, Ryann Ramirez, Nikki Rios, Alyssa Robinson, Ashleigh Shim, Marlena Stablein, Sara Stewart, Nevana Stojakovic, Pat Tomanon, Johanna Volz, Madlen Weinhardt, Ashley Westberry.

Softball 10): Isabelle Barnes, Rachel Dwyer, Krystal Garcia, Samantha Green, Dominique Grossman, Jessica Hallett, Corinne Jenkins, Marisa McGregor, Michaela Mills, Rebekah Sanchez.

Swimming & Diving (20): Klara Andersson, Sabrina Beaupre (she's been off the eligibility clock since the 2014 NCAA's), Jessica Chadwick, Jenny Deist, Nadia Farrugia, Valerie Inghels, Anna Jonsson, Lily Kaufmann, Maria Lopez, Jean Madison, Alex Mayhew, Melissa Moreno, Sonia Perez-Arau (oh, come on! the only C-USA swimmer to score at the 2014 NCAAs. Lazy times in ), Valeriia Popova, Rebecca Quensel, Silvia Scalia, Alaina Smith, Kayley Tepe, Courtney VanderSchaaf, Becky Wilde. 

Tennis (6): Giulietta Boha, Valentina Briceno, Nerma Caluk, Yana Koroleva, Nina Nagode, Carlotta Orlando.

Men's cross country (7): Brandon Ballard, Ronny Greenup, Andres Magliano, Eli Monzon, Leonel Pozo, Daniel Puentes, Orlando Rodriquez.

Women's cross country (4): Adrienne Gerzeny, Katarina Rodriguez, Brittany Wasserbeck, Desmika White.

Men's track (10): Dylan Cook, Pablo Espitia, Garry Louima, Tyshawn Lytle, Desmond McGill, Luka Mustafic, Daniel Neptune, Wisdom Offor, Julian Santiago, Traivon Smith.

Women's track 12): Brittany Corbett, Phillicia Fluellen, Chandra Fulwood, Adrienne Gerzeny, Chelsea Gobourne, Anesha Gordon, Anna Heinzman, Tiffani Hernandez, Sharniece King, Symone Lindsay, Celine Murton, Lexis Shields.

Volleyball: Lucia Castro, Tia Clay, Maria Coukolis, Briana Gogins, Gloria Levorin, Anja Licka, Natalie Martinez, Kristine Monforte, Kari Peterson, Jovanna Santamaria, Anabela Sataric, Tina Toghiyani (wait, she already got counted back at sand volleyball...)




February 13, 2010

Ponce Can Recruit; More Baseball

TAMPA -- Apparently, FIU baseball brings out a much more spirited debate than some people thought. The 2010 season is just 6 days away when the Panthers open next Friday, Feb. 19 against Maryland at University Park Stadium.

Ponce Went out to another intrasquad game the other day and this time caught four innings. Since FIU baseball brings out such passion in some of our readers, there will be a comprehensive FIU baseball blog on the next post. And you can look for the Herald's FIU baseball preview in next Thursday's paper.

But for now will let you catch your breath from the last post whether you were talking baseball or talking about which school has the better apple pie in their food court.

Yours truly is in Tampa for the weekend working a soccer tournament, but here's a little mix of FIU sports stuff going on in case you missed it.

Three members of the FIU football coaching staff are among some of the candidates being considered for the open running backs coaching job. Among them are special teams coach Apollo Wright, who coached Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook at Villanova. Grad assistant Dennis Smith and director of football ops Juan Navarro.

Congratulations to FIU receivers coach Frank Ponce (above left making a "W" sign for Willis Wright, thanks to Alex J. Hernandez photo) who was named by ESPN as the top recruiter in the Sun Belt for securing ManChild to join the Panthers. Former FIU OC James Coley, now the OC at Florida State, was named the ACC's top recruiter. Click on this link: Top College Football Recruiters  for more info and notice that it looks like ESPN used a mug shot of Coley wearing an FIU coach's shirt.


A pretty inaccurate article in the new times about FIU hoops. Hey, we're in America and you can express whatever opinion you want, but when you use facts (i.e.: actual numbers and actual people that said certain things -- "Isiah Thompson") at least get those right in a story.

PG responded to the article on Friday and here is a short story that is expected to run in the Herald atIt some point:

   FIU athletic director Pete Garcia fired back at a recent New Times article on FIU basketball.

   Garcia noted several inaccuracies about the story which chronicles Golden Panthers coach Isiah Thomas’s first season and the program’s ticket sales.

   Among some of the misinformation from the article that has Garcia perturbed is FIU basketball’s average attendance numbers.

   Garcia is also upset about the article’s writer misidentifying FIU President Mark Rosenberg as the person to wrongfully introduce Thomas at the coach’s hiring news conference.

   Former FIU provost Ronald Berkman, now the president at Cleveland State University, introduced Thomas as “Isiah Thompson” at the April 15, 2009 news conference.

   Rosenberg was not working at FIU at the time. Since the Times article was published Wednesday, the error was corrected to Berkman mis-introducing Thomas.

   “This is a classic example of irresponsible and sloppy journalism from someone who uses inaccurate numbers and inaccurately quotes President Rosenberg with introducing Isiah Thomas at his hiring press conference which he never did,” Garcia said. “This is the end result and it’s unfortunate, because the quality of journalism in South Florida is among the best in the nation and this one story won’t ruin the good journalism that takes place in South Florida on a daily basis.”

   The Times article states “. . . the basketball team has averaged a paltry 120 attendees per home game this season. The arena seats 6,000.”

   U.S. Century Bank Arena, which seats 5,000, has averaged 1,163 fans per FIU basketball game this season, according to figures FIU ticket operations manager Jeremy Lamb provided the Miami Herald.

   Lamb added it’s an increase from the 2008-09 FIU basketball season’s average attendance of 487 fans per game. Lamb said FIU has also sold 46 of 50 courtside seats added to the arena this season.

   The Panthers are 7-20 this season, but Thomas has signed the No. 17 2010 recruiting class in the nation.




Catch your breath yet about FIU baseball? Apple pie? (Cracker Barrel has a pretty good one). Ok, then.


FIU was picked to finish third in the Sun Belt by the conference's coaches on Friday. Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky were picked ahead of the Panthers. But don't take the SBC coaches word for it, you decide in our poll question below.


Jobe FIU first baseman Tim Jobe (left, thanks AJH photo and for Zeke photo above, right) was selected to the preseason All-Sun Belt team. Jobe was a member of the 2009 All-Sun Belt team.


Several publications and websites are picking FIU baseball to finish near the top of the conference, but I think you have to wait and see how the Panthers starting rotation and bullpen shake out.


FIU is going to miss projected No. 2 starter Logan Dodds (academically ineligible). Dodds -- like Scott Rembisz 2 years ago -- was the Florida JUCO Pitcher of the Year last season at Miami Dade College. R.J. Fondon, Corey Polizzano and Daniel DeSimone are going to have to step up.


A bigger concern could be the Panthers bullpen. It could be a closer-by-committee until someone nails down the job. Among the candidates are freshman Alberto Cardenas, last season's part-time closer Jorge Marban and third baseman/pitcher Garrett Wittels.


Eric Berkowitz (a.k.a "Harry Potter" as his teammates call him, because of the Potter-like glasses he wears) is likely moving to middle relief where he had some pretty good outings last season.




Aaapaw Will have a Happy Blog Hour 2-for-1 special in LIVE BLOGS  next week. Log on to theHoops GPP on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7:54 p.m. for a LIVE BASKETBALL BLOG of FIU/Hooters basketball when the Hooters from Del Boca Vista Phase 2 visit the Bank for game two of the Pat Riley Classic this season.


Then log on to the GPP the next night, Feb. 19 at 6:56 p.m. for a LIVE Base BLOG BASEBALL of FIU's season opener against Maryland from the House that Mike Lowell Built. Yes, I know she is one of the FIU Witches.




Gooch7: Pete: Who will the closer be? Any input about him?


PP: Hope the two paragraphs above at the end of the baseball section of this post answers your question.


Yandro: Pete, thanks for the update. Do we know who the starters will be come Opening Night, or are positions still up in the air with a week left?


PP: Competition still going on at several positions. Will have TT come on here next week and give you an update straight from the head coach's mouth.


Wes Kendall: Hey Pete, I've heard rumors that Rosenberg is rebranding FIU, which might again lead to another logo change/color change. Have you heard anything?


PP: Nothing to it. The university changed their logo to block letters not too long ago and the athletic program went to block letters with a more fierce Panther just 2 years ago.



February 10, 2010

Baseball Intrasquad

Just 9 days from FIU baseball opening night vs. Maryland at University Park Stadium (Feb. 19, 7 p.m.). Went to catch a couple innings of the Panthers intrasquad game last Saturday morning before FIU basketball tipped off against North Texas later that afternoon.

Here are some observations from the 12 outs I got to see:

Apparently, the Dave Feeley FIU Fitness strength training program is working pretty well.

The starting pitcher for the team to take the field first looked familiar, because of his whipping throwing Cp motion that I remember seeing from freshman Aaron Arboleya last season.

But I was not sure it was Arboleya, because he did not throw as hard as this guy that was on the mound last Saturday. So just to make sure who this pitcher was I asked pitching coach Sean Allen. Well, it was Arboleya, who increased his velocity on his fastball from 86-88 last season to 92-93 mph this season.

Arboleya got help from his defense right from the first batter he faced. Lammar Guy hit a sinking line drive to left where freshman T.J. Shantz dove forward and made the catch.

The lone hit off AA that inning came on a double that Mike Martinez roped down the left field line. AA got highly-touted freshman Jabari Henry to line out to center to end the inning.

The starting pitcher for the other team was senior lefty Corey Polizzano (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo).

Junior Arrojo led off the bottom of the first with a perfectly placed bunt single just to the left of the first base line. After a sac bunt by Pablo Bermudez, Raiko Alfonso (left, thanks AJH photo) singled home Jr.

Ra Freshman first baseman Rudy Flores then singled to right. Then outfielder Yoandy Barroso, a Miami Dade College transfer, got hit by a pitch, but it's an intrasquad game so he stayed in the box for another at-bat. CP managed to strike out YB to end the inning.

Arboleya came back with another scoreless inning. Michael Vargas led off with a walk and stole second. But AA got the next 3 batters to end the inning.

Polizzano threw a bagel in his second inning also. CP struck out the first batter. The lefty walked the next batter, but picked him off on the first throw. CP got the next batter to pop out to 3rd base.

Will be heading out to another intrasquad at some point this week to have some more for you and will have Turtle Thomas drop by to talk about the upcoming season.

February 05, 2010

L.A. Story

Iit One rumor circulating through the worldwide web has the Los Angeles Clippers contacting Isiah Thomas to be their coach, general manager and president. That from foxsports.

But ESPN has contacted two senior executives from the Clippers who have denied the foxsports report saying: "I can't deny it more strongly," one of the executives said. "We haven't called him and we're not planning on calling him." The other executive called the story "ridiculous" and "irresponsible."

I placed calls to Isiah and PG tonight and both have not returned those calls. However, we should have a clearer picture on Saturday, because FIU hosts North Texas.

Will have A LIVE HOOPS BLOG during the game tommorrow. Tip-off is expected to be about 2:30 p.m. -- 30 minutes after the women's game. LIVE BLOGGING starts at 1:56 p.m.

Whether this rumor about IT has any legs to it we'll soon find out. But get used to coaching rumors with IT, because right now FIU is not in a po$$$$ition to compete with pro teams and more established college programs when those teams come calling for FIU coaches. FIU does not have enough boo$ter$ or enough alumni invested in the athletic program yet to compete with more established colleges.

Maryland was interested in Turtle last season and although the Terps could offer more money, the Terps baseball facilities and the location of the school to lure top baseball talent are not as good as what FIU has to offer -- FIU does not have a trailer for the baseball coach's office and baseball is played year round down here with no snow to worry about.

In this case, if the Clippers rumor has any truth to it, you have to believe it is NOT about money for IT, but rather a chance to get back in the NBA. So, if that's the case IT will have to decide if he wants to go back to the NBA or continue building an NCAA basketball program that could be like a Memphis one day -- without the John Calipari-NCAA violations (good for Bobby Knight).

Although, any of the other 29 NBA teams are better to work for than the Clippers, because they have the cheapest owner in pro sports in Donald Sterling. Try getting marquee free agents to sign with the Clippers -- Sterling won't pay for them. Sterling has been the main reason the Clippers have been the laughingstock of the NBA forever. He's like the Marlins owner -- at least until Major League Baseball came out and ordered the Marlins to spend money on players.  


Aaapaw LIVE HOOPS BLOG starts at 1:56 p.m. on Saturday for FIU/North Texas game.


Alonzo: Pete, Is Man-Child Wright academically eligible?

PP: Yes, he is.

Mike: Pete please evaluate our spring 2-man depth chart. When you Look back at our 3 last recruiting classes how are they shaping up? 1. how many Spring 2010 starters came from each class, from walk-ons, and from transfers? 2. how many Spring 2010 players on the 2-man depth chart came from each class, from walk-ons, and from transfers?

PP: Will have an updated football roster soon. Your idea sounds like a good blog post. Will get to it in the downtime we have until baseball season and spring football start.

Miri: Pete, we recorded the Early Show yesterday morning on the DVR, and we did not see the Dazzlers at all. We recorded this morning's show also just in case they showed up. What happened to them?

PP: CBS did not want the Dazzlers wearing their uniforms, but other outfits and the squad passed on the show.


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