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The Night Before the Macy's Parade

What I found interesting in FIU's Thanksgiving Eve 80-72 win over Long Island University-Brooklyn, in which the Panthers came home eased up almost into second place, wasn't the 24 points that represented FIU's halftime lead or Donte McGill's game-high scoring; or the 14 second half points scored by former FIU forward Jerome Frink; or even FIU men's hoop coach Anthony Evans succinct summation of duality in the Thanksgiving Eve win.

"Defend," Evans said. "We held them to 29 percent from the field (in the first half). They hit four free throws. In the second half, they scored 50 points. Tale of two halves."

But what I found interesting was this from Evans:

"We spent the whole preseason working on offense. I thought that was something we needed to improve going into this year. We're always going to be a good defensive team because I'm a defensive-minded coach. We worked on shooting. We worked on skill development. We worked on timing of our offense, things of that nature, in the preseason also in the summer so we can be better once the season started."

Also interesting was that 6-10 Adrian Diaz played all of five minutes in the first half as FIU built that massive halftime lead. Cameron Smith handled the inside defense well, blocking two shots and altering a couple of others. McGill threw in 16 points, including six of seven from the line, previously a Panthers problem. Eric Nottage went three for three from three, yelling and making joyful noises all along the way.





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