What do we know about the FIU Golden Panthers?

Other than the fact that Isiah Thomas is the new coach -- not much. But let's find out a little more:


> FIU is a public university in Miami and home to an enrollment that exceeds 38,000 students, which places it in the Top 25 for largest universities in the nation.

> The school colors are blue and gold and the mascot is named Roary the Panther.

> The Golden Panthers compete in the Sun Belt Conference, which includes America's favorite upset special, Western Kentucky -- a team that has won the conference tournament and won at least one game in the NCAA tournament in the last two years.

> Notable alumni include Raja Bell and Carlos Arroyo (and Mike Lowell of the Red Sox).

> The last time FIU appeared in the NCAA tournament was in 1995, when the Golden Panthers fell to eventual champion UCLA in the first round. FIU qualified for the tournament by winning the Trans America Athletic Conference. It relocated to the Sun Belt in 1998.

> This past season, FIU (13-20) fell to top-seeded Western Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt tournament.

> FIU "reassigned" former head coach Sergio Rouco to another position within the FIU Athletic Department. Hey, the same thing happened to Isiah! Rouco held a 55-94 record (.369) in five years at the helm. Thomas, meanwhile, went 56-108 while leading the Knicks (.341) in two seasons.

> The Golden Panthers have not had a winning season since their 1999-2000 campaign, in which they finished 16-14.

> FIU will graduate its two leading scorers from last season. Alex Galindo led the team with 13.3 ppg while Russell Hicks was the second-leading scorer at 12.5 ppg. Galindo also led the Golden Panthers with 6.7 rebounds per game.

> Isiah Thomas already makes an appearance on FIU's Web site under the Coaching Staff link. There's no bio yet, which is understandable. But once they decide to add one -- what do you write?

Comments (7)

Expect to see most of the fans at FIU wearing their new FIRE ISIAH UNIVERSITY t-shirts when the Golden Panthers take the court!!!

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