FIU Panthers men's basketball
The FIU Panthers men's basketball team represents Florida International University in Miami, Florida, United States. The school's team currently competes in Conference USA. They are led by head coach Jeremy Ballard and play their home games at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.
|University||Florida International University|
|Head coach||Jeremy Ballard (1st season)|
|Location||University Park, Florida|
|Arena||Ocean Bank Convocation Center |
|Colors||Blue and Gold|
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|Conference Tournament Champions|
|Conference Regular Season Champions|
Richard Pitino eraEdit
On April 15, 2012, Richard Pitino left his position as the associate head coach at the University of Louisville to become the head coach at FIU. With only six players remaining from the previous season, and not all of them on scholarship, Pitino cobbled together a team and coached a high-pressure defense that finished eighth in the nation in steals. He was able to compile an 18-14 record (11-9 in the Sun Belt conference) in his only season as head coach. His FIU team set a record for the best conference record in school history. Additionally, FIU reached the Sun Belt Tournament Championship game as a four seed, before falling to Western Kentucky, 65-63.
Anthony Evans eraEdit
On April 2, 2018, FIU fired Evans after 5 seasons, in which the Panthers finished 65-94 with no postseason tournament appearances.
Jeremy Ballard eraEdit
NCAA Tournament appearancesEdit
FIU men's basketball team had its lone NCAA Tournament appearance in the 1995 tournament under then Head Coach Bob Weltlich, who had already announced his resignation following the season. FIU won the TAAC Basketball Tournament and in doing so earned an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. FIU was seeded #16 and played the #1 seeded UCLA Bruins in the first round of the West Regional, which was played at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise. The Panthers lost the game to the Bruins by the score of 92–56, being the first tournament win in UCLA's successful run to the National Championship that year. Weltlich notably said during the post-game interview, "If anyone knows of any openings out there, my number is...".
The "Sunblazers" men’s basketball team was also featured in a second-season episode of Miami Vice entitled "The Fix".
NCAA Tournament resultsEdit
The Panthers have appeared in one NCAA Tournament. Their record is 0–1.
|1995||First Round||UCLA||L 56–92|
The Panthers have appeared in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) one time. Their record is 1-1.
|W 87-81 |
Trans America Athletic Conference Tournament Champions (1): 1995
Trans America Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions (1): 1992–93
FIU basketball alumni in professional leaguesEdit
|Name||Years at FIU||Team|
|Carlos Arroyo||1998–2001||Boston Celtics|
|Raja Bell||1999–2000||Utah Jazz|
|Clyde Corley||1982–1983||Dallas Mavericks|
- "Logo & Colors - Brand Florida International University". Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- "FIU parts ways with coach Evans". gwinettprepsports.com. April 2, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
- Epps Jr., Wayne (April 20, 2018). "VCU associate head coach Jeremy Ballard headed to Florida International". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved April 20, 2018.