By Steven Melendez/Staff Writer
As the new season for the FIU Panthers basketball team gets closer, head coach Anthony Evans is looking to take this program in a new direction. After losing five seniors, including their top four scorers, coach Evans is looking for answers.
The Panthers finished at (7-24) overall record and with a Conference USA worst (3-15) record. With four key players from last season graduating, coach Evans discussed that the graduating players from last season would not play an effect on the team’s future success.
“As a team we will compete every time we step out on that floor”, said Evans. “There will be an initial learning curve because we have eight new guys coming in, but this won’t stop the team to compete at a high level”.
With recruiting still in progress for the Panthers, coach Evans discussed how he is continuing to look for the right players that can elevate the program going forward.
“Currently we’re trying to recruit transfer players within the C-USA, however specifically my staff and I are focusing on long athletes as well as players who can shoot the ball well”, said Evans. “We definitely feel like that would help us offensively”.
A boost to the offense would do wonders for the Panthers, having ranked in the bottom half of the C-USA in points per game since joining the conference in the 2013-14 season. Last season, the Panthers averaged 70.3 PPG, while they allowed their opponent to average 73.6 PPG against them.
With losing many of the team’s key players from last year, coach Evans expects his returning players to fill the missing holes on the team and make an example for incoming players.
“I think Eric Lockett, Hassan Hussein and Michael Douglas are just a few names that I believe that can make an impact for next season”, expressed Evans. “Those guys had a chance to play last year, so they have some experience”. “We’ll be looking for them to carry majority of the load until the rest of the guys get their feet under them”.
A direction looks to be set for young team and the young Panthers seem to be taking it in stride. With a new team, head coach Anthony Evans looks for his players to bring a willingness to compete every night on the court.