FIU Basketball Begins Season With Second Annual Hoopla

Christopher Rodriguez/Contributing Writer

To kick-off the season FIU basketball held the second annual Hoopla. The event took place at the FIU wellness and recreation center basketball courts and featured a three-point and dunk contest.

The men and women’s roster, along with some FIU students, showcased their talents as they hope to begin the season on a good note.

Looking back on the women’s basketball season, the Panthers had a record of 24 losses with only five wins. Their field goal percentage was abysmal and coach Malcom is learning from this and is focusing on the ability to score more consistently than last season.

 “We improved on the ability to put the ball in the basket which we struggled with a lot last year” said Malcom.

Along with scoring, Coach Malcom talked about their work at the defensive end and how they can improve on their defense from last season. 

“We are a lot longer and quicker where we are going to be able to mix some things up against our opponent,” said Malcom.

In men’s basketball, the mistakes were behind the three-point line shooting only 30 percent from three. 

Coach Ballard said they addressed shooting in recruiting and skill development. He said that coming into this season he is excited about hopefully shooting the ball better from the field.

 Last season, men’s basketball was successful stealing the ball and forcing around 10 turnovers per game, but he said, “They want to be able to get more stops in other ways.” said Ballard.

To start the season, both teams will be facing teams that made an appearance in last year’s NCAA tournament.

Women’s basketball will face off against Florida Gulf Coast University at home. FGCU made an appearance in the 2019 NCAA women’s tournament almost upsetting the University of Miami. “We know what they are capable of and what the tradition of their program holds, but you know we have business that we want to try to take care of as well,” said Malcom

Men’s basketball will play at Mississippi State, where last season Mississippi State was ranked number five in the East region of the NCAA 2019 men’s tournament. Coach Ballard is prepared for a tough matchup, considering that they will face off against an SEC team and Hall of Fame coach Ben Howland.

Both teams will open up their season Nov. 5th at 7 p.m. with women opening up at home against FGCU  with men’s going up north to face Mississipi State. 

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