FIU goes down fighting against Tar Heels

November 10, 2009|By From Sun news services

Isiah Thomas stood on the sideline and ordered his undersized Florida International team to spread the court against the defending national champions.

That's when North Carolina's Deon Thompson walked over and teasingly asked why Thomas had to make the bigger Tar Heels defend so much on the perimeter.

"He just started laughing and said, 'Man, that's the only thing I can do,' " Thompson said.

Yes, the Tar Heels (1-0) were too talented and just too big in their 88-72 victory over the Golden Panthers (0-1) in the 2K Sports Classic on Monday night in Chapel Hill. And it was a reminder that Thomas could be in for a frustrating debut season with the long-struggling FIU program.

But for Thomas, it was a start.

"The thing I liked about our team was, we fought," Thomas said. "The first thing you've got to do in order to win is you've got to learn how to fight."

Syracuse 75, Albany 43: Jim Boeheim became the eighth Division I coach to reach 800 wins with the latest milestone a victory over the visiting Great Danes in the 2K Sports Classic.

Boeheim, 65, got his first victory, 75-48 over Harvard, on Nov. 26, 1976.

Bob Knight leads the career list with 902 victories. Only Mike Krzyzewski (833), Jim Calhoun (804) and Boeheim are active among the eight who have reached 800.

Arinze Onuaku scored 14 points and Scoop Jardine and Wes Johnson each had 12 for Syracuse (1-0) in the tournament that benefits Coaches vs. Cancer.

Boeheim, 65, established an NCAA Division I record in 2008-09 with his 31st season with at least 20 wins.

In the annals of Division I, only Jim Phelan at Mount St. Mary's (1,354) and Dean Smith at North Carolina (1,133) have coached more games at one school. And only Smith (879), Kentucky's Adolph Rupp (876) and Phelan (830) have more wins at one school.

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