Isiah Thomas adjusting to life at FIU

November 25, 2009

Isiah Thomas is adjusting to what starting over really means at Florida International.

For tipoff at FIU's most recent home game, 11 people were in the student section near the Golden Panthers' bench, three of whom forgot to stand until midway through the national anthem. All but four of the 48 courtside premium seats were empty and in the gym's highest section, security guards outnumbered fans 2-0.

The NBA, this most assuredly is not.

"For the most part, I'm learning every day," Thomas said.

Just about everything about Thomas' inaugural season at FIU will be a learning process, right down to the guy in the stands who spent most of Monday night's game against Murray State over-excitedly visiting small pockets of fans, showing them how to properly stomp on the bleachers and taunt opposing foul shooters.

Unlike the New York Knicks fans at Madison Square Garden, at least they're screaming for Thomas at FIU instead of at him.

An 84-71 loss to Murray State dropped FIU to 2-5 on the season, Thomas' first at the school. If nothing else, Thomas has found "glimmers of hope," he said.

"The college kids, they don't have as much talent, you know, as an NBA player has. But they have heart," Thomas said. "I mean, these guys fight. They give you everything that you could possibly want.."

• Ohio State sophomore guard Walter Offutt has decided to leave the program and will seek a transfer to another school.

AP

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