FIU players walk out of banquet to protest Isiah Thomas’ firing


Isiah Thomas’ top recruit wasn’t happy about Florida International firing the coach. Neither are Thomas’ former players.

Team members who attended an FIU athletic banquet walked out of the event as a protest. They waited just before the season’s award winners were to be announced, too.

The event didn’t stop, though you can hear at least one person in the video ask “What’s going on?”

Leading scorer DeJuan Wright says the team wasn’t simply protesting Thomas’ firing, but the dismissal of the entire coaching staff. Wright called them “mentors,” according to the AP.

That was echoed by freshman guard Tanner Woziak.

“We didn’t want to disrespect the program at all or anything,” Wozniak told The Dagger. “We just wanted to show our support for Isiah Thomas. He was a great coach, a mentor and a father figure to us. He didn’t have a winning record, but you can’t build a program in three years.”

Thomas was 26-65 in three seasons and 8-21 last year. The odds of Thomas turning FIU into a hoops power were always remote, but it was slightly surprising to see the school fire him after just three seasons given the attention he’d brought to the program.

Could he coach? No. But it’ll be interesting to see if it can replace him with anyone who can OR match Thomas’ recruiting efforts.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Arizona’s Tarczewski out 4-to-6 weeks

Kaleb Tarczewski, Sean Miller
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Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.

The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.

Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.

London Perrantes out for Virginia against Ohio State

London Perrantes
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Virginia guard London Perrantes will miss Tuesday night’s game against Ohio State after having an appendectomy on Sunday (Nov. 29).

In a release from the school, it isn’t known if Perrantes will be able to play on Saturday against William & Mary.

The point guard was averaging 10 points, 5.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game this season. Without an experienced guard like Perrantes in the lineup, Virginia could see their better-looking offense slow down a bit. Malcolm Brogdon will probably carry more of the burden on offense and it will be interesting to see who head coach Tony Bennett asks to step up in place of Perrantes.