Thursday, January 31, 2013
How Holton helps FIU
By Matt Giles
Florida International has been one of the nation's biggest surprises this season. While Richard Pitino had the pedigree and coaching background, it was unknown how he would succeed in his first year as a head coach, but FIU has managed to lead the Sun Belt in defensive turnover percentage, forcing opponents to give the ball away on 26 percent of their possessions, and are allowing just over one point per possession -- pretty impressive considering Pitino and his staff had to install completely new defensive techniques.
However, even though the Golden Panthers' defense has been somewhat stifling, Pitino believes it could be stingier, and after Louisville played FIU during non-conference play, Rick Pitino mentioned when FIU has more depth at both the power forward and center positions, FIU should become more stronger defensively. Luckily for Pitino and his staff, that could happen next season. Rakeem Buckles, who decided to transfer from Louisville, is sitting out the 2013 season at the Sun Belt school and will eligible in 2013-14, and now word is out that former Rhode Island big Jonathan Holton, a native of the state, will also play for FIU next season (he is currently playing in the junior college ranks).