Isiah Thomas and Florida International Can Benefit From Each Other

Paul SeaverCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2010

Isiah Thomas has completed his first year as the head coach at Florida International.

Last season, the Golden Panthers went 7-25 overall and 4-14 in the Sun Belt Conference and in the past week or two, Thomas was rumored to be interested in also helping out the New York Knicks.

However, it has become clear that FIU is the immediate future for Thomas. His consulting gig with the Knicks is all but dust in the wind now, which in my opinion, is good news for both Thomas and Florida International.

Despite a hardly-successful first season at the collegiate level, Isiah Thomas might just have something in the works if he could ever "fully" commit to FIU.

The Golden Panthers will return each of its top three scorers, including leading scorer, Marvin Roberts, who led the way with just under 16 points per contest.

Alongside Roberts, Antoine Watson, and Phil Gary also return, all three of whom will be entering their senior seasons.

However, Thomas has earned some solid commitments in his first year as head coach. Incoming freshman Dominique Ferguson is the No. 46-ranked prospect in the nation according to Ferguson, who originally committed to Kentucky under former head coach Billy Gillispie, has found a new home with Thomas.

Ferguson, who potentially has the talent to become a star in the Sun Belt immediately, is also joined by three-star point guard Phil Taylor, both of whom should be able to come in and aid the Golden Panthers this season.

Moving onto 2011, Isiah Thomas has once again, earned commitments from recruits who may not have necessarily considered Florida International without Thomas being in charge.

6-foot-10 center Chris Coleman and 6-foot-9 forward Yvan Ngirabakunzi have both verbally committed to playing for Florida International in 2011. Ngirabakunzi is rated as the No. 38 power forward in the class of 2011 by, and also considered Miami (FL). Coleman, on the other hand, is the No. 11-rated center in the country and also received interest from Big East powers, Syracuse, Connecticut, and West Virginia.

With all his NBA connections, Thomas can bring in talent, and success could potentially follow for a program that has made only once NCAA Tournament appearance (1995). With Thomas at the helm, FIU has a chance to improve.

The question remains, however, is Isiah Thomas' stint at FIU only a temporary one and is it inevitable he will once again have a job in the NBA?


This article was also featured on Collegiate Hoops.

*Photo: Isiah Thomas *Credit: