Men's Basketball Set For First Official Practice
Friday, October 15, 2010
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The 2010-11 FGCU men’s basketball season will officially get underway on Friday night in Alico Arena when the Eagles take the floor for their first practice of the season. Out of a roster of 16 student-athletes, seven will take the court in the blue and green for the first time.

Predicted to finish 9th and 10th, respectively, in the Atlantic Sun preseason coaches’ and media polls, FGCU’s first practice will begin at 8 p.m. or immediately after the women’s volleyball game against Kennesaw State.

“It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in collegiate athletics, the start of the season is always exciting,” said head coach Dave Balza.

The 2010-11 version of the Eagles welcome back nine players, including their top two leading scorers from last season in redshirt sophomore Anthony Banks (12.9 ppg) and senior Reed Baker (11.4 ppg). Banks led the team in scoring and rebounding (6.6) in 2009-10 en route to being named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshmen team. Earlier in the week, Banks became the first player in program history to be named preseason All-Conference by the league head coaches.

FGCU also ushers in an incoming class that was ranked in the top three of the Atlantic Sun by Hoop Scoop Online for the second consecutive year. This year’s seven-member class was ranked second in the 11-team A-Sun Conference despite Ole Miss transfer Kevin Cantinol not being included in the rankings. The 6-foot-9, 253-lb. forward is eligible to play after the first semester of classes.

Fans will get a chance to get their first look at the 2010-11 FGCU men’s and women’s basketball teams on Monday, Oct. 18 during the “Preseason Party” at Alico Arena. Both teams will hold open scrimmages and be involved a three-point shooting contest. The men will also participate in a dunk contest.

The event, which is free to the public, will begin at 5 p.m. with dinner provided by Carrabba’s Italian Grill in the Alico Arena VIP Suite for just $10. During the dinner, coaches and players from both teams will mingle with fans. To RSVP for the dinner, please contact Audrey Campbell at acampbell@fgcu.edu or (239) 590-7107.

The entire event will run in conjunction with a "Select a Seat Night" where all available seats or seat upgrades for the upcoming season will be marked. Fans will get the chance to test out different seats during all the action and those who purchase season tickets during the event will get put in a special drawing.

Single-game tickets can be purchased through the FGCU Ticket Office in Alico Arena either in person or by phone at (239) 590-7145 beginning on Monday, Nov. 1. Tickets are also available at www.FGCUathletics.com/tickets.