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GAME PREVIEW: FGCU Heads Across State to Take On Miami
Monday, November 21, 2011
Varidel is coming off a season-high 20-point performance at SMU (Photo by Keith Robinson).
Varidel is coming off a season-high 20-point performance at SMU (Photo by Keith Robinson).
Florida Gulf Coast (2-3)
at
Miami (4-0)
11/22/2011 | BankUnited Center | Coral Gables, Fla. | Attendance: 3316
1st2ndFinal
Florida Gulf Coast242650
Miami421860
Stats at a GlanceFGCUUM
FG Percentage.408 (20-49) .321 (18-56)
3P FG Percentage.200 (3-15) .259 (7-27)
FT Percentage.636 (7-11) .739 (17-23)
Offensive Rebounds912
Defensive Rebounds2824
Total Rebounds3736
Turnovers177
Steals17
Bench Points1617
Statistical LeadersFGCUUM
PointsBROWN - 19
Malcolm Grant - 21
ReboundsBROWN - 11
Shane Larkin - 6
AssistsCOMER - 4
Durand Scott - 5
StealsTHOMPSON - 1
Durand Scott - 2
Malcolm Grant - 2
Garrius Adams - 2
BlocksFIELER - 2
Kenny Kadji - 2

GAMEDAY CENTRAL
FGCU (2-2) AT Miami (3-0)
DATE: Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011
CITY: Miami, Fla.
SITE: BankUnited Center (7,200)
TIP-OFF: 7:00 p.m. ET
TELEVISION: Fox Sports South HD
CHANNEL: Direct TV - 646/Comcast - 401
TALENT: Mike Hogewood (P-B-P)
Dan Bonner (Analyst)
LIVE AUDIO: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
TALENT: Gary Sharp (P-B-P)
LIVE STATS: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
SERIES: Miami leads, 2-0
LAST MEETING: Nov. 27, 2010 - Miami 87, @FGCU 75

AT A GLANCE
Playing its third game in six days, FGCU will look to rebound from its second one-point loss of the season when it heads across the state to take on ACC foe Miami on Tuesday night. The game will be shown live in HD on Fox Sports South with Mike Hogewood and Dan Bonner on the call. The Eagles suffered their second heartbreaking one-point loss in Dallas last Saturday, falling at SMU 65-64 after losing the season opener at TCU by a 73-72 margin. After spending the last five years as an assistant at Florida State, first-year head coach ANDY ENFIELD will face a pair of familiar ACC foes over the next two games. Miami is tied for the ACC lead in three-pointers per game (8.0), while FGCU's 8.0 threes rank third in the Atlantic Sun.

ALL-TIME SERIES
Miami has taken both meetings of the home-and-home series over the last two years. Last season, the Hurricanes used a combined 35 points and 13 assists from the backcourt tandem of Durand Scott and Malcolm Grant to hold off a late FGCU push for the 87-75 win at Alico Arena. Miami has gotten off to a fast start in both meetings, out-scoring the Eagles 89-62 in the first half. Grant's 10 threes over the two games highlight a combined 26 three-pointers by the Hurricanes in the two meetings.

BALANCED ATTACK
Led by the freshmen backcourt duo of BRETT COMER and BERNARD THOMPSON, four different players are averaging double figure points on the young season. Comer's 12.5 per game clip is just ahead of Thompson at 12.3, as they rank ninth and 12th in the A-Sun, respectively. Six different players have scored double-digit points in a game, while a different player has led the team in scoring each game.

SCOUTING THE HURRICANES
Led by one of the best backcourt duos in the nation in Senior Malcolm Grant and junior Durand Scott, Miami is off to a 3-0 start under first-year head coach Jim Larranaga. Larranaga was named the program's 12th head coach on April 22 after leading George Mason to five NCAA Tournaments, including the 2006 Final Four, over the previous 14 seasons. Larranaga has rolled out the same starting lineup his first three games as Miami head coach - all three resulting in home wins at BankUnited Center. Grant and Scott have reached double figures in all three games, combining to average over 30.3 of Miami's 72 points per contest. Coming off a terrific junior campaign, Grant was selected to the preseason ACC All-Conference team that consisted of just six players. Scott closed his sophomore season strong by being named to the ACC All-Tournament team. The outside play of Grant and Scott along with the inside presence of Florida transfer Kenny Kadji have helped make up for the loss of 6-foot-10 forward Reggie Johnson, who injured his right knee in the summer after withdrawing from the NBA Draft. Kadji and sophomore Erik Swoope lead the team in rebounding at 6.7 and 5.7 per game, respectively. Miami, who also lost 6-foot-10 Julian Gamble prior to the start of the season, was predicted to finish fifth in ACC. The Hurricanes have played a limited rotation over the first three games, using eight players in two games and nine in the other.

NEW COACH, NEW HOPES
On March 31st, the FGCU men’s basketball program got a new look for its 10th season in program history when ANDY ENFIELD was named head coach. Enfield, who spent the previous five years as an assistant with Florida State, is the second head coach in FGCU’s brief history. While at FSU, Enfield was a part of two teams that advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and back-to-back clubs that lead the NCAA in defensive field goal percentage.

AGAINST THE ACC
FGCU's only two meetings against an ACC team have both come against Miami. The Eagles' next game will also come on the road at an ACC foe, as they head north to face Maryland at the Comcast Center on Friday. The game can be seen on ESPN3.com.

INSTANT IMPACT
FGCU's freshmen class has wasted little time making an impact, accounting for 47 percent of the scoring, 37 percent of the rebounds and 67 percent of the assists. Point guard BRETT COMER and combo-guard BERNARD THOMPSON rank first and second on the team in scoring at 12.5 and 12.3 points, respectively. Comer is also the team's top assist man with 5.3 helpers per contest, a mark that ranks third in the A-Sun. Thompson's 12.3 points are joined by a team-best 6.0 rebounds per game. Thompson has scored in double figures four times, while Comer has the teams only double-double. The duo was joined in double figures by classmate FILIP CVJETICANIN in the win over Prairie View A&M. Cvjeticanin has made 4 of his 5 from three-point land in the last two games.

WE'LL PICK YOU UP
Through three games, FGCU owns a 119-82 advantage in bench points, good for a +9.3 margin per game. The bench has supplied a double figure scorer in all four games, including the team's leading scorer on three occasions. Last game at SMU, sophomore CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL poured in 20 points on 6-of-7 from three-point land, while junior SHERWOOD BROWN'S 19 points against Ave Maria give the bench the top two scoring efforts by an Eagle this season. On the flipside, Miami has gotten just 52 points from its bench.

SECOND HALF SURGE
Led by the play of freshman point guard BRETT COMER, FGCU has overcome a sluggish first half in three games by averaging 39.0 points over the final 20 minutes. Comer has been the catalyst to the second half turnaround, averaging 10.5 points over the span while passing out 14 assists that have led to 36 more points. As a team, FGCU is shooting a scalding 53 percent (57-107) in the second half, including 17-of-36 from three-point land. Eight of the 10 FGCU players who have taken a shot in the final 20 minutes are shooting 50 percent or better, while Comer has a hand in 50 percent of the points scored.

SHARP SHOOTING
FGCU leads the A-Sun in both field goal percentage (.476) and three-point percentage (.432). The Eagles broke the 50-percent plateau in each of their first two games. At SMU, FGCU knocked down 10-of-20 from three-point and now ranks third in the league in threes per game (8.0). Sophomore CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL led the charge at SMU, equaling a career-high with six three-points while moving into the A-Sun lead in threes per game (2.8).

FAST START
Ranking among the top 10 in the Atlantic Sun Conference in five statistical categories, freshman BRETT COMER is off to a fast start early in the year. Highlighted by a 10-assist effort against Prairie View, Comer is third in the A-Sun in assists per game (5.3). He has reached double figures in three games, resulting in a team-high 12.7 points per game, good for ninth in the A-Sun.

SEEING DOUBLE
Freshman BRETT COMER has taken the reigns of the point guard position in his first season as an Eagle and on Thursday recorded the team's first double-double of the season. The Winter Park, Fla. product, who was the point guard alongside current Duke freshman Austin Rivers, went for 15 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals in the win over Prairie View A&M.

WITH A WIN ...
• Set a record for most wins (3) in November during D-1 era.
• Would give the Eagles their first road win under new head coach Andy Enfield.
• FGCU would own two wins over BCS foes. The first came on Dec. 22, 2009 when the Eagles defeated DePaul 64-61 at Alico Arena. FGCU is 1-13 all-time against BCS squads.

BOARD WORK
FGCU has out-rebounded all four opponents this season, owning a +6.8 margin on the boards to rank second in the A-Sun. The Eagles are also averaging double-digit offensive caroms (11.0).