Men's Basketball Set to Open Conference Play at USC Upstate
Sunday, December 13, 2009
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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Looking for its first conference win of the young season, the FGCU men's basketball team returns to the hardwood as it heads to Spartanburg, S.C. to face USC Upstate Monday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. This marks the third consecutive season that the Eagles have opened conference play on the road.  

Game Information

Streaming Audio:  ESPN 770 AM – Dave Moulton

Streaming Video:  A-Sun TV

Live Stats:  http://upstatespartans.cstv.com

Last Meeting:  FGCU 61, USC Upstate 71, 2/9/09 at G.B. Hodge Center.

 

FGCU Eagles

2009-10 Record:  1-6

    A-Sun:  0-0

Head Coach:  Dave Balza

    Alma Mater:  Michigan ‘91

    Career:  171-134 (11th year)

    at FGCU:  136-86 (8th year)

Website:  http://www.fgcuathletics.com

 

USC Upstate Spartans

2009-10 Record:  1-6

    A-Sun:  1-0

Head Coach:  Eddie Payne (24th year)

    Alma Mater:  Wake Forest ‘73

    Career Record:   370-337 (24th year)

    At USC Upstate:      101-83 (8th year)

Website:  http://upstatespartans.cstv.com/

 

Hot Topics

• Florida Gulf Coast University started playing collegiate basketball in 2002-03, and posted a 23-9 record in the program’s first season. 

• FGCU has an all-time record of 36-18 in games played in the month of December.

• The Eagles begin conference play on the road for the third consecutive year.

• The Eagles six newcomers are responsible for 43.2 percent of FGCU’s scoring.

• Reggie Chambers has posted double-figures in four of the Eagles seven games

• Last season, senior Kyle Marks finished second in the A-Sun with 1.65 blocks per game. His 51 blocks led the team, and set an FGCU single season record.

• The Eagles have lost 24 straight on the road.

• Five of the Eagles six losses occurred when the opponent collected more three’s than FGCU.   

• FGCU owns a 2-1 record in the all-time series against USC Upstate.

• The Eagles stay on the road and travel to Durham, N.C. to face North Carolina Central on Dec. 16 at 7:00 p.m.  

 

About Florida Gulf Coast 

• Florida Gulf Coast University started playing collegiate basketball in 2002-03, and posted a 23-9 record in the program’s first season. 

• This is FGCU’s third season as a Division I program, posting a combined 21-41 record in their two previous seasons. 

• The Eagles were picked seventh in the Atlantic Sun preseason coaches poll.

• FGCU’s year-by-year Results:

 

Year                       Record Home     Away      A-Sun

2009-10                 1-6          1-1          0-5          0-0

2008-09                 11-20     11-6        0-14        7-13

2007-08                 10-21     4-7          5-13        6-9

2006-07                 27-6        20-3        4-3          N/A

2005-06                 18-12     13-6        5-6          N/A

2004-05                 24-7        18-1        5-3          N/A

2003-04                 22-5        15-1        7-4          N/A

2002-03                 23-9        14-0        6-8          N/A

Total                       136-86   96-25     32-56     13-22

 

FGCU in December

• FGCU has an all-time record of 36-18 in games played in the month of December.

• After two seasons in Division I, FGCU has a 7-10 record in December which includes key wins over FIU, Penn, FAU and Army.

 

FGCU in A-Sun Openers

• The Eagles begin conference play on the road for the third consecutive year.

• FGCU is 1-1 all-time in their A-Sun openers.

 

12-04-08   at Stetson (DeLand, Fla.) L 76-71

01-03-08   at UNF (Jacksonville, Fla.) W 70-67

 

New Kids on the Block

• The Eagles six newcomers are responsible for 43.2 percent of FGCU’s scoring.

• Leading the way is freshman Anthony Banks, Banks recorded double-figures against No. 2 Michigan State, Miami, Bethune-Cookman, Longwood and FIU. His 11.9 points per game leads the team and lands him in the top 20 in the A-Sun.

• Freshman Hunter Miller is second on the team in assists with 18. Miller is averaging 2.57 assists per game, and recorded a season-best six assists against SMU on Nov. 21, 2009.

• Freshman Sherwood Brown is second in scoring among the FGCU newcomers. Brown added a season-high 14 points against Longwood (12/5/09), going 4-6 from the field and a perfect 6-6 from the charity stripe.

• Junior transfer Charlie Lytle and freshman Brett Williams have combined for 30 total points. Lytle is tied for second on the team with five blocks.

 

Scoring Big

• A player standing no taller than 5-foot-9 is second on the team in scoring. Sophomore guard Reggie Chambers leads the Eagles attack, averaging 11.0 points per game. Chambers has posted double-figures in four of the Eagles seven games, including a 20 point performance against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 19, 2009.

• The Miramar, Fla. native leads the team with 20 assists, including a career-high seven assist against FIU (12/12/09).

 

Marks’ Block Party

• Last season, senior Kyle Marks finished second in the A-Sun with 1.65 blocks per game. His 51 blocks led the team, and set an FGCU single season record.

• This season, the 6-foot-7 forward leads the team with six blocks.  

• After seven games last season, Marks had five blocks.

 

Traveling Blues

• The Eagles finished last season with a 0-14 record away from the friendly confines of Alico Arena. FGCU has lost 24 straight on the road.

• The last time FGCU won on the road was back on Jan. 26, 2008 at Gardner-Webb, when the Eagles won 87-80. Chad Lutkenhaus was the only current Eagle that played in that game.

 

Three Is the Key

• Five of the Eagles six losses occurred when the opponent collected more three’s than FGCU.   

• Opponents are shooting 33.1 percent (53-160) from behind the arc, including Miami’s 13 three-pointers against the Eagles on Nov. 25, 2009.

 • FGCU is shooting 25.5 percent (26-102) from behind the arc. In the Eagles win against FIU, FGCU hit five of their seven three-pointers in the half.

 • The Eagles are 1-1 when they drain more three-pointers than their opponent.

 

It Takes a Thief

• FGCU’s 238 steals last season came in big part from senior forward Derrick O’Neil. O’Neil lead the way with 48 steals on the season, collecting a season-best six steals against Jacksonville on Feb. 21, 2009.

• This season, FGCU has recorded 52 steals. Chambers leads the team with nine.

• This time last season the Eagles had 48 steals.

 

Road Warriors

• 16 of FGCU’s 29 games this season will be played on the road. The Eagles faced the 2009 NCAA runner-up Michigan State as part of a four game road trip that took them through three different states to start the 2009-10 season. The Eagles made non-conference road trips to Texas, Miami, Virginia and travel to South Carolina and North Carolina in December.

 

Last Time Out

• Junior guard Reed Baker scored a season-high 20 points and Chambers shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and finished with 16 points as the Eagles earned the 81-64 victory over FIU.

• Chambers got the Eagles going early as he scored 14 of his 16 points in the first seven minutes of the game. He drilled four three-pointers, the last of which he banked, as FGCU opened up a 33-17 lead midway through the first half.

• The Blue and Green shot 55 percent from the field to take a 43-28 lead into the halftime break.

• The Eagles led by as many as 20 points in the second half before FIU began to cut into the lead. The Golden Panthers went on a 12-0 run to cut FGCU’s lead to 70-64 with 3:05 remaining in the game. On the Eagles next possession Baker drained a 3-pointer and FGCU’s defense held FIU scoreless for the remainder of the game. The Eagles closed on an 11-0 run (81-64) highlighted by an alley-oop from Chambers to Marks.

• Banks finished with 13 points for FGCU while Marks and O’Neil each finished with nine points. Baker had a game-high eight boards as FGCU outrebounded FIU 41-26. The Eagles also grabbed 12 offensive boards, led by Banks’ three. This was the fourth consecutive game that FGCU has outrebounded their opponent.

 

Up Next For FGCU

• The Eagles stay on the road and travel to Durham, N.C. to face North Carolina Central on Dec. 16 at 7:00 p.m.  

• FGCU leads the all-time series with a 1-0 record.

• The last meeting was on Nov. 20, 2008, FGCU defeated North Carolina Central 66-58.

 

About The Spartans

The Spartans are coming off a 72-45 loss to Wichita State, in a game which they shot 32 percent from the field. The 19-point halftime lead proved insurmountable as the Shockers cruised to the home victory.

USC Upstate heads into the Monday’s contest with a 1-6 overall record and 1-0 Atlantic Sun conference record. The Spartans have fallen to Nebraska (49-76), Indiana (61-69), Winthrop (46-49), UNC Greensboro (70-76), Miami (41-70), and Wichita State. The first victory of the season came in a 78-56 defeat of conference opponent, Stetson, on November 30th.

The Spartans are led by senior big man Nick Schneider who blocked four shots against Wichita State to tie the Upstate career blocked shots record. Schneider, who has started every contest, is also averaging 11.6 points and 7.3 rebounds through the first seven games. Junior forward Mezie Uzochukwu, the only other Spartan to start all seven games, is second on the team with 8.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Having spent 24 years as a head coach, Eddie Payne is in his eighth year at the helm of the Upstate men's basketball program. Payne has coached at all levels and divisions of college basketball, beginning his head coaching career on the junior college level and moving through the ranks in the NAIA and NCAA Division I, II and III. He is the only current DI head coach to have coached at all five levels of college basketball and has compiled a 370-337 career record (101-83 at Upstate).

 

The FGCU-USC Upstate Series

• FGCU owns a 2-1 record in the all-time series against USC Upstate.

• Last season, the Eagles took the first of two meetings. In FGCU’s 80-56 victory at Alico Arena, five Eagles recorded double-figures with Chambers and Marks collecting 16 points each. In the second meeting, the Eagles fell to the Spartans, 72-69, as Reed Baker scored a game-high 24 points. USC Upstate converted 13 of their last 14 free throws to earn the three point win over the Eagles at the G.B. Hodge Center.

 

FGCU Leads 2-1 – Home: 2-0; Away: 0-1; Neutral: 0-0

02-10-08  vs. USC Upstate (Alico Arena)  W  72-69.

01-10-09  vs. USC Upstate (Alico Arena)  W  80-56.

02-09-09  vs. USC Upstate (G.B. Hodge Center)  L  72-69.