GAME DAY CENTRAL
IUPUI (6-8) vs. FGCU (3-7)
DATE: Monday, Dec. 27, 2010
CITY: Fort Myers, Fla.
SITE: Alico Arena (4,500)
TIP-OFF: 7:05 p.m. ET
LIVE AUDIO: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
TALENT: Gary Sharp (Play-by-Play)
J. Webb-Horton (Analyst)
LIVE VIDEO: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
LIVE STATS: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
SERIES: IUPUI leads, 1-0
LAST MEETING: IUPUI 84, FGCU 62 Dec. 17, 2007
AGAINST THE SUMMIT LEAGUE: 1-3
LAST GAME: FGCU 87, N.C. Central 68 - Dec. 21
AT A GLANCE
FGCU will close out 2010 by hosting IUPUI on Monday evening at Alico Arena. The Eagles are coming off their most convincing win of the season, an 87-68 victory over visiting N.C. Central last Tuesday. The win moved FGCU to 7-2 over its last nine non-conference home games and 32-7 all-time at Alico Arena in December. The contest is the second game of a four-game homestand for the Blue and Green who played seven of their first nine away from Fort Myers. The meeting with IUPUI is FGCU's second all-time. The two teams met in 2007 during the Eagles' inaugural season in Division I with IUPUI winning by an 84-62 margin.
Despite playing just three of their first 10 games at home, the Eagles are 2-1 at Alico Arena and have found their offensive rhythm in a big way. FGCU is averaging 83.7 points per game thanks to shooting 52 percent (93-178) from the field. Senior REED BAKER has reached the 20-point plateau in all three games, averaging 24.3 points. Junior MARLON RIVERA has put up huge numbers in his initial season at the friendly confines of Alico with averages of 8.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 10.0 assists and 2.3 steals. With Rivera's play at the point guard position, FGCU is averaging 19.3 assists at home, while ANTHONY BANKS' 19.3 points have come on a 68 percent shooting clip.
SCOUTING THE JAGUARS
Led by head coach Ron Hunter, IUPUI is coming off a two-game stay at the Jerry Tarkanian Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas. The Jaguars went 1-1 at the Classic, falling to No. 7 San Diego in the first game before defeating San Francisco, 69-68, on a game-winning three-pointer from sophomore Sean Esposito with 5.1 second remaining. The split moved IUPUI, a year removed from a 25-11 campaign, to 6-8 on the year. Preseason All-Summit League selection and a former College Insider Mid-Major Freshman All-American, junior Alex Young leads the team in scoring (17.4), rebounding (6.4), assists (2.6), steals (19) and blocks (10). The 6-foot-6 swingman has reached double figures in 13 of 14 games this season, including seven 20-point outings. The team's other 1,000 point scorer, senior guard Leroy Nobles is second on the team at 15.3 points per contest. A preseason All-Summit League second team choice, Nobles leads the team with 24 three-pointers, but missed the last game against San Francisco. Senior point guard John Ashworth picked up the scoring load in Nobles absence, finishing with a career-high 18 points. Just last week, Ashworth was named one of 66 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which recognizes college basketball's top point guard. Monday's game will be the sixth in a row away from home for the Jaguars, who are 1-5 in true road games.
HEAD COACHING MATCHUP
FGCU HEAD COACH Dave Balza
@ FGCU: 146-107 (9th Season)
Overall: 181-156 (12th Season)
Atlantic Sun: 18-40 (4th Season)
Vs. IUPUI: 0-1
IUPUI HEAD COACH
@ IUPUI: 241-213 (17th Season)
SUMMIT LEAGUE: 94-81 (13th Season)
Vs. FGCU: 1-0
YOU CAN BANKS ON IT
After having successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his right foot over the summer, Atlantic Sun preseason All-Conference choice ANTHONY BANKS is starting to return to form. Not expected to return until late November, Banks has played all 10 games this year, but has picked up his play over the last six games averaging 18.7 points and 8.2 rebounds. Banks has led the team in scoring in four of the six games with three double-doubles and three 20-point outings.
The inside-out combination of redshirt sophomore forward ANTHONY BANKS and senior guard REED BAKER give FGCU the second-highest scoring duo in the A-Sun. Both have finished in double figures in seven of 10 games and have led the Eagles in scoring 32 of their 39 contests together. For their careers, both have reached double figures in the same game 19 times, while the duo has combined to score 35 or more points six times this season and 40 or more three times.
After making just 29 three-pointers over the first seven games, FGCU has bounced back by making 29 in its last three contests, highlighted by back-to-back double figure makes. The Eagles' 10 threes at Toledo and 11 against N.C. Central marked the first time since the last two games of the 2004-05 season that the Blue and Green have made double-digit trifectas in consecutive contests. Senior REED BAKER is 9-for-18 from deep over the last two games. FGCU has only accomplished 10+ threes in three straight contests one time (2002-03).
Redshirt sophomore ANTHONY BANKS has been on a strict offensive rebounding diet, collecting a staggering 41 offensive boards this season, including nine against ACC foe Miami which equaled his career-best. Banks leads the A-Sun in offensive rebounds per game (4.1). Banks has grabbed five or more offensive rebounds in a game seven times this season and 16 for his career. He ranks tied for seventh in the A-Sun at 6.9 caroms per contest.
GOING OUT WITH A BANG
After transferring to FGCU after his freshman season at Michigan, senior REED BAKER is having the best season of his collegiate career. Baker ranks third in the A-Sun in scoring at 17.2 points per game and has finished in double figures in eight of 10 games, including 20 or more four times. The Naples, Fla. product is one of two players in the A-Sun with two or more games of 25+ points.
ON THE OFFENSIVE
Not equipped with a lot of size in the paint, FGCU makes up for it by staying active on the offensive glass. Led by ANTHONY BANKS, the Eagles rank second A-Sun in offensive rebounds per game (13.8). FGCU has grabbed double figure offensive boards in 36 of its last 40 games, including nine this season. Banks is a year removed from grabbing 100 offensive caroms.
Redshirt sophomore ANTHONY BANKS' A-Sun leading four double-doubles in 10 games are just one off his total from all of last year. Banks is trying to track down Landon Alder's single-season record of 16 double-doubles set in 2006-07 and his Division I record of six set in 2007-08. Alder is the all-time leader with 22 career double-doubles, while Banks is third with nine.
TAKE IT TO THE BANKS
The versatility of ANTHONY BANKS is on full display again this season. Banks is second on the team in scoring at 16.2 points per game while leading in field goal percentage (.529), rebounding (6.9) and offensive rebounds (41). Banks has led the team in scoring five times, rebounding five times and both in the same game on four occasions. He's reached double figures in a team-best nine games while posting a league-best four double-doubles.
The A-Sun's third leading scorer, senior REED BAKER has reached the 20-point plateau three times this season. Baker was joined by junior TIM SNYDER in the 20-point club at Grambling, while ANTHONY BANKS scored 21 points to Baker's 20 against Miami, while the duo combined for 46 points against N.C. Central. The three games marked the fourth, fifth and sixth time, respectively, that a pair of players has gone for at least 20 points in the same game since FGCU joined Division I. Baker has been a part of five of the six occasions. The Naples, Fla. product has 13 career 20-point games.
THE FLOOR GENERAL
Junior MARLON RIVERA has taken over the reins of the point guard position with his strong play on both ends of the court. Rivera is one of two players in the A-Sun in the top 15 in assists per game top 5 in rebounds per game and top 5 in steals. The FGCU floor general has led the team in assists eight times and ranks second in the league in assists per contest (5.5). Rivera's 5.9 rebounds per game rank 16th in the A-Sun, while he's tied for third in steals per game (2.1). Rivera also averages 6.3 points and has reached double figures twice.
LENDING A HELPING HAND
Junior MARLON RIVERA has brought stability to the point guard position virtue of his positive 1.41 assist/turnover ratio that ranks ninth in the A-Sun Rivera has dished out five or more assists six times this season, including three straight, and has finished with more assists than turnovers on eight occasions. Last game against N.C. Central, Rivera passed out a season-best 12 assists - the second-best total in the program's Division I history. The 12 assists are also tied for the most in a single-game by an A-Sun player this season.
COUNTDOWN TO THE BIG 1-0-0-0
With a fast start to his senior campaign, REED BAKER is rapidly approaching the 1000-point plateau for his FGCU career. Thanks to his team-best 17.2 points per game, Baker is just 81 points away from becoming the third player in program history to score 1,000 points. He currently sits in fourth place all-time with 895 points and has a 13.1 scoring average over 70 games.