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FGCU Looks to Cap Hectic November With Win at Loyola
|Florida Gulf Coast||24||50||74|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||LOY|
|FG Percentage||.424 (25-59)||.463 (25-54)|
|3P FG Percentage||.529 (9-17)||.375 (6-16)|
|FT Percentage||.833 (15-18)||.724 (21-29)|
VARIDEL - 17
Winbush - 6
FGCU (2-4) at Loyola University Maryland (3-1)
DATE: Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011
CITY: Baltimore, Md.
SITE: Reitz Arena (2,100)
TIP-OFF: 12:00 p.m. ET
LIVE STATS: www.LOYOLAGREYHOUNDS.com
LIVE VIDEO: www.LOYOLAGREYHOUNDS.com
LIVE AUDIO: www.LOYOLAGREYHOUNDS.com
SERIES: First Meeting
VS. THE MAAC: First Meeting
CURRENT STREAK: L3
LAST 5 GAMES: 2-3
ON THE ROAD: 0-3
LAST GAME: Maryland 73, FGCU 67 (Nov. 25)
AT A GLANCE
Less than 48 hours removed from playing at ACC foe Maryland, FGCU takes the court for its fourth straight road game on Sunday against Loyola University Maryland at Reitz Arena. The first-ever meeting between the two teams and FGCU's first game against a member of the MAAC will cap a hectic opening month for the Eagles that featured seven games, including five on the road. The game will the Green and Blue's third in six days, while the Greyhounds haven't played since last Sunday. FGCU gave Maryland all it could handle on Friday before falling by a 73-67 score, its second straight loss to an ACC team. The Eagles' four losses on the road have come by a combined 18 points, including a pair of heartbreaking one-point defeats in Dallas against TCU and SMU.
FGCU has a trio of coaches and players with ties back to the Baltimore area. Head coach ANDY ENFIELD played four years at Johns Hopkins University and graduate work at Maryland. Enfield finished his career as the NCAA career free throw percentage leader at 92.5 percent (431-466). He still holds nine career records at Johns Hopkins, including 2,025 points en route to being inducted to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. Assistant coach KEVIN NORRIS is from Baltimore and had a legendary high school career at Lake Clifton before going to the University Miami where he was a four-year starter at point guard. Freshman DANTE HOLMES is also a Baltimore native and graduated from St. Frances Academy in 2010. As a junior and senior, Holmes played with Loyola freshman R.J. Williams. Holmes led St. Frances to a pair of Baltimore Catholic League titles his last two seasons, scoring over 1,200 points over that span.
SCOUTING THE GREYHOUNDS
Led by eighth-year head coach Jim Patsos, Loyola's 3-1 start to the season is its best since the 2007-08 campaign. The Greyhounds, who were picked third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) preseason poll, picked up a trio of wins last week, defeating Coppin State, UMBC and New Hampshire with the last two coming on the road. Off for the last week, Loyola's only blemish this season came in the season opener at ACC foe Wake Forest by a 75-63 count. Behind a strong frontcourt armed with athleticism, the Greyhounds have been able to out-rebound its first four opponents by over 10 boards per game, including 65 on the offensive end. MAAC Preseason All-Conference second team choice Erik Etherly has posted a pair of double-doubles in the young season, highlighted by 27 points and 10 rebounds during coach Patsos' 100th career win at UMBC. Etherly leads the MAAC in rebounding (9.8) and is second on the team in scoring at 16.0 per contest. Standing 6-foot-10, senior Shane Walker is the other half of Loyola's frontcourt tandem, combining with Etherly to provide nearly 30 points and 17 rebounds per game. Walker, also a MAAC Preseason All-Conference second team choice, is averaging 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds. Sophomore Dylon Cormier provides the scoring punch from the guard position, averaging a team-high 17.3 points on the strength of two 20-point outs. Cormier, Etherly and Walker have scored in double figures all four games.
AGAINST THE MAAC
Sunday's is FGCU's first-ever meeting against a team from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
NEW-COMER OF THE WEEK
After averaging 10.5 points, 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals over two games, freshman point guard BRETT COMER was named the Atlantic Sun Newcomer of the Week on Tuesday. Comer's week was highlighted by his first career double of 15 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals during a win over Prairie View A&M.
LAST GAME: FGCU Falls Short at ACC Foe Maryland, 73-67
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Three players in double figures and a late push over the final 10 minutes helped FGCU rally from a double-digit deficit in the second half before falling short at Maryland, 73-67, on Friday night at the Comcast Center. • Trailing by 16, 52-36, with 13:03 left in the game, the Eagles fought back behind freshman point guard BRETT COMER, who scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half. Comer’s layup with 48 seconds left cut it to a two-possession contest, at 70-66. • After a pair of missed free throws from Terrell Stoglin gave the ball back to the Eagles, but a turnover in transition cost the visitors a chance to draw as close as one point. Despite being a 92 percent (23-25) shooter through the first four games, Stoglin, an ACC All-Freshman selection a year ago, made 2-of-4 from the line in the final 26 seconds, but FGCU came away with just one point over its final five possessions. • Comer finished 7-of-12 from the field while adding six rebounds and three assists over a team-high 32 minutes. Fellow freshman BERNARD THOMPSON came off the bench for 12 points, marking the fifth time in six games the bench has supplied a double figure scorer. Thompson added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
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.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU
Coming off his first career double-double at Miami, junior SHERWOOD BROWN has carried over a strong finish to his sophomore campaign into this season. After team-highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Hurricanes on Tuesday, Brown has reached double figures both games this week, ranking second on the squad in both scoring (11.0) and rebounding (5.7) - figures that rank 13th and10th in the A-Sun, respectively. Sparked by a career-high 26 points in last year's season finale at USC Upstate, Brown finished last February (10 games) with a 11.2 scoring average - more than four points above his season mark. Brown reached double figures in each of the final four games, averaging 18.3 points while leading the team in scoring three times.
Three different FGCU players are averaging double figure points on the young season with another just under the double-digit mark. The Eagles are one of four teams to have three players in the top 20 in scoring in the A-Sun. Freshman BRETT COMER'S 12.0 points per game leads the way, while junior SHERWOOD BROWN and freshman BERNARD THOMPSON are right behind at 11.7 and 11.0, respectively. Six different players have scored double-digit points in a game, while four different players have led the team in scoring, including three off the bench. Looking further, six players are playing 20 or more minutes per game, while nine players are above 15 per contest.
FGCU's freshmen class has wasted little time making an impact, accounting for 48 percent of the scoring, 35 percent of the rebounds and 69 percent of the assists. Point guard BRETT COMER and combo-guard BERNARD THOMPSON rank first and third on the team in scoring at 12.0 and 11.0 points, respectively. Comer is also the team's top assist man with 4.8 helpers per contest, a mark that ranks third in the A-Sun. Thompson's 11.0 points are joined by a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game. Thompson has scored in double figures a team-high five times, while Comer has done so in four games and both in the same game on four occasions. The duo was joined in double figures by classmate FILIP CVJETICANIN in the win over Prairie View A&M. DANTE HOLMES is the final member of the freshman quartet that is having a big impact, averaging 5.6 points in 17 minutes per game.
WE’LL PICK YOU UP
Through six games, FGCU owns a 164-116 advantage in bench points, good for a +8.0 margin per game. The bench has supplied a double figure scorer in five games, including the team's leading scorer on three occasions. 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. Freshman Bernard Thompson has come off the bench twice (TCU, Maryland), averaging 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals.
SECOND HALF SURGE
Led by the play of freshman point guard BRETT COMER, FGCU has overcome a sluggish first half in four of its games by averaging 37.0 points over the final 20 minutes while limiting its opponents to 31.3. Comer has been the catalyst to the second half turnaround, averaging 9.3 points over the span while passing out 17 assists that have led to 42 more points. As a team, FGCU is shooting a scalding 50 percent (80-159) in the second half, including 21-of-55 from three-point land. At Miami, FGCU tied a program D-1 record for second half points given up by limiting the Hurricanes to 18 points on 4-of-24 from the field.
Junior SHERWOOD BROWN is 12th in the A-Sun in field goal percentage (.509), while sophomore CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL is among the leaders in three-point percentage (.480/10th) and threes per game (2.0/7th). Brown and Varidel account for 20 of FGCU's 37 three-point makes on the year. Varidel, who ranked fifth among all freshmen with 78 threes in 2010-11, is 12-of-25 on the year.
Ranking among the leaders 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 (4.8). He has reached double figures in four games, resulting in a team-high 12.0 points per game, good for 11th in the A-Sun.
Despite lacking a ton of size, FGCU has out-rebounded all six opponents this season, owning a +5.5 margin on the boards to rank third in the A-Sun. The Eagles are also averaging double-digit offensive caroms (11.7) that have helped them score 20+ points in the paint each contest. Last game at Maryland, FGCU pulled down a season-best 17 offensive rebounds that led to another season-high in points in the paint (42.). FGCU's top two rebounders come from the backcourt, as BERNARD THOMPSON'S 6.2 rebounds rank in the top 10 in the A-Sun. SHERWOOD BROWN'S 11 rebounds at Miami were a team season-high, as he and CHASE FIELER are second on the squad at a 5.7 per game clip.