GAME PREVIEW: FGCU Takes Road Momentum to North Florida
Monday, February 06, 2012
Junior Sherwood Brown has led the team in rebounding four straight games.
Junior Sherwood Brown has led the team in rebounding four straight games.
Florida Gulf Coast (12-12, 7-6 ASun)
North Florida (13-13, 7-6 ASun)
2/6/2012 | Jacksonville, Fla. -- UNF Arena | Attendance: 1023
Florida Gulf Coast342862
North Florida373168
Stats at a GlanceFGCUUNF
FG Percentage.431 (25-58) .500 (24-48)
3P FG Percentage.263 (5-19) .579 (11-19)
FT Percentage.700 (7-10) .391 (9-23)
Offensive Rebounds1413
Defensive Rebounds1919
Total Rebounds3332
Bench Points149
Statistical LeadersFGCUUNF
PointsBROWN - 23
SMITH - 23
ReboundsCOMER - 7
AssistsCOMER - 4
DIAZ - 3
StealsHOLMES - 2
BlocksMURRAY - 3

FGCU (12-11, 7-5 A-SUN) at North Florida (12-13, 6-6 A-SUN)
DATE: Monday, Feb. 6, 2012
CITY: Jacksonville, Fla.
SITE: UNF Arena (5,800)
TIP-OFF: 7:00 p.m. ET
LAST 10 GAMES: 7-3
SERIES: Tied, 6-6
LAST MEETING: UNF 88, @FGCU 81 – OT - Jan. 7, 2012

Coming off its fourth Atlantic Sun road win of the season, FGCU will look to move closer to securing its first conference postseason berth in school history when it takes on North Florida Monday night. Currently in sole possession of fourth place in the A-Sun standings, the Eagles will look to avenge a heart-breaking overtime loss to the Ospreys earlier in the season in which they squandered a 17-point halftime lead. The Green and Blue, who are in their fifth year in Division I and as a member of the A-Sun, can continue to add to their program record Division I win total, while setting a program record for league victories.

The reigning A-Sun Player of the Week, junior SHERWOOD BROWN is coming off a three-game week in which he averaged 16.3 points and 9.7 rebounds. Brown's big week was highlighted by a pair of double-doubles that helped the Orlando product become just one of three Atlantic Sun players currently in the top 11 in scoring (12.3/11th) and rebounding (5.9/9th), joining USC Upstate's Torrey Craig and Stetson's Adam Pegg. Standing 6-foot-4, Brown has led the Eagles in rebounding four straight games.

Monday night will mark the 13th meeting between the two teams - FGCU's most against any opponent. The all-time series is tied 6-6, while UNF has taken six of the nine meetings as members of the A-Sun. FGCU won the first six games in the series, while the Ospreys have won the last six meetings by a combined 35 points. Out of the 12 meetings, 10 have been decided by 10 points or less, while three have gone to overtime.

Winners of three of their last four, the Ospreys are coming off a thrilling 99-96 home win over Stetson, which set a program Division I record for points scored. Led by third-year head coach Matthew Driscoll, who led UNF to the A-Sun Championship game a year ago, the Ospreys are one game back of the Eagles in the A-Sun standings at 6-6, good for a tie for sixth place. UNF's upperclassmen laden starting five is complimented by sophomore Travis Wallace, who is a three-time A-Sun Newcomer of the Week this season after transferring from Florida A&M. Wallace averages 10.8 points and a team-high 5.3 rebounds off the pine in less than 20 minutes per game. The junior combo of Parker Smith and Jerron Granberry round out UNF's double figures. In the team's recent win over Stetson, the duo combined for 46 points with both reaching the 20-point plateau. Smith's 12.8 points rank ninth in the A-Sun, while his 2.5 threes per contest are second. Granberry (10.8 ppg) also specializes from long range with 59 of his 78 field goals on the year coming from deep.

LAST GAME: FGCU Holds on For First-Ever Win at Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Behind arguably its best 40-minute effort of the season on the defensive end, FGCU picked up its program Division I record 12th win with a hard-fought 65-55 Atlantic Sun victory at Jacksonville on Saturday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Arena. • The Eagles (12-11) held the Dolphins to under 31 percent shooting in each half, while coming away with a season-high 15 steals to improve to 7-5 in the A-Sun, good for sole possession of fourth place. The win was also the Green and Blue’s first ever at Veterans Memorial and their program-best fourth (4-2) A-Sun road victory of the year. • FGCU’s 22 points off 21 Jacksonville turnovers were coupled with a 30.6 percent (15-49) clip from the field for the Dolphins, who fell to 4-19 and 2-10 in the A-Sun. On the flipside, the Eagles shot a respectable 46 percent (21-46) and knocked down 18-of-24 free throws. • Playing in front of his family who made the commute from Georgia, freshman BERNARD THOMPSON led the Eagles with 19 points on 7-of-10 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Thompson has 17 double figure outings to his credit this season and has led the team in scoring eight times.

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.

After losing its first six road games by a combined 22 points, including a pair of one-point losses at TCU and SMU, the youthful FGCU lineup has won four of its last five away from home. All four of those wins have come in A-Sun play, setting a program record for conference road victories in a season. Over the four road wins, six players are averaging better than eight points, led by 15.3 a night from freshman BERNARD THOMPSON.

Freshman BERNARD THOMPSON is making a strong case for A-Sun Freshman of the Year, leading all conference rookies in rebounding (4.7) and steals (2.0), while ranking second in scoring (12.0) - figures that are all in the top 20 in the A-Sun. The Conyers, Ga. product has led FGCU in scoring eight times thanks to a team-best 17 double figure outings that has him 14th overall in the A-Sun in scoring.

Just three games removed from a program Division I record 64.7 percent shooting night (33-51) at Stetson, FGCU is third in the A-Sun in field goal percentage (.472) and second in three-point percentage (.389) - figures that rank 34th and 26th nationally in the latest ranking through Jan. 29. The Eagles have been held below 40 percent in a game just three times, while going 7-1 when breaking the 50-percent plateau. FGCU shot 50 percent or better in three straight games (@Stetson, Longwood, Kennesaw State), a program Division I record and just the fourth time in the 10 years of the program it has been accomplished. The Green and Blue's current 47.2 field goal percentage is on pace to break the single-season record.

Freshman BRETT COMER leads the A-Sun, is second among all freshmen and 26th nationally in assists per game (5.8). Highlighted by his most recent 12-assist night against Longwood, Comer is the first A-Sun player since 2007 to have three double figure assist games in the same season. Comer has led the team in assists in all but one game and has passed out seven or more helpers nine times. His 133 assists on the season rank seventh in single-season history.

Named the A-Sun Player of the Week by College Sports Madness on Jan. 17, junior SHERWOOD BROWN leads the team in both scoring (12.3) and rebounding (5.9) - figures that rank 11th and ninth in the A-Sun. With team-bests of two 20-point games and three double-doubles, Brown has reached double figures 13 times in 19 contests, including five straight, and also ranks 12th in the A-Sun with a 51.5 FG percentage. Over the last four games in which he has led the team in rebounding, Brown is averaging 14.0 points and 9.2 rebounds in 25 minutes per contest. Below is a look at how Brown stacks up in the A-Sun.

A season-best six players reached double figures in FGCU's win over Longwood, while at least five players have done so in seven times (7-0), and the Eagles are 8-2 when four or more players reach double-digits in the same game. Freshman BRETT COMER'S 24 points at Stetson were the most by an Eagle this season as he became the fourth player to reach the 20 point plateau. A total of eight players have reached the double-digits this season, while six have led the team in scoring at least once. WE’LL PICK YOU UP
Through 23 games, FGCU averages 28.6 points per game off the bench. The bench has supplied a double figure scorer in 19 games, including the team's leading scorer on 11 occasions, while scoring 25+ points 16 times as a unit. At SMU, sophomore CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL poured in 20 points on 6-of-7 from three-point land and turned in another 20-point game against Maine to account for the top two bench efforts. Looking further, the bench is shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 45 percent (99-220) from three. Against Longwood, the bench produced 49 points for their third 40+ point night of the season.

FGCU produced its top three offensive games of the season during its three-game January win streak, highlighted by a 101-point night against Longwood. Over the three victories, the Eagles are averaged 95 points on 61 percent (102-167) shooting from the field and five players averaging double figure points. FGCU broke a pair of D-1 records during the spurt, shooting 64.7 percent (33-51) at Stetson and defeating Longwood by 43 points (101-58). Balance was the theme over the three games, as seven different players have reached double figures.

Someone who is never at a loss for words, freshman FILIP CVJETICANIN has let his game do the talking as of late. The 6-foot-9 sharpshooting Croatian has reached double figures five times, highlighted by his 17-point night against Kennesaw State on 5-of-6 from three-point land. Cvjeticanin has made a three in 15 of the last 16 contests and is fourth in the A-Sun in three-point field goal percentage at 45.7 (37-81).

Second in the A-Sun at a 38.9 percent clip from three-point range as a team, four different Eagles rank in the top 10 individually. Sophomore CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL is third in the conference, shooting 46 percent, while freshman FILIP CVJETICANIN is fourth (.457), junior SHERWOOD BROWN (.387) is ninth and freshman BERNARD THOMPSON is 10th (.383).

FGCU's freshmen class has wasted little time making an impact, accounting for 49 percent of the scoring (35.2), 36 percent of the rebounds (12.4) and 67 percent of the assists (8.9). At least one of the four freshmen has scored in double figures in 20 of 23 games, while the Eagles are 7-0 when three members of the quartet accomplish the feat. Led by combo guard BERNARD THOMPSON'S 12.0 points per game, freshmen account for three the Green and Blue's top five scorers. Against Kennesaw State, four freshmen reached double figures - the most in a single game in program history.

Sophomore CHASE FIELER has reached double-digits nine times this season compared to five through all of last year, and is averaging 7.1 points and 4.9 rebounds. Against Maine, Fieler hauled down a career-high 11 rebounds to go with 11 points for his first double-double, and is coming off a career-high 15 points against Kennesaw State.

Sophomore CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL has found his stroke that helped him finish fifth in the nation among all freshmen in 2010-11 with 78 three-pointers. Varidel is third in the A-Sun in three-point percentage (.468) and is 11th in the A-Sun in threes per game (1.9). The Versoix, Switzerland native has made three or more treys in a game eight times this season. He has also reached double-digits eight times, including a team-best two 20-point outings.

Aside from being the league's second-leading freshmen scorer (12.0), BERNARD THOMPSON has used is long 6-foot-3 frame to his benefit on the defensive end. Up until playing Jacksonville, Thompson had a streak of 13 games with steal and ranks second in the A-Sun at 2.0 thefts per game. Thompson has 18 multi-steal performances, highlighted by four against UNF. Thompson is on pace for 60 steals, a mark that would finish top five in single-season history. As a team, FGCU ranks third in the A-Sun and 38th in the country (8.5).