DUNK CITY, Fla. – With the first official day of practice getting underway Friday, the FGCU men’s basketball team has started to receive preseason accolades as juniors Brett Comer and Bernard Thompson have been named to the College Sports Madness Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason First Team, while senior Chase Fieler was tabbed as a Second Team selection.
The defending A-Sun Champions were the only team with multiple players named to the First Team, and its three total selections on the first two teams are also more than any other school in the league.
Comer – who was selected as a Third Team member by the same outlet last year – led the A-Sun and ranked 14th in the nation for assists (6.6 per game) last year. The Winter Park, Fla., native was named the A-Sun Tournament MVP following a 21-point performance in the championship game against Mercer on the Bears’ home court. His 244 assists were the second-most for a single season in conference history, and he boasted an average of 10.3 assists in three NCAA Tournament games.
The Winter Park High School product produced back-to-back double-doubles versus second-seeded Georgetown (12 points, 10 assists) and seventh-seeded San Diego State (10 points, career-best 14 assists) in the tournament as FGCU became the first-ever 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16. Comer, who averaged 8.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per outing last year, also led the conference in assists as a freshman, making him just the fourth player in A-Sun history to lead the league in assists two straight years.
Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) was named the A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year in 2012-13 after ranking second nationally in total steals (102) and fifth in steals per game (2.76). The 102 steals were a program record and the second-most in A-Sun history. The guard finished second on the team in scoring last season, averaging 14.3 points per game, and ranked second on the squad in rebounds at 4.4 per contest.
He scored 23 points against both Georgetown and San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament, and all seven of his 20-point games on the campaign came away from the confines of Alico Arena, where the Eagles went 15-1 in 2012-13, including a win over eventual ACC Champion Miami. Thompson and now-graduated Sherwood Brown produced one of the most efficient scoring duos in the conference last year as together they had the third-highest scoring average (29.8 ppg).
Fieler enters the 2013-14 season as the team’s only senior. The Parkersburg, W. Va., product started all 37 games last year and was one of three players on the roster to average double-figure points (12.1). His 5.4 rebound-per-game average was good for second on the club, and his 56.3-percent clip from the floor was the best among all players who attempted at least 200 shots.
Much of that percentage was due to Fieler’s team-leading 59 dunks, which helped put FGCU on the national map in March while simultaneously giving birth to the #DunkCity moniker. After leading the team in scoring just twice through his first two years in the Green and Blue, Fieler paced the club in scoring 11 times last year as a junior, including reaching double figures 28 times. The Parkersburg South High School alumnus was named to both the A-Sun All-Tournament Team and A-Sun All-Conference Second Team last year.
Fans in SWFL will have their first opportunity to see Comer, Thompson, Fieler and the rest of the Eagles at “Breakfast at the Beach,” FGCU’s home opener which is part of ESPN’s 24-Hour Tipoff Marathon. The game versus Hartford will air live on ESPN2 at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, and the Sweet 16 banner will be unveiled. Tickets are selling quickly and can be reserved by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office or by calling 239-590-7145.
For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the men’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_MBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUMBB.
2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. New this year are mini-plan packages for all games, with the exception of “Breakfast at the Beach,” and individual-game tickets are now on sale. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.