DUNK CITY, Fla. – The highly-anticipated 2013-14 FGCU men’s basketball season got underway Friday afternoon in Alico Arena with #DunkCity’s first official practice of the campaign.
The NCAA allows teams to practice 30 of the next 42 days, and first-year head coach Joe Dooley took advantage of the first opportunity with a high-intensity practice which lasted a little more than two hours. It was the squad’s first official practice since its record-setting NCAA Tournament run in March when it became the first-ever No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16.
“I thought we got a little tired; a little fatigued at the end. We started to get a little sloppy, but that’s probably to be expected at this time of the year,” said Dooley, who has spent the previous 10 years as the top assistant at Kansas. “I thought there were some good things for us to watch and some things to clean up. But for the most part I thought the guys were pretty good.”
The start of practice is two weeks earlier than last year. Many of the Eagles remained on the beach-lined campus during the summer to work out, which helped accelerate the bonding of an already-cohesive group that returners four starters from an Atlantic Sun Championship-winning club that defeated second-seeded Georgetown and seventh-seeded San Diego in its March run which garnered the nation’s attention.
That national attention includes SWFL as with season-ticket sales at record levels and more than doubled from a year ago, additional Priority 2 reserved seats in Alico have been created to meet the growing demand. In turn, a limited number are still available for the season; Club Level is sold out, while mid court Priority 1 are nearly gone and remaining Priority 2 options are disappearing quickly.
In addition to the limited season tickets remaining, general admission single-game tickets and new mini-plan packages for the year are currently on sale. With the exception of FGCU’s home-opening “Breakfast at the Beach” nationally televised contest on ESPN2 against Hartford on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7 a.m., all men’s games have been packaged into four tiers to provided added options and savings for fans, in addition to single-game purchases. Additional ticket information can be found by clicking here.
FGCU went 26-11 last year, knocked off eventual ACC Champion Miami and earned an ESPY for “Best Upset.” Junior Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) has been named by Bleacher Report as one of the Top-10 Most Exciting Players for the 2013-14 season, while senior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) has been tabbed as one of the Top-20 Mid-Major Stars for the upcoming year by the same outlet. Junior Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) is also the defending A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year after finishing second in the nation in total steals (102).
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.