11/26/2013 | PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC | Attendance: 11123
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||ST|
|3P FG Percentage||.250
FGCU (4-1) @ NC State (2-2)
Tuesday, Nov. 26 | 7:05 PM | PNC Arena (17,900)
Talent: Sam Gore (PxP) | Dino Gaudio (Analyst)
RALEIGH, N.C. – Riding the momentum of a four-game winning streak, the FGCU men’s basketball team (4-1) heads in search of its fifth straight victory Tuesday when the Eagles travel to NC State (2-2) to face the Wolfpack at PNC Arena at 7 p.m. on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
Fans can access the game easily via AtlanticSun.org/ESPN through the link at the top. Access is free, but fans need who are not already subscribers need to log in using their TV provider information and account number. If your TV provider is not listed, click here for more information.
After losing its season opener at Nebraska, FGCU has won its next four games by an average of nearly 14 points, including Saturday’s 79-56 triumph over local NAIA foe Ave Maria.
TWEETABLES: 5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less
• Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS), the nation’s leading returning steals leader, did not play in two games last week as he rested an ankle injury.
• Thompson, the Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year in 2012-13, played through the injury the first three games of the season.
• Georgia Tech transfer Nate Hicks (Panama City Beach, Fla./J.R. Arnold HS) recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and a career-best 11 rebounds against Ave Maria.
• Junior guard Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) has led FGCU in scoring in each of the past three games, most recently pouring in 18 points opposite Ave Maria.
• The Eagles have had back-to-back games of five double-figure scorers for the first time since January of last season.
EARNING HIS STRIPES
Through five games, sophomore Dajuan Graf (Charlotte, N.C./Phillip O. Berry Academy) has the best plus/minus ratio on the FGCU roster, and he has it by a wide margin. One of the most improved players from last year to this season, Graf has a +/- of +53 which is +18 better than anyone else on the Eagles’ roster. After posting a +/- of -11 at Furman, the worst on the FGCU roster, the guard has responded over the past two games as he’s led the team at +23 versus Eckerd and +30 against Ave Maria.
Last year, Graf finished the season with a +8, the worst on the team among those who played at least 450 minutes. So far this year the Charlotte, N.C. product is averaging 5.8 points per game, more than double what he did last year, and is second on the squad in assists with 12.
PLAYER QUICK HITTERS
Comer: Issued a season-high 10 assists and tied a career high by knocking down three 3-pointers – all of which came in the first six minutes of the game – against Ave Maria.
Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid): Moved into 9th place on the program’s all-time 3-point list with 95 as he knocked down five straight 3’s in the second half vs. Ave Maria as part of a career-high-tying 17 points while grabbing a career-best nine rebounds.
Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS): Recorded a season-high three steals opposite Ave Maria.
Marcus Blake (Miami, Fla./American Heritage HS): Scored a career-high four points on 2-4 shooting while grabbing a career-best four rebounds and playing a career-most 19 minutes off the bench versus Ave Maria.
Graf: Set season highs in points (10), rebounds (4), assists (5) and steals (3) versus Ave Maria.
SCOUTING NC STATE
• This will be the first meeting between NC State and FGCU.
• The Wolfpack is coming off an 82-72 overtime loss to NC Central last Wednesday night.
• NC State is in the midst of its third-longest homestand in program history; Tuesday’s contest represents the third of the seven-game stretch.
• T.J. Warren, a 2013 ACC All-Freshman member, leads a quartet of Wolfpack double-figure scorers at 19 per game, while also leading NC State in rebounding at 6 an outing.
• The loss last week to NC Central was just NC State’s third in the month of November dating back to 2008.
• NC State was 16-1 at home last year, and head coach Mark Gottfried is 31-8 all-time in home games as the helm of the Wolfpack.
• Warren, the only starter back from last year’s 24-11 team, was named a CollegeInsider.com Preseason All-American.
• NC State has nine freshmen or sophomores and only one senior; the only ACC member with less experience returning is Miami.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
Until its 15-turnover game against Ave Maria Saturday, FGCU had posted three straight games of single-digit turnovers (8 vs. Hartford, 8 @ Furman, 9 vs. Eckerd). Dating back to the beginning of the program in the 2002-03 season, never had an FGCU team even had back-to-back single-digit turnover contests.
ALL-TIME vs. THE ACC
This will be the third consecutive year FGCU has faced a member of the recently-expanded ACC. Last year the Eagles traveled to the same area of the country to battle Duke right after defeating eventual league champion Miami in its home opener. The Eagles are 1-5 all-time versus ACC members, with four of those matchups coming in the past two campaigns.
Against Ave Maria Saturday night, FGCU set an Alico Arena attendance record with a sellout, standing-room only crowd of 4,633. That number surpassed last year’s record of 4,552 in the season opener against Miami. FGCU has now had 4,000 or more spectators in three straight games for the first time in program history, with three of the four largest crowds ever already occurring in the first three home games of the season.
The Eagles land back at The Nest Sunday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m. for a prime matchup versus Iona. The New York-based school has made consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, led the nation in scoring two years ago and finished second in the country in scoring last season. Students are encouraged to return from Thanksgiving Break early, and a limited number of tickets remain as fans are urged to reserve their seat in advance.
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.
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.