12/22/2013 | Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic | Attendance: 1530
|Stats at a Glance||FAMUM||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.333
FGCU (5-6) vs. Florida A&M (2-9)
Sunday, Dec. 22 | 5:30 PM (EDT) | Orleans Arena (9,500)
Game Notes: FGCU (Printable)
LAS VEGAS – Coming off a pair of losses in its first two games of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, the FGCU men’s basketball team (5-6) now heads to the Vegas Strip to wrap up play with a pair of games Sunday and Monday. The Eagles will face Florida A&M (2-9) on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Eastern (2:30 local) and then play either Radford (6-4) or Sacred Heart (2-9) at 2:30 p.m. (with a loss) or 5:30 p.m. Eastern (with a win).
FGCU has been on the road since Monday as it suffered a difficult 68-66 double-overtime loss on Tuesday at the University of South Florida after a game-tying Chase Fieler effort on a full-court pass from Jamail Jones with .3 of a second left in the second OT was waived off. The Eagles then traveled to Starkville and committed a season-high 21 turnovers en route to falling to Mississippi State on Thursday, 66-53.
CONTINENTAL TIRE LAS VEGAS CLASSIC
The Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic is an eight-team invitational which also features Santa Clara and UNLV in Orleans Arena.
Always one of the top tournaments of the college basketball season, past champions of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic include Kansas State (2008), Alabama (2009), New Mexico (2010) and Baylor (2011) and Colorado State (2012).
Hosting more than 200 events each year, Orleans Arena was named the #1 mid-size arena in the USA by Venues Today magazine earlier this year.
There is no TV or video streaming coverage. Updates can be found by following Gametracker live stats at this link and on Twitter @FGCU_MBB. Video highlights will be posted after each game on FGCU Athletics’ YouTube channel and FGCUAthletics.com.
SETTING THE STAGE
While FGCU’s 5-6 record is disappointing, the Eagles can still finish non-league play above .500 with a pair of wins, and at 7-6 would enter Atlantic Sun Conference play only one game worse than where they were at last year (8-5).
Redshirt junior Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./Princeton Day Academy), who has been suspended since the start of the year for a violation of team rules, has a minimum of one game remaining and is eligible to potentially return for Monday’s game.
The 6-9 Iowa State transfer has been a huge missing piece for FGCU so far this season after starting 34 games a year ago, finishing third in the league in blocks (47) and averaging 6.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per outing.
Additionally, the Eagles are getting closer to having true freshman Logan Hovey (Orlando, Fla./Paul J. Hagerty HS) in the lineup for the first time. The 6-7 combo guard continues to rehab following surgery to help with a leg injury which has kept the talented, multi-faceted Orlando product off the court since before the preseason.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• The 21 turnovers at Mississippi State Thursday were the most in a game since FGCU had 23 at Iowa State last year.
• Seven of the 16 times Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) has led FGCU in scoring have occurred this season, including a team-best 15 at Mississippi State Thursday.
• The Eagles only had six assists against the Bulldogs, the fewest this year and tied for the third fewest in a game in D-I program history.
• The record for fewest assists is five, set once in 2007-08 and 2008-09. On his own, Comer had had six games of 6+ assists this year.
• Chase Fieler, whose career high for points is 30, is just 34 points shy of becoming the fifth member of the program’s 1,000-point list.
SCOUTING FLORIDA A&M
• Like FGCU, Florida A&M also played Mississippi State and USF before heading to Vegas, falling first to the Bulldogs, 78-65, before holding a late lead versus the Bulls and ultimately succumbing to a 73-70 defeat.
• The Rattlers are led by Jamie Adams who averages 16.6 points per game – 6 more than Reggie Lewis, the lone other FAMU player in double figures.
• FAMU allows 77.7 points per game, 302nd in the nation out of 345 teams.
• 27 of Adams’s 46 field goals on the campaign have come from 3-point range as the senior is shooting 39.3 percent from long range.
• Similar to the Eagles, the Rattlers have struggled so far this year from the free-throw line as they connect at just a 63.5-percent clip.
• This will be the first-ever meeting between the Tallahassee-based squad and FGCU.
• Florida A&M is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and was picked to finish 10th out of 13 teams in the league’s preseason poll.
• The Rattlers have an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.7 as they have issued 117 assists while turning the ball over 169 times.
ODDS & ENDS
200: FGCU will be in search of its 200th all-time win; the Eagles own a 199-155 record since the start of the program in 2002-03.
3: FGCU only knocked down three 3-pointers at Mississippi State, tied for the second fewest in a contest this year.
4: The amount of bench points FGCU produced at Mississippi State on Thursday as it was out-scored in that category, 25-4. The Eagles only had three bench points at USF Tuesday, with the seven combined points representing a stark difference compared with the 35 they produced in the two games before that.
EARLIER THIS WEEK
RECORD PERFORMANCES: Against USF Tuesday, Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) and Nate Hicks (Panama City Beach, Fla./J.R. Arnold HS) each set Division-I program records as Thompson tallied 32 points on a D-I program-tying 13 made field goals, while Hicks grabbed a record 19 rebounds.
DOUBLE-UP: Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) put together back-to-back double-doubles with 11 points and 10 rebounds against Samford on Saturday before turning in a 10-point, 11-board performance at USF on Tuesday. Fieler is the first Eagle with consecutive double-doubles since Comer had a pair in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
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.