FGCU Opens A-Sun Action New Year's Eve at Kennesaw State
Sunday, December 30, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (@Pierson_SID)
Brown has reached double figures a team-best 11 times.
Brown has reached double figures a team-best 11 times.
Florida Gulf Coast (9-5, 1-0 A-Sun)
Kennesaw State (1-12, 0-1 A-Sun)
12/31/2012 | Kennesaw, Ga. (KSU Convocation Center) | Attendance: 821
Florida Gulf Coast353368
Kennesaw State362359
Stats at a GlanceFGCUKSU
FG Percentage.465 (20-43) .380 (19-50)
3P FG Percentage.368 (7-19) .250 (5-20)
FT Percentage.778 (21-27) .667 (16-24)
Offensive Rebounds513
Defensive Rebounds2320
Total Rebounds2833
Bench Points1922
Statistical LeadersFGCUKSU
PointsBROWN - 19
LOVE - 16
ReboundsTHOMPSON - 7
AssistsCOMER - 5
LOVE - 5
StealsTHOMPSON - 4
LOVE - 1
BlocksMCKNIGHT - 1

FGCU (8-5) at Kennesaw State (1-11)
Coaching Matchup: Andy Enfield (23-22; 2nd Season) vs. Lewis Preston (4-39; 2nd Season)
Date: Monday, December 31, 2012
Time: 5:00 P.M. EST
City: Kennesaw, Ga.
Site: Convocation Center (4,600)
Live Video (Free): ASUN.TV
Live Audio: KSUOWLS.com
Live Stats: KSUOWLS.com
Twitter: @FGCU_MBB
Twitter Hashtags: #FGCU/#WeAreFGCU/#ASUNMBB
Current Streak: L1
On The Road: 1-5
Vs. Kennesaw State/Streak: 4-6/W2
Last Meeting: FGCU 92, KSU 74 - Jan. 28, 2012 • Fort Myers, Fla.
A-Sun Openers: 3-2
A-Sun Road Openers: 2-3
Up Next: at Mercer - Jan. 2 @ 7:30 P.M.

With a successful non-conference slate that featured a league-high eight wins in the books, FGCU turns its attention to Atlantic Sun action when it travels to Kennesaw State for a New Year’s Eve showdown Monday at 5 p.m. The game is one of four games being played on the opening night of A-Sun action, as FGCU will start conference play on the road for the fifth time in its six years in the A-Sun. Last season in its first year under head coach ANDY ENFIELD, the Eagles swept the season series from the Owls, winning by an average of 12.5 points.

#0 Brett Comer (G)
• A-Sun leader & 24th nationally in assists per game (6.1)
• Averaging 8.3 assists over the last four games
• Team leader in assists in 12 of 13 games and 41 of 45 for career
#2 Bernard Thompson (G)
• Scored 22 points - 18 in second half - at Kennesaw last January
• Third in the nation in total steals (40) and 6th in steals per (3.1)
• Ranks sixth in the A-Sun in scoring (14.4)
#25 Sherwood Brown (G)
• Ranks eighth in the A-Sun in scoring (13.9)
• Tied for the team lead with 11 double figure outings
• 17-of-38 from three-point land in last eight games
#20 Chase Fieler (F)
• College Sports Madness A-Sun Player of the Week on Dec. 17
• Reached double-digits in seven of the last nine games - 12.4 ppg
• Team leader with 29 dunks out of 54 made field goals
#12 Eric McKnight (F)
• Will make A-Sun conference play debut at Kennesaw State
• A-Sun leader in total blocks (18) and second per game (1.4)
• Ranks sixth in the A-Sun in field goal percentage (.548)

• A-Sun leader with eight wins; a program D-1 non-conference record
• Hasn’t lost two straight games this season
• In the top 100 of the RPI, according to eight media outlets
• Receiving votes in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll the last four weeks
• Projected to represent the A-Sun in recent NCAA Bracketology by Joe Lundardi (ESPN.com) & Jerry Palm (CBS Sports)

In its sixth year in Division I and as a member of the Atlantic Sun, FGCU will open conference play on the road for the fifth time. The Eagles are 3-2 all-time in A-Sun openers and 2-3 in A-Sun road openers. Each of the Eagles’ five A-Sun openers have been decided by 10 points or less, including a three (2-1) by less than five points.

Outlet (Date) - RPI (SOS)
Real Time (12/29) - 87 (81)
ESPN Insider (12/28) - 89 (66)
CBS Sports (12/28) - 81 (75)
Rivals (12/28) - 78 (73)
StatSheet (12/28) - 66 (48)
CollegeHoopsNet.com (12/28) - 66 (48)
WarrenNolan.com (12/29) - 85 (82)
Dolphin (12/28) - 83 (--)
Sagarin (12/28) - 115 (67)
Massey (12/27) - 140 (147)
Pomeroy (12/27) - 121 (47)

FGCU was predicted as the No. 13 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament by ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi in his Dec. 11th Bracketology. Lunardi has FGCU squaring off against No. 4 seed Gonzaga in San Jose, Calif. On Dec. 27, the Eagles were also predicted to represent the A-Sun in Jerry Palm of CBS Sports in his Bracketology. Palm has FGCU as the No. 15 seed in the East Region taking on No. 2 seed Cincinnati in Dayton, Ohio.

Out of the 13 Division I schools in the state of Florida, the Eagles (8-5) are behind only No. 14 Florida (9-2) for the most victories in the state.

(Records as of 12/29)
Florida: 9-2
FGCU: 8-5
Miami: 8-3
USF: 8-3
Florida State: 8-4
UCF: 7-3
Seven schools: Six wins or fewer

Currently in the top 100 of the RPI according to eight different media outlets, FGCU has received votes in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll four straight weeks.

8-0 when leading with five minutes left
7-0 at Alico Arena
7-0 when leading at the half
6-0 when out-rebounding its opponent
5-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field

The Owls enter Monday’s contest with a 1-11 record as they are currently on a 10-game losing streak and are coming off a 59-43 road loss at Pittsburgh on Dec. 23. Led by second-year head coach Lewis Preston, the Owls were tabbed to finish ninth in the Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Kennesaw State returns three starters from a team that went 3-28 last season. Kennesaw State is very efficient when it comes to taking care of the basketball as it currently leads the A-Sun only committing 13.9 turnovers per game.

The Owls are led by one of the most dynamic scorers in A-Sun history in senior guard Markeith Cummings. Cummings is currently 14th on the conference’s all-time scoring list and he is only 207 points away from 2,000 for his career. He leads KSU in scoring at 17.3 points per game, which is good for second-best in the league. Cummings is having an excellent senior season as he is currently posting career-highs in field goal percentage (48.2), three-point percentage (42.3) and free throw percentage (72.6). Kennesaw State also has a solid inside presence in senior forward Aaron Anderson, as he ranks fourth in the A-Sun in rebounding (7.4), field goal percentage (.579) and minutes played (32.7).

Senior SHERWOOD BROWN and sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON give FGCU one of the top backcourts in the Atlantic Sun and the third-best scoring tandem in the conference. The duo is averaging a combined 28.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game.
• One of two combos in the A-Sun to both rank in the top 10 in scoring ... Thompson ranks sixth (14.4), while Brown is eighth (13.9).
• Both reached the 20-point plateau at Samford, combining for 43 points, including 26 in the second half.
• The duo has reached double figures in same game 10 times
• Brown or Thompson has led the team in scoring in eight of the 13 games and have been the top two scorers on six occasions.
• Combine to average 34.5 points on the road

A-Sun Top Scoring Tandems
Smith/Wallace (UNF) - 29.7 pgg
Craig/Rodgers (USC Upstate) - 28.9 ppg
Thompson/Brown (FGCU) - 28.3 ppg
Pegg/Perez (Stetson) - 28.2 ppg
Cummings/Love (Kennesaw St.) - 27.2 ppg

Sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON registered 57 steals as a freshman in 2011-12 - good for third in the A-Sun and fifth-best in program single-season history - and is on pace to shatter that total and the program record this season.
• Third in the nation in total steals with 40
• Leads the A-Sun and ranks sixth in the nation in steals per game (3.1)
• Had a career-high of five steals at No. 9 Duke, vs. Toledo and vs. Loyola-MD.
• Current streak of 13 games with a steal
• Has a steal in 41 of 45 career games, including 31 multi-steal performances.
• Just three steals shy of 100 in 45 career games.

After leading the A-Sun and finishing second among freshmen nationally in assists per game in 2011-12, sophomore BRETT COMER is out to defend his league assist crown. Leads the A-Sun and is 24th in the nation in assists per game (6.1).
• Averaging 8.3 assists over the last four games.
• Only A-Sun player this season with multiple games of 10 or more assists.
• Ranks third in the A-Sun in assist/turnover ratio (+1.5).
• Third all-time in FGCU history with 257 assists
• Has a steal in all but one game this season and 16 of his last 17 contests.
• Scored in double figures four of the last five games, a span in which he’s averaging 11.0 points, 7.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals.

FGCU leads the A-Sun in three statistical categories: scoring offense (71.2), field goal percentage (.466) and steals (9.8). Sophomore BRETT COMER leads the league in assists (6.1) while sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON is tops in steals (3.1).

Over the last nine games, junior CHASE FIELER has been FGCU’s top rebounder (5.6) and third-leading scorer at 12.4 points per contest.
• Named the College Sports Madness A-Sun Player of the Week on Dec. 17.
• Reached double figures in seven of the last nine games, including a career long four-game stretch.
• Has led the team in scoring four times after leading the team in points just two times over his first two seasons.
• Scored a career-high 18 points, including 15 in the second half, at Iowa State and followed with 18 points in the win over FIU.
• Third on the team in scoring (10.2) and tied for second on the club in rebounding (4.9) - figures are 19th and 15th in the A-Sun.
• Named to the Battle 4 Atlantis All-Tournament team.
• Team leader with 29 dunks out 54 made field goals.

One of two players to rank in the A-Sun’s top 10 in scoring and rebounding in 2011-12, senior SHERWOOD BROWN has twice been named the A-Sun Player of the Week by College Sports Madness an once by the league office. He was also named the MVP of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament hosted by FGCU after a 22-point night against Toledo in the title game.
• Second on the team and ranks eighth in the A-Sun in scoring at 13.9 points per game, led by a pair of 20-point nights.
• Ranks 17th in rebounding (4.9), 11th in steals (1.4) and 8th in minutes (31.0).
• Has reached double figures a team-best 11 times, including all six road games where he averages 16.0 points.
• FGCU is 4-1 when Brown leads in scoring.
• Team leader with 20 three-points, knocking down 19 of his last 44 from beyond the arc.

Below is a breakdown of FGCU’s individual dunk leaders ...

29 - Chase Fieler
15 - Eric McKnight
6 - Eddie Murray
5 - Sherwood Brown
5 - Leonard Livingston
4 - Bernard Thompson

Most Dunks (Team)
9 vs. Southeastern (Dec. 18)
8 vs. Toled0 (Nov. 22)
Most Dunks (Player)
5 - Fieler vs. Southeastern (Dec. 18)
Most Dunks in 1st Half (Team)
4 vs. Miami (Nov. 13) & FIU (Dec. 13)
Most Dunks in a 1st Half (Player)
3 - Fieler vs. FIU (Dec. 13)
Most Dunks in 2nd Half (Team)
6 vs. Southeastern (Dec. 18)
Most Dunks in a 2nd Half (Player)
3 - Fieler at Iowa State (Dec. 4)
3 - Fieler vs. Southeastern (Dec. 18)
Most Assists on Dunks
27 - Brett Comer
Most Assists on Dunks in a Game
5 - Comer vs. Miami (Nov. 13)

Record When ...
Held Without a Dunk: 0-2
5+ Dunks: 7-2
7+ Dunks: 3-0

FGCU is armed with a long and athletic lineup that has been aggressive at the rim and in the paint this season. The Eagles are averaging 36.2 points in the paint, including 64 dunks.
• FGCU has reached the 40-point plateau in points in the paint in five games, including three straight in which its averaging 46.3 points over that span.
• Game-by-game points in the paint on page 12.

Record When ...
Less than 30 Points: 0-1
30-39 Points: 4-3
40-49 Points: 3-1
50+ Points: 1-0

A CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major All-American a year ago, sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON has a quartet of 20-point games on the road this season and was named the A-Sun Player of the Week on November 20.
• Third in the nation with 40 steals.
• Team’s leading scorer (14.4) and sixth in the A-Sun.
• Second in the nation with four 20-point games on the road.
• Tied for the team lead with 11 double figure performances.
• Thompson is averaging 18.5 points per game in six road games with 24 points at No. 9 Duke, 21 points at VCU, 21 points at Samford and 20 points at St. John’s.
• Highlighted by a career-high six three-pointers at No. 9 Duke, - second-most threes in the A-Sun this season - he ranks fourth in the A-Sun in three-point percentage (.383).
• Averaging 8.6 points in the second half that is boosted by 15 points in the final 20 minutes at No. 9 Duke and at VCU, 14 at St. John’s and two other double-digit performances.

Redshirt sophomore ERIC MCKNIGHT sat out the 2011-12 after transferring to FGCU from Iowa State and is off to a strong start in the Green and Blue. The 6-foot-9 bouncy forward with a 7-foot-2 wingspan has started 11 games.
• Fourth on the team in scoring (7.5) and tops in rebounding (5.2), a figure that ranks 13th in the A-Sun.
• Leads the A-Sun in total blocks (18) and is second in blocks per game (1.4).
• Team leader with 24 offensive rebounds, good for 14th in the A-Sun at 1.8 per game.
• Shooting 54.8 percent, highlighted by 15 dunks, to rank sixth in the A-Sun.
• Produced game-highs of 14 points and eight rebounds in the win over Miami.
• Led the team in rebounding four times and has reached double figures on three occasions.

Known for its up-tempo style on offense, FGCU is starting show the traits of some of the teams coach ANDY ENFIELD was a member of at Florida State when it became the first team since the 1990-92 Georgetown clubs to lead the NCAA in field goal percentage defense in back-to-back years.
• The Eagles are 16th in the nation and lead the A-Sun with 9.8 steals per game.
• Seven games of double figure steals, going 5-2.
• FGCU ranks second in the A-Sun in field goal percentage defense (.419), second in three-point percentage defense (.285) and third in scoring defense (67.5).
• Forcing a conference second-best 17.2 turnovers per game, including 15+ turnovers 10 times (6-4).