Fort Myers, Fla. – FGCU’s Men’s Basketball team will take on St. Thomas University in an exhibition game Saturday night at 7 PM at Alico Arena. The game will be a good tune-up for the Eagles before they open the regular season November 12th at Bethune-Cookman. Both teams are currently undergoing major changes: FGCU is entering its first season as a member of NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference; St. Thomas University hasn’t fielded a team since 1999 and is currently undergoing reentrance into the NCAA.
The St. Thomas University, located in Miami Gardens, FL, reinstated their men’s and women’s basketball programs this season. This will be the first game for the Bobcats since 1999. They are currently a member of NAIA Division II and the Florida Sun Conference, though they are currently in the process of reentering the NCAA. Their roster consists of one senior, three juniors, three sophomores, and seven freshmen. Mark Schiavoni, the lone senior, is a transfer from The Citadel, where he played in 10 games last season.
FGCU returns eight players from last season’s 27-6 team, including seven seniors. The experience and leadership of those seniors will be counted on all year long, as the Eagles will be facing much tougher competition this year than they ever have before. Casey Wohlleb and Yavney Neptune have been named co-captains, and much will be expected of them this season. Adam Liddell, FGCU’s all-time leading rebounder, is the leading returning scorer after averaging 11.4 points a game last season. Rob Quaintance, who led the team both in assists (5.3/game) and steals (77), will likely serve as the Eagles primary point guard.
The exhibition against St. Thomas will also allow head coach Dave Balza an opportunity to take a look at the several new faces on his team in a game situation, including Tyler Rodriguez, who sat out last season as redshirt. Rodriguez is expected to contribute in the post this season. Delvin Franklin is another newcomer expected to see a major role this season. The 6-1 guard transfers to FGCU from Lamar CC and is one of FGCU’s top three-point threats. Franklin nailed %47 percent of his trey’s last season.
St. Thomas will open their regular season at home against the College of the Bahamas on November 9th at 7 PM, while FGCU opens their regular season on the road at Bethune-Cookman University on November 12th at 7 PM. The home opener for the Eagles will be November 14th at 7 PM against Drexel. The game can be seen live on A-Sun.TV.