Men's Basketball Opens Season at Kansas on ESPN U
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

FORT MYERS, Fla., - The FGCU Men’s Basketball team will open up the season against defending national champion Kansas in a game televised by ESPN U on November 18. The game will be part of the ESPN family of networks College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, a 24-hour schedule of games on November 18.

FGCU and Kansas tip-off at 9:00 pm in FGCU’s season opener. It will mark the first time that the Eagles have been on ESPN.

“Obviously, this is a huge thing for our kids, to be able to play the defending national champions to open their season,” stated Head Coach Dave Balza. “We always talk about giving our fans something to watch and cheer for and give us a chance to play the best schedule we can play, so by the time conference time comes around, we’ll be well-prepared.”

Kansas lost all five starters off of their national championship squad, but do welcome one of the nations top recruiting classes. The Jayhawks won their third national championship with school-record 37 wins. They spent much of the year ranked #1 and finished with a memorable come from behind overtime win over Memphis in the championship game.

FGCU opens their second season in NCAA Division I with a new set of faces. The Eagles lost four starters and 11 letterwinners from last season, but welcome one of the most heralded recruiting classes in school history. The Eagles also get the services of Reed Baker, Kyle Marks and Ed Rolax, all of who redshirted during the 2007-08 season.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts College Basketball Experience Classic is produced by the Gazelle Group in Princeton, N.J. The Gazelle Group is a sports marketing firm, specializing in event production/management, client representation and sponsorship consulting. Gazele produces numerous nationally recognized events, such as the 3K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, Legends Classic and the College Basketball Invitational. For more information on the Gazelle Group, please visit For more information on the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic, visit

The rest of the field will be announced at a later date.