Men's Basketball Picked Seventh and Eighth in A-Sun Preseason Polls
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 | by Chris Perry

FORT MYERS, Fla. – As the Eagles enter their third season as a member of Division I, the FGCU men’s basketball team was picked seventh in the 2009-10 Atlantic Sun Preseason Coaches’ Poll and eighth in the Media Poll which were released by the conference office on Wednesday afternoon.

FGCU was tied for seventh with Stetson in the coaches’ poll, and was selected eighth in the media poll, finishing ahead of Kennesaw State, USC Upstate and North Florida.

"We are pleased to be picked seventh, “said FGCU head coach Dave Balza.”We still have a lot of hard work in front of us but we continue to get better every day.”

FGCU returns three players who started at least 28 games last season, including three of the team’s top leading scorers, two of the team’s top three three-point shooters and the squad’s leader in rebounds and blocks.

Junior guard Reed Baker returns after playing in all 31 games last season. Baker finished with a team-best 13.4 points per game.

“Reed is the one of the leaders on this team, on and off the floor,” said Balza. “He understands the level of commitment it’s going to take for us to be successful.”

Senior Forward Kyle Marks returns to the post for the Eagles after averaging 9.6 points and finishing second in the A-Sun in blocks per game.

Reggie Chambers, the lone Eagle to earn Atlantic Sun honors last season also returns as he was named to the All-Freshman Team. Chambers averaged 8.6 points and finished with 81 assist in 29 games played.

The Eagles will also look to Derrick O’Neil, O’Neil finished with 9.2 points per game and collected a team best 7.3 rebounds per game.

In addition, Coach Balza will have the services of Santa Fe transfer Charlie Lytle. The Eagles 6-foot-8 forward is expected to make a strong impact this season.

The Eagles begin the 2009-10 season against 2009 NCAA runner-up Michigan State on Nov. 13 as part of a four game road trip that takes them through three different states to start the season.

Coaches’ Poll
Rank School (1st-Place) Points
T1 Jacksonville (5) 111
T1 Lipscomb (4) 111
3 Mercer (1) 91
4 ETSU (1) 89
5 Belmont 83
6 Campbell 72
T7 FGCU 43
T7 Stetson 43
9 UNF 30
10 USC Upstate 28
11 Kennesaw State 25

Tournament Champ: Lipscomb

Media Poll
Rank School (1st-Place) Points
1 Jacksonville (24) 328
2 Lipscomb (3) 287
3 Mercer (2) 254
4 Belmont (1) 252
5 ETSU (1) 247
6 Campbell 193
7 Stetson 127
8 FGCU 119
9 Kennesaw State 87
10 USC Upstate 81
11 UNF 71

Tournament Champ: Jacksonville