FGCU (4-13, 1-7) at Stetson (6-14, 4-5)
DATE: Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011
CITY: Deland, Fla.
SITE: Edmunds Center (4,000)
TIP-OFF: 7:00 p.m. ET
LIVE AUDIO & STATS: www.GOHATTERS.com
LIVE VIDEO: ASun.TV
SERIES: Stetson leads, 4-2
LAST MEETING: FGCU 64, Stetson 53 - Jan. 27, 2010
AGAINST THE A-SUN: 19-45
LAST GAME: FGCU 68, Campbell 66 - Jan. 20
UP NEXT: at Belmont - Jan. 28, 2011
AT A GLANCE
TFGCU will look to pick up its second straight Atlantic Sun road win on Tuesday night when it heads north to take on Stetson. The Eagles and Hatters share a common last opponent, but had very different results. FGCU came away with a down-to-the-wire 68-66 win at Campbell, while Stetson was defeated 85-55 by the Camels. The Eagles will be in search of their second conference road win streak in program history and the first since their initial season in the A-Sun (2007-08).
Stetson holds a 4-2 edge in the all-time series, but FGCU got the best of the Hatters in their last meeting on Jan. 27, 2010. Behind 21 points and 10 rebounds from ANTHONY BANKS, the Eagles pulled out a 64-53 win at Alico Arena. Out of the six previous meetings, the home team has won five times, while five contests have been decided by 10 points or less. The Eagles are 0-3 all-time at the Edmunds Center.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS
Just 46 games into his career, sophomore ANTHONY BANKS is FGCU's all-time leader in offensive rebounds with 165. Banks has twice tied the record for most offensive rebounds in a game with nine and owns the single-season record with 100 in 2009-10 as a freshman. He is now just one rebound shy of 300 for his career.
SCOUTING THE HATTERS
Predicted to finish 9th and 10th in the A-Sun preseason polls, respectively, Stetson has put together a 4-5 start in conference play to sit in sixth place. The Hatters, who defeated ACC foe Wake Forest in the season opener, have dropped three in a row, including a pair of one-point defeats, and are 3-4 at home. Last game at Campbell, the Stetson starting lineup featured four freshmen, including three true freshmen. The lone non-freshman in the starting lineup, redshirt sophomore Ridge Graham leads the team in both scoring (13.5) and rebounding (6.5) - figures that rank 12th and 10th in the A-Sun. Freshman guard has had a solid initial season in Deland, sporting averages of 10.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.2 steals (2nd in A-Sun). A total of 10 players average over 11 minutes per game for the Hatters, seven of them are scoring at least 6.7 points.
HEAD COACHING MATCHUP
FGCU HEAD COACH
@ FGCU: 147-113 (9th Season)
Overall: 182-162 (12th Season)
Atlantic Sun: 19-45 (4th Season)
Vs. Stetson: 2-4
STETSON HEAD COACH
@ Stetson: 118-183 (11th Season)
Vs. FGCU: 4-2
Redshirt sophomore ANTHONY BANKS has been on a strict offensive rebounding diet, collecting a staggering 65 offensive boards this season, including nine against ACC foe Miami which equaled his career-best. Banks leads the A-Sun in offensive rebounds per game (3.8) by a full board per contest. He has grabbed five or more offensive rebounds in a game seven times this season and 16 for his career. He ranks 11th in the A-Sun at 6.4 caroms per contest.
LEADER OF THE PACK
Junior MARLON RIVERA has taken over the reins of the point guard position and leads the A-Sun in assists per game (27th nationally) at a 5.5 clip. Rivera has led the team in assists 15 times, highlighted by five outings with seven helpers or more. On Dec. 21 in a win over N.C. Central, Rivera dished out 12 assists - the second-most in the program's Division I history and one of three double-digit performances by an A-Sun player this season. FGCU has had a player dish out 100 or more assists in six of the program's first nine seasons and Rivera is just seven away from accomplishing the feat.
Freshman CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL leads the team and ranks fourth in the Atlantic Sun in three-pointers per game (2.29). Out of Varidel's 49 made field goals on season, 39 have come from beyond the arc. Varidel has made three or more trifectas in a game eight times, including five straight games. Validating his shooting prowess, Varidel ranks ninth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage at 37.1.
TAKE IT TO THE BANKS
The versatility of ANTHONY BANKS is on full display again this season. Banks leads the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game while also leading in rebounding (6.4) and offensive rebounds (65). Banks has led the team in scoring eight times, rebounding seven times and both in the same game on six occasions. He's reached double figures in a team-best 15 games while ranking second in the A-Sun with four double-doubles.
FINDING HIS MARK
No FGCU player has been hotter than freshman CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL over the last five games. Varidel is averaging 14.6 points per game over the last five contests on the strength of 18 three-pointers. The Versoix, Switzerland product has reached double figures in all five contests, leading the team three times. Even more impressive, Varidel is averaging 15.7 points since being inserted into the starting lineup three games ago with just five turnovers despite playing an average of nearly 36 minutes.
ON THE OFFENSIVE
Not equipped with a lot of size in the paint, FGCU makes up for it by staying active on the offensive glass. Led by ANTHONY BANKS, the Eagles are second in the A-Sun in offensive rebounds per game (13.0). FGCU has grabbed double figure offensive boards in 41 of its last 47 games, including 14 this season. Banks is a year removed from grabbing 100 offensive caroms and has 165 for his career compared to 134 defensive rebounds.
In last Thursday's win at Campbell, four players finished in double figures for the Eagles. It marked the third time this season that four FGCU players have reached double-digits in the same game, moving the Blue and Green to 2-1 when the feat happens. Redshirt sophomore ANTHONY BANKS is averaging 20 points in those games.