Campbell (12-15, 6-11) at FGCU (6-19, 3-12)
DATE: Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011
CITY: Fort Myers, Fla.
SITE: Alico Arena (4,500)
TIP-OFF: 5:15 p.m. ET
LIVE AUDIO: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
TALENT: Tom James (Play-by-Play)
J. Webb-Horton (Color Analyst)
LIVE STATS: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
LIVE VIDEO: A-Sun.TV
SERIES: Series tied, 3-3
LAST MEETING: FGCU 68, Campbell 66 - Jan. 20, 2011
LAST GAME: WKU 80, FGCU 70 - Feb. 14
LAST FIVE GAMES: 1-4
AT A GLANCE
After a three-game road swing last week, FGCU returns to the friendly confines of Alico Arena for four straight Atlantic Sun home games, beginning with Campbell on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. The Eagles defeated the Camels earlier in the season and will attempt to pick up their third-ever season sweep of an A-Sun opponent. With a win, FGCU would also snap a three-game losing skid, while Campbell put an end to its five-game slide on Thursday night at Stetson. Redshirt sophomore ANTHONY BANKS is coming off a career-high 25-point performance at Western Kentucky. Earlier this season, Banks followed a 20-point outing with another the next game.
FGCU snapped a three-game losing streak against Campbell in January with a 68-66 victory in Buies Creek. The win tied the all-time series at 3-3, as the Eagles will look to earn their first season sweep of the Camels. Out of the six meetings, three were decided by 10 points or less. The series is tied at 1-1 in games played at Alico Arena.
The second half of the season has been a youth movement for the Eagles, as underclassmen have led the team in scoring the last 12 games and 14 of out the last 15. Freshman CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL has been the catalyst, hitting for double figures in 13 consecutive games to average 16.7 points along the way. Varidel has led the team in scoring eight times over the 13 games, while hitting 46 three-pointers. Redshirt sophomore ANTHONY BANKS has reached double figures in 19 of the last 21 games.
SCOUTING THE CAMELS
Campbell broke a five-game losing streak on Thursday night when it capped a season sweep of Stetson. The win moved the Camels one game of the Hatters in the A-Sun standings in the fight for the final postseason tournament bid. Campbell is 4-9 on the road this season, but its last two wins (UNF, Stetson) have both come away from home. Junior Eric Griffin leads the team in both scoring (13.4) and rebounding (6.6), while ranking second in the A-Sun in blocks per game (1.7). Recently named the A-Sun Newcomer of the Week, Griffin has reached double figures 17 times with four double-doubles. Second-leading scorer Lorne Merthie has missed four straight games. Merthie knocked down six three-pointers against the Eagles in January's meeting and is averaging 11.2 points on the season. Senior Junard Hartley gives the Camels steady production at the point guard position with 10 points and 5.1 assists per contests. Hartley ranks fourth in the A-Sun in assist/turnover ratio (+1.63), second in assists and eighth in steals (1.5).
Freshman CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL is climbing up the A-Sun ranks in three-pointers per game and sits second at a 2.68 per game clip (top 50 nationally) thanks to 13 straight games with multi-threes. Out of Varidel's 91 made field goals on season, 67 have come from beyond the arc. Varidel has made three or more trifectas in a game 15 times and is tied for sixth among all freshmen in three-pointers made. Validating his shooting prowess, Varidel ranks eighth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage at 39.0.
Redshirt sophomore ANTHONY BANKS has been on a strict offensive rebounding diet, collecting a staggering 91 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 (3.64). He has grabbed five or more offensive rebounds in a game eight times this season and 17 for his career. He ranks 10th in the A-Sun at 6.2 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 (36th nationally) at a 5.4 clip. Rivera has led the team in assists 23 times, highlighted by six 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 the most by an A-Sun player this season. Rivera eclipsed the 100 assists mark, marking the seventh time in nine seasons a player has accomplished the feat for the Eagles.
With five games remaining, junior MARLON RIVERA is just 10 rebounds and 15 assists away from becoming the first player in FGCU history to accumulate 150 rebounds, 150 assists and 50 steals all in the same season. Rivera has led the team in rebounding nine times, assists on 23 occasions and steals 11 times.
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 (6.2) and offensive rebounds (91). Banks has led the team in scoring 10 times, rebounding nine times and both in the same game on seven occasions. He's reached double figures in a team-best 22 games while accumulating four double-doubles and five 20-point outings.
FINDING HIS MARK
No FGCU player has been hotter than freshman CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL over the last 13 games. Highlighted by a 29-point performance at Stetson, Varidel is averaging 16.7 points per game over the last 13 contests on the strength of 46 three-pointers. The Versoix, Switzerland product has reached double figures in all 13 games, leading the team in scoring eight times.