FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s basketball program unveiled a pair of road games off its 2011-12 schedule on Tuesday afternoon, announcing it will make a weekend trip after Thanksgiving to take on ACC foe Maryland and MAAC member Loyola University Maryland.
The two games are the first to be announced for the 10th year of FGCU men’s basketball and the first season under head coach Andy Enfield. The Eagles will head to the Comcast Center on Friday, Nov. 25 to take on Maryland and will stay nearby in Baltimore for a Sunday, Nov. 27 showdown at Loyola.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to play two high quality opponents, while also getting great exposure in the Northeast area where we want to recruit,” said Enfield, who completed in undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and graduate work at Maryland. “Coach Norris is from Baltimore and I spent my college years in both areas so it will be nice to go back.”
Maryland will have a new look on the sideline, as legendary head coach Gary Williams resigned late last week after 22 seasons at the helm of his alma mater. Williams led Maryland to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, seven Sweet Sixteens, two Elite Eights, two Final Fours and a National Championship in 2002. The Terps will hold a press conference on Wednesday at noon to announce the hiring of Texas A&M head coach Mark Turgeon as Williams’ successor.
The Terps are coming off a 19-15 season in which they went 14-4 at the Comcast Center and finished tied for seventh in the ACC at 7-9. Maryland loses four of its top five scorers who combined for 58 percent of the team’s points in 2010-11. Highlighting that list of players moving on is junior-to-be Jordan Williams who entered the NBA Draft and signed with an agent after leading the team in scoring (16.9) and rebounding (11.8) as a sophomore.
The meeting will be the first between the two programs, while it’ll be the third for the Blue and Green against an ACC foe. Both of FGCU’s previous two meetings have come against Miami.
FGCU will cap the weekend in Baltimore at Reitz Arena against Loyola. Under seventh-year head coach Jimmy Patsos, a former assistant under Gary Williams at Maryland for 13 seasons, the Greyhounds finished fifth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) standings with a 10-8 record and an overall mark of 15-15. Led by its balanced scoring in 2010-11, Loyola will return six players that averaged over eight points per game.
Gametimes for both contests will be available at a later date.
Since his hiring on March 31, Enfield has signed a trio of players to an NLI to go along with a strong core of returners that accounted for 75 percent of FGCU’s scoring and 69 percent of its rebounding. Highlighting the group is junior-to-be Anthony Banks (Lantana, Fla./Santaluces HS) who was named to the A-Sun All-Conference second team after averaging team-highs of 14.6 points and 6.4 rebounds. Freshman sharp-shooter Christophe Varidel (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Academy) finished fifth among first-year players in the national with 78 three-pointers.
FGCU season tickets can be purchased in person at the Alico Arena ticket office or by phone at 239-590-7145. The FGCU ticket office is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
Fans can reserve a season ticket with a non-refundable $50 deposit that will hold the ticket until July 1. After making the reservation, the season ticket must be paid for by July 1 or it will be released. Current season ticket holders’ seats will be held until July 1 and will be released if not renewed prior to that date.
Combined season tickets for both the men’s and women’s teams are also available again for a combined 50 percent discount. Season tickets for either the men’s and women’s program range from $84-$259. A combined season ticket (both teams) ranges from $126-$389.