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Men's Basketball Heads to TCU for Season Opener
|Florida Gulf Coast||31||41||72|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||TC|
|FG Percentage||.614 (27-44)||.491 (27-55)|
|3P FG Percentage||.429 (6-14)||.222 (4-18)|
|FT Percentage||.632 (12-19)||.714 (15-21)|
CANTINOL - 6
BUTLER - 2
DATE: Friday, Nov. 11, 2011
CITY: Fort Worth, Texas
SITE: Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (7,201)
TIP-OFF: 8:00 p.m. ET
LIVE AUDIO: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
TALENT: Tom James (Play-by-Play)
LIVE STATS: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
SERIES: First Meeting
LAST MEETING: First Meeting
LAST GAME: FGCU 78, Saint Leo 59 (Exhibition) - Box Score on Pg. 26
VS. MOUNTAIN WEST: First Meeting
LAST 5 GAMES OF 2010-11: 4-1
AT A GLANCE
For the ninth straight year, FGCU will open its season on the road when it takes on Mountain West member TCU on Friday night in Fort Worth, Texas. The trip to the Longhorn state is the first of two for the Eagles over the first week of the season. Opening just the 10th season in program history, the Eagles are 3-6 all-time in season openers. FGCU has opened on the road in each of the previous four years as Division I member, going to Indiana in 2010 (L, 88-60), No. 2 Michigan State in 2009 (L, 97-58), defending NCAA Champion Kansas in 2008 (L, 85-45) and Bethune-Cookman in 2007 (W, 60-57).
NEW COACH, NEW HOPES
On March 31st, the FGCU men’s basketball program got a new look for its 10th season in program history when ANDY ENFIELD was named head coach. Enfield, who spent the previous five years as an assistant with Florida State, is the second head coach in FGCU’s brief history. While at FSU, Enfield was a part of two teams that advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and back-to-back clubs that lead the NCAA in defensive field goal percentage.
D-1 TESTED & NOW APPROVED
On August 12, 2011, all 14 of FGCU’s Division I sports became postseason eligible when the NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved the recommendation from the NCAA Division I Administration Cabinet to elect FGCU to Division I active membership. FGCU began its transition into Division I in 2007-08. The Eagles are now eligible for Atlantic Sun postseason play and NCAA Tournament.
SCOUTING THE HORNED FROGS
Predicted to finish eighth in the Mountain West, TCU is led by fourth-year head coach JIM CHRISTIAN. TCU opened its season with a 68-46 exhibition victory over Cameron last Saturday. The Horned Frogs welcome back a trio of talented starters from last year's squad that went 11-22 overall. Senior point guard and former Virginia Tech transfer HANK THORNS leads the way after finishing his first season in Fort Worth as the only player in the nation to finish in the top-12 in assists (7.0/4th) and assist/turnover ratio (2.71/12th). A 2010-11 candidate for the Bob Cousy Award that recognizes the nation's top point guard, Thorns was selected to the Preseason All-Mountain West team. Senior wing GARLON GREEN provides an inside-out scoring threat for the Frogs, while J.R. CADOT provides senior leadership to a frontcourt full of newcomers. The 6-foot-7 Green finished second on the team last year in scoring (11.2) while making a team-best 49 three-pointers at an impressive 48 percent clip. Cadot is the team's leading returning rebounder at a 6.0 per game clip, highlighted by 80 offensive caroms.
Friday's season opener between FGCU and TCU will feature a pair of premiere three-point shooters in sophomore CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL and junior GARLON GREEN. Both had breakout seasons from downtown in 2010-11. Varidel finished fifth among all freshmen with 78 threes, while Green's 49 makes came one year after going 7-of-37 from downtown.
FGCU will play seven games over 17-day span to open the season. Out of those seven games, five will come on the road, including two trips to Texas. The last four games of the month will come away from home in Texas, Miami and Maryland.
FGCU was predicted to finish in eighth place in both preseason Atlantic Sun polls voted on by the league coaches and media. The Eagles finished with a 7-13 mark in the A-Sun last season, which was good for seventh place and a spot in the postseason tournament, if they were eligible.
Sophomore CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL ranked second in the A-Sun in three-pointers per game (2.6) in his rookie campaign, making total of 78 on the season. His 78 threes were the fifth-most by a freshman in the entire country and the fourth-best total in program history. Varidel made three or more trifectas in a game 16 times and accounted for 45 percent of the team’s long range makes on the year. The Versoix, Switzerland product finished second on the team in scoring (11.2) and was named to the A-Sun All-Freshmen squad.
Junior SHERWOOD BROWN will be a key component to FGCU’s success under first-year head coach ANDY ENFIELD. Sparked by a career-high 26 points in the season finale at USC Upstate, Brown finished the month of February (10 games) with a 11.2 scoring average - more than four points above his season mark. Brown reached double figures in each of the final four games, averaging 18.3 points while leading the team in scoring three times. He also upped his effort on the boards, equaling a career-high nine rebounds on a pair of occasions down the stretch.
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Despite having just four players over 6-foot-8, FGCU has one of the biggest players in the A-Sun Conference manning its frontline in 6-foot-10, 254-lb. forward KEVIN CANTINOL. The senior came on strong over the final 10 months of last season after becoming eligible mid-year after transferring from SEC foe Mississippi. Cantinol averaged 7.9 and 6.3 rebounds over the last 10 games despite making just four starts. Over the final 10 games, Cantinol led the team in rebounding five times and collected 27 offensive caroms.
FGCU’s roster will not only have a new look on the sideline, but also on the court as first-year head coach Andy Enfield ushered in six new players. Included in the six newcomers are five freshmen, giving the Eagles a total of nine underclassmen. The talented freshmen class includes a quartet of guards and 6-foot-9 small forward FILIP CVJETICANIN from Croatia.
A-SUN RANKED 17TH
The 10-member Atlantic Sun Conference was lauded by CBS College Sports as the 17th-best Division I men's basketball conference, according to the media outlet's preseason rankings. Last year, Belmont represented the A-Sun in the NCAA Tournament, while Jacksonville and ETSU played in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
The second half of the 2010-11 season was a youth movement for the Eagles, as underclassmen led the team in scoring 18 of out the last 20 games. Then-freshman CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL was the catalyst, leading the team in scoring eight times over the 20 games. Redshirt sophomore ANTHONY BANKS, who transferred out, led the team in scoring six times over the span. Then sophomore SHERWOOD BROWN used a 26-point outing in the season finale at USC Upstate to cap a run of three of four games he led the team.
After averaging 8.3 points over the first 15 games of his freshman season, CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL reached the double figure plateau 12 times over the final 15 games in which he averaged 14.7 points. Varidel's second half scoring surge helped him finish 17th in the A-Sun in scoring (11.5), good for third among league freshmen.
ON THE OFFENSIVE
Not equipped with a lot of size in the paint, FGCU made up for it by staying active on the offensive glass in 2010-11. The Eagles finished second in the A-Sun in offensive rebounds per game (13.2). FGCU has grabbed double figure offensive boards in 52 of its last 59 games (last 2 years), including 26 last season. The Green and Blue finished 2010-11 with a streak of eight straight games with double figure offensive caroms.