GAME PREVIEW: FGCU Makes Second Trip to Dallas to Face SMU
Friday, November 18, 2011
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Freshman Bernard Thompson scored a team-high 16 points in last weekend's trip to Dallas to face TCU (Photo by Dennis Snyder).
Freshman Bernard Thompson scored a team-high 16 points in last weekend's trip to Dallas to face TCU (Photo by Dennis Snyder).
FGCU (2-2)
at
SMU (2-2)
11/19/2011 | Dallas, Texas | Attendance: 1374
1st2ndFinal
FGCU352964
SMU303565
Stats at a GlanceFGCUSMU
FG Percentage.393 (22-56) .426 (20-47)
3P FG Percentage.500 (10-20) .348 (8-23)
FT Percentage.833 (10-12) .739 (17-23)
Offensive Rebounds1210
Defensive Rebounds2223
Total Rebounds3433
Turnovers1316
Steals105
Bench Points3028
Statistical LeadersFGCUSMU
PointsVARIDEL - 20
NYAKUNDI - 18
ReboundsTHOMPSON - 8
NYAKUNDI - 8
AssistsTHOMPSON - 3
GILES - 4
StealsCOMER - 4
JONES - 2
BlocksNYAKUNDI - 2

GAMEDAY CENTRAL
FGCU (2-1) at SMU (1-2)
DATE: Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011
CITY: Dallas, Texas
SITE: Moody Coliseum (8,998)
TIP-OFF: 2:00 p.m. ET
LIVE VIDEO: www.SMUMUSTANGS.com
LIVE AUDIO: www.SMUMUSTANGS.com
LIVE STATS: www.SMUMUSTANGS.com
SERIES: SMU leads, 1-0
LAST MEETING: Nov. 21, 2009 @SMU 79, FGCU 62
LAST GAME: FGCU 68, Prairie View 59
VS. CONFERENCE USA: 0-1
CURRENT STREAK: W2

AT A GLANCE
Less than 48 hours removed from picking up its second straight win, FGCU begins a streak of four consecutive road games on Saturday with showdown against Conference USA foe SMU at 2 p.m. ET. The trip to the Dallas area is the second of the young season for the Eagles, who dropped a heartbreaker, 73-72, at TCU in the season opener. Since then, FGCU has ripped off a pair of victories, the first under head coach Andy Enfield. A win would give the Green and Blue their second-ever three-game non-conference win streak and their most victories in November since joining Division I in 2007-08.

ALL-TIME SERIES
Saturday will be the second meeting between the two schools. SMU took the only meeting on Nov. 21, 2009 at Moody Coliseum by a 79-62 margin. Just a combined four players from the two teams are currently on this year's roster that played in the contest in 2009. The Mustangs are the only Conference USA team that FGCU has ever played, while SMU head coach Matt Doherty spent one season in the Atlantic Sun as the head coach of FAU in 2005-06.

SECOND HALF SURGE
Led by the play of freshman point guard BRETT COMER, FGCU has overcome a sluggish first half in each game by averaging 42.3 points over the final 20 minutes. Comer has been the catalyst to the second half turnaround, averaging 12.0 points over the span while passing out 14 assists that have led to 36 more points. As a team, FGCU is shooting a scalding 60 percent (46-77) in the second half, including 14-of-26 from three-point land. Nine of the 10 FGCU players who have taken a shot in the final 20 minutes are shooting 50 percent or better, while Comer has a hand in 57 percent of the points scored.

SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS
Led by sixth-year head coach Matt Doherty, SMU enters with a 1-2 record after a heartbreaking 54-52 loss to Fresno State in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-off on Tuesday. The Mustangs are coming off a 20-win campaign in 2010-11 that resulted a run to the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Last season, SMU led Conference USA in three-pointers per game and scoring defense, and is back at it again this season. Led by senior sharpshooter Robert Nyakundi, the Mustangs are making 8.3 threes per contest in the young season. Tabbed the Best Shooter in Conference USA by Sporting News, the 6-foot-8 Nyakundi is a preseason All-Conference choice and leads the team in scoring at 11.7 points per contest. Nyakundi made 97 threes as a junior, leading SMU to a program record 277 long range field goals. Nevada transfer London Giles ranks second on the team in scoring (11.0) early in his first official season with SMU. The Mustangs' starting five also sports a pair of impressive freshmen in Jalen Jones and Cannen Cunningham. Jones reached double figures in the first two games, while Cunningham made his first start against Fresno State, going for 17 points and nine rebounds. SMU equaled the program record for home wins last season with 15 victories at Moody Coliseum.

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.

INSTANT IMPACT
FGCU's freshmen class has wasted little time making an impact, accounting for 50 percent of the scoring, 35 percent of the rebounds and 68 percent of the assists. Point guard BRETT COMER and combo-guard BERNARD THOMPSON rank first and second on the team in scoring at 14.7 and 12.7 points, respectively. Comer is also the team's top assist man with 6.3 helpers per contest. Thompson's 12.7 points are joined by 5.3 rebounds per game. The duo has each scored in double figures the first three games and was joined by classmate FILIP CVJETICANIN in the win over Prairie View A&M on Thursday.

WE'LL PICK YOU UP
Through three games, FGCU owns a 89-54 advantage in bench points, good for a +11.6 margin per game. The bench has supplied a double figure scorer in all three games, including the team's leading scorer on two occasions. Junior SHERWOOD BROWN came off the pine against Ave Maria for a team season-high 19 points in a win over Gyrenes.

SHARP SHOOTING
Fueled by a 60 percent clip in the second half this season, FGCU leads the Atlantic Sun with a 50.6 percent field goal percentage. The Eagles topped the 50-percent plateau in each of their first two games, while also leading the league in three-point field goal percentage (.407) and ranking second in threes per game (7.3). Sophomore CHASE FIELER is 5-of-6 from long range.

FAST START
Ranking among the top 10 in the Atlantic Sun Conference in four statistical categories, freshman BRETT COMER is off to a fast start early in the year. Highlighted by a 10-assist effort against Prairie View, Comer leads the A-Sun in assists per game (6.3). He has reached double figures in all three games, resulting in a team-high 14.7 points per game, good for fourth in the conference.

SEEING DOUBLE
Freshman BRETT COMER has taken the reigns of the point guard position in his first season as an Eagle and on Thursday recorded the team's first double-double of the season. The Winter Park, Fla. product, who was the point guard alongside current Duke freshman Austin Rivers, went for 15 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals in the win over Prairie View A&M.

WITH A WIN ...
• The Eagles would be off to their best start in Division I history.
• FGCU would own just its second three-game non-conference win streak since joining Division I in 2007-08.
• Set a record for most wins (3) in November during D-1 era.
• Would give the Eagles their first road win under new head coach Andy Enfield.