12/7/2013 | U.S. Century Bank Arena (Miami, Fla.) | Attendance: 2085
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||FIU|
|3P FG Percentage||.143
FGCU (4-3) @ FIU (7-4)
Saturday, Dec. 7 | 4:07 PM | U.S. Century Bank Arena (5,000)
TV: Fox Sports 1
Talent: Adam Alexander (PxP) | Mike Gminski (Analyst)
Game Notes: FGCU | FIU | A-Sun (Printable)
MIAMI – Looking to avoid its first three-game losing streak since the 2011-12 season, the FGCU men’s basketball team (4-3) travels across to state to take on FIU (7-4) Saturday afternoon in front of a national TV audience on Fox Sports 1.
The game was originally scheduled for a 5 p.m. tip but was moved up to 4 p.m. to accommodate FGCU’s third national TV broadcast of the season. Adam Alexander will have the call, with former Duke All-American Mike Gminski serving as the analyst. Fox Sports 1 is on DirectTV (channel 219), DISH Network (150) and locally in Southwest Florida on Comcast (450 HD and 69 SD).
Dirty Birds and fans not making the trip to Miami are encouraged to watch the game at Stevie Tomato’s in Fort Myers (75 and Daniels – 9510 Marketplace Road) or Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Estero (Off Ben Hill Griffin Parkway – Grande Oak Shoppes).
ON THE NATIONAL STAGE AGAIN
The Eagles’ first national TV game of the season at Nebraska was on the Big Ten Network before the Nov. 12 Breakfast at the Beach early-morning affair was broadcast live on ESPN2. The Eagles already have 10 regular-season games in 2013-14 slated to appear on national or regional television. Prior to this year, FGCU only had three such games – and only one on national TV – in its six previous seasons as a Division-I member.
BACK TO FRESHMAN YEAR?
Junior Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid) went over 100 career 3-pointers in FGCU’s 90-72 loss to Iona Sunday, becoming just the ninth player in program history with triple-digit trifectas. The 6-9 Croatian has been a valuable asset for the Eagles from long range this year as he’s currently connecting at a 50-percent clip (17-34) from the 3-point arc. His 17 made 3’s leads the Atlantic Sun, and are only a dozen shy of surpassing his entire total of 28 from last year.
As a freshman, Cvjeticanin finished second in the A-Sun by shooting 43 percent from 3 (56-130), a pace he is well ahead of this year. Additionally, the forward is doing more than just shooting from long range as he’s already grabbed 33 rebounds – 20 percent of his career total of 166 – in the season’s first seven games. Versus Iona he recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and a career-best 10 rebounds, one week removed from just missing his first double-double with a career-high-tying 17 points and nine rebounds opposite Ave Maria.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• In its four wins, FGCU has held its opponents to 38-percent field-goal shooting, but in its three losses foes have shot 54 percent.
• Senior Chase Fieler (@Fieler20) enters just 7 caroms shy of becoming the third player in program history with 500 career rebounds.
• FGCU is 3-2 all-time against FIU; the Eagles lost the two meetings before they were D-I, but have won three straight since 2007-08.
• FGCU defeated FIU in last year’s meeting at Alico Arena, 76-73.
• FGCU leads the Atlantic Sun Conference (@AtlanticSun) in scoring defense at 68.9 points per game and is second in turnover margin (-0.4).
• FIU is coming off a 77-59 home loss to Nova Southeastern on Tuesday after winning seven of its previous eight games, including a nine-point win over A-Sun member Stetson.
• The Panthers are in their first season as a member of Conference USA after being in the Sun Belt Conference.
• FIU’s next game after FGCU won’t be until Dec. 21 when the Panthers play defending national champion Louisville on their home court. Richard Pitino, the son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, coached FIU last year before taking the head job at Minnesota.
• FIU began the week leading the nation in total rebounds (456) with Rakeem Buckles ranking second in the country in total boards with 113.
• Tymell Murphy, who also led the nation in total minutes at the beginning of the week, has already recorded six double-doubles on the campaign.
• Entering Saturday’s game, Murphy and Buckles are both averaging more than 15 points per game, with Buckles adding 10.3 rebounds per outing.
• The Eagles will be looking to prevent FIU from winning its 300th Division-I game.
Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS): Leads the A-Sun in assists at 5.9 per game and ranks third in steals with 1.4 per contest. Comer’s 5.9 assist average is the 24th-best in the nation. The junior guard also boasts a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio with 41 helpers against 21 giveaways.
Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS): Ranks third in the A-Sun with a .615 field-goal percentage (40-65). That percent is 32nd-best in the country, and the senior leads FGCU in scoring at 14.6 – an average which ranks 5th best in the league.
Nate Hicks (Panama Beach, Fla. J.R. Arnold HS/Georgia Tech): Leads the A-Sun in blocks at 2 per game.
Jamail Jones (Atlanta, Ga./Montverde Academy/Marquette): Is averaging 32.9 minutes per game to rank third in the A-Sun.
Cvjeticanin: Has played at least 20 minutes in all seven games this year after only logging 20 or more minutes eight times in his career prior to this season.
DID YOU KNOW?
Comer has 12 career double-figure assist games. The player with the next closest total in the A-Sun is Mercer senior Langston Hall who only has three such games.
When head coach Joe Dooley took over the FGCU program in the offseason, one of the key areas the former Kansas assistant emphasized was taking care of the ball. Last year, FGCU ranked 282nd in the nation in turnovers per game at 14.7. This season, the Eagles are already ranked among the top 100 teams in the country at No. 94 with an average of just 11.4 giveaways per game.
FGCU will have a week between games before returning to The Nest for its final home non-conference game of the year next Saturday, Dec. 14, against Samford. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be shown for free on ASun.TV.
For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the men’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_MBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUMBB.
2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. New this year are mini-plan packages for all games, with the exception of “Breakfast at the Beach,” and individual-game tickets are now on sale. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.