GAME PREVIEW: Eagles Look to Continue Home Success Against Loyola Maryland
Saturday, December 01, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (@Pierson_SID)
McKnight is second in the A-Sun in blocks (1.8) per game. (Photo by Lindwood Ferguson)
McKnight is second in the A-Sun in blocks (1.8) per game. (Photo by Lindwood Ferguson)
Loyola (7-2)
Florida Gulf Coast (6-3)
12/1/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. - Alico Arena | Attendance: 2141
Florida Gulf Coast343165
Stats at a GlanceLOYFGCU
FG Percentage.333 (20-60) .442 (23-52)
3P FG Percentage.059 (1-17) .357 (5-14)
FT Percentage.600 (9-15) .609 (14-23)
Offensive Rebounds158
Defensive Rebounds2629
Total Rebounds4137
Bench Points1014
Statistical LeadersLOYFGCU
PointsLatham - 17
BROWN - 14
ReboundsCormier - 9
AssistsWinbush - 3
StealsOlson - 2
Winbush - 2
Cormier - 2
BlocksLatham - 2

FGCU (5-3) vs. Loyola University Maryland (7-1)
Coaching Matchup: Andy Enfield (20-20; 2nd Season) vs. Jimmy Patsos (129-124; 9th Season)
Date: Saturday, December 1, 2012
Time: 7:05 P.M. EST
City|Site: Fort Myers, Fla. | Alico Arena (4,500)
Live Video: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
Live Audio: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
Talent: Brice Zimmerman (P-B-P) & J. Webb Horton (Analyst)
Live Stats: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
Twitter: @FGCU_MBB/@LoyolaMBB
Twitter Hashtags: #FGCUvsLMD/#ASUNMBB/#FGCU
Current Streak: W1
At Home: 4-0
Vs. Loyola (MD): 0-1
Vs. MAAC: 0-1

Off to the program’s best start in Division I history and coming off a convincing 86-62 road win at Samford on Wednesday, FGCU opens up the month of December at Alico Arena against MAAC favorite Loyola University Maryland on Saturday night. The Eagles’ 5-3 mark is boosted by a perfect 4-0 record at home, while the Greyhounds enter with a 7-1 record and occupy the No. 21 spot in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll. Defense has been the theme to FGCU’s 4-0 record at Alico Arena, as the Green and Blue are giving up just 54.8 points per game, limiting opponents to 36 percent shooting and forcing 19 turnovers. The Eagles defeated ACC foe Miami in its home opener on Nov. 13.

Senior SHERWOOD BROWN and sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON give FGCU one of the top backcourts in the Atlantic Sun and the top scoring tandem in the conference. The duo is averaging a combined 30.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
• One of two combos in the A-Sun to both rank in the top 10 in scoring ... Thompson’s 15.5 points are 7th, while Brown’s 15.4 points are 8th.
• Both reached the 20-point plateau at Samford, combining for 43 points, including 26 in the second half.
• The duo has reached double figures in same game six times with FGCU going 3-3.
• Brown or Thompson has led the team in scoring in six of the eight games.
• One of the two has reached 20 points in three straight contests.

A-Sun Top Scoring Tandems:
Thompson/Brown (FGCU) - 30.9 ppg
Craig/Rodgers (USC Upstate) - 30.6 ppg
Pegg/Graham (Stetson) - 30.3 ppg
Cummings/Love (Kennesaw St.) - 28.2 ppg
Smith/Wallace (UNF) - 28.0 pgg

Senior SHERWOOD BROWN became the second straight Eagle to win the A-Sun Player of the Week this past Tuesday, announced by the league office. Brown averaged 14.7 points over the three-game week that was highlighted by a 22-point outing against Toledo to win MVP honors of the Battle 4 Atlantis hosted by FGCU. Brown’s A-Sun Player of the Week honor follows sophomore Bernard Thompson’s on Nov. 20. Brown has also been named College Sports Madness’ A-Sun Player of the Week two straight times.

Outlet (Date) - RPI 
Real Time (11/29) - 81
CBS Sports (11/29) - 82
Rivals (11/28) - 74
StatSheet (11/29) - 76
WarrenNolan.com (11/29) - 81
Sagarin (11/29) - 131
Massey (11/28) - 140
Pomeroy (11/28) - 117
CollegeHoopsNet.com (11/29) - 76
Non-Conference Opponents Combined Record (Only D1):

Sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON registered 57 steals as a freshman in 2011-12, good for third in the A-Sun and fifth-best in program single-season history. Thompson is back at it again this season, leading the A-Sun in thefts and ranking tied for 12th in the nation.
• Leads the A-Sun and ranks 12th in the nation at 3.0 steals.
• Had a career-high of five steals at No. 9 Duke and against Toledo.
• On a streak of eight straight games with a steal.
• Has a steal in 36 of 40 career games, including 27 multi-steal performances.

Loyola enters Saturday’s contest with a 7-1 record and is currently riding a six-game win streak, and coming off a 67-51 win over Coppin State on Nov. 28. Led by ninth-year head coach Jimmy Patsos, who won the 2012 MAAC Coach of the Year award, the Greyhounds were tabbed as the favorite to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Loyola University Maryland returns four starters from a team that went 24-9 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history last season. The Greyhounds’ 24 wins in 2011-12 set a new program record for the most wins in a season since they joined Division I in 1981-82. Loyola is off to its best start in school Division I history after eight games at 7-1, matching the record set by last year’s team. • The Greyhounds are led by graduate-student forward Erik Etherly, who was picked as the 2012-13 MAAC Preseason Player of the Year. Etherly is averaging 15.7 points per game and leads the team in rebounding pulling down 8.0 boards a game. However, Etherly has missed the Greyhounds last two contests with a shoulder injury and he is considered doubtful for Saturday’s game. Loyola will now lean on a pair of Preseason All-MAAC second team guards junior Dylon Cormier and senior Robert Olson. Cormier is averaging team-highs in points (18.4) and steals (1.6) this season, marks that are fourth and seventh, respectively, in the MAAC. Olson is also putting up solid numbers with 11.8 points.

A CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major All-American a year ago, sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON has a quartet of 20-point games on the road this season and was named the A-Sun Player of the Week on November 20.
• Team’s leading scorer (15.5) and rebounder (5.6), marks that ranks seventh and 11th in the A-Sun, respectively.
• Thompson is averaging 21.5 points per game in four road games with 24 points at No. 9 Duke, 21 points at VCU, 21 points at Samford and 20 points at St. John’s.
• Highlighted by a career-high six three-pointers at No. 9 Duke, - tied for the most threes in the A-Sun this season - he ranks 6th in the A-Sun in three-point percentage (.419) and 10th in threes per game (1.6).
• Averaging 9.9 points in the second half that is boosted by 15 points in the final 20 minutes at No. 9 Duke and at VCU, 14 at St. John’s and 12 at Samford.

Redshirt sophomore ERIC MCKNIGHT sat out the 2011-12 after transferring to FGCU from Iowa State and is off to a strong start in the Green and Blue. The 6-foot-9 bouncy forward with a 7-foot-2 wingspan has started all eight games.
• Fourth on the team in scoring (8.1) and second in rebounding (5.3), a figure that ranks 12th in the A-Sun.
• Second in the A-Sun in blocks (14) and blocks per game (1.8)
• Team leader with 18 offensive rebounds, good for 6th in the A-Sun at 2.3 per game.
• Shooting 51 percent, highlighted by nine dunks.
• Produced game-highs of 14 points and eight rebounds in the win over Miami.
• Scored a season-high 15 points against Toledo with seven boards and three blocks.

One of two players to rank in the A-Sun’s top 10 in scoring and rebounding in 2011-12, senior SHERWOOD BROWN was named the College Sports Madness A-Sun player of the Week for second straight time on Monday after a 22-point night against Toledo in the Battle 4 Atlantis title game hosted by FGCU in which he was named the MVP.
• Ranks 8th in the A-Sun in scoring (15.4), 17th in rebounding (4.4), tied for 9th in steals (1.5) and 6th in minutes (32.0).
• Has reached double figures a team-best seven times, highlighted by a season-high 22 points against Toledo and at Samford.
• FGCU is 3-0 when Brown leads in scoring.
• Highlighted by 17 points against Toledo and 14 at Samford, Brown averages 9.8 points in the second half.

Known for its up-tempo style on offense, FGCU is starting show the traits of some of the teams coach ANDY ENFIELD was a member of at Florida State when it became the first team since the 1990-92 Georgetown clubs to lead the NCAA in field goal percentage defense in back-to-back years.
• FGCU ranks third in the A-Sun in field goal percentage defense (.417).
• The Eagles lead the A-Sun with 9.0 steals per game and rank third in blocks (3.4).
• Allowed just 30 second chance points in the last four games.
• Sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON leads the A-Sun in steals (3.0), while redshirt sophomore ERIC MCKNIGHT is second in the league lead in blocks (1.8).
• Forcing a conference third-best 16.8 turnovers per game, forcing 15+ turnovers five times (3-2).
• Allowed 54 points or less in three of five wins.
• No team has shot over 35 percent from three-point land, as opponents are shooting just 26.6 percent.
• Out-rebounding opponents by +2.6 per game.

FGCU is 4-0 at Alico Arena this season and 13-5 all-time at home under second-year head coach Andy Enfield. Out-scoring opponents by 13.0 points per game and limiting the opposition to 54.8 points per contest.
• Forcing 19 turnovers per game, leading to 10.5 steals.
• Dominating inside, out-scoring opponents 147-66 in the paint, good for 36.8 points per game and a 20.3 per game difference.
• Defeated ACC foe Miami in the home opener, limiting the Canes to just 29 percent (16-55) shooting.

Sophomore BRETT COMER and freshman DAJUAN GRAF give FGCU a solid 1-2 option at the point position. Both are in the top 15 in the A-Sun in assists with Comer looking to defend his league assist crown from his freshman campaign.
• Duo is averaging a combined 7.7 assists per game.
• Comer, a 2011-12 A-Sun All-Freshmen team choice, ranks second in the A-Sun with 5.4 assists per game.
• Comer had arguably the best game of his career against Miami with six points, seven rebounds, eight assists and no turnovers.
• Comer recorded his fifth career double-digit assist game at Samford.
• Graf is 15th in the A-Sun in assists per game (2.3) and has seven turnovers in eight games.

FGCU is armed with a long and athletic lineup that has been aggressive at the rim and in the paint this season. The Eagles are averaging 32.9 points in the paint this season, including 33 dunks.

Player - Dunks
Chase Fieler - 14
Eric McKnight - 9
Sherwood Brown - 4
Eddie Murray - 3
Leonard Livingston - 2
Bernard Thompson - 1
• FGCU has reached the 40-point plateau in points in the paint in two games - Miami and Toledo
• Been held below 30 points in the paint just one time.
• Eagles had a season-high eight dunks against Toledo.

Over the last four games, junior CHASE FIELER has been FGCU’s top rebounder (6.5) and third-leading scorer at 11.8 points per contest.
• Reached double figures in a career long four straight games and five out of the last six.
• Third on the team in scoring (8.5) and rebounding (5.0).
• Named to the Battle 4 Atlantis All-Tournament team.
• Team leader with 14 dunks.
• Has led the team in rebounding the last two games.

With its 72-66 win over Toledo in the Championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament hosted by FGCU, the Eagles earned an automatic invitation into the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. All four teams in the tournament (FGCU, Toledo, Samford & Alcorn State) played games against teams in the 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis, while a bid for the 2016 main event was up for grabs at the tournament hosted in Southwest Florida. Behind Tournament MVP SHERWOOD BROWN’S 17 points in the second half, the Eagles erased a 10-point halftime deficit to take down Toledo in the championship.