Men's Basketball Heads to NYC to Take on St. John's on ESPN3
Saturday, November 24, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (@Pierson_SID)
Comer is second in the A-Sun in assists (4.8).
Comer is second in the A-Sun in assists (4.8).
Florida Gulf Coast (4-3)
St. John's (4-2)
11/24/2012 | QUEENS, N.Y. - Carnesecca Arena | Attendance: 4003
Florida Gulf Coast323668
St. John's324779
Stats at a GlanceFGCUSTJ
FG Percentage.443 (27-61) .550 (33-60)
3P FG Percentage.286 (6-21) .300 (3-10)
FT Percentage.727 (8-11) .625 (10-16)
Offensive Rebounds88
Defensive Rebounds2325
Total Rebounds3133
Bench Points925
Statistical LeadersFGCUSTJ
PointsTHOMPSON - 20
ReboundsFIELER - 7
AssistsTHOMPSON - 4
StealsBROWN - 3
BlocksMURRAY - 1

FGCU (4-2) at St. John’s (3-2)
Coaching Matchup: Andy Enfield (19-19; 2nd Season) vs. Steve Lavin (24-16; 3rd Season)
Date: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Time: 7:30 p.m.
City: Queens, N.Y.
Site: Carnesecca Arena (5,602)
TALENT: Tony Luftman (P-B-P) & Tarik Turner (Analyst)
Live Stats:
Twitter: @FGCU_MBB/@STJ_Basketball
Twitter Hashtags: #SJUvsFGCU/#ASUNMBB/#FGCU
Current Streak: W2
Vs. St. John’s: First Meeting
Vs. BIG EAST: 1-2

Off to the best start (4-2) in the program’s brief Division I history, FGCU will play its fourth game in six days on Saturday night when it takes on BIG EAST foe St. John’s at Carnesecca Arena. The game will be carried nationally on ESPN3 with Tony Luftman and Tarik Turner on the call. The Eagles are coming off a pair of wins in the Battle 4 Atlantis which it hosted on Wednesday and Thursday. The win in the championship game against Toledo, 72-66, earned the Green and Blue an automatic invitation to the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. The game will be FGCU’s fourth against a high-major program and fourth meeting all-time against a BIG EAST opponent. The Eagles are 1-2 all-time against the BIG EAST, defeating DePaul, 64-61, on Dec. 22, 2009 at Alico Arena in Fort Myers.

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 game.

Sparked by the return of head coach Steve Lavin, St. John’s is off to a 3-2 start, including a 2-0 mark at home. The Red Storm started the year 2-0 with wins over solid mid-major programs Detroit and College of Charleston before dropping a tough five-point game against Murray State and No. 16 Baylor at the Charleston Classic. Lavin and his staff welcomed in an eight-man recruiting class that was ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation, highlighted by 6-foot-8 rookie JaKarr Sampson who is averaging 12.4 points and a team-best 6.6 rebounds, coming off 20 points and seven boards against Holy Cross. While its freshman class is off to a great start, St. John’s is led by a pair of sophomore guards in D’Angelo Harrison and Phil Greene IV, who are averaging a combined 36 points. A 2012 BIG EAST All-Rookie team choice, Harrison reached the 20-point plateau in each of the first four games and ranks third in the BIG EAST in scoring at 21.4 points per game. Green IV has a pair of 20-point games of his own, including a career-high 24 points against Baylor and sits second on the club in scoring (14.6). Freshman Chris Obekpa equaled a program record with eight blocks in the season opener against Detroit and according to ranks third in the nation at 4.6 blocks per game.

Saturday night’s game features two premiere shot blockers in FGCU’s ERIC MCKNIGHT and St. John’s Chris Obekpa. McKnight, who transferred to FGCU from Iowa State, leads the A-Sun at 2.2 blocks per game, while Obekpa opened his first season in Queens with a program record eight rejections against Detroit. Obekpa leads the BIG EAST and ranks third in the country in blocks (4.6).

A Mid-Major All-American a year ago, sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON has a pair of 20-point games on the road this season and was named the A-Sun Player of the Week this past Monday. Ranks 9th in the A-Sun at 13.8 points per game.
• Thompson is averaging 22.5 points per game in two road games with 24 points at No. 9 Duke and 21 points at VCU in the season opener.
• 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 sixth in the A-Sun in three-point percentage (.478) and ninth in threes per game (1.8).
• Averaging 8.8 points in the second half that is boosted by 15 points in the final 20 minutes at No. 9 and at VCU.
• Hauled in a team season-best 11 boards vs. Toledo, moving up to 12th in the A-Sun at 5.3 per contest.

Senior SHERWOOD BROWN and sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON give FGCU one of the top backcourts in the Atlantic Sun. The duo is averaging a combined 28.1 points and 10.1 rebounds.
• One of two combos in the A-Sun to both rank in the top 10 in scoring ... Brown’s 14.3 points are eighth while Thompson’s 13.8 points are ninth.
• The duo has reached double figures in same game four times with FGCU going 2-2.
• Brown or Thompson has led the team in scoring in four of the six games.

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 six games.
• Third on the team in scoring (8.3) and rebounding (6.3), a figure that ranks fifth in the A-Sun.
• A-Sun leader in blocks (13) and blocks per game (2.2), who has a block in all six games.
• Team leader with 16 offensive rebounds to tie for fifth in the A-Sun at 2.7 per game.
• Shooting a team-best 50 percent, highlighted by seven 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.

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 thefts early on.
• Leads the A-Sun and ranks 15th in the nation, according to, with 3.2 steals per game.
• Registered a career-high of five steals at No. 9 Duke and against Toledo.
• Has a steal in 34 of 38 career games, including 25 multi-steal performances.

One of two players to rank in the A-Sun’s top 10 in scoring and rebounding in 2011-12, senior SHERWOOD BROWN is coming off a 22-point night against Toledo in the Battle 4 Atlantis title game hosted by FGCU in which he was named the MVP.
• Ranks eight in the A-Sun in scoring (14.3) and 15th in rebounding (4.8).
• Has reached double figures a team-best five times.
• FGCU is 2-0 when Brown leads in scoring.
• Highlighted by 17 points against Toledo, Brown averages 9.5 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 second in both scoring defense (64.5) and field goal percentage defense (.394) in the A-Sun.
• The Eagles lead the A-Sun with 9.7 steals per game and rank third in blocks (3.8).
• Allowed just 10 second chance points in the last two games.
• Sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON leads the A-Sun in steals (3.2), while redshirt sophomore ERIC MCKNIGHT leads the league in blocks (2.2).
• Forcing a conference-best 18.0 turnovers per game, forcing 15+ turnovers four times (3-1).
• Allowed 54 points or less in three of four wins.
• No team has shot over 35 percent from three-point land, as opponents are shooting just 27.5 percent.

After a tough opening night at VCU against its “Havoc” defense, FGCU point guards BRETT COMER and DAJUAN GRAF put together strong back-to-back performances. The duo dished out nine assists with no turnovers against Miami and nine assists against Ave Maria.
• Duo is averaging a combined 7.0 assists per game.
• Comer, a 2011-12 A-Sun All-Freshmen team choice, ranks second in the A-Sun with 4.8 assists per game.
• Comer had arguably the best game of his career against the Hurricanes with six points, seven rebounds, eight assists and no turnovers. Graf is averaging just one turnover per game.

FGCU is armed with a long and athletic lineup that has been aggressive at the rim and in the paint this season. The Eagles have averaged 33 points in the paint in six games this season, including 23 dunks.

Player - Dunks
Chase Fieler - 10
Eric McKnight - 7
Leonard Livingston - 2
Eddie Murray - 2
Sherwood Brown - 2
• FGCU has reached the 40-point plateau in points in the paint in two games - Maim and Toledo
• Eagles are coming off a season-high eight dunks against Toledo.