Tiny Dancers: Florida Gulf Coast
Florida Gulf Coast was the first team to punch its ticket to the NCAA tournament.
They made sure that didn’t happen this season.
An 11-2 run to start the second half extended a two-point lead to 11, and the Eagles never looked back en route to an 88-75 win over top-seeded Mercer on Saturday. Brett Comer (top-20 nationally in assists) led the way with 21 points and five assists for the Eagles.
Florida Gulf Coast has only been eligible for Division-I postseason play for the past two seasons, and coach Andy Enfield has led the team to a title game appearance in both seasons. After the team tripped to the Bahamas in the offseason, Enfield said they were using last year’s loss as motivation.
“It gave our players confidence going into the offseason, and it gave them a sense of pride and excitement for the future,” Enfield said over the summer.
Florida Gulf Coast knocked off Miami earlier this season, and has won 12 of its last 14 games. One fact to note: The Eagles have led at halftime in 20 straight games.
Players to know: Bernard Thompson and Sherwood Brown. The Eagles’ backcourt duo is what gets them going. Brown leads the team in scoring and rebounding, and he’s capable of scoring in a variety of ways. Thompson is fifth nationally in steals per game, but he’s also scored in double-figures in nine straight games.
- Record: 24-10 overall, 13-5 in Atlantic Sun
- Most recent tournament appearance: N/A
- Jerry Palm predicts: 16 seed
- KenPom ranking: 137
- Sagarin ranking: 140
- RPI: 103
- Best wins: Miami, Loyola (Md.)
- Worst losses: Maine, East Tennessee State
- Notable stat: The Eagles are at their best when they are forcing turnovers and getting transition baskets at the rim. They rank in the top-20 nationally in steals, and No. 25 in steal percentage. Moreover, they shoot better than 52 percent on 2-pointers.
For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our College Basketball Newsletter. You can follow Jeff Borzello on Twitter here: @jeffborzello
Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander discuss all things Marvin Bagley and his immediate future
Which version of Grayson Allen will show up for Duke and other questions for every ranked...
Upon landing the nation's top recruit, Duke tops the list with other title contenders at the...
The presumptive No. 1 overall NBA Draft choice makes the Blue Devils 3/1 favorites to win it...
Commitment to Duke is the first step, but the next one is the biggest; here's what you need...
The top recruit in the nation commits to the Blue Devils, who soar to No. 1 in our Top 25 (and...