#34 Florida Gulf Coast Women's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #1 ASUN
 Florida Gulf Coast Logo
Florida Gulf Coast got off to a slow start at 2-5 last season, which included a loss to NCAA Tournament cinderella story Quinnipiac in the season opener. The Eagles got things rolling in the month of December and carried that over into the conference play and once again secured the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It was the fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in six years of eligibility for head coach Karl Smesko. He has done an outstanding job during his time with the Eagles.
2016-17 Record: 26-9, 14-2
2016-17 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Karl Smesko
Coach Record: 404-82 at Florida Gulf Coast, 465-109 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Jordin Alexander, Guard, 8.9 points per game
Haley Laughter, Forward, 8.6 points per game
Tayler Goodall, Guard, 2.1 points per game
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Rosemarie Julien, Senior, Forward, 11.0 points per game
Taylor Gradinjan, Redshirt Senior, Guard, 8.0 points per game
Erica Nelson, Senior, Guard, 9.2 points per game
Tytonia Adderly, Sophomore, Forward, 4.8 points per game
Jessica Cattani, Redshirt Senior, Guard, 6.7 points per game
Mikala McGhee, Graduate, Guard, 3.3 points per game
China Dow, Redshirt Senior, Guard, 8.7 points per game
Nasrin Ulel, Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 points per game
Samantha Kisiel, Sophomore, Forward, 0.6 points per game
Chandler Ryan, Sophomore, Guard, did not play last season
Key New Players
Alyssa Blair, Freshman, Guard
Sheahen Dowling, Freshman, Guard
Liberty Brown, Freshman, Guard/Forward
Kerstie Phills, Sophomore, Transfer from Wagner
Lisa Zderadicka, Redshirt Junior, Guard, Transfer from Houston Baptist
A tough non-conference schedule is on tap for Florida Gulf Coast this season as they will play Illinois, DePaul, and Kentucky. There is the possibility of games against Ohio State and Stanford out at the Play 4 Kay tournament in Las Vegas in late November. If the Eagles can pick up a couple of wins against this group of teams it will set them up with a nice seed in the NCAA Tournament. Rosemarie Julien, Taylor Gradinjan, and Erica Nelson will be the core of the offensive attack for Florida Gulf Coast. China Dow will be the key to the bench play once again this season as Dow averaged just under nine points per game. This team will be a tough out when they play Power Five opponents and find their way back to the NCAA Tournament this season.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.9 (54th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 56.1 (18, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.9 (92, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.7 (112, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  9.7 (5,1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.9 (153, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.5 (235, 3)
Rebound Margin: 0.3 (167, 3)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (71, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (16, 1)