#33 Florida Gulf Coast Women's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
Overall Rank: #33
Conference Rank: #1 ASUN
 Florida Gulf Coast Logo
Florida Gulf Coast continues to dominate the ASUN. Last year the Eagles went 16-0 in conference play and cruised to yet another NCAA Tournament. The Eagles fell to sixth-seeded Michigan in the first round. However, with their top eight scorers back and five Division I transfers entering the mix, this could be the best Eagles team ever. Winning another conference title is too easy of a goal. Now FGCU will be looking to make some serious noise in the NCAA Tournament.
2020-21 Record: 23-6, 16-0
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Karl Smesko
Coach Record: 360-73 at Florida Gulf Coast, 553-121 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Alyssa Blair, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Tomia Johnson, Guard, 2.4 ppg
Sheahen Dowling, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Kierstan Bell, Junior, Guard, 24.3 ppg
Tishara Morehouse, Senior, Guard, 17.7 ppg
Aaliyah Stanley, Junior, Guard, 9.6 ppg
Tyra Cox, Senior, Guard, 9.3 ppg
Emma List, Senior, Guard, 7.2 ppg
Andrea Cecil, Senior, Guard/Forward, 5.7 ppg
Maddie Antenucci, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 4.9 ppg
Seneca Hackley, Sophomore, Guard, 4.2 ppg
Tanner Bryant, Senior, Guard/Forward, 2.8 ppg
Kierra Adams, Sophomore, Guard, 1.3 ppg
Kerstie Phills, Senior, Guard, dnp last season
Key New Players
Milan Schimmel, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Cincinnati
Karli Seay, Senior, Guard, Transfer from LSU
Kendall Spray, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Clemson
Kaela Webb, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Detroit Mercy
Kierstan Bell had an amazing debut campaign for the Eagles, averaging 24.3 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals and 2.3 blocks. She also hit 35.8 percent of her 8.7 attempts per game from beyond the arc. Bell can carry this team a long way, but she will get plenty of help from Tishara Morehouse in the scoring department. The senior guard tallied 17.7 points per game and dished out a team high 3.7 assists. Like Bell and Morehouse, Aaliyah Stanley and Tyra Cox are very good shooters. Emma List and Andrea Cecil are more than capable of knocking down some three-pointers too and it is no surprise that FGCU ranked first in the nation with 11.8 made three-pointers per game. This group knows how to play effectively in Coach Karl Smesko’s fast-paced offense. Maddie Antenucci, Seneca Hackley and Tanner Bryant were all in the regular rotation at times last season. Antenucci is the one to watch from that group. In her collegiate debut she scored 18 points, but was limited the rest of the season due to an injury. Kerstie Phills sat out last season. Two years ago, she averaged 7.9 points and 4.2 rebounds as a regular starter. Depth is important for a team that wants to run like Florida Gulf Coast. Experience is important too. Four senior transfers will provide both. Milan Schimmel spent one season at Cincinnati and started 12 of 14 appearances. Karli Seay did a lot of dirty work over the past three seasons in LSU’s backcourt. Kaela Webb only played in 12 games as a freshman at Detroit, but she poured in 17.7 points per game and proved to be a great shooter. Speaking of great shooters Kendall Spray spent time at Tennessee-Martin and Clemson and averaged 10.3 points per game with the Tigers last season. Coach Smesko may have a problem keeping everybody happy, but that is a very good problem to have. There are a lot of players on this team that have starting experience and could very reasonably expect to start for FGCU in 2021-2022. Once the rotation is settled and the new pieces find their roles, this is a Florida Gulf Coast team that can win a game or two in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.6 (7th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.6 (57, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.3 (25, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.2 (79, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 11.8 (1, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.3 (80, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.8 (123, 1)
Rebound Margin: -1.3 (206, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.8 (15, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.3 (7, 1)