Florida Gulf Coast Men's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
Atlantic Sun (24-10, 13-5)

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Florida Gulf Coast will go to their first ever NCAA Tournament as a result of their 88-75 win over regular season champion Mercer in the conference title game on March 9.  FGCU really hit their stride at the end of the season.  They are carrying a ton of momentum into the Big Dance.  They had just beaten Mercer a week and a half earlier to end the regular season.  That late February win sparked the team and they reeled off five straight victories.  They are a fundamentally sound team that can shoot and get after the ball defensively.  In just two seasons as head coach, Andy Enfield has put FGCU on the map.

Big Wins: 11/13 Miami (FL) (63-51), 12/1 Loyola (MD) (65-50), 3/9 at Mercer (88-75)
Bad Losses: 12/22 at Maine (78-84), 1/12 at East Tennessee State (75-85), 2/16 at Lipscomb (74-84)
Coach: Andy Enfield (2 years at Florida Gulf Coast)

Why They Can Surprise:
FGCU is sound in a lot of areas of the game.  Their attention to detail may allow them to stick around in a game or two.  First of all, they can put up some points (73 per game).  More importantly, they have three guys they can go to when they need a bucket.  Number one option, senior Sherwood Brown, leads the team with 15.3 points per game and is their clear leader.  They also have Bernard Thompson and Chase Fieler, both of whom score over 12 points per contest.  Fieler himself shoots over 56 percent from the field.  They are strong in that regard overall as a team.  They were second to Stetson by a tenth of a point in field goal percentage at 45.9.  Defensively, they were strong at being able to stop the three.  They guarded the arc so well that opponents would have to pass inside, which led to an advantage for the Eagles.  They were 18th in the country in steals for the season.  

Why They Can Disappoint:
FGCU struggles in other areas of the game.  Even in high-scoring affairs, FGCU is still susceptible to giving up a lot of points.  Defensively, they allowed teams to score 66.7 per game.  With their average, that does not seem so bad, but some teams are going to have good shooting nights.  That’s when the Eagles get in trouble.  Also, for as much as they score, they could stand to do a little better from outside.  They shoot 33.5 percent, which is not terrible, but they tend to only make around six per game.  Against a more skilled team, they will have to up that number.  The Eagles biggest problem is their turnovers and foul shooting.  They have one of the worst turnover averages in the country (15 per game).  Who knows how many more games they could have won had they cut down on turnovers?  From the stripe they only shoot 67.5 percent.  To stay in a close game in the tournament, they will need free points when they can get them.

Probable Starters:
Brett Comer, Sophomore, Guard, 7.9 ppg, 6.3 apg
Bernard Thompson, Sophomore, Guard, 14.0 ppg, 1.8 apg, 4.4 rpg
Sherwood Brown, Senior, Guard, 15.3 ppg, 1.2 apg, 6.4 rpg
Chase Fieler, Junior, Forward, 12.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Eric McKnight, Sophomore, Forward, 6.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Eddie Murray, Senior, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Christophe Varidel, Junior, Guard, 6.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.1 (53rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.7 (180, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.0 (51, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.6 (76, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (110, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.9 (167, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.7 (221, 4)
Rebound Margin: 1.2 (143, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.0 (97, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.7 (260, 6)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
No Tournament History

*all team stats through 3/10


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