FGCU traveled to Hanover to square up with Dartmouth, just two days after a tough loss to UMBC. For the second straight game the Eagles struggled to hit shots even when getting good looks. We will look at some of the good and the bad, as well as what to look forward to.
FGCU held Dartmouth to 55 points. While this is, in part, due to the Eagles’ own offensive struggles, holding a D-I opponent to 55 points is still impressive. Especially considering the Big Green were able to put up 68 against a strong Buffalo team.
Another positive is the continued improvement and growth seen in team leaders Zach Scott and Caleb Catto. Scott led both teams with 16 points. Catto added 12 of his own along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Catto’s passing and confidence, specifically, are maybe his two most impressive areas of growth since last season.
Dakota Rivers has improved each game this season and had his best performance against Dartmouth. While only putting up 4 points and 1 rebound, his defense on Dartmouth’s star player (Chris Knight) was impressive.
FGCU shot 34% from the floor and 25% from 3 after going cold in the 2nd half for the 2nd straight game. The Eagles have yet to put together a complete game. In each of their 3 games this year, they have shot well in one half and very poorly in the other.
The rebounding performance, as a team, left a lot to be desired as well. The Eagles came away with 7 less rebounds than the Big Green, even with a consistent size advantage. The amount of 50/50 balls that didn’t go their way is also discouraging. Many times, after a missed shot, the ball would bounce to a crowd of players and be tipped in the air a few times before landing in the hands of the opposing team.
The productivity of the bigs in this game was underwhelming. Justus Rainwater sniffed a double-double with 8 points and 9 rebounds. While this is something to build off of for Rainwater, there were a lot of missed opportunities for him on the offensive end. The communication between the post players and the guards passing the ball to them in the paint remains a big work in progress.
FGCU has a much more progress-friendly 4 days until their next game when they go to Georgia to battle an old rival in the Mercer Bears. These 4 days should provide Coach Michael Fly an opportunity to coach the players up on some of the techniques and other areas that need improvement after the last two games. It is certain that rebounding, defensive rotation, and post scoring will be points of emphasis. While the Dartmouth loss may be a tiny step backwards, there are obvious signs of growth and development as we progress further into this marathon that is the 2019-2020 season.