PREVIEW: FGCU Welcomes ST. Thomas to Alico Arena – 12/21

FGCU heads back to the nest for the first time in 2 weeks to face off against St. Thomas University. The Eagles are currently on a frustrating 6 game losing streak and desperately looking to get back in the win column. St. Thomas is 8-2 and a member of the NAIA. The Bobcats are very experienced with 6 seniors on the team. Below, we will take a look at some of the players that could make an impact for St. Thomas.

The Players

Justin Brown (#1)

Brown is the clear leader on this team. He is a 6’4″ senior who has started all 10 games for the Bobcats. He averages 24 points, 2 assists, and 4 rebounds while playing 31 minutes per night. Brown shoots 50% from the floor, 46% from 3, and 85% from the foul line.

Ahmad Gilbert (#12)

Gilbert is a 6’7″ senior who has largely had his way so far this season. through 9 games (all starts), he is averaging 16 points, 3 assists, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals, in 29 minutes per outing. Gilbert is a solid shooter for a bigger player and continues to expand his range as he develops.

Quinterious Jones (#33)

Jones is a big body for the Bobcats. At 6’8″, the junior has played in all 10 of their games thus far, making 3 starts. In only 15 minutes per game, Jones is averaging 9 points and 5 rebounds. He severely lacks range, and is only 2/13 on his free throw attempts this year. However, he is good around the basket, and shoots 61% from floor.

Antoine Joe (#2)

Joe is a 6’0″, redshirt junior guard. He has played in all 10 games, making 3 starts. Joe is currently averaging 9 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds in 26 minutes per game. He is a fairly good 3-point shooter at 38%.

Jahsim Floyd (#40)

Floyd has made 7 starts for the Bobcats this year, playing in 9 games. He is a 6’8″ sophomore who has feasted on the smaller lineups that St. Thomas is accustomed to playing against. Floyd is averaging 8 points and 8 rebounds in 24 minutes of action. He is shooting 59% from the floor, but is not a shooter outside the paint.

Daejour Adderley (#00)

Adderley is a 6’2″ senior guard who has played in 9 games this season (8 starts). He plays about 20 minutes per game and is the lead distributor for the Bobcats. Currently, Adderley is averaging 5 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds a night, while shooting 48% from the field and 58% from 3.

Nick Strawter (#20)

Strawter is a 6’4″ senior guard. He has played in all 10 games this season, making 7 starts. He plays a smart, clean game, and rarely turns the ball over. Currently, he is averaging 5 points, and 3 rebounds. Strawter shoots at decent percentages from anywhere on the court, but prefers to play his brand of ball as a complimentary piece.

Matchups

Guards

St. Thomas’ backcourt is littered with seniors and upperclassmen. Brown is a fantastic basketball player, especially when surrounded by other seniors like Strawter and Adderley. Consistent with their experience, the Bobcats play a clean game. The Eagles, on the other hand, are very young. Zach Scott and Caleb Catto lead the team as sophomores. The Freshman, Jalen Harper, made his first start last game with up and down results as well. All other players at this position are upperclassmen but transfers in their first year with the team. Still, FGCU possesses talent that could certainly use a game like this to gain confidence and win some one on one matchups.

Forwards

Jones, Floyd, and Gilbert are solid bigs for the Bobcats. Gilbert leads them, and is a tough matchup. Jones has had a huge impact in very limited minutes. All three are starting caliber forwards. FGCU got a break last game when Brian Thomas suited up for the first time since their first game. He played only 12 minutes, but it was a good sign regardless. Thomas will probably play the same role in this game, potentially with slightly increased minutes as FGCU looks to get him in rhythm with his teammates and back into game shape. Justus Rainwater will likely be tasked with most of the work against Jones and Floyd. Tracy Hector will spend some time against Gilbert. Youngsters, Dakota Rivers and Qwanzi Samuels could have an increased role in this game as well as they look to get themselves going.

Projected Starters

FGCUSt. Thomas University
Zach ScottDaejour Adderley
Caleb CattoJustin Brown
Jalen HarperNick Strawter
Tracy HectorAhmad Gilbert
Justus RainwaterQuinterious Jones

Outlook

This is a game that FGCU has to win. St. Thomas is a good NAIA team which can be likened to D-II, as far as quality of players that enter their programs. After 6 straight losses, the Eagles have a good opportunity to run their offense and get into a rhythm against a lesser opponent before traveling across the US to play USC. This is a chance for struggling FGCU players to put it all together and find success.

Predictions

Elliott Kresse (10-3)

“If we don’t win this, jobs are at stake” – Elliott Kresse

72-67 – FGCU

Russell Kelly (6-7)

“St. Thomas is a good team, but this is a game that FGCU has to win.” – Russell

72-57 – FGCU

Dawson Jordan (6-7)

“FGCU needs to win this game for there to be any hope for the rest of the season.” – Dawson

62-54 – FGCU

Bryan Genter (6-7)

“This is a must-win situation. FGCU will rely on talent to overcome an experienced NAIA team.” – Bryan

67-58 – FGCU