FGCU, while young in years, has seen great success from virtually all of its sports teams. Many individuals have represented the Eagles well, having success at the University, professionally, and in the community. Perhaps the greatest athletic achievement for FGCU thus far was the Sweet 16 run in the 2012-2013 men’s basketball season. This accomplishment gave the university a national spotlight and earned an ESPY for best upset in the process. But in order for that team’s run to take place, there were many individuals who helped pave the way from an NAIA to D-II program to a team with multiple D-I conference championships and trips to the NCAA tournament in less than 2 decades.
As we at Screecher Report currently have our focus set on basketball, we have speculated over the years about an All-FGCU men’s team. As the 2019-2020 season has come to a close, we decided to do an all-decade team, spanning each full season played between 2010-2019. We picked the best 15 players to make a roster but had to keep in mind positions so as to have a balanced team. Teams were designed to include 3 guards and 2 forwards. Players were chosen based on their athletic accomplishments, skills, stats, as well as the overall legacy they have left at the university. To qualify for the list, individuals must have played at the university for at least 2 seasons, both taking place within the stated decade.
Before getting into the All-Decade team, we want to honor and designate individuals to an All-FGCU 1st team from the early years at the school ( Mainly from 2002-03 to 2009-10). That team is as follows:
- Reed Baker (Guard, 2007-11, 12.8 ppg, 2.5 Rebounds, and 2 Assists.)
- Bryan Crislip (Guard, 2002-05, First ever FGCU recruit, 9.3 ppg, 6.8 assists, 4.2 rpg)
- Ryan Hopkins (Guard, 2002-05, 13.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, First 1000 pt scorer)
- Adam Liddell (Forward, 2005-08, 9.7 ppg, 7 rpg)
- Roman Brown (Forward, 2002-04, 6.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, perhaps the first “dunker” in program history)
We also wanted to give a shout-out to some of the runner-ups to the All-Decade team. These individuals didn’t make the final team due to either not being at the university long enough or because of simply where they stood on the depth chart behind eventual FGCU legends. Still, these players have their place in FGCU lore and are as follows:
- Shadrac Casimir (1 year with the team 2018-19, 14.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.3 apg. Shot a SCORCHING hot 3 ball 47.7 %)
- Dinero Mercurius (only 2 years 9.1 ppg 39.2% career from 3)
- Rayjon Tucker (Highest recruit in FGCU history, played only 2 years with the team before transferring. 2015-17 6.9 ppg, 3 rpg, 41.7% from 3. Memorable dunk against UNF, among others.)
- Eddie Murray (One of the Faces of the Dunk City Run. ESPN top 10 play, 2009-2013, 3.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg. Played in the most career games for FGCU at time of graduation.)
- Eric McKnight (2012-14, 6.6 ppg 4.7 rpg. The best dunker on that Dunk City squad.)
- Anthony Banks (2009-11, just 2 years with the team. 13.8 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Played just 1 year for FGCU in each of the last 2 decades, making it difficult to place him on either list.)
FGCU All-Decade Team
|FGCU All-Decade 1st Team|
Brett Comer is easily one of the most cherished and talked about players among FGCU fans. As the point guard and Maestro of Dunk City, he was on the giving end of most of those dunks and splash plays that made the world fall in love with the Eagles. The 2012-13 NCAA tournament run is a moment that will always be suspended in time. Brett played in 137 games over his 4 years with the Eagles, making 134 starts. He is FGCU’s all-time assists leader by a large margin and ranks 24th in NCAA history with 845. For his career he averaged 10.8 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. Since his time as an Eagle, he has famously spent time as an assistant coach with several teams, finding his way to Dayton this past year as the Flyers turned in a historic year.
Brandon Goodwin is perhaps the best player to wear an Eagles basketball jersey. In only two years with the team (68 games), he amassed 1261 points and is 7th all-time at the university. He holds the franchise record for scoring average over his FGCU career with 18.5 points per game. Had he played all four of his collegiate seasons with FGCU, he would hold many records and easily be among the most decorated athletes in school history. Goodwin is currently the only FGCU player and graduate to play in the NBA. Averaged 18.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game over his FGCU career and has since found himself a home with the Atlanta Hawks.
It’s hard to think of FGCU without thinking of the Sweet 16 run. Similarly, it’s hard to think of that special time in Eagles history without thinking of a man named Sherwood Brown. Brown joined the program as a freshman and walk-on. He impressed as a freshman and his role expanded every year, culminating in senior season where he averaged 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as well as ASUN Conference POY honors. His spectacular season guided the Eagles to their first NCAA tourney in only their 2nd season of full D-I eligibility. He was the face of the Dunk City movement and maybe the most iconic figure in FGCU basketball history.
“When I started at FGCU, we didn’t have much success my first two years but we showed some promise. In my Junior year, we knew we had a chance to be special. That 4th year rolled around and we knew it was our time to shine. I won Conference POY, Bernard [Thompson] won Defensive POY, and we were really confident in ourselves. The tournament came and one win turned into another. We had fun while kicking butt and became a Cinderella story.
Coach Fly is one of the main guys who helped me. He spent so much time in the gym with me, whenever I wanted to work on anything. We still talk often and, in my opinion, there is nobody more deserving to run that program than him.”Sherwood Brown
Chase Fieler helped create many memories for FGCU fans. Over his career he played in 134 games, making 117 starts. He averaged 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds during his 4 years as an Eagle. He is the school’s leading rebounder with 714. Fieler was on the Mount Rushmore of the Dunk City Run and contributed to many of the highlight reel plays that made that time so special. Since his time at the school, Fieler has played professionally in Europe. He has been a part of several championship teams and continues to showcase the same traits and style that helped cement his legacy with FGCU.
“My time at FGCU was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for more from the university, community, and athletics program. The history we made, building the program, and the people I met are some of my favorite memories. Going to the Sweet 16 and seeing how that affected all of Fort Myers was incredible. It wasn’t until years later, I think, that I fully grasped the magnitude that run really had. Watching the program continue to have success has been a great to witness. Talking with other players that have followed myself and others, they always give a lot of respect to the team we had.”Chase Fieler
Marc-Eddy Norelia remains one of the best bigs that FGCU has ever had. He transferred to FGCU as a sophomore, after a freshman season at Tulane. After sitting out a year, Norelia showed pretty quickly that he had a good shot for a player his size and had the athleticism to grow his game and skillset. As a junior, he had maybe the best season that an FGCU big has ever had, averaging 17.1 points and 9.3 rebounds and transforming into a true double-double machine. In his 3 seasons as an Eagle, Norelia averaged 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds. He ranks 3rd in FGCU history with 611 rebounds. Recently, Norelia found even more success with U.D. Oliveirense as their starting Center on the way to a a championship.
“My time at FGCU was unforgettable and I will cherish those memories forever. The success I had there plays a major role in that. The championships we were able to win and the overall team success makes my time as an Eagle even more special.”Marc-Eddy Norelia
|FGCU All-Decade 2nd Team|
Zach Johnson is obviously one of the top players to step foot on the court at Alico. He joined the team as a freshman and was a high recruit. Due to health concerns, he redshirted his freshman season. As a redshirt freshman, he immediately showed that the hype around him was warranted. He quickly established himself as a guy who could defend the other teams best guard and drive to the basket with strength and body control. One of his best moments came that season in a game where his outstanding defense culminated in a game saving block to send FGCU back to the tournament. By his junior season, he improved in just about every area and averaged 16.1 points, 2 steals, 3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. As a graduate student, he chose to play out his final year of eligibility with his hometown team, the Miami Hurricanes. For his FGCU career, Zach posted averages of 13 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.9 rebounds while earning ASUN All-Conference 1st team and ASUN All-Freshman team honors.
Bernard Thompson was one half of the elite tandem of players that FGCU featured in their backcourt for several years. “Comer and Thompson” were the reason Eagles fans felt like they could win every game on any given day. He played in 134 games with 129 starts over his 4 years with the team. Bernard is also FGCU’s all-time leader in points, by a comfortable margin (355), with 1835. He holds averages of 13.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.9 steals for his career. He also achieved ASUN All-Conference 1st team and ASUN Defensive POY honors during his time with the Eagles.
“My time at FGCU was great. It was always a goal of mine to help bring some recognition to the program. Having the success that we had means a lot to me. I think we set a foundation for a tradition there with ‘Dunk City’ and it has been great to see the growth of the university as a result.”Bernard Thompson
Christian Terrell was always a source of consistency for FGCU fans. As a freshman, he joined a team that was dominated by seniors and high-major transfers. As the Eagles would be losing a few fan-favorites after the season, fans looked to a player like Terrell to carry on the tradition. He only played about 12 minutes a game that year but you could see flashes of the sweet 3-point shot and high IQ that fans would come to expect from him. He took on a much larger role over the next 3 seasons and became a real leader on the team. Over his 4 seasons, Terrell played in 136 games, making 79 starts. He averaged 9.6 points, 2.1 assists, and 3.7 rebounds for his career.
“I’m very honored to be regarded as one of the best players of the decade for FGCU. I worked really hard to have a team-first attitude and to be a leader on the team for 3 years. I wouldn’t have had the success that I did without my teammates and coaches. Coach Fly stuck with me through my freshmen year when I wasn’t playing much. We watched so much film and worked on just about everything to get us both in the positions that we are in today. He is one of the hardest working guys in the business and I can’t thank him enough for the impact he had on my career at FGCU.”Christian Terrell
Bouncy Meech was one of the main highlight makers from the post-Dunk City era. He transferred to FGCU after a freshman year at UNLV. After sitting out a year, the lean, long, and athletic Morant proved that he had a natural ability to gauge an opponent’s shot and come up with an abundance of key blocks. He also had the ability to jump out of the gym and catch lobs like few others. By his senior season, he improved his ability to score around the basket and in general. His free throw percentage increased by 20% that year and his scoring average went up by 5 points. For his career, Meech averaged 7.1 points and 6 rebounds. He is also FGCU’s all-time leader in field goal percentage at 66.6%. He was also bestowed with ASUN Defensive POY honors.
Antravious Simmons is a memorable name for FGCU fans. After a freshman season at VCU, he transferred to FGCU. Once eligible, Simmons became known as a big body with a surprisingly soft touch when shooting the basketball. He played in 101 games for the Eagles, making 47 starts. He averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds over his FGCU career. He is also 2nd all-time in the category of field goal percentage with 55.8%. Some of Simmons’ most memorable moments are his standout performance against Michigan State, where he scored 18 points and had a chance to win it if not for a shot clock issue, and when he surprisingly won the 3-point contest at Dunk City After Dark as his teammates rallied around him.
“Coming to FGCU as a transfer, there was an adjustment period. All the trials and tribulations were well worth it in the end. By far, my favorite moment as an Eagle was when we beat Stetson in the ASUN championship game. As a member of the program, the best part was getting to know all my teammates and coaches. We had a lot of transfers when I joined the team. We were all from different situations but came together to accomplish our goals. Any adversity along the way just made it sweeter in the end. Being a part of the program means a lot to me because of the memories and friendships that I have gained and will never forget.”Antravious Simmons
|FGCU All-Decade 3rd Team|
Julian DeBose joined FGCU after spending his first 2 seasons at Rice. He played his first season with the Eagles as a redshirt Junior on a team that featured seniors Brett Comer, Bernard Thompson, and Jamail Jones. DeBose still found a way to get significant minutes and contribute in big ways for that team. In his senior season, he took on more of a leadership role due to the team being significantly younger. For his career, DeBose played in 63 games, making 58 starts and averaging 10.1 points and 3.5 rebounds.
“Im extremely proud to be an FGCU Eagle. Under Coach Dooley and his staff I was able to take my game to another level. During my time there, we were a dominant force. That allowed us to continue building the legacy of the program. I’ll never forget our 9 game winning streak in 2014-15 or our NCAA tournament game in 2016. My teammates and coaches were a family away from home for me. I grew on and off the court through good and bad times with teammates that I consider to be brothers. I look forward to the continued growth and success of the program.”Julian DeBose
Much of Varidel’s success came pre-Dunk City, however, he was also a significant part of getting that team as far as they went. His antics on the bench, cheering on the squad will forever live in the minds of FGCU fans. He played his first 3 collegiate seasons with the Eagles, culminating in the Sweet 16 run, before transferring to Alabama for his senior season. While at FGCU, Varidel played in 99 games, making 27 starts. He quickly and steadily earned the reputation of being a lights-out perimeter shooter. For his career, he is 2nd all-time at FGCU in 3-point field goal percentage at 38.5% (1st in D-I era). Over his 3 seasons, he averaged 8.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
“FGCU is an unbelievable place and I hold very special memories from my time there. I’m honored to be viewed as an all-time great. There have been so many high-level guys to come through Alico Arena in the past 10 years. I owe it to all my teammates, the staff, the fans, and the boosters for the amazing time and truly amazing experience.”Christophe Varidel
Jamail Jones was a member of the Sweet 16 team but sat out due to transferring from Marquette. He fully joined the Eagles for his redshirt Junior and Senior seasons and played in 58 games, making 55 starts. As a senior, he averaged 11.7 points and 5.4 rebounds, earning him ASUN All-Conference 2nd Team honors. In 2 seasons with the Eagles, Jones averaged 9.9 points and 5.5 rebounds.
“I came to FGCU looking for something. Didn’t know what that was but I ended up finding a home. I was embraced by the dirty birds, my coaches, and most importantly my teammates. I played with 2 of the greatest players to play there. Comer and Thompson let me be me. Coach Dooley allowed me to play with passion and be myself. I’m forever grateful for that. He gave me confidence and also pushed me to be my best. FGCU has a special place in my heart. Becoming a graduate allows FGCU to be in my life and in my heart forever.”Jamail Jones
Cvjetican made quite a bit of noise coming off the bench early in his career. He hit many big shots on the way to the Sweet 16 run and was always a threat to take over a game when his shot was falling. He started earning more minutes in his Junior season. But was forced to redshirt the next year due to a back injury and subsequent surgery. He came back a year later for his final season and was able to recapture some of his old magic. In his 4 season with the Eagles, Cvjeticanin in 131 games with 19 starts. In those games he averaged 5.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He is 3rd all-time at FGCU in 3-pointers made and attempted (2nd in D-I era) and 6th (5th in D-I) in 3-point percentage with 36.7%.
“My time at FGCU is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It started with no people in the stands and ended with a packed arena every game. The moment that stands out most is obviously the Sweet 16 run. We had such a great group of guys and coaches and everything sort of clicked in place that year. Coach Fly, in particular, had the biggest impact on me as a player and as a person. He went out of his way to help me and guide me in the right direction. I have so much respect for him and wish nothing but success to him in his future.”Filip Cvjeticanin
Nate Hicks was also a member of the 2012-13 squad but sat out after transferring from Georgia Tech. He played 2 seasons with the Eagles for a total of 66, making 33 starts. Hicks’ career was somewhat marred by injury as he suffered an ACL tear at the end of his junior season. He rehabbed and was able to come back in time for his senior year though. For his FGCU careers, he averaged 3.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He had many memorable moments with the team as well and holds separate single game FGCU records of 19 rebounds and 8 blocks. He is also currently 6th in FGCU history in blocked shots and 5th in blocked shot average.