Just 2 days after starting the season with a resounding win over Florida Memorial, FGCU (1-0) will be tested in a big way. The Eagles are set to host the Beach Bubble tournament at Alico Arena. Over the course of 3 days, they will face ranked Missouri State (24), Arkansas (14) and Davidson. Below, we will briefly go over each opponent and give our thoughts on FGCU’s chances in the tournament.
Missouri State (0-0) – 11/27/20 @ 5:30 PM
Missouri State is a large team, fielding 6 players who are 6’0″ or taller. They also possess a ton of experience with 6 seniors. Additionally, this team returns 8 out of their top 9 scorers from last year. FGCU will have their hands full with this experienced and sizeable team. The Eagles will look to use the momentum of their first win to elevate them over a team that has yet to play this season.
Arkansas (1-0) – 11/28/20 @ 2:30 PM
At the time of writing this article, Arkansas is 1-0 after clobbering Oral Roberts 96-49. The Razorbacks boast another massive team with 7 players who are 6’0″ or taller. Additionally, they are a veteran-led team, featuring 7 seniors. Standouts front heir first game are Marquesha Davis, Destiny Slocum, and Chelsea Dungee. The redshirt seniors, Slocum and Dungee, poured in 22 and 17 points, respectively. Davis though, was most impressive. She played only 17 minutes and scored 11 points while adding 11 rebounds and 5 steals. This will likely be the biggest test for the Eagles in this 3 game onslaught.
Davidson (0-0) – 11/29/20 @ 11:30 AM
At the time of this articles, Davidson has also not played any games. They also possess 6 players over 6’0″ tall, making size a constant mismatch with other solid teams like this. Davidson also possesses 5 seniors on their squad. The Wildcats return their top 6 scorers from last season. Despite all their seniority, they are led by sophomore guard, Suzi-Rose Deegan. Deegan averaged 16 points per game last season to go along with 8 rebounds.
FGCU easily handled a less talented opponent in Florida Memorial on opening night. But that’s what good teams do. They beat up on the teams they should beat. These 3 games in 3 days will be a huge early test for the Eagles. If FGCU is able to win any of these 3 contests, given the experience and size of their opponents it would be encouraging. If Coach Smesko can rally the troupes and win multiple games (or all 3) it would be a statement early in the season and reason to think this team is in store for another special run. FGCU will rely on contributors like Tanner Bryant, Alyssa Blair, Sheahen Dowing, and Emma List. Newcomers Andrea Cecil and freshman Maddie Antenucci will look to continue their impressive starts to the season as well. The bottom line is that this 3 game stretch will be a great gauge of how good this team could be.
Stay tuned for continued coverage of the Men’s and Women’s teams!