After a rigorous 3 game stretch as part of the Gulf Coast Showcase, in which they showed a ton of early season growth, the Eagles are set to host Temple at Alico Arena. It has been one week since FGCU (2-2) has played and there is plenty of excitement after a strong performance last time out vs Davidson. Below, we will break down the opponent, look at some of their potential impact players, and give our outlook on the game.
Temple (0-1) has played just 1 game so far this season, as they hosted Villanova just a couple days ago. They lost that game 90-72. Last year, the Owls proved to be a middle-of-the-road team, finishing 16-15. This year, Temple features 5 seniors and/or grad students, 4 of which were with the team last year. Despite their average record from a season ago, the Owls lost 3 of their top 4 scorers heading into this season. Temple is led by Tonya Cardoza, who is the winningest coach in program history (227-162). Below we will take a look at potential impact players for the Owls.
Players to Watch
Davis is simply a stud for the Owls and has been such since she first stepped on campus as a freshman. She started all 90 games that she has appeared in during her first 3 seasons. She has averaged 19 points per game, each of the last 2 seasons and increased her rebounds to 10 per game. In their only game this year, Davis played 35 minutes and managed 22 points and 7 rebounds. She is also 6’0″ tall and absolutely the player to watch for and gameplan against in this game.
Williamson in a 6’1″ junior on this team. As a sophomore, she became a regular starter and finished the season averaging 6 points and 5 rebounds per game. Despite contributing just 4 points and 4 rebounds in their 1 game this season, Williamson still projects to be a big part of the Owls’ plans.
Alexander is a 5’10” sophomore guard for the Owls. As a freshman, she worked her way into the starting lineup and averaged 5 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds. In their lone game this season, Alexander scored 6 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists. Alexander is growing into her role as the Owls’ main playemakers, which is something the Eagles must account for.
As a 5’8″ freshman, Clinton impressed in her debut with the Owls. In their first game, she poured in 16 points on 58% shooting and also added 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Clinton couldn’t really ask for a better start and FGCU will have to be mindful of what she can do.
Graves joined the team for her graduate season. In their first game this season, the 5’9″ guard scored 11 points and hauled in 5 rebounds. She also shot 71% on 5/7 shooting. FGCU will have to keep tabs on her throughout the game.
The story of this season for FGCU and Coach Karl Smesko is how this team can gel and come together over the course of the year, leading up to conference season. With the addition of Kierstan Bell, the Eagles appear to be ahead of schedule. Bell totally took over their last game against Davidson and really gave the opponent no chance. In addition to Bell, newcomer TK Morehouse is really coming into her own as a lead point guard for the team. Senior Alyssa Blair has also come on strong as a senior and leader of this squad. I expect FGCU to at least be competitive here. They have a strong chance to get a win here and continue their upward trajectory.