PREVIEW: FGCU Men’s Hoops Looks to Get Back on Track Versus Webber International

After an up and down week that saw the Eagles upset Miami and get beat up on by FIU, FGCU will host Webber International University (5-9) at Alico Arena. Below we will talk a bit about them, highlight their players to watch, discuss potential matchups, give our starting lineup projections, and our predictions for the outcome of the game.

Webber International

Webber International enters the game with a 5-9 record. The NAIA team has designated FGCU as their only D-I opponent this season so all of their games have been against opponents that are on a similar athletic level to them. The Warriors did compete against Florida National (an FGCU opponent from earlier this year) and won by 5 points (91-86). They also feature 10 total upper classmen, including 5 seniors. Below we will break down their notable players.

Players to Watch

Eddie Davis

Davis is a reliable guard for the Warriors. At 6’4″ and 241 pounds he possesses a unique body type for a guard. This year, the junior has played in all 14 of their games, making 10 starts. He is currently averaging 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists per game.

Jaylon Myles

Myles is the clear leader for this team on offense. The 6’3″, 195 pound guard has played in and started all 14 games this year for the Warriors. As a redshirt senior, he is currently averaging a team high 18 points per game to go along with 4 rebounds per game. Myles is also possibly their best shooter as he currently does so at 47% from the floor and 38% from beyond the arc.

Rasheem Etienne

Etienne is a smaller, quicker guard at 5’9″ and 160 pounds. The senior has started 11 out of 13 games played for the Warriors. He is currently averaging 11 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals per game while keeping his turnovers somewhat low (2 per game) for a primary ball handler.

Kris Goettert

Goettert is the best forward on this Warriors team. At 6’6″ and 220 pounds, he has totally dominated their opponents at times this season. The sophomore has played in all 14 of their games, making 11 starts. He is currently averaging 12 points and 8 rebounds per game. Goettert has 2 separate 16 rebound performances and has scored 16 or more points on 5 different occasions.

Matchup Notes

  • FGCU, again, has a big size and depth advantage in this game. This could be an excellent game for a guy like Eli Abaev to work through some of the offensive struggles he has had thus far. It is also a good opportunity for Justus Rainwater to really return to form and for Dakota Rivers to continue his promising sophomore campaign. If the team dominates, like they should, younger guys like Zach Anderson could have a chance to shine.
  • Webber International’s guards are experienced but must find a way to play up to FGCU’s level to be competitive. For the Eagles, they cannot play down to their opponent’s level and must instead treat them as if they are another D-I team. This starts with guard play and being tight on defense and extends to making smart decisions with the ball on offense. Cyrus Largie and Caleb Catto have been the most consistent players for the Eagles this season and they need to set the tone for the team early on. With smart decision making, as a team, it will be easier for players like Franco Miller, Jalen Warren, Luis Rolon, and Dom London to continue to find success and gain comfortability as non-conference season comes to a close.

Starting Lineup Projections

FGCUWebber International
Jalen Warren #5Rasheem Etienne #21
Caleb Catto #2Jaylon Myles #10
Cyrus Largie #4Eddie Davis #0
Eli Abaev #14Kris Goettert #23
Justus Rainwater #32Loro Natana #4

Outlook

FGCU is still working out who their best and most effective lineups are and that has been a factor in the inconsistency of their performances thus far. An opponent like Webber International is a great opportunity for the Eagles to find success and work through their struggles. To do this, FGCU must keep their foot on the gas and not let up. The best way to work through shooting woes is to shoot more. The best way to tighten up on defense is to play fast and tough from an effort standpoint. And most of all, the best way to minimize turnovers is to communicate and play smart. As stated in my 5 Eagles Things, FGCU must decide (through their play) what kind of team they want to be. There is no better time to start showing it than now.

Predictions

Russell Kelly (3-2)

“After a roller coaster of a week, I see the Eagles looking much more spirited against the Warriors. There will be a concerted effort to play hard and smart throughout this game and I think that translates to a big win and some minutes for the younger guys. I’m looking for a Chance Jackson/Lenny Ricca/Kyle Murphy sighting in this one.”

86-59 – FGCU

Elliott Kresse (2-3)

“This will be another ‘gimme’ game for FGCU. However, I expect Coach Fly to hold all players accountable and really try to dominate Webber. This needs to be a game that showcases FGCU to the very best of their abilities. I’m looking for absolute domination.”

94-58 – FGCU

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