After an impressive Non-conference showing, the Eagles improved to 11-4 (1-0) in their first ASUN game of the season, taking down UNF in the process. Next up for FGCU is a road tilt against Jacksonville (8-4 / 0-0). Below we will break down the matchup!
The Dolphins enter ASUN play at 8-4. After 4 straight seasons finishing with a losing record, this Dolphins team is eager to make strides. This year they have achieved wins against NC A&T, Charleston Southern, UNCW, and Southern Miss, among others. They have also played tough, close games against UCF, Georgia, Minnesota, and Pitt, losing by no more than 11 points to any of those teams. Most recently, JU was slated to open their conference season against Kennesaw State. However, this game has been postponed due to Covid, stemming from the Owls’ side of things. With that said, Jacksonville is now set to begin ASUN play versus the Eagles. As a team, they are made up of 5 freshmen, 3 sophomores, 5 juniors, and just 1 senior/grad. They also possess a decent amount of size, with 7 guys standing at 6’6″ or taller, highlighted by the 6’10” / 250 lb Mike Marsh. Through their Non-conference slate, the Dolphins have been led by former Samford transfer, Kevion Nolan. The 6’2″ / 170 lb redshirt junior has paced his team with 13 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists through 6 games played. Another player who has come up big for JU is Dayton/MTSU transfer Jordan Davis. The 6’3″ / 195 lb graduate has played/started 11 games, averaging 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Jacksonville is coached by Jordan Mincy, who is in his 2nd year in the position.
FGCU has had a notably great start to the season and really has a chance to dominate ASUN play. The lethal tandem of Tavian Dunn-Martin Martin (20 points / 3 rebounds / 6 assists) and Kevin Samuel (12 points / 9 rebounds) has helped to make this team a force this year. The great impact of the above mentioned players somewhat overshadows one of the best traits of the team though, which is their depth. Cyrus Largie, Caleb Catto, Matt Halvorsen, and Austin Richie, among others, have been very valuable to this team, making this a formidably deep roster.
As FGCU looks for their 12th win and a 2-0 start to ASUN play, they cannot take this Jacksonville team lightly. While JU’s 8-4 record is promising for them, the Eagles are the deserving favorites in this matchup. If there is one main critique of this FGCU team so far this season, it would have something to do with “playing down” to their opponent. This has manifested itself in slow first halves, lulls in efficiency, and certain games being closer than they should be down the stretch, sometimes resulting in a loss. In conference play, where anything can happen, the Eagles should seek to get out of the gate early and build a nice lead, without taking their foot off the gas. Obviously this is the goal every night, but actually doing it requires a certain level of energy and commitment. A special season requires that you win the games you’re supposed to win and FGCU should come out on top in this one.
Stay tuned for continued coverage of FGCU Hoops, via articles, podcasts, and/or active social media presence and content. Follow Screecher Report on on social media to stay up to date!