FORT MYERS, Fla. – The ASUN schedule officially gets underway on Wednesday night as the FGCU men’s basketball team hosts North Florida. The game will be part of a doubleheader with the women’s team which will also host the Ospreys. The women will tip at 5 PM, while the men are scheduled for a 7:30 PM start with both games streamed live on ESPN+.
FGCU enters tonight’s game with a 10-4 overall record having won four of its last five contests. In their last home game, the Eagles picked up a 67-55 win over rival Mercer, coming back from down as many as 12 points in the second half. The 10 non-conference wins are the most for the Eagles since the 2016-17 season when they went 11-5 before ASUN play. Overall, it is tied for the second-best start in program history with the 2004-05 squad and only behind the 2003-04 team that started 14-0.
The match-up against UNF marks the beginning of the 15th ASUN campaign for the Eagles. FGCU was picked sixth in the preseason poll but will look to finish higher as the Eagles seek for their fourth ASUN Championship.
The game will be the first for FGCU in two weeks as the Eagles last played on Dec. 22 at Canisius. The Green and Blue dropped a tough 97-90 overtime decision to the Griffs despite a furious comeback effort. FGCU erased a 21-point second half deficit with Tavian Dunn-Martin scoring 30 points and Kevin Samuel adding a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Through 14 games this year, FGCU is averaging 78.6 points while giving up 70.8 per game. The Eagles have solid shooting numbers at 45.8 percent from the floor and 35.8 percent from deep. FGCU ranks third in the league in scoring, fifth in scoring margin (+7.8), and second in three pointers made (10.9/game), rebounds (540, 38.6/game), and assists (240, 17.1/game) while leading the league in blocked shots (69, 4.9/game)
The Green and Blue is led by Tavian Dunn-Martin and Cyrus Largie who are averaging 20.3 and 12.6 points per game, respectively. Kevin Samuel is averaging just under a double-double with 11.2 points and a team-best 9.0 rebounds, while adding 37 blocks.
Along with his scoring, Dunn-Martin also leads the Eagles in assists with 5.7 per game. Zach Anderson is the top three-point shooter for FGCU at .423 followed just behind by Dunn-Martin (.393). Samuel is the overall field goal percentage leader at 69.9 percent from the floor, third-best in the nation.
The Ospreys are averaging 69.5 points while giving up 72.8 a night. UNF currently sits at 4-9 but has won two straight over Austin Peay and Trinity Baptist before having to pause due to COVID-19 protocols for over two weeks.
Jose Place leads the Ospreys scoring 12.8 points per game while dishing out a team-high 2.8 assists a night. Carter Hendrickson is the only other Osprey averaging double-figures (10.2) while Jadyn Parker leads the team with 4.7 rebounds per game.
Following the game, the Eagles will head back on the road to take on Jacksonville as part of a doubleheader with the women. Tip-off is slated for 6 PM from Historic Swisher Gymnasium with the game streamed on ESPN+.
Eagles Vs. Ospreys
• In the all-time series, FGCU holds a slight 18-15 advantage but will be looking for revenge after dropping both contests to the Ospreys a season ago.
• At Alico Arena, the Eagles are 11-5 against UNF and won six straight at home to the Ospreys before last year’s loss.
ASUN With Four Teams In Top 200 NET Rankings
• FGCU enters the weekend ranked No. 184 in the NCAA RPI/NET Rankings – over 100 points higher than last season’s final NET ranking of 286 for the Eagles in the abbreviated season. That puts FGCU fourth among ASUN teams with Liberty the top league team at No. 119 followed by Jacksonville State (No. 123) and Jacksonville (No. 150).
Leaders Among the ASUN
• Tavian Dunn-Martin is currently second in the ASUN in scoring, averaging 20.3 points per game, just behind Darius McGhee (21.9) of Liberty. He also ranks fourth in three-point percentage (.393), second in three-pointers made (3.38), and first in assists per game (5.7). He is one of just two ASUN players with multiple 30-point games this season and the only player with three such performances.
• Kevin Samuel leads the ASUN in blocked shots (2.85) and rebounding (9.0).
• Cyrus Largie is third in the league in total steals (24) and is sixth in steals per game (1.71).
Among The Nation’s Best
• FGCU ranks among the top-15 in several categories nationally this season. The Eagles’ 152 made three pointers ranks eighth in the NCAA, while their 425 three-point attempts are seventh overall. The 10.9 three pointers per game rank 10th nationally
• FGCU ranks 14th in total assists (240) and 24th in assists per game (17.1)
• Other notable national rankings include: 25th – total blocks (69), 37th – total steals (114), 41st – total rebounds (540), and 45th – blocks per game (4.9).
Samuel Making an Impact
• Kevin Samuel has made an instant impact on FGCU and is averaging nearly a double-double on the year with 11.2 points and 9.0 rebounds. He already has 37 blocked shots this year giving him 243 for his career. His is the fourth-leading active career shot blocker and is one block behind Osun Osunniyi of St. Bonaventure.
• His 2.8 blocks per game would smash the FGCU single season record of 1.9 which was set by Brian Thomas in 2018-19. With 37 total blocks through 14 games, he is one away from cracking the top-10 for a single season and over two-thirds of the way to surpassing the single season record of 51 blocks set by Kyle Marks in 2008-09.
• On top of his defense, he has been an efficient scorer shooting 69.9 percent from the field including 33-of-48 the last five outings. He has five double-doubles on the year including the last three games against Robert Morris, Mercer, and Canisius.
• The TCU transfer was selected as the ASUN Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and as a member of the league’s preseason all-conference team.
• He is the third FGCU player to earn the preseason ASUN Defensive Player of the Year award and the first since Demetris Morant did so in 2016-17. Bernard Thompson earned the accolade twice in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
• At TCU, the 6-foot-11, 255 pound center started all 95 career games of his career and set the school record for blocked shots with 206 in three years. For his career prior to FGCU, he averaged 8.8 points and 7.7 rebounds while leading the Big 12 in blocks twice.
• Last season, he averaged 8.8 points, third best on the team, through 26 games. His 7.8 rebounds ranked third in the Big 12, while his 1.7 blocks per game led the conference. His 62.5 field goal percentage was the best on the team as well.
Dunn-Martin Named ASUN Player of the week
• Tavian Dunn-Martin earned his second ASUN Player of the Week honor this season after averaging 27.0 points, 9.0 assists, and 4.0 rebounds in two wins on the road at Florida A&M and Robert Morris. He did most of his damage from behind the arc as he shot 14-29 from distance in the two games.
• Opening the week against the Rattlers, Dunn-Martin scored 23 points while dishing out six assists and grabbing seven rebounds. He followed that up with a 31-point, 12-assist effort at Robert Morris where he was 9-of-18 from deep. The 31 points marked his second 30-point game of the season, while his 12 assists were just one shy of his career high and his nine three pointers tied his career high and were the third-most for a single game in program history. He also finished the week with an impressive 2.3 assist to turnover ratio.
Dunn-Martin Goes Over 1,000 Career Points
• Tavian Dunn-Martin hit the 1,000 career point plateau in the win over Purdue Fort Wayne with 27 points on the night. He did the bulk of his scoring in his three years at Duquesne with a total of 738 points. He also scored 145 points in 2016-17 during his true freshman year at Akron.
• He enters the RMU game with 1,066 points in his career spanning 126 total games.
Largie, Samuel Sweep ASUN Awards After Big Green Win
• Cyrus Largie was named the ASUN Player of the Week and Kevin Samuel was the ASUN Newcomer of the Week on Monday, Dec. 6. Largie was the second straight Eagle to earn the Player of the Week honor following Tavian Dunn-Martin the week prior.
• Largie averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 steals in a loss at FIU and overtime win against Dartmouth. Samuel averaged a double-double with 13.5 points and 11.5 rebounds while adding four blocks and two steals on the week.
Hot Shooting Over Thanksgiving Break
• In the three wins of the Hilton Garden Inn FGCU Invitational, the Eagles shot 49.4 percent from the floor including 44.9 percent from deep. Of the 84 made field goals, 35 came from beyond the arc with Tavian Dunn-Martin knocking down seven and Austin Richie connecting on six. Kevin Samuel led the Eagles in shooting going 17-of-21 (81.0 percent), while Cyrus Largie hit 15-of-29 shots (51.7 percent). On top of his scoring performance which earned him the ASUN Player of the Week honor, Dunn-Martin averaged just over six assists per game highlighted by 13 against Southeastern Louisiana.
Second Half Surge Gets FGCU Past Rhode Island
• In a game that saw 10 ties and nine lead changes, it was a pair of Tavian Dunn-Martin free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining the pushed the FGCU men’s basketball team past Rhode Island on Tuesday night in Alico Arena. Dunn-Martin finished with a game-high 26 points with four key points in the final 22 seconds as FGCU rallied from an 11-point deficit at halftime with a sensational second half. The graduate transfer from Duquesne scored 18 points in the second half and finished the night 8-of-13 from the floor, a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe, and added two assists. It marked his 10th career game with 20-or-more points including his season-high 34 points earlier this season at Loyola Chicago.
• Caleb Catto went 4-for-4 from behind the arc as he added 14 points including a pair late in the first half to keep the Eagles close. Senior Kevin Samuel chipped in with five points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Balanced Offense Paces FGCU Over Eckerd
• Six players, led by 15 points from both Dakota Rivers and Zach Anderson, scored in double-figures on Sunday night as FGCU defeated Eckerd, 99-59. Tavian Dunn-Martin (13), Cyrus Largie (12), Andre Weir (11), and Kevin Samuel (11) all socred in double-digits making it the first time since the Eagles’ 103-70 win over North Florida on Jan. 29, 2018.
Dunk City Reunion Sellout
• The home game against No. 25 USC and former Eagles head coach Andy Enfield was officially a sellout with 4,509 fans packing into The Nest. It was just shy of the program record 4,711 fans who were on hand to see FGCU defeat North Florida for the 2017 ASUN Championship title.
• The game was part of a special two-day event as FGCU held the official induction ceremony for the 2013 Dunk City Team into the newly formed Athletics Hall of Fame. Returning members from that team were also honored at halftime on during the nationally televised game.
• It marked the first time in program history that a Top 25-ranked opponent had visited Alico Arena in the Division I era.
• The 2012-13 Eagles are regarded as one of the most nationally iconic programs in the history of March Madness, as FGCU captured the country’s attention. Those three March games in 2013 launched FGCU into celebrity status with the program even earning an ESPY for Best Upset of the Year, which highlighted the NCAA win over second-seed Georgetown. FGCU finished the year ranked No. 25 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll and the moniker Dunk City had been established as a household name in the basketball world.
Dunn-Martin Gets Hot In Debut
• Guard Tavian Dunn-Martin certainly made a splash in his FGCU debut on Saturday at Loyola Chicago. The 5-foot-8 guard scored a career-high 34 points which stand as the fourth-most points scored by any player in the country this season for a single-game.
• The effort also ranks as the sixth-most points for a single game overall in FGCU history and marked the second-most points in the program’s Division I era. It also stood as the most points for a player in their Eagle debut.
• Dunn-Martin’s nine three pointers tied the program’s Division I era record. At the start of the 2nd half, he hit four straight triples which helped FGCU cut an 18 point halftime deficit to just four in the second half before the Ramblers were able to hold off the Eagles to win the game. Overall, he shot 55 percent for the game (64.3 percent from beyond the arc) connecting on 11-of-20 field goal attempts.
Among the ASUN’s Best Defense
• Last season, FGCU led the ASUN in eight team statistical categories including blocked shots per game (4.3), defensive rebounds (27.33), steals per game (7.4), and total blocks (77). The Eagles were also second in defensive field goal percentage (42.1) and turnovers forced (14.44), while ranking third in scoring defense (69 ppg).
• While Kevin Samuel is expected to bolster FGCU’s defense with his TCU-record 206 career blocked shots, making him one of the top-10 active career players in the NCAA this season, FGCU also returns last season’s top shot blocker in Dakota Rivers.
• Rivers led the ASUN last year with 1.94 blocks per game as well as total blocks (35). He enters 2021-22 ranked fifth in career blocked shots (74) and first in career blocked shots per game (1.5).
Traveling Through The Portal
• With the change of transfer rules and the additional year of eligibility due to COVID-19, FGCU made recruiting transfers a high priority for this season’s roster.
• In addition to Samuel, FGCU added Tavian Dunn-Martin (Duquesne), Matt Halvorsen (Kingsport, Tenn./Christ School/Western Carolina), Carlos Rosario (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Redemption Prep/Pensacola College/McNeese State), and Austin Richie (Glenwood, Ill./Don Bosco Institute/Triton College/Tulsa).
• Dunn-Martin was the 2018-19 Atlantic 10 Sixth Man of the Year and has played in 116 career games, while Halvorsen hit 297 career three pointers to rank 9th all-time in Southern Conference history.
• Rosario and Richie each bring a wealth of experience at the Division I level and add depth at the forward and guard positions, respectively.
Eagles Return 63% of Scoring From 2020-21
• Highlighted by returning its top two scorers in Cyrus Largie (13.4 ppg) and Caleb Catto (13.3 ppg), FGCU returns 63-percent of its scoring from last season.
• Among the transfers, three averaged double figures last year: Dunn-Martin (10.2 ppg), Halvorsen (12.1 ppg), and Rosario (12.0 ppg). Samuel averaged 8.8 points last season, but had his best statistical season in 2019-20 where he scored 10.0 points per game with 8.4 rebounds and a Big 12 leading 2.7 blocks per game.
Individual Tickets, Mini Plans Available
• Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by going online to www.FGCUTickets.com or calling 866-FGCU-TIX. Group tickets can also be purchased for 10-or-more making a memorable evening for families, businesses, or other organizations.
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Michael Fly was introduced as the fourth FGCU men’s basketball head coach on April 5, 2018. He had spent the previous seven years as an assistant coach on the Eagles’ staff. In his time with the Eagles, he helped FGCU to a 199-138 record (.584 winning percentage), including six ASUN Tournament Final appearances, three NCAA Tournament victories, three ASUN Tournament titles and three ASUN Regular Season Championships, two berths in the NIT, a CIT appearance and a run to the Sweet 16. He has coached 13 all-conference selections while with the Green and Blue, including two ASUN Player of the Year honors in Sherwood Brown and Brandon Goodwin, two ASUN Defensive Player of the Year selections in Bernard Thompson and Demetris Morant and one ASUN Newcomer of the Year in Schadrac Casimir. Of the top-10 players in career points at FGCU, Fly has helped develop eight of them, including all-time leading scorer Thompson (1,835). Additionally, the Kentucky alumnus has coached both the ASUN all-time assists leader Brett Comer (845; 24th in NCAA history) and FGCU all-time leading rebounder Chase Fieler (714).
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 86 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 25, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 24 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, and 2021 Spring semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.