FGCU Announces Men's Basketball Inaugural Schedule
FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University’s inaugural men’s basketball schedule announced today features 32 regular season contests including 16 home games. The season commences Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22 and 23 with the Hillmyer-Tremont Tip-off Tournament at Teco Arena.
The Eagles will play all other home games in the newly completed Alico Arena on the FGCU campus. FGCU will play against all levels of competition, including two NCAA Division I teams.
The Hillmyer-Tremont Tip-off Tournament features all NCAA Division II teams - including most notably - the annual powerhouse Florida Southern, which has three players from the Fort Myers area. FGCU’s opening opponent is the University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon with five returning starters. UPR is coming off of a 19-10 season a year ago. The third participant is Concordia University from St. Paul, Minn., which is home to two Naples-area players.
The Eagles’ first road game of the year is against NCAA Division I opponent Florida International University, a member of the Sun Belt Conference. FIU is one of four state universities that FGCU will play and one of two Division I games. The other is during Christmas break when the Eagles travel to Orlando to take on the University of Central Florida. UCF finished the 2001-02 season with a 17-12 record and is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The first game in the new, state of the art, on-campus Alico Arena is Monday, Dec. 2 against Saint Leo University. Saint Leo is a member of the Sunshine State Conference. Seven contests will be played against Sunshine State Conference foes, including a pair with the University of Tampa.
Tampa went to the NCAA II Final Four just two years ago, and then fell short of a return trip this past year, despite winning the conference with a 26-3 record, the best in school history. They were the number one ranked team in the South Region and the #7 ranked team in the country. The Eagles will play them both home and away.
Four out-of-state opponents will travel to southwest Florida before the New Year. Tri-State University and Anderson University (both from Indiana), as well as Plymouth State (New Hampshire) and Illinois Tech (Chicago, Illinois) will play at Alico Arena.
FGCU’s New Year’s Tournament will take place on Jan. 2 and 3 with two teams from Indiana and another from Florida. All teams are members of the NAIA. Goshen College will take on FGCU and Florida Memorial will play Calumet College. Calumet was 12th in the nation in scoring last year.
The Eagles travel to West Virginia for a pair of games in early January to play NCAA Division II teams Davis & Elkins and West Virginia State, both from the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The spring semester features several games with in-state teams. The most notable of these is Clearwater Christian College, which finished the 2001-02 season with a 19-8 record and ranked 8th in the country. They also led the NCCAA in scoring, averaging 94.5 points per game.
There are three games against Florida Sun Conference schools, all against the top two teams in the league. The FGCU Eagles will take on the Eagles of Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach. Embry-Riddle is considered by many to be the premier NAIA program in the country, winning the National Championship a few years ago and being a consistent 20-game winner. This past season, Embry-Riddle went 24-7 on their way to a top ten ranking. They also led the nation in rebounding.
The team to take away Embry-Riddle’s title in the league, Warner Southern, appears on FGCU’s schedule twice. Warner Southern won the Florida Sun Conference this past year with a 13-1 conference record, spending a good part of the year being ranked #1 in the country. They then advanced to the Elite Eight before being upset, finishing the year with a 30-5 overall record. They are expected to be a powerhouse again this year, as they return four starters.
FGCU visits the only other two state Division II schools in the NCAA in February with a long road trip to Pensacola and Jacksonville. West Florida, a member of the Gulf South, finished this past season with a 16-12 record. North Florida, a member of the Peach Belt Conference, went 13-14.
FGCU launches the season with an open midnight practice at Alico Arena on the night of Monday, Oct. 14 and morning of Tuesday, Oct. 15. The public is welcome to attend.
Season tickets remain on sale at the FGCU Athletics office. For more information, call 590-7012.
Florida Gulf Coast University
Men’s Basketball Schedule
Day Date Opponent Location Time_________
HILLMYER-TREMONT TIPOFF TOURNAMENT AT TECO ARENA
Fri November 22 University of Puerto Rico - Bayamon Ft. Myers, FL 8:00 pm
Sat November 23 Concordia or Florida Southern Ft. Myers, FL 4:00 / 8:00 pm_
Tue November 26 Florida International University Miami, FL 7:30 pm
Sat November 30 Barry University Miami, FL 12:00 pm
Mon December 2 Saint Leo University Ft. Myers, FL 7:30 pm
Thu December 5 University of Tampa Ft. Myers, FL 7:30 pm
Sat December 7 Clearwater Christian College Ft. Myers, FL 3:30 pm
Fri December 13 University of Tampa Tampa, FL 7:30 pm
Sat December 14 Saint Leo University St. Leo, FL 4:00 pm
Mon December 16 Tri-State University Ft. Myers, FL 7:30 pm
Tue December 17 Illinois Tech Ft. Myers, FL 7:30 pm
Thu December 19 Florida Tech Melbourne, FL 4:00 pm
Sat December 21 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL 7:30 pm
Sun December 29 Anderson University Ft. Myers, FL 7:30 pm
Tue December 31 Plymouth State College Ft. Myers, FL 3:30 pm _____
FGCU NEW YEAR’S TOURNAMENT AT ALICO ARENA
Thu January 2 Goshen College Ft. Myers, FL 8:00 pm
Fri January 3 Florida Memorial or Calumet Coll. Ft. Myers, FL 6:00 / 8:00 pm_
Mon January 6 Davis & Elkins College Elkins, WV 7:30 pm
Wed January 8 West Virginia State Parkersburg, WV 7:30 pm
Sat January 11 Florida Christian College Ft. Myers, FL 3:30 pm
Tue January 14 Florida College Ft. Myers, FL 7:30 pm
Thu January 16 Warner Southern College Lake Wales, FL 7:00 pm
Sat January 18 Johnson & Wales University Miami, FL 7:00 pm
Sat January 25 Southeastern College Lakeland, FL 4:00 pm
Mon January 27 Embry Riddle University Daytona Beach, FL 7:00 pm
Thu January 30 Warner Southern College Ft. Myers, FL 7:30 pm
Mon February 3 Trinity Baptist College Ft. Myers, FL 7:30 pm
Thu February 6 Clearwater Christian College Clearwater, FL 7:00 pm
Sat February 8 University of West Florida Pensacola, FL 2:30 pm CST
Mon February 10 University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL 7:30 pm
Thu February 13 Florida College Temple Terrace, FL 7:00 pm
Sat February 15 Johnson & Wales University Ft. Myers, FL 7:30 pm
Th-Sat Feb. 27-March 1 Independent Regional Tourn. (if applicable) TBA
W-Tu March 12-18 NAIA National Tournament (if applicable) TBA
· All times Eastern unless noted
· Head Coach: Dave Balza
· Assistant Coaches: Chris Highfield, Denny Hinson, Dennis Hunt, Dan MacLachlan