Florida Gulf Coast: A closer look at Cinderella
Florida Gulf Coast, meet your glass slipper. The Eagles’ season to remember continued with a stunning — yet efficient — 78-68 victory over No. 2 seed Georgetown in the South Regional on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Behind a game-high 24 points from senior guard Sherwood Brown, Florida Gulf Coast led by as many as 19 early in the second half before fending off the Hoyas’ late rally to clinch the upset in the program’s first NCAA tournament game.
Some perspective: The Eagles became the seventh No. 15 seed to topple a No. 2, the third in two years (Norfolk State beat Missouri and Lehigh edged Duke last season); only six years ago did FGCU make the move to Division I from Division II; and, perhaps most impressive of all, this is the program’s second season of NCAA tournament eligibility, after completing its Division I transition.
The road continues Sunday. Here’s a closer look at March’s newest darling.
RECORD: 25-10 (13-5, Atlantic Sun Conference, second place in regular season)
COACH: Andy Enfield (second season, 40-27 overall)
LOCATION: Fort Myers, Fla.
ENROLLMENT: 11,279 undergraduates; 1,376 graduate students (51 percent are from southwest Florida; 92 percent overall from Florida, 8 percent from out-of-state)
ACADEMICS: 1,530 average SAT score for incoming students; 2.99 average GPA for all current students
FAMOUS ALUMNI: Rep. Matt Caldwell (Florida House of Representatives); Don Carman (former left-handed pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers); Courtney Jolly (professional monster truck driver)
KEY STATS: Scoring offense (47th, 73.1 points per game); scoring defense (t-176th, 66.7 ppg); rebounds margin (140th, plus-1.2/36.6 rebounds per game); assists (t-90th, 14 per game); field-goal percentage (48th, 46.0 percent)
TOP SCORERS: Sherwood Brown (15.3 ppg), Bernard Thompson (14.0 ppg), Chase Fieler (12.2 ppg)
RPI: 93rd (.5444)
STREAK: Won six consecutive. It’s the second-longest winning streak of the season, behind a run of seven consecutive victories from Jan. 19-Feb. 14.
ROAD TO AN UPSET: Beat North Florida (73-63), Stetson (72-58) and Mercer (88-75) to win their first Atlantic Sun tournament title. The victory over No. 2 seed Georgetown was the Eagles’ first NCAA tournament triumph.
SOURCES: Florida Gulf Coast, Wikipedia