Cross Divisional Play Begins As Men’s Hoops Heads to Jacksonville State on Saturday

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coming off a thrilling 93-91 overtime win against Stetson, the FGCU men’s basketball team starts cross-divisional play on Saturday when the Eagles head to West Division leader Jacksonville State. The game will be the second of a doubleheader with the 21st-ranked women’s team playing at 2:45 PM (1:45 CT). Both games will be streamed live on ESPN+ with the men’s game slated for a 5 PM tip (4 PM CT).
 
This will be the first meeting between the two programs after Jacksonville State rejoined the ASUN prior to the 2021-22 academic year. The Gamecocks were previously members from 1995-2003.
 
FGCU is currently fourth in the East Division standings after the win at Stetson snapped a three-game skid. Jax State is tied for the West Division lead with Bellarmine which is also 4-0 in league play.
 
In the win over Stetson, Tavian Dunn-Martin scored 30 points and the Eagles were 9-of-10 from the free throw line during the overtime session. Kevin Samuel set the single-season blocked shots record for FGCU with three in the game giving him 52 on the year. Overall, nine different players scored with the Eagles hitting 15 three pointers on the night.

FGCU entered league play after going 10-4 in non-conference play – the 10 wins were the most for the Eagles since the 2016-17 season when they went 11-5 before the league schedule. Overall, it was 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.

 

Through 19 games this year, FGCU is averaging 76.9 points while giving up 72.3 per game. The Eagles have solid shooting numbers at 44.9 percent from the floor and 35.6 percent from deep. FGCU ranks fifth in the league in scoring, sixth in scoring margin (+4.6); third in three pointers made (10.6/game), rebounds (723, 38.1/game), and assists (311); second in assists per game (16.4); and lead the league in blocked shots (88, 4.6/game).

 

The Green and Blue is led by Tavian Dunn-Martin and Cyrus Largie who are averaging 19.7 and 10.9 points per game, respectively. Kevin Samuel is averaging just under a double-double with 10.8 points and a team-best 9.6 rebounds, while adding 52 blocks. Samuel’s already set the single-season record at FGCU which surpassed the previous mark of 51 by Kyle Marks (2008-09). He is now four away from cracking the all-time FGCU top-10 list for blocked shots needing five more to pass Roman Narmbaye who had 56 from 2005-08.

 

Along with his scoring, Dunn-Martin also leads the Eagles in assists with 5.8 per game which ranks 16th nationally. Caleb Catto and Dunn-Martin are the top three-point shooter (players with more than 40 attempts) at .388 and .371, respectively. Samuel is the overall field goal percentage leader at 65.4 percent from the floor which previously ranked fourth nationally, but has fallen out of the ranking with fewer than five made field goals per game after the Liberty game. His 2.9 blocks per game also ranks 14th nationally while his seven double-doubles this season is 22nd in the NCAA.

 

Jacksonville State has won six straight games and are 5-1 at home this season. The game will match two of the nation’s top three-point shooting teams against each other as the Gamecocks rank third in three-point percentage (41%), while the Eagles rank seventh in triples made (201).

 

Darian Adams leads Jax State averaging 14.8 points and 5.3 rebounds. Jalen Gibbs and Demaree King are just behind at 12.1 and 11.6 points, respectively. Both Brandon Huffman (9.8) and Kayne Henry (9.3) are just outside double-figure scoring for the year.

 

Following Saturday’s game, the Eagles will return home to host Eastern Kentucky as part of a doubleheader with the women’s team. The men will tip at 5 PM, while the women are slated for a 7:30 PM tip. Both games will be streamed live on ESPN+.

Eagles vs Gamecocks

• This will mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

Leaders Among The ASUN

• Tavian Dunn-Martin is currently second in the ASUN in scoring, averaging 19.7 points per game just behind Liberty’s Darius McGhee (23.0 ppg). He leads the league in assists (5.8/game, 104), is fourth in three pointers (3.11/game, 56), and second in total field goals (106). He is one of just four ASUN players with multiple 30-point games this season and the only one with three such performances.

• Kevin Samuel leads the ASUN in blocked shots (2.9), rebounding (9.6), and double-doubles (7).

• Cyrus Largie is fourth in the league in total steals (28) and is seventh in steals per game (1.47).

Among The Nation’s Best

• FGCU ranks among the top-15 in several categories nationally this season. The Eagles’ 201 made three pointers ranks seventh in the NCAA, while their 565 three-point attempts are sixth overall. The 10.6 three pointers per game ranks 9th nationally.

• FGCU ranks 15th in total assists (311) and 34th in assists per game (16.4).

• Other notable national rankings include: 33nd – total blocks (88), 59th – total steals (140), 25th –  total rebounds (723), and 51st – blocks per game (4.6).

 

Dunn-Martin On Lou Henson Player Of The Year Watch List

• Tavian Dunn-Martin was named to the 2021-22 Lou Henson National Player of the Year Award Mid-Season Watch List at the beginning of January. The award is presented annually to the top mid-major player in Division I college basketball. Players on teams from the following conferences are eligible for the award: America East, ASUN, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast. Dunn-Martin along with Liberty’s Darius McGhee were representatives of the ASUN Conference.

• Dunn-Martin joins FGCU standouts Brandon Goodwin who was named to the watch list in 2017-18 and Bernard Thompson who was twice named to the list in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Samuel Making an Impact

• Kevin Samuel has made an instant impact on FGCU and is averaging nearly a double-double on the year with 10.8 points and 9.6 rebounds. He already has 52 blocked shots this year giving him 258 for his career. His is the third-leading active career shot blocker behind the Cincinnati duo of Hayden Koval (355) and Abdul Ado (279).

• His 2.9 blocks per game would smash the FGCU single season record of 1.9 which was set by Brian Thomas in 2018-19.

• On top of his defense, he has been an efficient scorer shooting 65.4 percent from the field which leads the ASUN. He has seven double-doubles on the year including five of the last eight games.

• 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 Jacksonville State game with 1,238 points in his career spanning 134 total games.

 

Eagles On The Verge of Four 1,000 Point Scorers

• In addition to Tavian Dunn-Martin reaching 1,000 points earlier this year, Matt Halvorsen crossed the milestone during his career at Western Carolina and now has 1,409 through five seasons.

• Kevin Samuel reached the mark at Kennesaw State and now has 1,018 through 113 career games.

• Caleb Catto is the next Eagle approaching the milestone as he enters the Jax State game with 938 points in 101 games.

 

For complete coverage of FGCU men’s basketball, follow the Eagles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FGCU_MBB and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign-up to have news on FGCU men’s basketball and other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

E.A.G.L.E. CAMPAIGN

IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the E.A.G.L.E. Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

 

COACH FLY

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 201-140 record (.585 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).

 

#FEEDFGCU

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.

 

ABOUT FGCU

FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 87 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 43 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.

 

–FGCUATHLETICS.COM–

 

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