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Things Heating up in Sunshine State

FGCU became recognized during the 2013 NCAA Tournament due to dunking on their opponents.

Alright all, I'm a little disappointed about Florida Gulf Coast not coming up when I searched for them.  You know  FGCU, right?  Let me give you a little brief history of the school before I get into the topic. The school was only founded in 1991, and its basketball program only began in 2003 as a Division 2 school.  I'm older than the program!  In August, 2011, the school became part of the Division 1 family.  During this past season, the Eagles went 15-17, which might make you wonder why I'm even writing about them.  Well, what if I told you that the 15th seeded Florida Gulf Coast Eagles defeated the 2nd seeded Georgetown Hoyas by a 10 point deficit (78-68)? Interested yet?  Not only did they beat Georgetown, but they defeated San Diego State, which allowed them to advance to the Sweet Sixteen to play the Florida Gators. It was truly a Cinderella story in the making. Unfortunately, the Gators defeated them 62-50.  After their season was officially over, Andy Enfield, who was their coach at the time, left to become the new head coach at USC.   Luckily FGCU didn't have to worry too much, since their new head coach was Joe Dooley, former assistant coach at Kansas for the past ten seasons. Not only will next years season start with a new head coach with plenty of NCAA tourney experience, but FGCU will bring back four of its top scorers from last season.  On top of all this, the Eagles have recruited former Marquette forward, Jamail Jones.  The 6'6" junior transfer is a former top 100 recruit and has tournament experience, as well.  In his freshman year at Marquette, Jones played a double figure time four times. In his sophomore year, Jones averaged 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds in about 8.5 minutes of playing time. Jones also made it to the Sweet Sixteen in his sophomore year. Along with Jones, FGCU recruited 6'9" transfer Nate Hicks from Georgia Tech.  During his sophomore year, Hicks blocked 11 shots and was 52% on the floor. Hicks was also named to the Academic All-ACC Team. Unfortunately, Hicks will be sitting out this upcoming season due to NCAA transfer regulations.  Some people might say that the Eagles' future isn't all that bright, but personally, I disagree.  They will start the new season with an experienced head coach, a transfer with tournament experience, and four former starters. Who knows, maybe next year they'll make it into the Elite Eight and beat Florida.  Until then, we'll have to keep on wondering.