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Gameday: NC State Faces Challenge in Florida Gulf Coast

NC State Basketball

Gameday: NC State Faces Challenge in Florida Gulf Coast

NC State Wolfpack vs Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
7pm | ESPN 3 | PNC Arena – Raleigh, NC

I guess we should apologize for not giving you guys a solid scouting report of NC Central last week. We kind of just figured that it was going to be another team that no matter what they did, just wouldn’t be able to match up with NC State. We won’t make that mistake again. From here on out we’ll make sure you get proper scouting reports. We’ll start today.

Opponent: Florida Gulf Coast (4-1)

Why do I know that name? If you don’t know this team then you weren’t watching the NCAA Tournament last year. This group went on one of the most amazing cinderella runs in recent history. They took it to the Sweet 16 after beating Georgetown before falling to Florida.

Who have they beat this year?: Well, they really don’t have a quality win. They’ve beaten Furman, Hartford, Eckerd, and Ave Maria. I’ll be honest, I have no idea who those last two teams are and neither does ESPN (they don’t have team pages). The one game of note played by FGC is their opener vs Nebraska where they were blown out, 79-55. Nebraska is looking so-so right now. They’ve beaten UGA but lost to UAB and UMass.

Who are their top players? FGC isn’t exactly the same FGC that was dubbed “Dunk City” last March Madness when the Eagles went on a magical Sweet Sixteen run, but they do have most of the guys returning from last year.

Their go-to guy, Sherwood Brown, is gone. So that is a significant blow to the Eagles. He was a NBA guy and a real threat to big time teams. Returning are their two flashy guards, Bernard Thompson and Brett Comer. Don’t get me wrong, these guys are real good, but without Brown they lack that big time scorer. Stepping in is Chase Fieler (14ppg), who you may remember from this brutal slam on Georgetown last March.

FGC also adds Marquette transfer Jamail Jone who is a 6’6 swing man who has been impressive so far, averaging over 10 ppg. They also bring in big man Nate Hicks from Georgia Tech for some size in the middle.

Can NC State beat them? Yes they can, but it won’t be easy. This is a veteran FGC team that achieved success last year and are looking to rekindle the magic they had last March. State is coming off a rather embarrassing loss to Central and is trying to find their identity and get in a real rhythm. As we keep saying, State is young, but tonight they’re going to face a tough challenge. The Eagles are going to run and Gottfried’s kid like that pace, but the question is still on the boards. FGC isn’t huge but they’re big and they’re seasoned, however NC State will almost certainly be welcoming back Jordan Vandenberg from a high ankle sprain that has kept him out since the preseason. Adding Vandy to the mix will be both exciting and interesting. The Pack’s biggest flaw thus far has been frontcourt play and the big Aussie should improve that drastically.

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