Sherwood Brown

NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheets: Getting to know Florida Gulf Coast

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Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: Atlantic Sun

Coach: Andy Enfield

Record: 24-10, 13-5

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 137
– RPI: 106
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had regular season A-Sun champ as a No. 16 seed in Friday’s Bracket Projection, but FGCU has a better RPI and beat Miami this season, so they might be able to sneak up a seed line or two, depending on what teams earn the automatic bids.

Names you need to know: Sherwood Brown (15.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Bernard Thompson (14.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.9 spg), Chase Fieler (12.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.3 bpg)

Stats you need to know: FGCU shoots 32.4% from three and commits a turnover on more than 21% of their offensive possessions. But they average more than 68 possessions per game, ranking as the 62nd fastest team in the country.

Tendencies: The Eagles like to push tempo, they want to force turnovers (they do so on one out of every four-and-a-half possessions), and they want to beat you before your defense can get set.

Big wins, bad losses: Florida-Gulf Coast own one of the most impressive mid-major wins this season, beating Miami back in November before Miami became ‘Miami’. But they also got swept by Lipscomb and lost to East Tennessee State, among others.

How’d they get here?: They won the Atlantic Sun tournament championship, 88-75, over Mercer to earn an autobid.

Outlook: As good as that win over Miami looks right now, it may be the most head-scratching outcome of the season this side of TCU and Kansas. FGCU is going to find themselves going up against a top three seed — maybe even a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed — and the teams that are going to be seeded that high are going to be tough to turn over and speed up.

How do I know you? You don’t. This was FGCU’s first ever postseason appearance at the D-I level. In fact, the university has only been in existence since 1991.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Sun Belt approves new scheduling format

Sun Belt Conference
Sun Belt Conference
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With an 11-member setup the Sun Belt Conference has played a 20-game conference schedule the last couple of years, which may be seen as a positive when it comes to determining the regular season champion (home-and-home between every team). But for a conference that spans from North Carolina (Appalachian State) to Texas (UT-Arlington, Texas State) travel was far from easy in that setup.

And with Coastal Carolina joining next season, it was clear that the league needed to do something with its scheduling.

Thursday the Sun Belt members approved an 18-game conference schedule, which will begin with the 2016-17 season when the league consists of 12 members. Included in the agreement is the assignment of travel partners (similar to setups in the Pac-12 and Ivy League), and teams playing no more than three consecutive conference games on the road.

Schools will also be guaranteed at least five weekend home games during conference play, and there will be no more weekends in which teams play conference games both home and away (thus cutting down on travel). Obviously with the addition of Coastal Carolina the Sun Belt needed to make some changes in their scheduling, and this week the conference made the moves they needed to make.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.