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.

UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman out with a knee injury

UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. shoots against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.

The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.

They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.

That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.

Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:

VIDEO: Buddy Hield is ‘all money’ on game-winning three vs. No. 24 Texas

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) takes a shot over Oklahoma State forward Chris Oliver during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
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With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.

At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes

“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:

“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”

“It’s all money.”

Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.

Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .

Want to talk about coaching luxuries?

Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.