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The heir apparent to lead #DunkCity is now official.
Florida Gulf Coast held a Monday afternoon press conference to announce Joe Dooley as the new head coach of the Eagles. Dooley comes to campus from Bill Self’s staff at Kansas, where he’s spent the past 10 seasons.
Dooley takes over for Andy Enfield, who left for USC after helping to introduce FGCU to the public with their above-the-rim style of basketball that gained them national notoriety en route to becoming the first 15 seed to ever advance to the Sweet 16, beating second-seeded Georgetown and seven-seed San Diego State to make it to Dallas before falling to Florida.
The job is Dooley’s second as a head coach at the Division I level. He spent four seasons in the 1990s as head coach at East Carolina, going 57-52. He also made stops at New Mexico, Wyoming and South Carolina as an assistant in addition to Kansas.
Dooley came highly-recommended from the Jayhawks, who have dominated the Big 12 Conference with Dooley’s help on the bench. He can definitely recruit, and the program needed a good name in the recruiting and coaching game to keep the success Enfield started. Dooley seems to be that guy.
Enfield had been pushing for FGCU assistant coach Marty Richter to get the job prior to Dooley’s appointment.
FGCU finished last season 26-11 and won their first-ever Atlantic Sun Conference tournament title, leading to the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament experience in just its second year of eligibility.
(Photo courtesy of FGCU Athletics.)
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.
For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year.
On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.
Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.
Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.
In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.
As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.
(More to come from Chapel Hill…)
North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.
(H/T: The Cauldron)