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Introducing Cinderella: FGCU Eagles headed to NCAA tournament

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Conference: Atlantic Sun

Coach: Joe Dooley

Record: 26-7, 12-2 (1st)

Ratings and Rankings:

Kenpom: 112
RPI: 91
AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding: FGCU’s RPI and a win over UT Arlington might be enough to get FGCU up to the 14 seed line.

Names you need to know: UCF transfer Brandon Goodwin is the best player on FGCU. He leads the team is scoring (18.2 points) and assists (3.9 apg) and is second in rebounding (4.7 rpg). But there is talent up and down this roster. Zach Johnson and Christian Terrell are both talented guards, Demetris Morant and Marc-Eddy Norelia are the kind of long, lanky athletes you expect out of a #DunkCity team, and Rayjon Tucker might be the best athlete in college basketball.

Stats you need to know: FGCU’s reputation is as an uptempo, run-and-gun team, but that’s not really who they are this season. They rank 296th in tempo and 224th in three-point shooting, but they pound the offensive glass and thrive on their ability to get the ball into the paint, off the bounce or off of a post touch.

Big wins, bad losses: FGCU’s best win on the season came against another mid-major powerhouse in UT Arlington. It’s their only top 100 RPI win on the season. The Eagles do have some bad losses, however, falling to the likes of Georgia Southern, Lipscomb and South Carolina Upstate at home.

How’d they get here?: FGCU steamrolled their way through the Atlantic Sun tournament, taking down a North Florida team that was led by Dallas Moore, the best player in the conference, in the title game.

Outlook: I’m wary of picking teams to upset top three seeds in the NCAA tournament when they struggle to shoot the three because, as you’ll hear a million times over the course of the next month, that’s the great equalizer. But I will say this: FGCU has been to the tournament in three of the last five years, they won’t be overwhelmed by the moment and they have enough guys on their roster that played high-major basketball before that they should know what to expect against a team from a bigger league. Stranger things have happened.

How do I know you?: Well … this:

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.