Florida Gulf Coast forward Filip Cvjeticanin will miss the entire 2014-2015 season, and will redshirt, the school announced on Monday. The 6-foot-9 rising senior will undergo back surgery and is expected back for the 2015-2016 season.
“Filip’s back has plagued him for some time. He hasn’t been able to lift weights and has missed valuable practice time,” Florida Gulf Coast head coach Joe Dooley said in a statement. “This procedure will hopefully fix those issues. It gives him some time to get stronger and continue to develop. We’re looking forward to having him rehab here at FGCU following the procedure and expect him to contribute significantly during the 2015-16 season.
As a junior, Cvjeticanin, the native of Croatia, accepted a bigger role, averaging 6.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 22.4 minutes per game. He was the top 3-point shooter for the Eagles, knocking down 40 percent of his attempts from behind the arc. He reached double figures in eight games.
Florida Gulf Coast missed a second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, falling to Mercer in the Atlantic Sun Tournament title game.
The second of two Florida Gulf Coast transfers has found a new school.
Reserve point guard Dajuan Graf has committed to North Carolina Central, according to Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports on Monday morning.
Graf averaged 4.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 23.0 minutes per game last season for the Eagles, who were defeated by Mercer in the Atlantic Sun Tournament championship game. Following the end of the 2013-2014 season, Graf along with center Eric McKnight announced they would both leave the program. Graf cited his desire to move closer to home as is reason for transferring.
Last week, McKnight transferred to Tennessee.
Graf will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the upcoming season.
North Carolina Central reached its first NCAA tournament this past March, winning the MEAC Tournament title. The Eagles were bounced by No. 3 seed Iowa State in the Round of 64. LeVelle Moton’s back court loses top scorer Jeremy Ingram and Emanuel Chapman, who led the conference in assists.
On the first day of the month, Florida Gulf Coast looked liked it was in mid-March form early in the second half of its game against Northern Kentucky.
Dajuan Graf missed a mid-range jumper. A ball screen to get Graf the open look caused some rotations in NKU’s defense, leaving Bernard Thompson alone at the top of the key.
Thompson got a running start and threw down a putback dunk over a Norse defender, putting the Eagles up 60-39 with 15:45 remaining. Florida Gulf Coast cruised to a 92-72 conference win as he finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Dunk City is tied for first place in the Atlantic Sun with Mercer with one game remaining in the regular season.
When Florida Gulf Coast made their run through the Atlantic Sun tournament, and then the first three rounds of the NCAAs, last season, ASun observers were heartily surprised. Sure, then coach Andy Enfield’s squad was an offensive treat, but Mercer, that was the team to beat in the conference! While FGCU lost to the Bears in their first ’13 match-up, the Eagles ultimately defeated the Bears in their second contest, and then in the ASun tourney.
This trip down memory lane is necessary to the 2014 ASun race because it appears that history might repeat itself. Mercer held sole possession of first place before tonight’s tilt against second-place FGCU, but both teams are now tied for first (12-3) after the Eagles defeated Mercer, 75-61. Now coached by former Kansas assistant Joe Dooley, FGCU was able to defeat the conference’s most efficient offense by absolutely dominating Mercer on the defensive glass. Led by ex-Marquette wing Jamail Jones (who had ten defensive boards), FGCU grabbed 70 percent of their opponent’s misses and held Mercer, a team that has converted more than 50 percent of their twos in league play, to just 39 percent within the arc. Dooley’s squad put on a defensive clinic, which perhaps isn’t a surprise considering he has transformed FGCU on that end.
Opposing teams have struggled mightily with their halfcourt offense when facing the current FGCU iteration. They don’t force many turnovers, and they aren’t great at limiting additional possessions, but the Eagles and their airtight man-to-man hold offenses to 43 percent from two. Since FGCU doesn’t foul either — their defensive FT rate ranks second within the ASun — teams have to hope they are connecting from deep to keep their offensive efficiency rate above one point possession.
The Eagles final three games are against the conference’s bottom tier, and one now has to wonder if FGCU will again make a run through their remaining games and then the ASun tourney. If they do, the Eagles will a new nickname, one that accurately captures their stingy defense.
With 0.3 seconds remaining in double overtime, Jamail Jones threw a beautiful full-court pass — which he put by the 7-foot-3 Jordan Omogbehin — ending up in the hands of Chase Fieler, who put up a shot that bounced off the rim and in. The Eagles thought the bucket tied the score at 68-68, but instead the officials waved it off as South Florida won a thriller 68-66 double OT non-conference game at home on Tuesday night.
(Watch Jamail Jones slam on a South Florida defender)
It did appear that Fieler got the shot off before the light went off on the backboard, but he clearly caught the ball, and with 0.3 seconds, that is not enough time to catch and shoot. In fact, one of the officials informed head coach Joe Dooley during the timeout that his team could only tip in the shot.
Here’s the rule to back it up (Rule 5, Sec. 1 Art. 18):
In any period, when the game clock displays 10ths of seconds and play is to be resumed by a throw-in or a free throw when 3/10 (.3) of a second or less remains on the game clock, a player may not gain possession of the ball and try for a field goal. Such player can only score a field goal by means of a tap of a pass or of a missed free throw.
Exciting game, great shot off an even better pass, but in the end correct call.
There are only two dunks on this highlight reel from Florida Gulf Coast’s midnight madness event, but they are pretty impressive.
In case you miss the degree of difficulty on the first run-through, a helpful editor has slowed them down on the second and third passes.
The dunker in question is Brian Greene, Jr., a native of Chicago and a transfer from Auburn. As such, this video will have to serve FGCU fans for a season, while Greene sits out. But it’s good to know nobody will have to change that hashtag any time soon.
One thing I would like to know, however. Who is the guy playing the East German Judge down on the end? How do you give that a nine?