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FGCU men’s basketball redshirt junior Marc-Eddy Norelia has announced his intention to declare for the 2016 NBA Draft, but not hire an agent, allowing him to maintain his amateurism as he goes through the upcoming evaluation process.
By making himself eligible for the NBA Draft, Norelia (Orlando, Fla./Tulane/Olympia HS)is able to start attending workouts scheduled by NBA teams and is eligible to compete – if he is invited – in the NBA Draft Combine May 10-15. After that time, Norelia can mull over his options as the deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft is May 25, which would allow him to return to FGCU for his senior season without any penalty.
“Marc-Eddy had a great season for us, and after speaking with him, we both decided this would be the best option for him to see what areas of his game still need improving before the NBA Draft,” commented FGCU head coach Joe Dooley. “With the new NCAA rules in place this year, it’s a great way for him to see just where he stands relative to his peers.”
Following another successful season on the court, FGCU women’s basketball head coach Karl Smesko announced the addition of Erica Nelson and Rosemarie Julien to the program Monday afternoon. As junior college transfers, both Nelson and Julien will join the program for the 2016-17 academic year and will be eligible to play immediately.
Nelson (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Lee’s Summit High School) joins FGCU from Johnson County Community College with Julien (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast High School) having spent the last two years at Chipola College. Both players led their teams to their respective national championship titles a year ago and come to Southwest Florida with two years of remaining eligibility.
Joe Dooley was very coy with the media Monday night at the FGCU basketball team’s annual banquet when asked about leaving the program, but it appears there’s a reason he wouldn’t give us a straight answer.
It looks like Dooley has one foot out the door. Dooley is expected to resign as the Eagles’ head basketball coach.
NBCSports.com reports North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried will “likely be hiring” Dooley to be part of his staff.
CBSSports.com says Dooley is “considering resigning his position,” and a decision could come by the end of the week.
Why would Dooley leave FGCU? The Wolfpack could certainly pay him more than his current salary of about $240,000 a year.
There’s no question NC St. has a lot more resources than FGCU as well. Eagles athletic director Ken Kavanagh told the media there are no additional comments at this time.
AP is reporting; Tia Hemiller had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists AP and South Dakota beat Florida Gulf Coast 71-65 on Saturday to win the WNIT championship.
South Dakota outscored FGCU 10-2, with five points from Hemiller, to start the third quarter for a 41-29 lead. FGCU got within 53-51 with 5:11 remaining, but the Eagles did not make another field goal until the 1:09 mark. South Dakota made three 3-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws in the final five minutes to seal it.
Kelly Stewart added 12 points and Abigail Fogg 10 for South Dakota (32-6), which tied a Summit League record for most single-season wins. Stewart and Fogg each had three blocks.
Nicole Seekamp, the tournament MVP and South Dakota’s leading scorer at 16.1 points per game, was held to seven points on 3-of-15 shooting.
Kaneisha Atwater led Florida Gulf Coast (33-6) with 25 points. Taylor Gradinjan added 12 and Stephanie Haas 10. Whitney Knight tied a career-high with nine blocked shots – one short of the WNIT record.
The announced attendance of 7,415 was the most in South Dakota’s Division I history.
By Dick Allen
Motivation is a funny thing in college sports, especially during the postseason. Just 15 short days ago, more than 2300 disappointed fans left Alico Arena with their hearts broken by the Jacksonville women’s basketball team as they snatched the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament championship out from under the Lady Eagles grasp. The Dolphins simply wanted it more. They were more motivated than FGCU.
The loss sent the ladies to a “hopeful watch party”. Then came the shock of the NCAA selection committee snubbing FGCU. Forget the fact that this was the fifth ranked team in the nation in making
311 total three-pointers during the season. Forget that they ranked seventh in the country with an average of 9.4 3-pointers made each game. Forget the fact that the Eagles defense held opponents to
48.8 points per game making the second-best defense in the country. They ranked among the top 20 field goal percentage defense holding foes to a 35.2 percent clip. And the ladies were the nation’s only team ranked among the top 10 three-pointers and in top 50 team defense. How can they possibly be left out of the Big Dance!
But they were. They found them self on the outside looking in, and with only a WNIT bid in hand. I’ve seen this story played out before. FGCU loses the conference tournament, takes a WNIT bid and loses badly in the first game as no one shows up to play. Our girls were simply going through the motions, while the other team really wanted to be there. BUT this is where the story changes.
A coach doesn’t take the ball out of bounds, set a screen, shoot a free throw, or pump in a three- pointer. What we’re now witnessing is perhaps coach Smesko’s best coaching effort ever. The Lady Eagles came into this tournament incredibly disappointed after not receiving a birth in the NCAA tournament. But Smesko has managed to use their anger and frustration to fuel WNIT double digit wins over Bethune-Cookman (78-51), Wake Forest (67-48), Tulane (73-61), and tonight, earning an historic trip to the Final Four with a victory over Hofstra (61-46). These teams beat the likes of Georgia Tech, Villanova, Virginia, VCU, Harvard, and Georgetown along the way.
YEP! That’s motivation! Just ask the 8 seniors if they are ready to stop playing college ball. “It’s very exciting,” Whitney Knight said. “For us not to go to the NCAA tournament, this opportunity is great for us. It’s exciting to go to the “Final Four and refocus on these games and play with the chip on our shoulder because we felt we should be in the NCAA tournament.” Listening to her fellow senior, Kaneisha Atwater added, “That’s pretty much it!” They both smiled, ear to ear.
Karl Smesko’s record would choke a horse… Wins, loss, conference championships, the multiple coach of the year awards, even NCAA victories. But nothing can top the job he has engineered with these exceptional women athletes in this latest stored chapter with the ending not yet written. Over 3,300 fans came out to witness the biggest win in history. Thursday night, it’s standing room only and bring ear plugs! A win over Michigan means a shot at a National Title. And in my day, the NIT was the biggie!
Written by Dick Allen
For 20 minutes in Raleigh, Friday night the FGUU Men’s basketball team had the college basketball world on the edge of their seats. They actually led the game for the first 4 and one half minutes, then reality began to set in. It didn’t take long for North Carolina to gain control. Down by 11 points in the first half, the Eagles went on a 13-4 run to close the half down by only one, 41-40.
The Eagles shot a blistering 60 percent from the floor and 33 percent from behind the arc. Led by Antravious Simmons 11 points and Marc-Eddy Norelia’s 9 rebounds. The team out rebounded the Tar Heels 21-14 in the half, and each team was 9 of 13 from the foul line. The only category the Eagles did’t dominate was blocked shots as Carolina had 2 while FGCU had none, shades of things to come.
Twitter was lit up like Las Vegas at night. Could history be made a second time by these upstart Eagles? Meanwhile in one locker room FGCU had the confidence and belief that they could play with the # 1 seed. ” We were excited but we also knew we were going to match their intensity and energy in the second half,” said Sophomore Christian Terrell.
Written by Dick Allen (Allen is traveling with the FGCU Men’s Basketball Team)
At 4 am, a bus load of “Dirty Birds” left Alico Arena bound for PNC Stadium in Raleigh, NC to cheer on their beloved Eagles. Visions of sugar plumbs were replaced by visions of taking part in the next historic moment in FGCU men’s basketball resume. Kyle Schmidt, Director of ticket sales was up all night making sure the expected 350 fans would all be seated together.
The headline in Raleigh’s The News Observer reads: Top-seeded Tar Heels not looking past Florida Gulf Coast. The story goes on stating that North Carolina didn’t know much about Florida Gulf Coast. Then a 31 point victory over Fairleigh Dickinson in the first game played in this years NCAA tournament changed all that. Coach Roy Williams said cautiously, “I was very impressed”
The Eagles during the 2013 NCAA tournament became the first no.15 seed to reach a regional semifinal, and the Sweet Sixteen. Now they’ll try to become the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed.
What Follows Is a Scouting Report On The # 1 Tar Heels and The #16 FGCU Eagles from Our Man in Raleigh
Written by Dick Allen
Play hard. Play smart. Play together.
Those words adorn the feature wall at the Smith Center, followed by the words: The Carolina Way. The Tar Heels are the most storied college basketball program on the planet. They are the most followed team in the nation on Twitter @UNC-Basketball.
They have been coached by 2 of the greatest coaches of all time. Dean Smith, for 36 seasons retired with 879 wins with only 254 losses, (.776) the most wins of any D-1 coach in history. And today, Roy Williams leads the Tar Heels as 1 of only 2 coaches to win 30 or more games for more than 10 years. His winning percentage of .788 is the best of any other coach in the country with 20 years or more head coaching experience.
Their former players make up some of the best NBA players ever to play the game. Kenny Smith, Danny Green, Vince Carter, James Worthy and the great Michael Jordan are only a few of the many hall of fame players who are North Carolina alumni.