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Former FGCU women’s basketball captain Jenna Cobb has been named the program’s new assistant coach, head coach Karl Smesko announced Tuesday. Cobb, a two-year letterwinner with the Eagles from 2013-15 after transferring from Butler, spent last season as the team’s coordinator of operations.
In her new role, Cobb’s responsibilities will include scouting of opponents, game preparation, player development and recruiting.
“Jenna has all the qualities to be an excellent coach,” commented Smesko, a seven-time Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year. “She is smart, works hard and has a great understanding of basketball. It is enjoyable working with others who have an affinity for our university and our program. Jenna has that.”
FGCU baseball head coach Dave Tollett has announced the dates for his annual summer camps to be held at Swanson Stadium during the months of June and July. Interested individuals are encouraged to register quickly as there is limited space available for each camp. For more information visit: http://collegebaseballcamps.com/fgcu.
Additional information and dates for both the Youth Skills Camps and Summer Prospect Camp is included below.
YOUTH SKILLS CAMPS
Our goal is to make this experience at camp as simple and enjoyable as possible. We will do this by improving their baseball skills and developing proper playing habits while keeping it fun during the camp. Program emphasis will be on individual skills and fundamentals of the game.
Monday evening’s series finale between the Fort Myers Miracle and Daytona Tortugas at Hammond Stadium has been canceled due to inclement weather and precipitation forecast created by Tropical Storm Colin.
The game will not be rescheduled. Fans with tickets from Monday’s game can exchange them for any other regular season non-fireworks home game or upgrade to a fireworks game for $1.
The Miracle will have an off-day on Tuesday and hit the road for a nine-game trip prior to the All-Star Break that begins on Friday, June 17. The 55th Florida State League All-Star Game will be held at Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex on Saturday, June 18. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the festivities begin with the Interstate Batteries Home Run Derby at 5:15 p.m. The All-Star Game begins at 7:05 p.m.
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!