Small Conference Game of the Day – January 25

The SCGD picked another good game last night as Western Illinois escaped Fort Wayne with a 3 point victory to remain atop the Summit League.  Tonight, we head south and east to Florida for an Atlantic Sun game.  The Stetson Hatters sit tied for first at 6-2 in conference play, while the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles are one of three teams with 3 losses in league play, meaning that half the conference is within one game in the loss of column of each other for first place.  Tonight’s game (7:00 PM Eastern, CSS/espn3) is being played at FGCU’s home court in Fort Myers, Florida.

FGCU enters tonight’s game with the best overall record among Atlantic Sun teams at 13-8.  Most notably, they are the team that knocked off Miami way back on November 13.  They have also already scored wins over Jacksonville and South Carolina-Upstate, two of the other teams in the top half of the conference.

Stetson began the season 4-10, with only 3 of their wins being over Division I foes.  However, they have now won 5 straight and 6 out of 7, making them the hottest team in the conference.  The Hatters enter the game with an RPI of 217, well behind FGCU’s 120.  KenPom has the numbers a bit closer, with a 170 rating for the Eagles and a 239 for the Hatters.

Keep an eye out in this game for FGCU’s star player, Sherwood Brown.  Brown has had double double’s in each of his last four games and was named last week’s A-Sun Player of the Week.  His backcourt mate, Bernard Thompson, is sixth in the nation in total steals, while Eric McKnight up front leads the conference in blocks.

On the Stetson side, center Adam Pegg is averaging 17.6 point and 6.1 rebounds in league play.  The Hatters have put together their season so far without a true point guard on the roster, though shooting guard Joel Naburgs has been taking on the responsibility of being floor general and has improved as the season progresses.  He is currently fifth in the conference in assists per game.  Naburgs is also a deadly shooter, sitting only 13 threes away from becoming Stetson’s all-time career leader in that category.

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