Performance of the Week: Brett Comer vs. UCSB

Every Monday our own Cameron J. Kaiser will write a weekly review of both the men's and women's basketball teams, and will choose a "performance of the week" to analyze.

It’s here, it’s finally here! After eight months of eagerly waiting, FGCU basketball is back, and the Eagles are looking as good as ever! Both the men’s and women’s teams started their respective seasons, and both are off to hot starts.

The FGCU women of Raining Threes kicked off their season on Friday the 14th, while the men of Dunk City started on Saturday the 15th.

The women opened their year against a talented George Washington team by winning 88-75. In their second game, which was mainly a tune-up for them, against Florida International, the Eagles won by a lofty score of 97-49. The FGCU ladies faced a big early season test against Auburn, and played well, but couldn’t finish the job on the road and lost 72-69. Sunday night in their fourth game, the Eagles faced Ave Maria at home. FGCU took care of the lady Gyrenes by winning 102-54 recording their largest margin of victory since beating Warner by 69 in November of 2012.

The men underwhelmed against Nova Southeastern in their opener, but still won 63-51. In their second game the Eagles faced California Santa Barbara, a team anchored by a strong post presence. In a back and forth contest, FGCU gutted out the W in overtime by a score of 81-75. For their third game in five days, FGCU faced a daunting task in taming the Bobcats of Ohio. In front of a sold out crowd at Alico Arena, the Eagles ran the Bobcats all the way back to Athens with a 79-62 victory.

The first week of basketball season featured four standout individual performances from the FGCU men’s and women’s basketball teams. Marc-Eddy Norelia burst onto the scene in the men’s season opener against NSU, while Bernard Thompson broke the school’s individual game D1 scoring record with 34 against Ohio, and despite losing on the road to Auburn, Stephanie Haas of the women’s team went off for 30 points.

However, the inaugural title of “performance of the week” goes to Dunk City’s facilitator, Brett Comer for his efforts against California Santa Barbara. Last Monday night, Comer came out and shredded UCSB for 28 points and 11 assists, shooting an astounding 11-14 from the floor.

In a game that FGCU won in overtime, the Eagles needed every bit of Comer’s monster night.

The Gauchos took a 49-47 lead with eight minutes remaining in the second half as Brett Comer waited at the scorer’s table to check in. After that, he didn’t check out. In those final eight minutes of the half, Comer took over the game scoring 10 of his 12 second half points, including a step back jumper to temporarily give the Eagles a temporary two point lead with six seconds left.

If it weren’t for Alan Williams making 2 free throws with a second left in regulation to send the game to overtime, Comer’s step back would’ve been a perfect way for him to end his spectacular night. Instead, overtime just gave him five more minutes to showcase his greatness.

In overtime, Comer added 8 more points, including a huge free throw that gave FGCU a 4 point lead with only a minute left to play. The Eagles won the game in thrilling fashion 81-75.

When asked about his big second half and overtime, Comer answered intelligently. He cited reasons such as players in foul trouble for UCSB, and their inability to defend the on ball screens he was getting as to why he was able to take over down the stretch.

“I was in an area to attack, so I was attacking, and if I had a layup I’d shoot it and if not I would kick it out to an open teammate for a shot.”

Brett Comer was named to the Atlantic Sun preseason First Team, and he is already showing why he is considered to be one of the best point guards in conference history. Included in the crowd that realizes Comer’s greatness are his own teammates, most specifically Bernard Thompson, who helps him form the most prolific backcourt in the NCAA.

“He has a hard work ethic. He goes in, gets shots up, he pushes himself to be a better player. It’s been good just watching him develop as a player, as a person, and I’m very proud of him,” said Bernard Thompson in praise of his teammate and fellow A-Sun preseason First Team Selection.

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