Following dominant wins over Northern Kentucky (75-47) and Lipscomb (69-43), the Eagles received 74 votes in this week's Associated Press poll - good for 22nd in the country.
FGCU had received votes in seasons past, but this is the first time the Blue and Green have entered the top 25. Karl Smesko's team is also the first Atlantic Sun squad to be ranked since FIU in 1997 (h/t @ASunWBB). The Eagles are currently 23-2 on the season, including a 10-0 mark in Atlantic Sun play.
The Eagles high-powered offense sits 3rd in the NCAA in three point field goals per game, at 10.3. They also rank 35th in the nation in scoring offense, at 74.1 ppg. Since entering conference competition, Florida Gulf Coast has been blowing out team after team, and their 18.3 scoring margin ranks 11th in the NCAA.
"We're feeling pretty good right now. We're always confident within ourselves, but at the same time we know that we have to continue to get better," said redshirt junior Whitney Knight after FGCU's win over NKU on Thursday. "We're not going to be comfortable - we know that every single night out we have to play our hardest."
FGCU is sitting first in the conference with four regular season games and assuming disaster doesn't strike, the Eagles should have home court advantage in the Atlantic Sun Tournament as they look to clinch the automatic bid to the big dance.
"There is a lot of room for improvement for us and that's the attitude we're taking - trying to get ourselves as prepared as we can for this ending stretch and for March," said head coach Karl Smesko after the win over NKU.
|1. Uconn (35)||24-1||876||2|
|2. South Carolina||24-1||831||1|
|4. Notre Dame||23-2||772||4|
|7. Oregon St.||23-2||639||8|
|9. Florida St.||23-3||571||7|
|12. Arizona St.||22-4||468||12|
|14. Mississippi St.||24-4||421||13|
|15. Texas A&M||19-6||361||15|
|23. James Madison||22-2||62|
|24. George Washington||22-3||59||20|