Any coach will tell you that winning conference games on the road is very tough. While the Atlantic Sun isn't the strongest of conferences in terms of RPI, all you have to do is look at Jacksonville's 19 point road win over USC Upstate last weekend to know that the A-Sun is as unpredictable as it gets.
This is especially true of FGCU, who are the hunted now, not the hunter. They proved to possess a great deal of mental toughness, as dating back to Jan. 22, the Eagles have come away with five straight road victories - a program record.
"We've gotten some stability. We've got all of our guys out there and playing," head coach Joe Dooley said on ESPN 99.3. "We've got our rotation set; we're a little deeper than we were a year ago. I think the guys have adjusted to their roles and we can score a few different ways."
Florida Gulf Coast had four different leading scorers in those five road wins, including 21 points and 12 assists for Brett Comer against Stetson.
"We had different guys step up in different games. Brett was the difference in Stetson," Dooley said. "Jamail stepped up big time against NKU and Lipscomb. We had a pretty good lead at Upstate and we gave them the lead back. We're down one and Bernard makes a big three in front of our bench."
The most impressive sign from the Eagles road trip was the scoring surge from redshirt senior Jamail Jones. The former Marquette transfer poured in 25 points against NKU and 24 against Lipscomb.
"Jamail is our best low post scorer, if they put a small on him we put him insider. If they put a big on him, he can drive it. We've used him as a point forward quite a bit this year, initiating the offense. He's our leading rebounder defensively, and he provides a lot of toughness and match up ability."
Joe Dooley continued to commend the contributions from the front court, saying "Nate Hicks has been a factor. Like I always say, he's our Kendrick Perkins. He doesn't' do anything great but he just helps you win because he just does all the little things that you need to do. He's been a presence in the paint."
With things firing at all cylinders, FGCU is back in Fort Myers for a crucial three game home stand in which they battle Kennesaw State, USC Upstate, and North Florida.
"The big thing this time of year is to develop some consistency..." Dooley said.