Florida Gulf Coast took on the Florida Gators in a neutral site tilt on Friday to open their respective 2016-17 seasons. Despite holding the Gators to just a 26.7% clip from beyond the arc, FGCU fell 80-59. Some takeaways from the Eagles' first game of the year:
Brandon Goodwin is good
We'll I think we all knew that before last night but his first game in the Blue and Green was still very impressive. The UFC transfer put up 14 points, on 6/12 FGs (2/3 3-PT FGs), while adding 4 rebounds. Goodwin provided FGCU with a much needed three point spark and was aggressive attacking the rim as well. He took it upon himself to make timely baskets throughout the contest, something that will be key for an Eagles squad that suffered some offensive droughts last season. While he did turn the ball over the 3 times and record zero assists, his facilitating - which will surely come in following games - is less of a key with either Zach Johnson or Reggie Reid also out on the court with him.
FGCU needs to take care of the ball
The Eagles ended the night with a whopping 19 turnovers. Although it was the was the first game of the college basketball season and most teams were shaking off a bit of rust and nerves, it's still something to note. Three of those giveaways came during a period spanning just over a minute close to the end of the first half. FGCU had recently tied up the game but this slew of turnovers forced the offense to a grinding halt and allowed Florida to take a five point lead into the locker-room. The Eagles also managed just one steal to the Gators' 13.
Wait until Marc-Eddy Norelia returns
It's really hard to judge this team's potential until Marc-Eddy Norelia (broken hand) returns. FGCU's leading scorer from last season was not cleared by doctors to play in the opener. The Eagles sorely missed his inside presence when going up against a formidable front-court duo of John Egbunu and Justin Leon. Once Norelia is back and FGCU is at full strength, we should get a good look at how this Eagles team, considered the most talented in program history, stacks up against some stiff non-conference opponents and the rest of the Atlantic Sun.null