College basketball returned in full force yesterday evening, Thursday, November 26, and Franco Miller Jr.'s debut with the Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU) Eagles, was solid.
FGCU turned back the Florida A&M Rattlers in the Eagles’ home opener at Alico Arena by a final score of 65-56. The 6’3’’ guard out of Freeport, Grand Bahama, finished with nine points on four-for-seven shooting from the field (one-for-three from three-point range), and grabbed three rebounds on the night.
The former Tabernacle Falcon added to what was a balanced offensive attack from the Eagles as junior Caleb Catto led the Eagles’ scoring effort with 13 points. Sophomore Dakota Rivers chipped in with 11 points and four rebounds.
The Eagles will remain at home and are scheduled to take on Florida National University (FNU) on December 5. Michael Fly, head coach for the Eagles, chimed after the game that there are still some phases of the game his team needs to work on now that teams are playing live games.
“I told our team after the game that a win is a win and that's always a good thing. I think we struggled some with turnovers, but in reality, you'll see that across the country.
“We shot the ball well from the field and took a number of charges as well. I think our pressure bothered them some throughout the game. Overall, a number of positive takeaways, but certainly a number of things that we’ll work to clean up now that we’ve got a live game under our belt.”
As a unit the Eagles shot a robust 57 percent from the field despite struggling from the three-point arch. They shot just 29 percent in that aspect. The Eagles out-rebounded the Rattlers 30-24. They turned the ball over 23 times in contrast to the Rattlers who had 20 turnovers on the night.
Following their tilt with the FNU, the Eagles are scheduled to travel to Coral Gables, Florida to take on the Miami Hurricanes on December 12. They will be back at home subsequently on December 16, 18 and 22 when they are set to take on Florida International University, Webber International and Georgia Southern respectively.