It seems like ages ago, but it’s only been a few short months since the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles shocked the college basketball world with an unfathomable run to the Sweet 16.
The Eagles, who became the first ever 15-seed to win two NCAA Tournament games in the same postseason, quickly became known as Dunk City, and for good reason. A number of highlight reel plays and transitional dunks helped FGCU steal the headlines in their victories over both Georgetown and San Diego State, but the program is undergoing some changes after one of the more shocking moments in tournament history.
So, what does Dunk City have planned for an encore in 2013-14?
Well, there’s a new leader in charge as former head coach Andy Enfield left the school for the open vacancy at USC. The Eagles have brought in former Kansas assistant coach Joe Dooley, who has embraced the Dunk City philosophy and in addition to taking over a program that has made some big-time headlines, he has talent that is returning.
The loss of the team’s leading scorer and senior play maker in Sherwood Brown stings, but the Eagles have an abundance of talent returning next season. Junior-to-be Bernard Thompson is a potential star in the making in the Atlantic Sun Conference and Brett Comer is poised to emerge as the team’s back court leader. Throw Chase Fieler into the discussion and Dooley has more than enough talent to guide Florida Gulf Coast back into the Big Dance in 2014.
Those will be the expectations in Dunk City — so this year’s encore could be special yet again.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS