Posted: 1:50 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, 2013
By Jason Lieser
Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield certainly has a lot of guts, and after beating San Diego State to earn a match-up with the Gators in the Sweet 16, he told CBS, “We tried to scrimmage them in the pre-season. Now we’ve got our shot.”
The Eagles get that shot Friday at Cowboys Stadium (9:57 p.m., TBS). No. 15 seed FGCU faces No. 3 seed Florida for a spot in the Elite Eight.
But is Enfield’s claim true? Did Florida turn down the Eagles for a pre-season scrimmage?
The Gators typically hold one closed scrimmage and one exhibition game in the pre-season. This year they scrimmaged with Rollins and hosted game against Nebraska-Kearney.
Donovan’s logic was that Rollins ran a system somewhat similar to that of Georgetown, which was on the schedule for opening night (the game was canceled at halftime due to condensation on the court of the U.S.S. Bataan).
Here is how he explained it today:
“Andy had called me probably back in maybe in September or October, wanting to try to get together to scrimmage. And at that time, we were looking at a couple of different options. They were one.
“One of the things I was looking at as a coach going into our season this year was our first game of the year was against Georgetown. And just going against that Princeton style of play and also having Air Force on our schedule as well, that’s a unique system and style of play that you don’t normally see. And at that time, I decided that we needed to play against Rollins to get us prepared for the Georgetown game.”
He added that his talk with Enfield was telling. He quickly got the sense that FGCU had a strong roster and was in for a good season.
“I’m not one bit surprised by the year they had because when I had a conversation with him he was telling me how really good they were and how special he thought his team could be,” Donovan said. “He had a lot of really good players and they were going to have a really good year. So what they’ve done up to this point in time hasn’t surprised me based on my conversations with him back in early September, October.”