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FGCU Eagles pre-game dunk show
FGCU Eagles pre-game dunk show: The FGCU Eagles perform a pre-game dunk show before competing in an intersquad scrimmage at The Community School of Naples on Tuesday night. Video by Jack Hardman/news-press.com
FGCU's Brett Comer attempts to dribble past teammate Dajuan Graf during an intrasquad scrimmage at The Community School of Naples on Tuesday night. / Jack Hardman/The News-Press
FGCU coach Joe Dooley communicates with his team during an intersquad scrimmage at The Community School of Naples on Tuesday.

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What: Dunk City After Dark
When: Friday, 9:30-11 p.m.
Where: Alico Arena
What: FGCU is one of nine schools ESPNU will visit as part of its made-for-TV “midnight madness” coverage from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Activities at FGCU tentatively are scheduled for 9:30-11 p.m. and call for a scrimmage, dunk contest and 3-point contests for the men’s and women’s teams.
Admission: free and open to public. Guarantee a seat by purchasing a discounted, $3 ticket to the FGCU volleyball team 7 p.m. home game against Lipscomb.

Volleyball winsFGCU improved to 9-11 with a five-set win at FIU on Tuesday. The Eagles won 16-25, 25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 18-16.

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A new season might be near, but the starting backcourt looked like it never left off from last season.

Behind 19 points from junior point guard Brett Comer and 17 from fellow junior Bernard Thompson, FGCU put smiles on plenty of faces in a free scrimmage Tuesday night at Community School of Naples.

Despite shuffling elsewhere in the lineup, Comer and Thompson were never apart throughout the 28-minute scrimmage in a 60-38 victory for the White team – which featured mostly projected starters.

“He’s always nice. That’s my sidekick,” Comer said of Thompson. “We do pretty good together.”

Thompson, FGCU’s second-leading scorer last year behind then-senior Sherwood Brown, looked comfortable with plans for him to be a more-aggressive, consistent part of the offense.

Although he missed some open shots, Thompson opened with eight of the White team’s 16 points in the first quarter and had a pair of 3-pointers to go with a mix of outside shots and points at the rim.

“Coach told me to be aggressive. That’s what I did for the most part,” Thompson said of new FGCU coach Joe Dooley. “I missed some open looks but I’m sure they’ll fall. Just got to get back in the gym and keep practicing.”

Comer scored at the rim several times as well but also shot the ball well from outside.

“That’s something Dooley really wants me to do,” Comer said. “We were able to go through the offense well. Compared to practice it was more of a game-type situation.”

Dooley, making his unofficial FGCU head coaching debut after 10 seasons as an assistant at Kansas, was happy with the team’s aggressiveness and execution on offense. But he gave the team a “C” for the night after the defense took a step backward.

“We scored too easily,” he said. “In practice our defense has been ahead of our offense. That being said, when you don’t turn it over you give yourself an opportunity to score, and that’s been one of our weaknesses has been turning the ball over.

“I like some of the things I saw, but we need to tighten up our defense in order to be very good.”

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Redshirt-junior center Nate Hicks, playing the majority of the minutes with likely starters Comer, Thompson, Chase Fieler and Jamail Jones, had 10 points, as did sophomore forward Marc-Eddy Norelia, who had back-to-back, highlight-reel slams in the second quarter.

Hicks and Jones, who didn’t score until the second half but hit a pair of 3-pointers in scoring seven points, will step into major roles this season after sitting last season as transfers.

Redshirt junior center Eric McKnight, a starter last season who has been splitting time with Hicks with the starting unit in practice, had five points.

“It felt good,” said Hicks, who called his appearance in FGCU’s scrimmage at Community School last year the last game he played. “I can’t believe I’m finally out on the floor.”

A crowd of about 500-600 turned out for FGCU’s first exhibition last year at Community School. The crowd Tuesday night was smaller, although FGCU has been heavily promoting Friday night’s free exhibition at Alico Arena as part of ESPNU’s nine-school “midnight madness” lineup.

HOOPS COVERAGE GROWS ON ESPN3

Every FGCU men’s and women’s home basketball game this season will be carried live online on ESPN3.com as part of a joint venture with the Atlantic Sun Conference and the sports network.

The FGCU men, who already have 10 games scheduled for television coverage, now will have 24 of 31 regular-season games on TV or online, including the first 11 games of the season. The FGCU women added six non-conference home games on ESPN3 to go along with a handful of A-Sun contests.

ESPN3.com is free for subscribers to a number of major cable and internet providers.

FGCU is the fourth A-Sun school to receive money from the conference for enhanced production capacity, which includes multiple cameras, on-air graphics, replays and more. The production will be student-run with the exception of on-air talent and producers.

Follow Seth Soffian on Twitter @NewsPressSeth.

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