Courtesy of FGCUAthletics.com
LAKE POINT, Ga. – Coming off its second-straight outright regular-season title, the FGCU men’s basketball team collected three ASUN postseason honors on Sunday as Brandon Goodwin was named Player of the Year, Zach Johnson joined Goodwin on the First Team and Joe Dooley was tabbed as the Coach of the Year.
Goodwin (Norcross, Ga./UCF/Norcross HS) becomes the second FGCU product to be named Player of the Year, joining Sherwood Brown in 2013. Johnson (Miami, Fla./Norland HS) lands on the First Team for the first time in his career, while Goodwin has been chosen to the First Team now in consecutive years. Dooley also collects his second-straight Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Eagles to back-to-back 12-2 league marks.
“Brandon has put together, once again, one of the best seasons in program history,” commented Dooley. “Zach has been arguably our most consistent player all year, and combined with Brandon their honors are certainly well deserved. They have a great group of teammates around them as well, and hopefully we’re able to reach our ultimate goal in one week with another ASUN Championship.”
After being named the unanimous ASUN Newcomer of the Year last season, Goodwin was slated as the unanimous ASUN Preseason Player of the Year in October, and the redshirt senior lived up to that billing by leading FGCU in points (18.4), rebounds (5.7) and assists (4.8). The 6-2 guard ranks 2nd in the ASUN in scoring, 3rd in assists, 9th in steals (1.3) and 12th in rebounding – the only player in the league to rank in the top 12 in all four categories.
In league games, the two-time ASUN Player of the Week this year ranks 4th in scoring (19.6), 4th in steals (1.7), 5th in assists (4.6) and 8th in rebounding (6.1) – once again the only player to rank in the top 10 in all four categories. Goodwin, who has four double-doubles on the year, also ranks 8th in ASUN games in field-goal percentage (.538), and finished the year by posting scoring performances of 28, 28 and 27 points.
With 553 points in 30 games, Goodwin is on pace to surpass his own single-season program record of 629 points established last year in 34 games. Additionally, he has also passed his own Division-I program record of 136 made free throws last year with 137 this campaign (all-time record: 156 by Leighton Bowie in 2003-04).
Johnson garners his second postseason ASUN accolade after being chosen to the All-Freshman Team in 2016 – the same year he was also named to the All-Tournament Team. For the entire year, Johnson ranks 11th in the ASUN in scoring (14.9), 11th in assists (2.9) and 1st in steals (2.1), ranking 2nd on the Eagles in points and assists.
In ASUN contests, the redshirt junior ranks 1st in steals (2.1), 8th in scoring (16.9), 9th in field-goal percentage (.522) and 10th in assists (3.1) – one of only two players (Goodwin) to rank in the top 10 in all four categories. Johnson led FGCU in scoring nine times, and had at least 14 points in every conference game except the finale (nine).
Despite leading the ASUN in steals, and being in elite company in other aforementioned categories, Johnson was not selected as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. That honor instead when to 3rd-place Jacksonville’s Devin Harris, who had 20 fewer steals on the year than Johnson (65 to 45), eight fewer thefts in ASUN action (29 to 21) and whose team allowed 73.6 points per game in ASUN action compared with 68.4 for FGCU. In two head-to-head matchups this year, Johnson averaged 21.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals, while Harris – who is tied for 1st in the ASUN in defensive rebounds at 6.2 – averaged 4.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals.
Johnson and Goodwin become just the second pair of FGCU teammates to be named to the ASUN First Team in the same year, joining Brett Comer and Bernard Thompson in 2014. It also continues a stretch of FGCU having at least one representative on the First Team for six-straight years – by far the longest current streak of any ASUN member (Lipscomb, two-straight years).
After becoming the first of FGCU’s three head coaches in the program’s D-I era to be named ASUN Coach of the Year last season, Dooley followed it up again in 2018. FGCU’s 80.4 points per game average would set a D-I single-season program record, while the Green and Blue’s .495 field-goal percentage is just behind last year’s all-time record of .499. Since Dooley took over the program in 2013-14, the top 4 single-season records for field-goal percentage have come under his guidance.
FGCU’s +10.1 scoring margin is tied with last year as the best in D-I program history, and the Eagles are once again leading the ASUN in points allowed under Dooley at 70.3 per game. It would mark the fourth time in the last five seasons that FGCU has paced the league in that category (2nd in the other year).
FGCU has become the first team in the history of the ASUN (since 1978-79) to record six-straight 20-wins seasons as Dooley has steered the Eagles to a 21-10 mark, and tied the single-season program record for ASUN winning percentage at .857. FGCU put together a 13-game winning streak earlier this year – the longest in D-I program history – and has not lost an ASUN road game in two years, orchestrating consecutive 7-0 records. FGCU’s seven-game road winning streak is currently tied for the 3rd longest in the nation.
The Eagles hope they have played their final road game of the year as top-seeded FGCU opens ASUN Tournament play with a quarterfinal matchup at Alico Arena on Monday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. against No. 8 USC Upstate (7-24, 2-12 ASUN). FGCU has won each of the last two ASUN Tournament titles – three in five years – and will be looking to make its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last six years (seven years of total postseason eligibility).
2018 ASUN MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTSEASON AWARDS AND HONORS
Player of the Year: Brandon Goodwin, FGCU
Newcomer of the Year: Noah Horchler, North Florida
Freshman of the Year: JD Notae, Jacksonville
Defensive Player of the Year: Devin Harris, Jacksonville
Coach of the Year: Joe Dooley, FGCU