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Pre-Duel Pleasantries: Florida Gulf Coast

Where our good friends at FGCU Eagles Nest answer our questions

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday brings us an epic matchup between our Xavier Musketeers and the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles. As most of you know, our opponent is a young school who made a big splash at the 2013 NCAA tournament. We got the chance to talk to Liam over at FGCU Eagles Nest about the Eagles and what makes their team so good. Let's get started.

1.) The Eagles are 9-3 on the young season and looking pretty good. What has contributed to their success this year?

FGCU has been playing extremely unselfish ball, to begin with. And that all starts with senior point guard Brett Comer, who has been playing out of his mind lately. He is averaging 12.2 ppg and 7.5 apg this season and can really take over a game when needed. Another reason has been the improvement of fellow senior Jamail Jones. The Marquette transfer has found his outside shot and is being aggressive, taking it to the hoop. Unfortunately, he has been suspended for the next 6 games due to a violation of team rules.

2.) Your school seemed to have come out of nowhere and has had more success then me despite being younger. What do you attribute this rise to?

The basketball team's success in 2013 was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of athletics success. Florida Gulf Coast has a plethora of incredibly successful athletic programs through the years and that continued as the Eagles joined the Division I ranks. The teams have been led by an incredible group of dedicated coaches who have shaped their programs into having a great team culture.

3.) What was your reaction to Dunk City in 2013?

Pure excitement. There's really no other way to describe it.

4.) Since you are making your way to the game, are you planning on trying Cincinnati Style Chili?

Haven't really thought about it, but I have some free time the night before so I'll to try the local cuisine. Do any readers have some good restaurant suggestions near the Cintas Center?

5.) If you could pick any athletic conference for your Eagles to be in, which would it be and why?

If I'm being realistic, the logical choice for FGCU is the Southern Conference. Mercer and ETSU have already made the jump from the Atlantic Sun, and the SoCon provides a more competitive league that makes geographical sense.

6.) Prediction for the game?

If Jamail Jones was playing, this prediction would be drastically different but I think the Eagles will sorely miss his presence. That being said, the Eagles will keep it close but end up falling by 6 or 7.

Thank you Liam for your answers. We look forward having you at the Cintas on Sunday! Xavier Nation, where should our new friend eat at before the game?