The “Fab Freshmen” are back for another their sophomore season. After going undefeated (18-0) in their conference and 27-7 overall, the women’s basketball team is entering the new season with 10 returning players and six incoming freshman. Of those 10 returning are five of last year’s “Fab Freshmen” made up of DyTiesha Dunson, Katie Meador, Amanda Moore, Stephanie Haas and Jaime Gluesing. It was no secret that last year’s squad was able to shoot from behind the arc, making 319 3-pointers in the regular season with opponents shooting just 124. Gluesing was a huge contributor as a freshman, sinking 49 3-pointers and having a seasonhigh of five in one game versus Jacksonville. Gluesing’s 3-point percentage was the highest on the team at .450 and she also had the most starts by a freshman, 23.
The next highest in starts by a freshman was Dunson with 13. She was able to make her mark with 61 rebounds, 41 assists and 22 steals. Finishing her high school career at Westover High in Albany, Ga. with 1,500 points, she was ranked ESPN’s 59th-best player at her position. After visiting FGCU, Dunson chose to become a Lady Eagle. “I decided to come to FGCU because of Coach Smesko. I knew that as a coach he would push me and help me better myself as a player,” Dunson said. “I also came here because of the players. When I came to visit, they were very competitive, and I liked that. After my visit here, I knew it was the place I wanted to be.”
In Meador’s 34 games played, she was able to rack up 36 steals and 89 total rebounds. She may have only had four 3-pointers on the season, but one of her goals is to change that. “My personal goals for the season are to become a threat on the three point line and become a dominant rebounder. I’d also like to beat Stanford in our Thanksgiving Tournament in Mexico and, of course, always have fun!” Meador said.
The Lady Eagles were able to win their conference last year, but lost in the A-Sun championship game versus Stetson. “Our team goals for this year are to win not only the A-Sun conference, but also win the A-Sun tournament and go to the NCAA tournament and win games,” Meador said. With two older brothers who played the game, Meador grew up around basketball and playing with her siblings. “We would play all day and we made it so competitive and fun where I found a love in it. I wanted to pursue my dream of playing D-I college basketball,” she said. “My favorite player growing up was Candace Parker.”
Moore, an elementary education major, scored nine points on 3-of-3 from behind the arc, including the NCAA D-I record-breaking 22nd three-pointer of the game for the Eagles versus ETSU last year. “In school, my favorite classes are my teaching classes because I want to be an elementary school teacher, preferably second or third grade,” Moore said. “As for basketball, I have been working on my defense because it is what I need the most work on. Up to this point, I think I have improved a lot and my teammates push me in practice everyday, which is very helpful.”
In the WNIT first-round game last year against Winthrop, Haas came up big and had a team-high 13 points. She played in 32 games and had the second highest points among the freshmen class (124). The Ohio native is the youngest of four girls, two of whom played basketball in high school.
The Green and Blue will be taking on FIU in Miami for their season opener on Nov. 8. “I feel that the team is looking good so far, we are making progress each day and continuing to improve,” Haas said. “By mid-season, I see us with no losses. We will have had time to improve areas that need work and gain team chemistry to learn how everyone likes to play.”