By Jake Henning
Eli Abaev: After transferring from Austin Peay this past season, Abaev has made an instant impact on this FGCU team. Rebounding, rim protection and energy are just some of the most prominent things he has brought. His best game of the season came when he put up a 10 point – 10 rebound double against Florida National, shooting 4-6 from the field and also adding three assists.
Abaev has played some very important minutes for the Eagles over their first seven games, which gives him time to make an impact playing more than 30 minutes a game. He averages 7.9 points and 8.6 rebounds, but his contributions extend way past the box score.
Franco Miller Jr.: Miller came to FGCU from Ole Miss and has been a great player for the Eagles during his first seven games. He’s provided a lot of energy on and off the bench, while also being a reliable player for Coach Michael Fly.
Miller had his best game of the season when he was three rebounds off from a triple-double against Webber International, posting a 12 point, 10 assist and 7 rebound game. He has also been very consistent from the free throw line, where he is shooting an impressive 72 percent. Miller looks to step up his play when the Eagles begin their conference action this month.
Kierstan Bell: Arguably one of the most impactful transfers in the country, Bell has flashed superstar potential from the minute she hit Alico Arena’s hardwood floor. Her first game in the Green and Blue gave FGCU fans something to be excited about, as she dropped 24 points and 20 rebounds.
Bell was recently named the ASUN’s player and newcomer of the week on Dec. 28 for the second time this year. She was also awarded with a selection to the NCAA’s Starting Five on Dec. 30, which honors the top women’s basketball players in the country each week.
She has put up double digits points in every game for FGCU this season, with her highest of the year on Dec. 17, when she had 32 points on 13-18 from the field and 6-10 from three. Bell shows that she is one of the most explosive players in the country and hopes to continue into conference play.
Aaliyah Stanley: Stanley has gone under the radar as one of FGCU’s best players this season, providing a huge scoring push off the bench. She averages 10.1 points and 2.4 rebounds, after transferring from Eastern Michigan where she averaged 12.4 points as a freshman.
Her best game of the season came when the Eagles went down to FIU on Dec. 20, on a night where she scored 14 points. Stanley has been very consistent throughout the whole season, only scoring in single digits twice throughout seven games. And while she comes off the bench, she is one of FGCU’s best shooters from the free throw line.