CANMORE, Alta. — Expectations are high around the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles in 2017-18, and for good reason.
This year’s edition of the Eagles have a plethora of weapons, all of which are capable of leading the offense on any given night. They possess the Atlantic Sun’s top back court rotation, in Brandon Goodwin, Christian Terrell, and Zach Johnson, and all three are capable of being the go-to guy on the back end.
On the first Saturday of the season, the Eagles opened up the 2017-18 season on their home court against the Illinois State Redbirds. In a game that saw several players put together impressive performances, one player stood out in particular.
Junior guard Zach Johnson wasted little time in making an impact, as he led the Eagles to the 98-87 victory, while leading all Florida Gulf Coast players in scoring on the day.
For his efforts across the opening weekend, Florida Gulf Coast guard Zach Johnson has been selected as the College Court Report Fan-Voted Player of the Week(end) by the fans!
Johnson received the most votes in our weekly Twitter poll, finishing ahead of Garrison Mathews (Lipscomb), Elijah Minnie (Eastern Michigan), and Jaelan Sanford (Toledo).
As stated above, the Eagles possess the conference’s top back court trio, and all three were in the starting lineup to kick off the 2017-18 season against the Redbirds. Johnson played 39 minutes on the day, and was an impact player throughout the entire game.
The Eagles came away with the 98-87 victory, pulling away in the closing minutes to stretch the margin of victory to double figures. Florida Gulf Coast had five players score in double figures, led by Johnson’s 27 points.
On the day, Johnson put together a solid performance across the board. Along with his 27 points, he recorded four rebounds, four assists, and four steals, while shooting 8-for-19 (42.1%) from the field and 8-for-9 (88.9%) from the free throw line. Johnson was able to impact the game on both ends of the floor, and was a key piece in the home opening victory for the Eagles.
Johnson’s 27 points was also a new career-high. His previous high was 26 points, which he set as a freshman in a game against the Bowling Green Falcons.
As a sophomore in 2016-17, Johnson recorded four games with 20 or more points. After game one of his junior season, it looks as though Johnson will surely top that number in 2017-18.
Looking ahead for the Eagles, they begin a three game road trip on Monday when they visit the Siena Saints. They also take on the aforementioned Bowling Green Falcons on Sunday.
For his efforts on Saturday in the Eagles’ home opener, the fans awarded Florida Gulf Coast Zach Johnson by selecting him as the College Court Report Fan-Voted Player of the Week(end) for November 10-12, 2017!
– T. Bennett
**College Court Report Player of the Week recipients are selected from teams in the following conferences:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Summit League, SWAC, Sun Belt, West Coast, and WAC