Reporting Mark Viviano
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The final matchups in the Sweet 16 are Friday night, and although there are no local teams in the tournament, there is a team you can root for.
Mark Viviano explains.
Few people have heard of Florida Gulf Coast University since they’re brand new to Division I basketball. But most people have heard of Johns Hopkins, and there’s a strong March Madness connection.
He’s Andy Enfield, the coach who’s led the underdog run that has Florida Gulf Coast in the Sweet 16.
While the nation is just getting to know Enfield, he’s well-known at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where Enfield is in the halls, and on the walls–honored for his basketball accomplishments as a player there.
Enfield is the top scorer in Hopkins history. He’s the best free throw shooter ever in college hoops. His college coach knew Enfield was special when he recruited him in 1986.
“Somehow, someplace, you’ve got to figure it out yourself. Andy figures everything out,” said Bill Nelson, Johns Hopkins head basketball coach.
Enfield’s figured out a lot. He’s a millionaire from business outside of basketball and he’s married to a fashion model. Enfield also figured out how to beat Georgetown and San Diego State, and part of the plan is to let his players have fun.
Florida Gulf Coast plays a loose, high-flying style.
“We’re built for our style, we’re not built to grind it out every possession. I’ve got some crazy dudes on my team,” Enfield said.
It’s a crazy run of tournament success Florida Gulf Coast is enjoying. Acclaimed as an up-and-coming coach, Enfield recalls his roots.
“My college coach Bill Nelson at Johns Hopkins, he was my coach for four years and I grew up under his watch,” he said.
“Andy loved Hopkins, his parents loved Hopkins. His dad gave me a big hug the other night on the way to the locker room and he said ‘I’m glad he chose Hopkins.’ It made me feel good,” said Nelson.
Nelson will be rooting for Florida Gulf Coast to win again as an underdog. The Eagles face the University of Florida Friday night.