FGCU Embraces Positionless Basketball with All Players Listed as Shooters


Florida Gulf Coast University emphasizes positionless basketball, categorizing all players as shooters, leading to successful scoring from 3-pointers and layups.

FGCU’s Positionless Basketball Approach

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) has revolutionized its approach to basketball by categorizing all its players as shooters rather than traditional positions such as guards, forwards, or centers. This positionless basketball strategy has led to the team’s immense success in scoring primarily from 3-pointers and layups.

Success and Strategy

FGCU, a mid-major women’s basketball program, has achieved at least 30 wins in six of the last nine seasons. The team has dominated Division I basketball in 3-pointers made over the last four years. This unique approach has earned the team a spot in the season-ending AP Top 25 in two of the last three seasons.

Coach Karl Smesko’s Philosophy

Eagles’ coach Karl Smesko has employed an offensive system that emphasizes 3-pointers and layups while discouraging midrange jumpers. This strategy was evident in a recent quarterfinal win where the team scored 83 points, with the majority coming from 3-pointers and layups. Opposition coaches have praised FGCU’s small-ball system, noting the team’s efficiency and prowess in scoring 3-pointers.

Historical Dominance and Player Perspective

FGCU’s shooting-centric approach is not a mere trend, as the team has set impressive records in Division I women’s basketball. The players also view this strategy as a source of motivation, recognizing the need to excel in shooting. This innovative approach has garnered attention and admiration within the basketball community.

Embracing the Shooter Concept

When introducing the starters, FGCU emphasizes the position of ‘shooter’ for each player, reflecting the team’s commitment to this unique strategy. Coach Smesko revealed that the team considered other designations before ultimately choosing to categorize all players as shooters, reflecting the team’s emphasis on shooting skills and potential for improvement.