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FAU Hoops Tip-Off Dinner

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FAU Hoops Tip-Off Dinner

For $20, sounds like a good deal! I may well attend this one.

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FAU Hoops Tip-Off Dinner

Ghost did you get a chance to attend?

I found this article this morning and wondered if you had any impressions to share.

Coaching greatness merges under one roof

Published Thursday, October 13, 2005
by Hannon Deutsch

Florida Atlantic men?s basketball coach Matt Doherty didn?t make any promises. Instead of bending the truth and telling all those who attended Tuesday night?s Tip-Off Dinner at FAU Gymnasium that they would see a winning product on the court this season, he simply spoke of a new beginning for a university that was searching for new blood.

Doherty emphasized the importance of building a program steeped in tradition; he made it clear it doesn?t happen over the course of one season. He guaranteed fans will see a team that plays smart, hard and together. His vision, goals and expectations, along with a cinderblock signed by all the players, is symbolic of the newly laid foundation.

In the middle of his message, Doherty gave an introspective preview into his humor by saying he joked with recruits that every other girl on campus resembles J-Lo. But he?s here ? far from the media glare of the ACC ? for a completely different reason other than matchmaking.

?I?m here because of the vision the President (Frank Brogan) and athletic director (Craig Angelos) share,? he said.

Before each new season commences under Doherty?s direction, he invites a coach or a former player to address his team. Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy graciously appeared on behalf of FAU associate head coach Rex Walters? request.

Van Gundy said for a school the size of FAU (about 28,000 students) to attract the level of coaches they have is ?incredible.?

?I have great respect for Matt because of his basketball pedigree,? Van Gundy said. ?This is a difficult business with ups and downs and he?s seen both sides of it.?

Doherty was introduced as the Owls? fifth coach April 18, just over two years after he resigned from his perch at North Carolina and two weeks after the players he recruited to the Tar Heels- Sean May, Rashad McCants and Raymond Felton ? cut down the nets in St. Louis.

He replaces Sidney Green, who led the Owls to their only NCAA Tournament appearance and Atlantic Sun tournament title in 2002. Aside from that surprise bid, the Owls have registered a lackluster 102-234 record and only two winning seasons.

With that in mind, Doherty made the most out of his next three months with the little time he had. He was busy interviewing assistants and luring fresh recruits. Two are Florida prospects, three from playground rich Philadelphia and one from Michigan ? proving the persuasive touch he got from his years at Davidson, Kansas, Notre Dame and UNC are still in tact.

Over the summer, Van Gundy and Walters attended a concert at Mizner Park. Instead of relaxing, Walters was busy text messaging recruits. And then there was the Florida Marlins game when Van Gundy approached Doherty to say hello only to find more of the same.

Van Gundy?s closing comments were simple but straightforward.

?I can see what the work ethic is like in this program,? Van Gundy said. ?There are two things leaders do. They inspire the team through their efforts and actions.?

Friday marks Midnight Madness, the craze surrounding the start of basketball practices across the nation. The new-look Owls will be in their last year competing in the A-Sun (next season it?s off to the Sun Belt). Clearly, they will be working toward something bigger than themselves.

Copyright 2005 - Boca Raton News
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FAU Hoops Tip-Off Dinner

No, unfortunately I had to work in order to get Saturday off.
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FAU Hoops Tip-Off Dinner

According to another article I read they have already sold double the season tickets from the previous years and all the courtsides are gone. I will post it when I find it again. This is all exciting news for the Owls. The Dynasty begins!!!
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FAU Hoops Tip-Off Dinner

Is this the article?

Doherty managing a makeover at FAU
The changes made by the Owls' new coach have sparked interest.

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, October 14, 2005

BOCA RATON ? Signs of progress permeate the Florida Atlantic men's basketball offices.

From shiny nameplates on coaches' doors and a new flat-panel TV on the wall to the smell of fresh paint wafting through FAU Gym, the entire program seems to have undergone changes. And new coach Matt Doherty has his hand in most of them.

"I tell my team little things are big things," Doherty said. "Things like dressing up the gym and having a band shows commitment. It's going to be a real college basketball environment. That's a big thing and people will notice."

The new-look Owls will debut for fans at 9 tonight at FAU's Basketball Bash, the Owls' version of Midnight Madness and the unofficial start of the college basketball season.

Since starting in April, Doherty has been hard at work trying to build a program that had lost momentum since coach Sidney Green took FAU to the NCAA Tournament in 2002.

When Doherty arrived, he knew he would have plenty of work trying to drum up support for a team that drew 523 fans per game last season.

"I did my research and I saw the attendance last year," Doherty said. "Community outreach is part of the job and I spend a lot of my time doing it."

It was a long way from North Carolina, where Doherty never had to worry about attracting fans.

But Doherty appears to have the ball rolling at FAU.

A tip-off dinner Tuesday featuring Heat coach Stan Van Gundy drew hundreds of supporters to FAU Gym at $20 a head. Season ticket sales have more than doubled. FAU increased the number of courtside seats to 78 and promptly sold all of them.

"The whole approach is really unparalleled to what we've seen here at FAU," said FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos. "What he's done in a short time is everything and more than we hoped for."

And Doherty is also making his presence known off campus. He has made recruiting local talent a priority and is building relationships with local schools.

"Your primary recruiting base has to be your back yard," Doherty said. "I've never been in such a fertile market for players. Last week I was able to drive to three practices in one day. I loved it."

Doherty was hired late in the spring recruiting period but managed to sign six players for this season's team.

The Owls also have a jump on next year's recruiting class. FAU has signed players in the early recruiting period ? when the best talent is available ? only one time before.

The Owls reversed both trends by landing a commitment from guard Xavier Perkins, who will be a senior at St. Andrew's, just a few miles from FAU's campus.

"Before Matt Doherty got there, I really didn't consider FAU," said Perkins, who grew up in Delray Beach. "I knew about them, but I always thought it was a small school, with average athletes. Coach Doherty has a great reputation and he's the one who may be my mentor."

I tried to post the link but, apparently it is too long . . .

Anyway, it certainly looks like things are moving in the right direction. :)

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