GAME THREAD: FAU vs. Stetson - 12/17/13 @ 7:30 PM
What: FAU (3-8) vs Stetson (1-10)
When: Tuesday, December 17th @ 7:30 PM
Where: Edmunds Center
Hatters Team Site: Here
Live Video: Hatter Vision FEE
Radio: ESPN 106.3
Internet Broadcast Info
Live Stats: Here
G Raymone Andrews 9.1 ppg
G Aaron Graham 11.5 ppg
F Kentwan Smith 7.5 ppg
F Willie Green 12.7 ppg
C Kyle Sikora 3.2 ppg
G Marquan Botley 6.4 ppg
G Jackson Trapp 10.4 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 20.1 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 4.8 ppg
C Justin Raffington 7.9 ppg
Stetson leads 17-15 overall. The teams split last season, with the Owls defeating the Hatters 88-78 in DeLand before losing a close one 69-68 at FAU Arena. Pablo Bertone averaged 12 points and three rebounds for the two tilts, and Kelvin Penn swatted away six shots. Dragan Sekelja saw limited action, pitching in 10 points overall.
Stetson at a Glance:
The Hatters had their best campaign in six seasons last year (15-17, 11-7), making it to the A-Sun semi-finals before an eventual loss to Sweet 16 participant Florida Gulf Coast. However, they now find themselves rebuilding due to some key losses. The current mark of 1-10 makes this apparent.
2012-13 A-Sun 1st Team selection Adam Pegg (15.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) has departed, and that leaves the Hatters slightly more one dimensional. However, Pegg's brother Brian, a 6-7, 205 lb guard continues to carry the family name forward. The younger Pegg is averaging just under seven points per outing in his first true season after red shirting last year due to injury.
Additionally, the Hatters also saw Chris Perez, a 2nd Team A-Sun selection decide to take his third NCAA stop by transferring to Canisius in the off season. Formerly at Liberty, Perez made his way to DeLand and averaged 15.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest for the Hatters last season, shooting 48.6% from the field. He was the reason the Owls lost their contest at home with a buzzer beater but obviously will not be around to seek revenge against tomorrow night.
Stetson dropped their last outing 77-58 to Central Florida, but hung tough for the first period off of 50.0% shooting. Prior to that the squad notched their only win on the year, a 56-52 victory over Bethune Cookman. Helping matters was a woeful 1-of-15 showing behind the arch by the Wildcats.
Guard play is the focal point of the offense this season, a shift over last year with the loss of Pegg. The back court duo of Aaron Graham (38.9% 3PT), and Raymone Andrews (33 assists, 10 steals) carry a solid share of the total point production, while overall leading scorer Willie Green (56.1% FG, 12.7 ppg) is making a strong contribution around the basket.
Stetson has played only two games at home so far on the season, where they are 1-1. The Hatters are scoring just 60.3 ppg (346th NCAA), while allowing 72.6 ppg.
FAU at a Glance:
The Owls will wrap up a three game road stint on Tuesday in DeLand. While dropping the first two contests, they arguably posted their best efforts of the season away from Boca Raton. The team came as close as they have since 1994 in beating an ACC Team (NC State, 75-71 02/28/94), and at moments it seemed liked it might happen - Pablo Bertone's free throw with 1:40 to play had the Owls within striking distance.
“From a team standpoint it was a very productive week. To go and play on the road against two big conferences, their officials, everything else that goes with it – undermanned - I thought the guys represented themselves well", said Coach Mike Jarvis. "We improved as a team and the wins will come."
Without starting center Dragan Sekelja in the line-up, that left the main rotation employed by Jarvis comprised of just seven players. It took it's toll on guard Jackson Trapp, who suffered through a 1-of-14 showing from the floor against Maryland - his worst shooting performance of the year - after notching a 17 point effort against DePaul.
“The poor guy had no legs left, he had a tough night", said Jarvis. "At times I think we would have been better if we had one more body or one more day of rest.”
Of note, Sekelja returned to practice on Monday afternoon, and will be available off the bench on Tuesday against the Hatters.
After a very sluggish seasonal start at the charity stripe, Florida Atlantic is making strides, and has now outshot their opponents in free throw percentage for the past four games. The squad sank a healthy 81.8% (9-of-11) against the Terps on Saturday.
Kelvin Penn was very active around the backboard, and posted two career highs with 11 grabs overall, and six offensive rebounds.
“I’m’ pleased with his (Penn's) progress", Jarvis said of the junior forward. "Rebounding is about effort and the guys are putting in the effort.”
Pablo Bertone currently ranks 35th nationally in scoring with 20.1 ppg, while the Owls are tied for 65th in offensive glass (13.1 rpg).
Forward Javier Lacunza is steadily building a case for more playing time. While he has been on the floor, the sophomore has knocked eight of his seventeen targets from downtown which is good for a team best 47.0%.
"He’ll be one of those kids that when he’s a senior you’ll be saying ‘oh, I wish we had him one more year’, cause he’s such a hard worker, great student, and such a pleasure to coach", Jarvis remarked.
Owl's Nest Prediction
The Owls remain winless on the road, but that should change on Tuesday. If this game were at FAU Arena, it would command a double digit margin. Being that it's away, we'll need to drop it back a bit, but are still expecting a W when it's all said and done.