GAME THREAD: FAU vs. Florida International - 01/25/14 @ 6:00 PM
What: FAU (7-12, 2-2 C-USA) vs FIU (10-9, 2-2 C-USA)
When: Saturday, January 25th @ 6:00 PM
Where: U.S. Century Bank Arena
Panthers Team Site: Here
Live Video: None
Radio: ESPN 106.3
Internet Broadcast Info
Live Stats: Here
G Dennis Mavin 10.9 ppg
G Cody Mann 4.5 ppg
F Tymell Murphy 16.5 ppg
F Jerome Frink 8.6 ppg
F Rakeem Buckles 13.3 ppg
G Marquan Botley 9.7 ppg
G Jackson Trapp 10.6 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 18.1 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 4.4 ppg
C Justin Raffington 9.4 ppg
The Panthers lead 17-15 all time, however the Owls claim a 6-4 mark over the last 10 meetings, and are 3-2 when playing in Miami during that span. The squads split in 2012-13.
Last time on the hardwood, former Owl Stefan Moody drained a game high 28 points (11-of-20) as FAU came away with a commanding 77-60 victory at The Burrow. The Owls trailed at the break, but shot shot 69.2% in the second half and owned the glass (44-28) for the tilt. Pablo Bertone had 13 points off the bench.
FIU at a Glance:
Here come the Panthers. What could have been a more emotionally charged 2013-14 rivalry given the vaunted departure of former Owl and now former FIU team member Ray Taylor was squelched when the NCAA came a calling with high powered glass eye in hand to put an end to the dream of playing after declaring for the NBA draft.
Taylor may be gone, but his accompaniment from Boca Raton in Dennis Mavin is one of the team's key members. Mavin isn't setting the world ablaze as a makeshift point with 32 assists and 50 turnovers, but he is hitting reasonably well from long range with a 30.0% effort with enough attempts for the third most on the roster. He's also started every game this year.
However, the main offensive haul for FIU is still coming from the likes of seniors Rakeem Buckles (13.3 ppg), who leads the league with 9.4 rebounds per game, and fellow forward Tymell Murphy (16.5 ppg). Murphy is 2nd in C-USA field goal efficiency with a ridiculous 60.5% mark and gets more than his fair share of shots every outing.
Florida International started the season 0-2 with losses to Eastern Kentucky and Youngstown State before rattling off six straight at the hands of what could arguably called a cupcake line-up. Since then, they have gone 4-of-11 with wins over common opponents Rice and ECU and lopsided defeats to LA Tech and Old Dominion (52-36). The mishap against the Monarchs saw the fewest points posted for a game in program history.
The Panthers are 6-3 at home overall on the season, while 1-1 in league action. If you can believe the numbers, they have the third lowest attendance figure with 1,556 on hand per contest while being ahead of only Florida Atlantic (1,289), and UTSA (789).
For Owl fans making the trip to Miami to help boost Saturday's figure, a group of four can get a pretty good deal for just $29, which buys four (4) tickets, four (4) hot dogs, four (4) popcorns, and four (4) 16-ounce soft drinks. The offering can be purchased in advance by calling 305-FIU-GAME.
FAU at a Glance:
Concluding their three game home stand at 2-1, the Owls return to the road for a another three game stint beginning with Florida International. On Thursday the squad beat the Land of Sin's spread by 25 points and knocked off a talented Harvard unit 68-53 in convincing fashion.
"One of the better games we have ever played from start to finish", Coach Mike Jarvis said. "We did a very good job getting back on defense so they got very few fast break points. All of our big guys played well defensively."
Paving the way was Marquan Botley, who has stolen the show as of late with four straight double digit efforts, including a 17.5 ppg scoring average during the stretch. He's proving to have been quite a steal for the Owls.
"I recruited him mainly because he takes care of the ball, but I knew he could shoot", Jarvis said. "His high school coach kept telling me nobody knew how good this kid kid can shoot the ball. I think he was just completely overshadowed because he played with Julius Randle."
Recent shooting like Botley's, combined with Thursday's season best 53.3% 3PT effort has helped the team edge up the ranks of C-USA members in long range production, where the Owls now place 5th. The freshman ranks 8th overall individually with a 40.3% mark himself.
The twelve blocks registered against the Crimson tied the program mark (Campbell 05', Miami 09', Warner, 10') and also places FAU in a two way tie with Saturday's opponent the Panthers, who also have 4.77 swats per outing.
FAU essentially employed a seven man line-up against Harvard and could be doing that again although with an undesirable twist. Dragan Sekelja counted as one of the seven but has been dealing with a nagging injury that could see the seven footer sidelined for Saturday. He will in all likelihood be a game time decision.
Jarvis and new Panther Head Coach Anthony Evans will square off for the first time, however the Owls defeated Evans' Norfolk State unit 77-64 at FAU Arena in 2006.
Owl's Nest Prediction
The biggest challenge for Florida Atlantic will be how to contain the perimeter from a driving perspective - particularly Murphy. Meanwhile, the Owls come out on top in critical areas such as ball handling, free throws per game and shooting percentage.
If Sekelja can go as a key reserve, the Owls should take it by a slim margin.
"For the 33rd installment of the FIU-FAU rivalry, fans can take advantage of the FIU Family Four-Pack. The package, available for $29, includes four (4) tickets, four (4) hot dogs, four (4) popcorns, and four (4) 16-ounce soft drinks - a $54 value. Four-Packs can be purchased in advance at the University Credit Union Box Office at the R. Kirk Landon Field House, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling 305-FIU-GAME or by logging on to FIUSports.com (Promo Code: FAMILY). Four-Packs can also be purchased on game day at the U.S. Century Bank Arena box office beginning at 5 p.m.
Saturday will also feature Panther PayDay, as all students inside the arena before tip-off will be entered into a FREE raffle for a chance to win FIU gift cards, ranging in amounts from $5 to $100. In addition, the winners of the 2013 Fall Panther Points Program will be announced throughout the game. Winners must be present to claim their prizes.
Following the game, all FIU students in attendance are invited to a post-game party on the plaza, featuring a live DJ and FREE pizza."
I wonder if they considered doing a "Bury the Beach in Blue" promotion
Rick saidBut wait, there's more!
This went out on social media as well…
Posted On: Jan 24th 2014, 9:51 PM
That's pretty tame but at least they're trying.
teambeer saidIt's sweet, they're trying. I pull for em when we arent playing each other, mainly because my cleaning lady went to FIUPosted On: Jan 25th 2014, 1:10 PM
oooo wow. wasn't something like that from a line in the movie Caddie Shack?