GAME THREAD: FAU vs. UTSA - 02/15/13 @ 4:00 PM
What: FAU (10-15, 5-5 C-USA) vs UTSA (7-16, 3-7 C-USA)
When: Saturday, February 15th @ 4:00 PM
Where: Convocation Center
UTSA Team Site: Here
Live Video: Rowdy Zone *FEE
Radio: ESPN 106.3
Internet Broadcast Info
Live Stats: Here
G Devin Agusi 11.6 ppg
G Keon Lewis 14.1 ppg
G Jordan Sims 11.0 ppg
F Phillip Jones 7.4 ppg
C Edrico McGregor 7.1 ppg
G Marquan Botley 10.5 ppg
G Jackson Trapp 9.5 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 18.9 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 4.6 ppg
C Justin Raffington 9.5 ppg
UTSA at a Glance:
The Roadrunners are another of the new opponents for Florida Atlantic this season. The program began play in 1981 and has four NCAA Tournament appearances with a 1-4 mark over five contests. In 2011 UTSA defeated Alabama State in The First Four before losing to Ohio State in the first round.
The Team is led by former NBA player Brooks Thompson, who enjoyed stints at both Texas A&M and Oklahoma State during his collegiate career. Thompson has produced a 110-127 overall showing as the Roadrunner's head man but was highly successful in the JUCO ranks prior where he compiled a 59-17 record at Yavapai Community College.
Continuing to tap those roots, Brooks has six JUCO transfers on the roster, including a trio from North Idaho in Edrico McGregor, Keon Lewis, and Kaj-Bjorn Sherman. McGregor and Lewis are pitching in team best's in both rebounding (128) and scoring (14.1 ppg) respectively.
Senior guard Jordan Sims has taken the lion's share of the unit's long ball attempts (169) and ranks 9th in C-USA with a 39.9% success rate. The Roadrunners place 6th as a team in the league standings from the same perspective, but have conference worsts in points allowed per game (78.7) and blocks posted (1.73 pg).
Without a significant scoring threat on the low block, UTSA will look to play a predominantly guard oriented attack, while mixing in post chances when given a favorable opportunity. The squad is 6-7 overall on the year at home, and 3-2 in league play.
FIU downed the Roadrunners 80-72 on Thursday night in San Antonio. MCGregor had the best overall performance for UTSA with 16 points, but the Roadrunners were just 3-of-18 from beyond the arc.
FAU at a Glance:
Florida Atlantic has made a living at times this season by beating teams they arguably should not have. Looking back, UCF, Harvard, and now UTEP were all double digit romps over the spread.
“Quantity wise, I don’t think there’s been any season where an FAU team has had as many big wins, so in that respect it’s quite noteworthy”, Jarvis said. “We’ve proven all year that we can play with most people, and have had a chance to win most games.”
Fittingly, the Owls’ two game road swing through the Lone Star state got off to a terrific start on Thursday. Despite a near meltdown and surrendering a 20 point lead in the 2nd half, Marquan Botley’s clutch three pointer with just two seconds to go proved the difference maker as FAU slipped out of El Paso with a big 71-69 win.
“It was the best basketball atmosphere that we’ve been in this year”, said Coach Mike Jarvis. “In some ways it was even better than Duke. It was a testament to the kids and their tenacity, and we deserved a victory like that with all of the tough losses we’ve had.”
Botley tied his career high of 23 points while snapping the Miner’s eight game streak, and league leading scorer Pablo Bertone registered his 10th straight double-digit scoring effort. Ironically, the squad set a season low with just 29 rebounds - 9.1 grabs below their average haul.
However, once struggling, perimeter shooting has been a staple for the last three games. Going back to a disappointing loss to the MTSU Blue Raiders at home, each contest has seen an increase: 40.0%, 43.8%, and 50.0%. Of note, the talent level being played against has remained consistent.
FAU has now won three of its last four games and at 5-5 in C-USA play is still mathematically alive for both a double-bye and a bye in the upcoming conference tournament. They can also exceed last year’s road win total (3) with a victory. Of course, emotional letdown is the item to guard against on Saturday.
“The good news is that the guys who are playing well are playing well because they are focused and are working hard", Jarvis asserted towards the premise.
Helping them to avoid a potential pitfall will be 100 or so Owl fans on hand. Tyler Pate and Marquan Botley each have large contingencies heading to the tilt. Given the Roadrunners home court average of 862 attendees, that should make a considerable dent.
FAU - 4
Owl's Nest Prediction
Vegas has this one pegged appropriately. The line opened at -3 for the Owls, but quickly adjusted. FAU should be able to chalk up their fourth road win of the year on Saturday.
FAU - 4