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GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM

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GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM




What: Florida Atlantic (0-1) vs Mississippi State (0-1)

When: Tuesday, Nov. 13th @ 8:00 PM EST

Where: Mize Pavilion at Humphrey Coliseum

TV: None

Live Video: None

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Bulldogs Team Site: Here


Probable Starters:

FAU

G Stefan Moody 8.0 ppg
G Greg Gantt 18.0 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 9.0 ppg
F Jordan McCoy 2.0 ppg
C Dragan Sekelja 9.0 ppg

MSU

G Jalen Steele 16.0 ppg
G Fred Thomas 4.0 ppg
G Trivante Bloodman 11.0 ppg
F Colin Borchert 7.0 ppg
C Wendell Lewis 3.0 ppg

The Series

This will be the third meeting for the two schools in as many years, with the previous two contests being decided by just a total of nine points.

The Owls shocked the Bulldogs in 2010 with athrilling 61-59 victoryat the Hump to give the program it’s ever win over an SEC opponent. Last year FAU hung around with Mississippi State - leading with less than ten minutes remaining in the game - before costly fouls resulted in a 75-68 loss. This year’s matchup is part of the opening round of the Maui Invitational.


Owls at a Glance

FAU fell to #11 North Carolina 80-56Sunday afternoon in the season opener, after playing a competitive first half.

The Owls made the trip to Chapel Hill fundamentally because head coach Mike Jarvis thought his squad would be able to jockey with the Tar Heels and learn something from it.

The team did just that, but only for a limited amount of action.

"It's a 40-minute game.  20 minutes, minutes here; minutes there isn't good enough.  It's 40 minutes.  The reason why we came and the reason why we played is to see how much work we have to do,” Jarvis said.

FAU shot just 27.9% from the field and turned the ball over 17 times.

Freshman point guards Stefan Moody and Cavon Baker struggled in the hostile environment and failed to effectively limit the opposing back court. Center Dragan Sekelja was held to just nine points and grabbed only two rebounds, as the Tar Heels dominated the paint.

"We didn't shoot it well, our shooters weren't looking to shoot the ball early.  Our big guy was trying to take the ball to the basket from 20 feet.  We can't do that.  Our defense did not play all the way through possessions.  We didn't adjust against a bigger, more athletic group of guys in terms of rebounding. Many of their points came off of second-chance points,” Jarvis said.

One player that did shoot the ball well was senior guard Greg Gantt who had a team-high 18 points. Gantt was productive and led the team in minutes.

Forward Jordan McCoy had 10 rebounds including five on the offensive side of the court, but wasn’t getting any help from Sekelja under the basket.

Freshmen power forward Chris Bryant isn’t expected to be available for Tuesday night’s game as he still awaits clearance from the NCAA, so that  will mean more minutes for McCoy and Kelvin Penn.

It should be interesting to see how the squad adjusts after the loss to the Tar Heels, but noticeably important for Sekelja and Moody. Both players had rocky outings, and will need to regroup in order to give the team a chance in Starkville.

“We're going to be better.  We can learn something from this game (against North Carolina), play a little bit better in the next one, then it's worth a try,” Jarvis said.


Bulldogs at a Glance

Mississippi State dropped their season opener to Troy Friday night on a last-second shot by the Trojans. The game was played in Troy’s new $40 million basketball facility, and marked the first time the program had opened the season on the road in eight years.

First-year head coach Rick Ray had only seven scholarship players available for action due to injury and was forced to play three true freshmen for a majority of the contest.

The roster situation should be the same Tuesday night as sophomore forward Roquez Johnson remains doubtful to play with a lingering concussion injury.

The Bulldogs will rely heavily on guards Trivante Bloodman and Jalen Steele for production, and both should see plenty of minutes. Steele is MSU’s leading returning scorer from last season, and had 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting against Troy.

Senior center Wendell Lewis is the squad’s veteran player, but fouled out for only the second time in his career after playing just 16 minutes in the opener. The 6-foot-9 big man led Mississippi State in blocks the past two seasons and has a presence in the lane.

Ray takes over the program after fourteen-year head coach Rick Stansburry retired in the offseason. Growing pains are expected for the Bulldogs this season, as the school was picked to finished last in the Southeastern Conference. Ray came to Starkville after being an assistant coach at Clemson for two seasons, and will be looking to avoid the school’s first 0-2 start since 1967-1968.

"I know our guys are just ready to get back on the court after a tough loss," Ray said. "I was proud of the way our guys fought back and played in the second half (against Troy), but we need that type of competitive spirit for two halves."

Latest Line:

MSU -5

Owl's Nest Prediction

FAU was overwhelmed against a talented Tar Heel squad, but will be facing a banged-up Mississippi State team on Tuesday night. If the Owls could select any school to play from the SEC this season in hopes of gaining a win, the Bulldogs would be the easy choice.

MSU will have its struggles with young players, but Jarvis will need his own freshmen point guards to rebound from a tough outing in Chapel Hill. Expect a competitive game from the Owls with a chance for an upset if the they can limit the turnovers and control the boards.

MSU -8

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM

Andrew said

Freshmen power forward Chris Bryant isn’t expected to be available for Tuesday night’s game as he still awaits clearance from the NCAA…

Per this Tweet from Bryant late this afternoon around 5:20 PM, he's been cleared:

Young King_24 [email protected]_Slaysum24:  Finally cleared to play headed to mississippi st. Right now leggo

Good stuff!

Don't hold that against us, the preview was written 20 minutes prior.

;D

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM

He must be "important" to success…especially considering he got to travel by himself to the game once given the nod.

"Chris Bryant is a worker."

"Chris Bryant is a guy who will bring it everyday."

"Chris Bryant is a competitor."

"Chris Bryant is going to fight you, and has a passion for the game."

- Head Coach Mike Jarvis during our player Round Robin prior to the 2012-13 season.
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM

Would be great to win this game. I would be pumped. I watched half of the UNC game and I thought they looked pretty bad. Sloppy. Its going to take awhile for this team to play together from the looks of the UNC game. UNC themselves i thought sucked and will struggle this year. But its early in the year, who knows.

I'll be listening tonight.
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM

And we're underway!

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM

Andrew said

And we're underway!

Who's starting?

;)
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM

Starters:

FAU
G- Stefan Moody
G- Greg Gantt
G- Pablo Bertone
F- Jordan McCoy
C- Dragan Sekelja

Miss State
G- Jalen Steele
G- Fred Thomas
G- Trivante Bloodman
F- Colin Borchet
C- Wendell Lewis

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM

Bulldogs up 8-2 early, Owls with a couple of turnovers. Can't let that happen.

17:41

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM

Media T/O

Miss State leads 8-4. Moody knocks down a jumper, Sekelja has a couple offensive boards.

Owls 0-for-3 from behind the arc…

15:53

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: GAME THREAD: FAU @ Mississippi State - 11/13/12 @ 8:00 PM

Jackson Trapp with an early bucket!

The sharp-shooter is getting some early minutes.

Hopefully he can turn around the long-range shooting..

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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