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GAME THREAD: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM

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GAME THREAD: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM




What: Florida Atlantic (4-7) vs Harvard (9-1)

When: Thursday, Dec. 22nd @ 7:00 PM EST

Where: Lavietes Pavilion

TV: None

Live Video: Crimson Pay Per View

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Crimson Team Site: Here


Probable Starters:

FAU

G Ray Taylor 9.4 ppg
G Dennis Mavin 4.2 ppg
G Omari Grier 11.5 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 10.5 ppg
F Kore White 10.5 ppg


Harvard

G Brandyn Curry 6.2. ppg
G Oliver McNally 7.2 ppg
G Christian Webster 5.8 ppg
F Kyle Casey 11.9 ppg
F Keith Wright 10.8 ppg


The Series

Thursday marks the first ever meeting between the two teams. The Owls have battled just one Ivy League team in program history, coming away with a 70-58 win over Columbia in 1996.

Owls at a Glance

Despite a 93-90 loss in double overtime, last Saturday’s contest versus Miami proved to be one of the most entertaining contests in the history of Florida Atlantic basketball. Like a few other games thus far for 2011-12, the result stung a bit, but confidence is still high for the team at large.

“We never let the game really get away”, said head coach Mike Jarvis. “To me that was a really big improvement.”

“We’ve got seven losses this year and six out of the seven were all the same thing”, said point guard Ray Taylor. “But at the same time our record is deceiving because we are still getting better a as team.”

Thursday’s arrival in Cambridge will be reminiscent for Jarvis, who was born there and grew up just minutes away from Harvard. He coached the Crimson for four seasons as an assistant (1973-77), and had two shots at becoming the program’s head coach before being passed over each time.

But there are no regrets he says, as the first pass was a blessing in disguise and allowed him the opportunity to coach Patrick Ewing, a foundational career building block to say the least.

“Every place I ever went to, it was the right time and the right place”, Jarvis said. “That’s God’s work. He’s just up there orchestrating like nobody else can do.”

FAU fans should be particularly happy that the second time around was in favor of current head man Tommy Amaker. The preferred finalist in 2007, Jarvis flew to Harvard for what he thought was a speculative interview request and ended up facing a panel seeking to hone in on St. Johns matters. That showing of the hand was enough to surmise he would not be the selection. And he was right. Had it not happened though, he would very likely not be in Boca Raton today.

The Owls 9.9 three pointers per outing is good enough for a 15th place nod amongst all NCAA DI teams. Of course a nice chunk of that can be attributed to the continued strong play from freshman sharpshooter Omari Grier. Grier sent seven through the net against UM, setting an Orange Bowl record for most made in the process.

“I’ll take him against any conference’s best shooter”, said Taylor. “I’ve gotta go with Omari Grier.”

Fellow guard Greg Gantt is still rehabbing his ankle and will not play on Thursday. He is likely to next see action when the Owls return to FAU Arena to host Siena on December 28th.

Despite their ranking, Jarvis likes the Owls’ chances against the Crimson provided they give it their all.

“I always tell my kids if somebody beats us they should have to kill us”, commented Jarvis on Thursday’s match-up. “If they play as hard as they can, it will be a fun game.”

Crimson at a Glance

At #25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, Harvard is riding 19 game home win streak. Thursday's tilt marks the first time they will be ranked for a contest at Lavietes Pavilion.

The Crimson is noted for their defense and occupies the 13th spot in the country in points allowed per game (55.4). The last week of November through December 1st, HU had not allowed more than 49 points in four straight contests.

But it should also be pointed out that their style of offense also helps to keep the points low. Featuring a clock consuming motion based attack, the Crimson will toss the rock around the horn a good bit before settling on a shot, and the front court shares almost equally with the back court in total point distribution.

Depth problems are not to be found within a 19 player roster that ties with Montana State, Columbia, and New Orleans for the sixth largest team in the country.

Most recently, Ivy League Co-Player of the Week Kyle Casey’s 20 point 9 rebound performance paved the way for Harvard’s 76-52 run past Boston University at Agganis Arena. The Crimson netted 9-of-16 long balls and connected on a healthy 55.1% from the floor.

The Crimson is 1-0 all time against Sun Belt teams, picking up a win against the Hilltoppers 107-89 way back in the 71-72 season.


Latest Line:


HU -13.5


Owl's Nest Prediction

Really? +13.5 points? Not seeing it, but difference between offensive output and points posted by opposing teams is likely the main reason.

FAU owns field goals per game (+3.3), three point percentage (+3.3%), and rebounds (+1.9). They give up just one counter balance to the Crimson in field goal percentage (-3.1%).

Like the match-up issues the Owls present with four guards on the floor – as noted by last weekends showing against Miami, who has better perimeter defense.

On paper, Harvard should be favored given the home court, and that’s where we will leave it. Double-digits are simply too much for what should be a close contest in the end and could easily go the Owls’ way.

Vegas lofts up an air ball in this one.

HU -3
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM

Nice piece on Coach Jarvis from the Boston Globe today:

“It’s great to get back and go to the old neighborhoods and see some of my old friends and just reflect on some of the good old times,’’ he said. “I’m really looking forward to coming back.’’

Mike Jarvis returns to Cambridge roots
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM

I think we win this game. I don't see anybody at Harvard keeping up Ray.
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM

I really like the 13.5 points too...wow
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM

I really like it…. hint, hint, hint.


FAU steps up and wins this game.
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM

How MUCH do you like it Exit??

;D
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM

Mortgage payment like…no money line unfortunately, I could've retired on this one.

Line down to 12.5 on sportsbook.com

Also, did anyone see Omari Grier's tweet that Coach Jarvis had Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in his gym class when he taught high school???
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM

Mortgage payment!?

:D

Don't do it!


Funny you should mention that…….

Stay tuned for possibly more Jarvis/Affleck interaction…very cool "more".
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM

i took the same amount for the owls opening game vs. WKU to open the stadium.

that was a debacle.

its been a rough year on the owls and line.

let's get one tonight!!!!
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Re: Game Preview: FAU @ Harvard - 12/22/11 @ 7:00PM

TeamBeer said

Mortgage payment like…no money line unfortunately, I could've retired on this one.

Line down to 12.5 on sportsbook.com

Also, did anyone see Omari Grier's tweet that Coach Jarvis had Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in his gym class when he taught high school???

He told that story at dinner last night.  Matt Damon was a pitcher and the Duce hit a homer off of him.  Coach J still has the ball.

It's Owl Time!
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