Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Skip navigation

GAME THREAD: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

Add topic

Post

GAME THREAD: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM




What: MTSU (19-4, 11-1 SBC) vs FAU (11-12, 6-6 SBC)

When: Saturday, Feb. 2nd @ 7:00 PM

Where: FAU Arena

TV: None

Live Video: None

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Blue Raiders Team Site: Here


Probable Starters:


MTSU

G Bruce Massey 5.7 ppg
G Marcos Knight 12.6 ppg
G Kerry Hammonds 6.0 ppg
F JT Sulton 5.8 ppg
F Neiko Hunter 7.7 ppg

FAU

G Richard Morrow 3.5 ppg
G Greg Gantt 21.5 ppg
G Stefan Moody 14.3 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 8.5 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 1.2 ppg

The series:

FAU will look to make up ground in the all-time series, which the Blue Raiders own behind a 10-4 mark.

Earlier this month, a 26-0 run by Middle Tennessee proved too much for the Owls to overcome, as they fell 52-62 in Murfreesboro.

Greg Gantt and Stefan Moody were solid, amassing 41 of the teams' 52 points collectively, but MTSU cashed in on a +5 turnover margin coupled with 5 more grabs, and out shot the visitors 50.0% to 40.5% overall.


Middle Tennessee at a Glance:

Winners of eight contests in a row and 12 of the last 13 overall, the Blue Raider's continue to steamroll through the season. While being just one of six teams in the country with at least 19 total victories, they have already clinched a winning mark for the year.

A big factor in this achievement has been stellar defense, as evidenced by their 28.9% three point percentage allowed (1st SBC, 17th nation). MTSU has held six of their last eight opponents to 60 points or less.

Additionally, the squad is cashing in on the experience factor, as noted by an average 2.53 years roster years per player (ypp) in the Pomeroy, which trails only Valparaiso (1st, 2.69 ypp). The Blue Raider line-up features a combined 13 juniors and seniors, but only four underclassmen.

Last night, it was Junior forward Shawn Jones who connected on the game winning shot with time expiring to propel MTSU past Florida International 66-64 in Miami.

The Panthers' 17 point lead at intermission snapped a seven game streak that saw Middle Tennessee ahead at the midway point, but it wouldn't matter thanks to a strong second half that featured a 8-of-16 display beyond the arc. Raymond Cintron paced all Blue Raiders with 14 points (4-of-7 3pt).

MTSU sits 6th within ESPN's Mid-Major Poll, and has the highest RPI rankings of any Sun Belt member with marks of 30th in the ESPN Daily RPI, and 35th in the NCAA RPI. They also received two votes in the USA Today Top 25 Poll as of January 28th.

Middle Tennessee is a perfect 15-0 this season when leading at intermission. They are 7-3 overall, and 5-1 in the SBC, on the road with the only loss coming to Arkansas State 60-66 in OT at the Convocation Center.

Marcos Knight (12.6 ppg, 16th) is the lone player to grace the Belt's top 30 scoring list. But really all this factoid does is reaffirm how solid the team is as a whole offensively. They couldn't do it without good ball distribution, which the back court combo of Bruce Massey (3.2 apg, 6th SBC), and Knight (2.7 apg, 10th SBC) are consistently offering.


FAU at a Glance:

The Owls snapped a three game losing streak behind a spirited 76-71 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday night. Walk-on sophomore guard Richard Morrow notched his first double-double in an 11 point, 13 rebound effort - which was the highest number of grabs in a game by any team member all season.

"I told him the problem with playing like that is that we are going to expect it again", chuckled Coach Mike Jarvis. "But hey, he could be working his way into a scholarship, you never know."

FAU employed a four guard set for the first time in 2012-13, and it paid immediate dividends as they posted a +12.5 point differential over their season average of 63.5 ppg, and doubled their offensive output against UALR (38 points). Additionally, the team produced a markedly well rounded scoring effort with five players in double-figures (Gantt, Moody, Morrow, Bertone, and Trapp). Expect to see the same line-up again on Saturday when the Blue Raiders visit, although Jarvis is reserved in how effective it will be in comparison to Thursday's opponent.

"Nobody scores that many points against them because of the way they play", explained Jarvis. "It's really going to be about how tough we play. They beat you because they come at you and then teams back down against them, and that's particularly going to pertain to our guards."

If it isn't working, he admits that he is not going to return to tapping the front court for rescue again given inconsistent and mixed results amongst a variety of lineups tried, and might actually consider going with what some would label as a gimmick offense.

"Coaching basketball is kind of like playing cards, and sometime you've got to shuffle the deck", said Jarvis jestfully. "The only move I would have left in my deck of cards would be five guards."

Despite Middle Tennessee's success, Jarvis still thinks it's just a matter of time before a couple of losses head the Blue Raiders way.

"They'll get one or two before it's over, and maybe it's in the tournament", Jarvis said. "Hopefully they'll get it handed to them tomorrow night."

Anchoring what has been a shifting tide as of late from the team perspective, Stefan Moody (81.2%) FT, and Gantt (79.3%) occupy the 2nd and 3rd spots in the Belt in free throw percentage amongst all players.

Somewhat "quiet" as of late, forward Kelvin Penn has surrendered his once conference top spot in blocks to UNT's Tony Mitchell. Penn sits at 2.4 swats per outing to Mitchell's 2.8. Nonetheless, he's still tabbed the nations 25th best dismisser.

With Thursday's win, the Owls improved to 7-2 on the season when posting a 45.2% or better FG mark, and 6-2 overall when holding the opposition to 39.1% or less.


Latest Line:

MTSU -10.5


Owl's Nest Prediction

MTSU is not the most talented bunch offensively, but they have a defensive tenacity that can place opponents into a scoring coma.

Weathering the storm that's sure to make landfall is the foremost challenge for FAU. Do that, and ball control problems that were manifest last go round will take care of themselves.

Looking forward, FAU is a year, two big men, and a pure point guard away from running stride for stride with good mid majors.

But for now it will take mental toughness, some hot shooting, and a few bounces their way to knock of a super deep Blue Raider unit.

MTSU -9
Back to the top

Post

Re: Game Preview: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

Correction to note:

MTSU received 2 votes in the USA Today Top 25 Poll released on January 28th. An edit has been made to the original post above to reflect that.

Back to the top

Post

Re: Game Preview: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

I think this one will be over early in the 2nd half. We just can't match up with them this year unless Dragan plays out of his mind and Gantt scores in bunches.
Back to the top

Post

Re: Game Preview: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

Richard Morrow #15 (walk-on) aka the weasel killer is a beast.
Back to the top

Post

Re: Game Preview: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

I'm stuck inside all weekend studying for an exam on Monday. Wish this game was next week. Oh well.

Heard there's an "all day tailgate" for this one, 1pm-10pm. Anybody out there? How's it looking?

If there are a lot of people, I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures if anybody takes them.  :)

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

Owl2Doc said

Heard there's an "all day tailgate" for this one, 1pm-10pm. Anybody out there? How's it looking?

Came in at 6:05 PM and there were about 125 people out side tailgating…….

Did not bring the camera tonight, sorry!
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

Tonight's Starters…

MTSU

G Bruce Massey
G Marcos Knight
G Kerry Hammonds
F JT Sulton
F Shawn Jones

FAU

G Richard Morrow
G Greg Gantt
G Stefan Moody
G Pablo Bertone
F Kelvin Penn
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

All present and accounted for on the Owls side of town...Chris Bryant still sporting the boot.
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

Pretty solid turnout on the "old people" side. Too much for my liking so I switched to the student side GA seating where it's less crowded, lol
Back to the top

Post

Re: GAME THREAD: Middle Tennessee vs FAU - 02/02/13 @ 7:00 PM

We' re underway…apologies ahead of time if things "go dark" intermittently…having some network issues here at press row…hope that subsides.

17:51

MTSU 6  FAU 4
Back to the top
Control functions: