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GAME THREAD: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM


GAME THREAD: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM

What: South Alabama (2-3) vs FAU (2-3)

When: Thursday, Nov. 29th @ 7:00 PM

Where: FAU Arena

TV: None

Live Video: None

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Here

Jaguars Team Site: Here

Probable Starters:

South Alabama

G- Xavier Roberson (12.8 ppg)
G- Freddie Goldstein (5.0 ppg)
G- Mychal Ammons (12.6 ppg)
F- Javier Carter (5.6 ppg)
F- Augustine Rubit (20.8 ppg)


G- Jackson Trapp (8.0 ppg)
G- Greg Gantt (15.2 ppg)
G- Pablo Bertone (6.4 ppg)
F- Jordan McCoy (6.2 ppg)
C- Dragan Sekelja (4.4 ppg)

The series:

The last time the two schools met, it was a second half comeback by the Jaguars that sparked a 79-76 overtime victory and the second of the season over FAU.  The Owls held a five point halftime advantage, but couldn’t stop a surge of buckets from Mychal Ammons in the second half. The guard finished with a game-high 26 points to go along with nine rebounds. Greg Gantt led FAU in scoring with 21 points, while the team was out-rebounded 25-36 on the glass.

USA holds a 9-4 all-time advantage in the series, but the teams have split the last four games.

 South Alabama at a Glance:

South Alabama opened the season with a shocking 76-71 upset of then #25 ranked Florida Stateon the road. The Jaguars hit nine three pointers and were paced by junior guard Antoine Allen who poured in a game-high 21 points off of the bench.

The victory marked the program's first over a ranked opponent in three seasons and engineered hype around a squad that returned five starters from a year ago.

However since the monumental win, South Alabama has struggled to find their winning ways. The Jaguars dropped three straight games over the weekend in the Coaches vs. Cancer subregional tournament and now stand at 2-3 on the year.

The team lost three games in three days and ended the outing with a 75-73 loss to future Sun Belt Conference opponent Georgia State. Junior forward Augustine Rubit scored 31 points in the losing effort, as the Jaguars failed to play effective defense allowing their opponent to shoot 50% from the floor.

“We’ve got to go back to basics; we’re just not guarding,” USA head coach Ronnie Arrow said. “Our teams have always been known for good man-to-man, pressure defenses and we’re not doing it.”

While the defense has been a concern, the other side of the court has had equal issues.

Junior guard Xavier Robinson – who is shooting 46.7% from 3-point range – has missed a few key shots when the game has been on the line.

“One of the greatest shooters in the country has lost his last three games,” FAU head coach Mike Jarvis said.
Robinson isn’t afraid to shoot the ball, having already launched 30 three-pointers in just five games so far.

Outside of Robinson the other player to keep your eye on is Rubit. The big man – who earned preseason All-Sun Belt Conference honors – played all 40 minutes against Georgia State and has been the bread and butter of the offense.

The 6-foot-7 forward is the conference’s leading scorer averaging 20.8 points per game and already has two double-doubles to his name this season.

Much like the Owls, South Alabama had juggled point guards for the first part of the season. Expect to see minutes from Robinson and junior Dre Conner. Conner is a native of Florida and played his high school ball at Blanche Ely before signing with Towson and eventually transferring.

As a team the Jaguars are shooting 43% from the floor and 36% behind the arc.

FAU at a Glance:

FAU will return to the hardwood Thursday night looking to open Sun Belt Conference play with a win for only the second time in the last six seasons.

The Owls were able to secure a 58-55 victory over American Saturday afternoon behind a late three-pointer from freshman guard Stefan Moody. The win moved the team to 2-3 on the season and marked the fifth year in a row that the program has won their home opener.

The team shot 43.5% from downtown, but more importantly limited the Eagles best player Stephen Lumpkins to just 17 points.

PG Jackson Trapp had his most efficient performance of the season running the offense and finished the game with 12 points and a team-high six assists. The effort was good enough to draw attention from head coach Mike Jarvis who has been waiting for someone to step up and direct plays.

“Every game that he's (Trapp) has played, we have gotten a little bit more cohesive as a team. When he makes shots on top of it, it's a bonus,” Jarvis said.

Trapp has the more assists than anyone on the Owls’ roster and appears to have secured the point guard position while Moody has gelled as a scorer off the bench.

One player who appears to have taken a different mindset this season is guard Pablo Bertone. The junior recorded only three points in 22 minutes of play against American and is scoring just 6.4 points an outing. Last year he averaged 7.3 points a game, and was more involved in the offense.

“We have told Pablo Bertone all year long 'when you are open, shoot it'. If I ever had a coach tell me that, I'd have probably been kissing him before men were kissing men,” Jarvis said.

The Argentinean is shooting a poor 28.1% from the floor, but the message is clear, Jarvis wants him to shoot the ball more. Last year the guard shot 40.2% and had ten games where he was in double figures.

Another player Jarvis would like to see more from is center Dragan Sekelja. After scoring three points against
North Carolina in the season opener, his production has feel. The 7-footer hasn’t eclipsed more than five points in the past four contests and is averaging just 5.4 rebounds.

“Someday he'll realize he's 7-0’, he's got decent athletic ability, and he's going to start to become a presence on the floor whether it's on offense or defense,” Jarvis said.

South Alabama will provide an opportunity for Sekelja to turn things around as the teams two primary forwards are just 6-foot-7.

Thursday will mark the first conference action for the Owls this season, but Jarvis and his staff aren’t preparing any different.

“The same way we approach them everyday. Winning is a byproduct of work and practice. Nothing is going to change as long as I'm alive and coaching - everyday you try and get better,” Jarvis said.

Latest Line:

USA -2

Owl's Nest Prediction

This will be the earliest league play for the Owls since they were members of the Atlantic Sun back in 2005. Grabbing a conference victory in November would be a positive start for a young team that is still searching for an identity and learning to play together.

The key Thursday night will be limiting Rubit and not allowing to get going under the basket. The forward is a special player and will prove to be a test for Sekelja who has struggled all season long in post defense.

Expect a lively atmosphere in the student section and for FAU to keep it close in the first half. However, the Jaguars are too experienced and should be able to pull away with production from Rubit.

USA -8
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Re: Game Preview: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM

Alright we are about 15 minutes away from tip, and the student section is a ghost town.

Today's action on campus might have to do with that.
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Re: GAME THREAD: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM

Andrew said

Alright we are about 15 minutes away from tip, and the student section is a ghost town.

:o  :o  :o
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Re: GAME THREAD: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM

The arena sure is empty for this important first conference game. I am kind of shocked.

It looks a bit better 10 minutes later, but this is the deadest I've seen this place in years.
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Re: GAME THREAD: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM

Tonight’s Starters:


G Jackson Trapp
G Greg Gantt
G Pablo Bertone
F Jordan McCoy
F Kelvin Penn

South Alabama

G Dre Conor
G Freddie Goldstein
G Mychael Ammons
F Augustine Rubit
F Javier Carter

** Penn is getting the start over Dragan. Interesting.
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Re: GAME THREAD: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM

Like you can tell from Bob's photos, no one is here.
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Re: GAME THREAD: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM

I think today's events and it being finals week has something to do with the bad turnout.  Plus, students don't show up to bball games until Spring anyway
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Re: GAME THREAD: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM

I'm going to guess Penn go the nod because of his defense.

He's matched up on Rubit - the Belt's leading scorer.
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Re: GAME THREAD: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM

Bertone with a nice 3!

Owls are on the board, and in the lead.


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Re: GAME THREAD: South Alabama vs FAU - 11/29/12 @ 7:00 PM

Our 7 footer is on the bench can I say Sammy Hernandez I mea. Justin Davis I mean Cory white ........
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