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GAME THREAD: Warner vs FAU - 01/01/14 @ 2:00 PM

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What: Warner (8-4, 1-1 Sun) vs FAU (3-10)

When: Wednesday, January 1st @ 2:00 PM

Where: FAU Arena

TV: None

Live Video: Here *FEE

Radio: ESPN 106.3

Live Stats: Here

Royals Team Site: Here


Probable Starters:


Warner

G Fredrick Conner 19.8 ppg
G Keevis Tukes 11.9 ppg
G Mitch Rice 9.8 ppg
F Josh Ellis 8.3 ppg
F Latereo Shaw 8.3 ppg


FAU

G Marquan Botley 6.8 ppg
G Jackson Trapp 9.5 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 19.7 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 5.0 ppg
C Justin Raffington 8.2 ppg


The series:

FAU is 4-0 against Warner, winning the last three games in comfortable fashion after a close call in the initial contest.

12/10/09 H W 106-99 (3OT)
11/17/10 H W 88-58
12/10/11 H W 98-70
12/9/12 H W 83-50

Last time on the hardwood the Owls' back court trio of Gantt (19 pts), Moody (18 pts), and Bertone (13 pts) romped for a 9-of-15 showing from long distance, and Dragan Sekelja hauled in a game high 11 rebounds.


Warner at a Glance:

Warner was picked to finish fifth in the Sun Conference 2013-14 preseason poll. This is one spot ahead of last year's final ranking even with the loss of six seniors and the majority of their scoring.

Not seeing much travel time thus far, the Royals have played only two contests away from Turner Athletic Center in Lake Wales. When they have been on the road, matters went south (0-2) with losses to non-NCAA affiliates Florida National 83-80 in overtime, and Florida College 71-64; who also knocked off common Owl opponent Ave Maria 80-79. Fortunately, Warner got a second crack at home against FC, downing the Falcons 88-75 in redemptive fashion.

Despite lackluster results in proficiency (33.3% FG, 14.7% 3PT), the Royals seem content in continuing to ride guard Frederick "Dre" Conner as their main offensive point of attack. Conner has posted a team high 126 attempt from the floor, and is currently rank 5th in Sun Conference scoring with 19.8 ppg.

An Ely High product, Conner has made the rounds, finding his way to Towson out of high school before leaving for a year of  JUCO ball. Conner transferred to Warner after a one season stint at South Alabama where he started 18 games, and led the team in assists (62) while filling in for PG Freddie Goldstein who suffered a career ending injury.

Rounding out the scoring are guards Keevis Tukes and Mitch Rice, both of which are posting some noteworthy percentages from deep. The duo combines for a healthy 45.2% beyond the arc, and account for a large portion of the team's attempts.

A small ball club, the Royals got some good news with 6-7 forward Eddie Delegal becoming eliglble after fall grades came in. The only player over 6-6 on the roster, Delegal has now seen action in the last three games, and notched a 21 point effort on 8-of-14 shooting in WU's 86-81 loss to Penn State-Beaver last Saturday.

The Royals will have a short rest before arriving in Boca Raton, hosting Kansas institution Southwestern College at 4:00 PM on New Year's Eve.


FAU at a Glance:

Heading into 2014 with a 3-10 overall record, the Owls continue to battle against making history while now displaying their worst showing in the Mike Jarvis era through 13 contests. The immediate focus is obviously to get back on track by bettering a 3-2 mark at FAU Arena against the Royals.

Compounding the frustration, the last three games, which includes a 66-62 loss to ACC member Maryland, have been dropped by an average of just 3.3 points per outing. But close games have worked against the team on the season in general. Out of the the five games decided by five or fewer points, FAU is 0-5 on the year. Since 2008 they are 27-32 (45.7%) in games decided by five or less points.

Most recently, Elon pegged that mark with a 67-62 edging at The Burrow. Things could have just as easily worked out the other way, especially given the fact that Florida Atlantic was 4-of-22 (18.2%) from long range - their 2nd lowest tally behind a 1-of-8 display against St. Francis (L 59-57).

Their were some notables defensively, as Kelvin Penn and Marquan Botley each notched a trio of takeaways, which tied as a season best for any player on the roster.

Forward Justin Raffington also continues to be a reliable force in the front court, and has now amassed four games with double digit rebounds. His 10 point, 13 grab performance against the Phoenix was the second double-double of his career and best off the glass effort to date.

Conversely, his partner Dragan Sekelja has seen his stock dip. Sekelja looked to be on his way to greatness after the first couple of games but has not re-emerged after a brief injury that sidelined him for three straight contests. Since returning, the big man has posted just three points in 14 minutes of action.

Speaking of minutes, Pablo Bertone is seeing more than his fair share if game time. The senior is averaging 35.5 ticks a game, which places him behind only two other C-USA players in on court action - Tulane's Jonathan Stark and Louis Dabney.


Latest Line:

NA


Owl's Nest Prediction

This is the final tune-up before games start to "count". Given Warner's shooting ability and the Owls inability to defend against the three, on paper it looks to be closer than one might imagine.

However, based on sheer advantage in size and the ability to control the glass, anything less than a double-digit win would be disappointing.

FAU -12

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last time I checked… 3-10 isn't very good.  :Not-Talking:
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Still believe this Team is better than their record indicates.

Just the nature of the game, but a few baskets can make a HUGE difference in the win column.
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That home loss to Elon...pretty much sealed the deal for me.

Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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walty12 said

That home loss to Elon…pretty much sealed the deal for me.
Posted On: Dec 31st 2013, 12:39 PM #325346

You hangin' it up for the year Walty??
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Gotta learn to win the close ones, don't think they will ever domiante anyone so they better learn to win these close games. I agree though that they are not a bad team but they do need to shoot and score more consistantly. Go get 'em Owls!
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FAU Basketball is a mess. Starting at the top. I will not attend a game until a change is made. I know that doesn't matter much, but I feel that strongly about it. FAU will get money , but it will be through the baseball program. How did FAU let the program get to the place it is now? Unreal.
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Local Owl said

FAU Basketball is a mess. Starting at the top. I will not attend a game until a change is made. I know that doesn't matter much, but I feel that strongly about it. FAU will get money , but it will be through the baseball program. How did FAU let the program get to the place it is now? Unreal.

Posted On: Dec 31st 2013, 3:22 PM #325349

fair weather fan    you should be supporting the kids not boycotting the administration and coaching    we will slow down and let you jump back on the band wagon when better times come around
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The athletic dept. will be calling soon. I'll let them know why I'm , as you say ,a fair weather fan. Please don't slow down for me. If I ask, they will stop the train.
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Guest said

Local Owl said

FAU Basketball is a mess. Starting at the top. I will not attend a game until a change is made. I know that doesn't matter much, but I feel that strongly about it. FAU will get money , but it will be through the baseball program. How did FAU let the program get to the place it is now? Unreal.

Posted On: Dec 31st 2013, 3:22 PM #325349

fair weather fan    you should be supporting the kids not boycotting the administration and coaching    we will slow down and let you jump back on the band wagon when better times come around
Posted On: Dec 31st 2013, 4:20 PM #325351

He's a fair weather fan because he wants people held accountable?  FAU basketball has been a joke for years…
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