GAME THREAD: WKU @ FAU - January 30, 2020
What: Western Kentucky (14-6, 7-1) @ Florida Atlantic (12-9, 4-4)
When: Thursday, January 30th, @ 7:00 PM Eastern
Where: Abessinio Court at Roofclaim.com Arena
Series: FAU is 5-16 all time against the Hilltoppers, which includes a six game losing streak.
Stream: Stadium on Facebook
Radio: FoxSports 640
Live Stats: Here
WKU Team Site: Here
WKU at a Glance:
Offense - 77.2 PPG, 47% FG, 35% 3PT
Defense - 71.2 PPGA, 43% FGA, 30% 3PTA
Rebounding - 34 RPG Hilltoppers, 36 RPG Opponents
The Hilltoppers enter Thursday's matchup as one of the hottest teams in C-USA. Off to a blistering 7-1 conference start, WKU have won straight. This includes three straight victories by two or more possessions.
Entering the season, scouts eyes were on Center Charles Bassey. In early December, Bassey suffered a serious left leg injury, which resulted in a season ending surgery. Bassey was viewed as a potential pick in the 2019 NBA Draft before opting to return for his sophomore campaign. In his ten games before the injury, Bassey averaged 15 points and 9 rebounds per game.
Still, WKU has played well in Bassey's absence with their offense being fueld by guard Taveion Hollingsworth (15 PPG) and F Carson Williams (13 PPG). Hollingsworth was named 3rd Team All C-USA last season. As a team, WKU converts 47% of their shots, placing them 31st in the nation.
WKU is led by four year head Coach Rick Stansbury, who is viewed as one of the top recruiters among mid-major programs. Stansbury spent 12 seasons as the head coach at Mississippi State (1998-2012) before spending two seasons as an assistant at Texas A&M.
FAU at a Glance:
Offense - 70.4 PPG, 41% FG, 32% 3PT
Defense - 68 PPGA, 41% FGA, 32% 3PTA
Rebounding - 39.2 RPG Owls, 35.7 RPG Opponents
The Owls are looking to get back on track after losing three in a row, including a winless road trip that saw losses to Charlotte and Old Dominion. FAU currently sits 3.5 games out of first place in CUSA.
However, it appears as if the team has begun to set their rotation as we entering the heat of C-USA Play. Expect junior forward Jailyn Ingram to be aggressive early and often to improve the team's woeful play down low. The Madison, Georgia native is averaging 15 points and 7 rebounds per game over the past four contests.
FAU does have an edge as a better rebounding team, guard Richardson Maitre is averaging 6 boards in his last five outings, and his ability to crash the boards has helped the Owls in transition.
Look for guard Michael Forrest to be aggressive from the perimeter. The former Blanche Ey star is shooting 40% from three point range. The sophomore has become a spark off the bench for the Owls.
Opening Line: TBA
2019-2020 FAU Basketball Schedule - FAU Owl's Nest
2019-2020 FAU Basketball Season Discussion Thread - FAU Owl's Nest
Owls started slow, but are on a 11-5 run as we hit a media stoppage.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) January 31, 2020
Jaylen Sebree hits a three, FAUís third of the contest.#WKU leads 17-11 with 11:44 left in the first half. pic.twitter.com/9iPQtoIRNk
Team has shown great fight thus far.