The FAU Men's Basketball Program participated in an outreach event on Sunday afternoon at Moe's Southwest Grill in Boynton Beach (get one of their burritos if you haven't tried one yet).
The crowd was light, but the food was great, and some of Boynton Beach's youths partook in the first of the initiatives Florida Atlantic University Associate Head Coach Mike Jarvis II has planned to reach out to local communities. Participants enjoyed a round of hoops, and some tastey grub.
Jarvis II said he is excited about offering a new brand of basketball that he hopes Owl fans will be proud of when they return to The Burrow in November:
FAU was forced to rely upon a very structured and deliberate offensive, and defensive style of play last season given their numbers and talent level. But he expects that to change with the insertion of six skilled incoming recruits.
Jarvis II said Ray Taylor "should start" at point guard next season if he grasps the college game quickly; which is expected to happen.
It won't mean that Alex Tucker will sit though, as fresh bodies, and a much more up-tempo attack on both sides of the ball will be in place.
Jarvis II also said that he would like to see Tucker shooting more when open. Last season the offense revolved around Paul Graham. This year, with more skill at every position, they plan on running a different system - one which will afford scoring opporunities at all positions - while putting more presure on opposing teams defensively.
Greg Gantt appears to be the starting two guard initially, but like Taylor, will need to solidify that spot with the return of Sanchez Hughley. Hughley was sidelined last season with an injury, but has fully recovered and is "in game shape", said Jarvis II.
Xavier Perkins will not return for the Owls. Whether he will play for another school is still to be determined.
The other positions, small forward through center, have "six guys battling", offered Jarvis II.
This is healthly competition given the numbers previously.
All signees will be taking classes for the summer to help offset the demands of academic progress and on the court duties, as a twelve hour credit load is most preferable for the Fall and Spring academic sessions.
While the Coaches are not permitted to work directly with incoming athletes during the summer semester, Jarvis II said that the FAU training staff will be addressing strength and conditioning measures to get them ready for the fall. They will also be playing unorganized pick-up games to begin building team chemistry immediately.
Scheduling measures are still being made, but fans can expect to see a shift in the amount of home and away games over the course of the next two seasons; as last year's schedule was brutal with a strong leaning towards contests on the road.
The upcoming year's slate will be closer to a desired balance - with a only a slight advantage towards road games.
However, 2010 will offer a positive balance in favor of the home court. This has not been had since the foundational years of the program.
Jarvis II said that they will evaluate and "sprinkle in" junior college talent if given the opportunity. But don't expect that unless it is right for the program.
As it stands, they have a full scholarship to offer and are holding that for the perfect fit - both talent, and chemistry wise. This is also a position that no FAU team, until this point in time, has been afforded the opportunity.