Men's Hoops Looks for Best Start Since 89-90 Season
What: American University (3-0, 0-0) vs FAU (3-1, 0-0)
When: Saturday, Nov. 20th @ 1:00 PM EST
Where: FAU Arena
Live Video: None
Internet Broadcast: Here
Live Stats: Here
American University Team Site: Here
G Troy Brewer 8.7 ppg
G Nick Hendra 6.3 ppg
G Steve Luptak 1.7 ppg
F Stephen Lumpkins 10.3 ppg
F Vlad Moldoveanu 22.0 ppg
G Alex Tucker 12.5 ppg
G Dennis Mavin 13.0 ppg
G Greg Gantt 15.5 ppg
F Kore White 8.3 ppg
F Brett Royster 7.0 ppg
12/18/90 A L 72-80
11/21/09 A W 81-69
Although distant in time span, the Owls and Eagles have met twice in a two game series that is split at 1-1. Florida Atlantic was the road team on both occasions, but picked up the win last year 81-69, snapping a 19 game road losing streak dating back to the 2007-08 season.
Sanchez Hughley had 15 points and 10 rebounds for FAU and Greg Gantt and Ray Taylor added 14 points each in the victory as the Owls held American to just 21% from long range.
American at a Glance
The Eagles come into Saturday's contest with a 3-0 mark after downing St. Francis (Pa.), Albany, and Maryland-Eastern Shore, and are off to their best start since the 1989-90 season. In contrast, they were 0-7 last year before picking up their first win.
Deliberate half court perimeter execution from the forward spot is the bread and butter for American, who is led by 6'9" 215lb senior Vlad Moldoveanu's 22.0 ppg. His scoring clip is good enough for first on the team and in the Patriot League as well. The big man can knock it down from long range.
Moldoveanu was recently named the league's player of the week after scoring 16 points in the final 4:10 against UMES, leading the Eagles to victory.
The other front court player to keep an eye on is forward Stephen Lumpkins, who poured in 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds in last year's affair at Bender Arena. Lumpkins is a threat around the basket, and is also off to a hot start this season shooting 50% from the field and pitching in 10.3 ppg in the process.
"Obviously Vlad and Lumpkins are the two focal points of this team", said Eagles' guard Nick Hendra. "We lost to that team (Florida Atlantic) last year, so we want to get back this year."
FAU at a Glance
Despite a 3-1 start, performance from the Owls' front court in regular season contests has been an issue so far this season. Accordingly, FAU ranks 9th, and 10th in the Sun Belt in offensive and defensive rebounds respectively.
"Kore White should be a double-double guy, and Brett Royster should be doing the same", said Coach Mike Jarvis. "Grabbing an average of five rebounds is not acceptable, and it shouldn't be acceptable to them."
One of the reasons for the Owls successful mark has been the continued strong play of Dennis Mavin, who poured in 14 points in FAU's win over Warner on Wednesday night.
"He's getting more minutes than I anticipated", Jarvis said. "Ray missing the two exhibition contests and the first game put him in a position to earn some more minutes, and he did."
Mavins' 13 ppg is tops in the conference for all freshman, while the Owls collectively rank 1st amongst Belt teams in turnover margin (+6.75) and assist to turnover ratio (1.5).
Jarvis expects to face-off against a well coached team in Saturday's match-up with the Eagles.
"Jeff (Jones) has had success everywhere, including the ACC, and his teams are always ready to play", said Jarvis. "It's going to be a really good game, and we are going to have to play well. And, I think we will."
Shavar Richardson, who did not play in last Wednesday's game against Warner (foot), is listed to return.
Owl's Nest Prediction
The dribble drive will present trouble for American, who will likely see foul trouble at some point courtesy of the Owls' speed laiden trio of Mavin, Taylor, and Tucker.
On the other hand, FAU will have to show improvement in defending the post, while containing the threat of Moldoveanu on the perimeter. The Eagles also create match-up problems for FAU if they go zone to defend.
Brett Royster got into foul trouble last time around, fouling out midway through the second period, and that was just with Lumpkins on the floor.
However, in the end, the Owls' speed and depth pay dividends as FAU moves to 4-1 for the first time since the program's second season (1989-90).
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