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Menís Hoops Preview: UM @ FAU

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2009 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic

UM (10-1, 0-1) @ FAU (5-4, 1-1)

When: Saturday, Dec. 19th 4:00 PM EST

Where: Fort Lauderdale, FL - Bank Atlantic Center

TV: SUN Sports - Channel 35 Locally on Comcast

ESPN 760 Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: None

UM Team Site: Here

Probable Starters:

UM

G James Dews 12.1 ppg
G Durand Scott 7.5 ppg
F Dwayne Collins 12.5 ppg
F DeQuan Jones 6.8 ppg
F Cyrus McGowan 4.5 ppg

FAU

G Ray Taylor 17.7 ppg
G Greg Gantt 14.2 ppg
F Sanchez Hughley 8.2 ppg
F Jordan McCoy 4.8 ppg
C DeMonte Simpson 7.0 ppg

The Series

UM leads the all-time series 18-1. FAUís lone win was a 74-73 upset in overtime on December 3, 2002.

The Hurricanes won last yearís contest 85-69 despite a gusty effort by a shorthanded FAU squad. Shavar Richardson scored 19 for the Owls.

UM at a Glance

Miami defeated the Atlantic Sun's Stetson University 69-49 on Wednesday night in DeLand, Fl.

Dwayne Collins posted his 17th career double-double, scoring 20 points while hauling in 15 rebounds, in just 24 minutes of action against the Hatters.

The Hurricanes are 9-0 this season when leading at the half, and are currently holding opponents to 26.4% from beyond the arc.

Minutes are relatively balanced across the roster, with 10 players seeing consistent action each outing.

FAU at a Glance

The Owls are still basking in its 66-48 road Sun Belt win over New Orleans on Tuesday.

"We're not going to go through another season without winning games on the road", said Mike Jarvis.

But the tide of opponents changes quickly as FAU will begin a three game stretch of games against teams from the SEC or ACC (Miami, Georgia, & Maryland).

Jarvis points out the reason why:

"We want them to see that they can compete with those guys.† When the day comes that were in the NCAA tournament we'll probably be anywhere from an 11th to a 13th seed...we've got to play against (the types of) teams that we potentially are going to meet in the first round of the NCAA tournament."

Alex Tucker continues to impress coach Jarvis with his defensive play.

"Alex has been phenomenal on defense. He's our most versatile, best all-around, defender...on and off the ball.† He can cover a guy (who is) 6"-6'.† And he's going to have to these next couple of games. All 5"-11', 165 lbs of him", said Jarvis.

Latest Line:

UM -17

Owl's Nest Prediction

The Owls are 3-0 at home this year.† This will not be a true home game, however a solid turn-out from family, friends, and fans, may make it seem like one.† The Owls are drawing better than last year, and it will be needed against the Hurricanes.

UM is the best, and most well rounded, opponent FAU will have faced so far this season.

The Canes will be a tough bunch to handle down low - reminiscent of the USF game back on November 27th of Thanksgiving weekend.

They don't have a Gilchrist, but they have a load to handle in Collins, and a platoon of moderately skilled big men to insert and keep the legs fresh.

Defending the three, and on ball defense at the guard position to stop penetration, is where the Owls must make an improved showing Saturday. Miami shoots a very steady 46% from long range amongst its top performers in Dews, Grant, and Thomas.

The Canes will launch the long ball. Someone has to step up at the post positions and grab defensive rebounds to limit second chances.

The Owls are holding opponents to just 50% from long range - which is of concern going into the game.

The scoring Taylor and Gantt alone will not be enough to rely upon Saturday.† It will take a near perfect performance from them regardless.

Shavar Richardson has been quiet the last two outings. Can he fire up the cannons to help the Owls off the bench?

That would be a solid difference maker initially.

Not quite there yet against a team of Miami's caliber, but getting closer.† Have to go with the Canes in this one.

UM -13

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