Men's Hoops Preview: FAU @ Denver
FAU (12-11, 8-4) @ UD (13-9, 6-5)
When: Saturday, Feb. 6th - 6:00PM EST
Where: Denver, CO - Magness Arena
Live Video: Denver Pay Per View
ESPN 760 Internet Broadcast: Here
Live Stats: None
Denver Team Site: Here
G Ray Taylor 14.3 ppg
G Alex Tucker 5.9 ppg
G Greg Gantt 15.9 ppg
G Sanchez Hughley 10.2 ppg
F Brett Royster 9.4 ppg
G Brian Stafford 11.8 ppg
G Kyle Lewis 3.7 ppg
G Chase Hallam 8.4 ppg
F Nate Rohnert 15.1 ppg
F Justin Coughlin 3.1 ppg
Saturday will mark the fifth meeting between the two programs. Each has won twice thus far, with all victories coming on the home team's court. Last time around FAU extended a Denver road losing streak to 43 straight in a 67-61 win at FAU Arena. Denver made a late charge, pulling to within 5 with 19 seconds to go, but would get no closer.
FAU at a Glance
The four guard line up responsible for the recent Owl run was not effective offensively on Thursday night as FAU's five game winning streak was snapped by North Texas 86-69.
Sanchez Hughley, who had averaged 17.3 ppg in the three contests prior to coming into the game, finished with just 6.
The Owls struggled to put the ball in the hoop from long range (2-13), but also shot far less than the five previous contest's average of 24.2 attempts. That assuredly was a factor. But North Texas' 37 trips to the free throw line was as well.
The predominantly young FAU roster will face the Princeton offense for the first time at the collegiate level on Saturday while climbing to new heights in court altitude. But Mike Jarvis doesn't see this as an issue having once pitted against Pete Carril, who is credited with perfecting the style of play, and has his strategy set:
"I remember coaching against Pete in the early 70's", said Jarvis. "You've go to be real patient on defense when you play. The guys have to execute on defense. They can't be out overplaying and denying. Make them make the mistakes, make them make shots, and make them make plays. The goal going into the game is no back-doors."
Denver at a Glance
The Pioneer's 66.7 ppg places them one spot above last in the Sun Belt. But they rank 5th in the nation in field goal percentage at 49.9%. And it is no surprise given the offense they run. "Hurry up and slow it down" is the pace that Denver will look to push each time down the floor.
Just as important, it serves as a defensive aid and helps them keep the other teams score in check. So it is no surprise that the Pioneers rank third in the Belt with 65.5 ppg allowed.
Denver was defeated by Arkansas State 73-62 last Saturday. Brian Stafford scored 19 points and Nate Rohnert, a pre-season first team Sun Belt nominee, had 13 points and four assists.
"Arkansas State played really well in the first half. We played really well in the second half, but we have to play that way all the time", said Denver head coach Joe Scott.
The Pioneers were tabbed second in the western division of the Sun Belt pre-season coaches poll and are 12-1 at home on the season.
Owl's Nest Prediction
Another journey into an arena where the Owls have never won, after having played just 43 hours previously.
Defending the deliberate offense of the Pioneers really shouldn't be that much of a factor, but the majority of the FAU roster has not seen it at the college level thus far. It is vastly different from the every day stuff other Belt teams run, although FIU showed some signs of it last Saturday within their sets.
Coupled with the change in pace, the Owls will have a tough time pulling off a win against a Pioneer team that plays very well at home. FAU likes to make a living off of transition play. That will be limited somewhat on Saturday. Therefore, shot percentages (FG & FT) become more crucial elements to the upset. Denver enjoys comfortable leads in both.