The start of the much anticipated Mike Jarvis era at FAU began last night when the Division II
Knights of Lynn University made the long haul down Spanish River Boulevard to take on
the Owls in what would be the first ever meeting between the two cross town programs.
Somewhat remarkable considering their proximity. Nonetheless, a quite festive crowd of
1,292 took in their first contest of the season; one that even offered Jarvis a bit of a
homecoming in that of a Big East Official on duty for the night who knew Jarvis while at
St. John's. So, the stage was set for what should have been an easy blowout - well, at least
one would think.
The strategy employed by Coach Jarvis appears to have been to play as many players as
possible and get a feel for ability against competition outside of the daily grind of practice
match-ups. And, when the final box was tallied, that was evident. Only Nick Gagle
had less than 10 minutes. Game highs went to Carderro Nowoji (35), and Carlos Monroe (30).
FAU lead by as many as 15 in the first half only to let that dwindle to four just before
halftime. And the lead would only be increased again by 5 during the second half before it
was nip and tuck, and buckle up, for a bumpy ride to the finish.
What is evident from the final outcome of 73-69 is that FAU not only struggled to put away
a DII opponent defensively, but also found very little in the way of critical offensive
categories: Three point shooting and free throw shooting. And that is not a good sign
given what they will need to achieve in SBC play to keep up with the Jones' against a much
higher competition level. The Owls shot a dismal 29.4% from downtown while the Knights
dropped 10 of 19, good for 52.6%. So much for defense, right? Free throw shooting was
just as concerning, with FAU hitting on only 51.6% of their attempts. The Owls did manage
to muster 16 turn overs from the Knights while only giving the ball over 11 times.
A moment of concern occured when Paul Graham went to the bench late in the second half in
what appears to have been a minor head injury. He would not return, and left the court with a
trainer when the Owl's wrapped the game with :13 seconds to go up on a pair of FT's by the
"X-Man", Xavier Perkins. This was followed by a techincal foul from the Lynn bench. And
speaking of X, he had a career high 18 points and career high 8 rebounds. X-Man gets the
Nest's game ball for this and his gritty efforts diving after loose balls, and absorbing a handful of
hard fouls underneath the basket. If he can continue this type of performance consistently, Owl
fans will be in for a treat this season.
New comer Shavar Richardson was good as advertised in his college debut, putting up 11
points on 5 of 10 shooting in 28 minutes of play, but struggled from beyond the arch
going only 1 for 5. Carderro Nwoji added 13 points and shot a team best 4-8 from long distance.
The high scorer and top rebounder for the Owls was Carlos Monroe. Monroe pulled down
11 boards, and dropped in some soft shots along the baseline to highlight his team high 21
Chalk this one up to cold shooting, new player chemistry, and missed defensive assignments?
We'll find out soon enough. The Owls will host Rollins College in the final of two pre season
exhibition games on November 10th at 7:00PM. Anything less than a 20 point advantage when
the buzzer sounds at game's end should be a bit of concern.