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Coach May Week 16 Presser Notes - February 19th, 2024



Going 1-1 in their last two games following a win at home against Temple and a road loss against a red-hot USF squad, the Florida Atlantic men's basketball team will play one game at home and one on the road when they host SMU on February 22nd before traveling to Tennessee for the highly-anticipated matchup against Memphis on February 25th.

Head coach Dusty May (pictured via Bob Markey II) spoke with media on Monday to evaluate the current state of the team and their preparations against SMU and Memphis.

Below are some of the highlights from the session.


Reflecting on their last game against USF

"I think the sense of urgency we had late needs to be replicated for 40 minutes to play with that edge, that enthusiasm, that level of determination. It's not easy. I mean, we all say it as coaches, but to find that edge for 40 minutes is the goal. And we're still striving."


Figuring how to have stronger starts

"We've tried a lot of different things. We just have to eliminate the self-inflicted wounds; the miscommunication in transition, maybe it's a missed blockout. We're making more errors than we need to to play at a championship level. Fortunately, though, they're all errors that are, I don't say easily correctable, but they're all errors that are easily preventable."


Having key players be more effective in both halves of the game

"I think all of us coaches at really any level are searching for the same thing, great ball movement, unselfishness, a rhythm to the game. And it's complicated because you want everyone to touch it and be involved, but you don't want everyone to shoot the same amount of shots. Obviously, if you have a 50-60% shooter, you would like for him to get more shots or be in position to create more offense than you would a 25-30% shooter."

"There's always that trust with the team within teammates and within the system that you make the right play and you believe and trust that your teammates are going to do the same thing. And I think our guys, they have great intent and even the shots that might be a little bit questionable are out of them being competitive and trying to win. We just have to really find ways to keep everyone involved and engaged. So running the floor or crashing the glass while also searching for the highest value shots for us."


Increasing Giancarlo Rosado's minutes following his return from injury

"We anticipate his minutes going up just because of how valuable he is to our team and he brings so many different things. Obviously, each game is a little bit different where the matchups, the lineups, different things, cause us to go in different directions. So we have a very versatile group but yeah, I can't see any such situation where Giancarlo's minutes don't go up."


Preparations for SMU and their perimeter defense

"Very deep, physical aggressive team. They're connected, they've been together, they're scoring the ball at a much higher clip than they were last year, where they were a very good defensive team. They are sound on both sides of the ball as anyone in our league. They've had a couple of back-breaking losses. They've been in a lot of close games, but very good guard play. They have a couple shooters that are emerging as high percentage shooters later in the year, so they've got a lot of weapons. And then they double the post, they'll put two on the ball and ball screen. So they're a very aggressive defensive team and offensively they have a lot of weapons."

"We're taking what the game gives us. How they've been able to do it, they run you off the line, they have a good shot-blocker behind them which gives them confidence to run guys off the line. So anytime you have a shot-blocker take away layups, and then you're running teams off the three and getting great contests and to get launches on threes usually limits the percentage, so we've got to be a great drive and kick team. We've got to build an opportunistic cut to get some baskets. We just get to the second and third side as quickly as we can and take what the defense gives us. We have a lot of capable players as well; we just got to find our offensive rhythm like we have most of the year."


Looking at Memphis' play so far this season, and comparing themselves to how they've performed up to preseason expectations

"I can't really speak on Memphis. They lose Caleb Mills, so their team looks a lot different than it did. They've added some guys midseason, some guys have left and then came back. It's difficult. It's hard to win a possession, it's extremely hard to win a game, and it's incredibly difficult to win a championship."

"As far as us, we're a possession here or a possession their way from being where we need to be. It's a little bit outside now but there's a lot of ball to be played. And we always have a growth mindset. We're not where we thought we would be, but we're appreciative to be where we are. We're still inside the NCAA tournament at-large scenario and we're excited for these last five games and the conference tournament is still a championship, but there's a lot of ball to be played."

"USF and Charlotte, they still have to win more games. UAB's right there. SMU is right there. There's a lot of teams that are still in contention and each game as it goes down, the stretch is magnified. And we've taken the other team's best shot and I think with the crowds that we've been able to draw affects a lot of things, including the officials' calls and whatnot. Has it gone exactly how we thought it would be? No, but it never does. It's been as difficult as we thought but we knew that coming in. If we thought it was going to be easy, then we would have been lying to ourselves."


The Owls will continue practicing at home before hosting SMU on Thursday.

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