GAME CAPSULE: #24 FAU @ Tulane - January 11th, 2024
What: #24 FAU (11-4, 1-1 AAC) vs Tulane (10-4, 1-1 AAC)
When: Thu. Jan. 11th, @ 7:00 PM EST
Where: Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse
Series: Tulane leads 5-0 all-time against the Owls. First matchup since February 2014 (72-64 L).
Radio: FoxSports 640
Live Stats: Here
Line: FAU -6.5
FAU at a Glance
Offense - 82 PPG, 50% FG, 37% 3PT
Defense - 70 PPGA, 43% FGA, 34% 3PTA
Rebounding - 37 RPG Owls, 33 RPG Opponents
Regardless of the five players FAU decides to start for Thursday, one thing is clear: they must get off to a strong start.
Over the past four games, the Owls are averaging 30.5 points on 42.5% shooting from the field and 23.3% from three during the first half. This rises to 41.5 points on 48.3% overall and 39% from downtown in the second half. Making the right adjustments to start the game would be key to the Owls gaining their offensive rhythm back for the opening minutes.
They will head out to New Orleans in which will be their first matchup against the Green Wave since February 2014, where the hosts pulled out an eight-point win over the Owls. Notable FAU alum from that game include the likes of Pablo Bertone, Jackson Trapp, and Marquan Botley.
It is probable for FAU's bigs to play a big role heading into Thursday night, especially Giancarlo Rosado (pictured below via Bob Markey II). Being the best rebounder off the bench with 4.3 boards per game, making his inside presence known at both ends could help the team be steady while being productive at the same time. He could be due for a big scoring game as well, with his last double-digit outing taking place against Charleston.
Also keep an eye on Vladislav Goldin to be more assertive inside the paint. He is shooting 71.7% from the field, which ranks first in the nation with five or more field goals made per game. Feeding him the ball as often as possible would bring fruitful results for the Owls' offense.
Nick Boyd being back in form would also be very helpful for an FAU offense that is need of an electrifying jolt in the first half. He scored a season-high 19 points on 6-10 shooting off the bench, giving a potential sign that he is getting back to playing his role in an efficient manner.
FAU will return home to Boca Raton before hosting UAB on January 11th at 12:00 PM. The matchup will be broadcast on ESPN+.
Tulane Team Site: Here
Tulane at a Glance
Offense - 87 PPG, 51% FG, 35% 3PT
Defense - 78 PPGA, 43% FGA, 34% 3PTA
Rebounding - 33 RPG, 38 RPG Opponents
Green Wave Notables
Having five players in a starting lineup who can score in double-digits at a consistent level is a great privilege to have, which is something this Tulane squad will look to utilize against the Owls.
Tulane ranks eighth in the nation as a team, shooting 50.6 percent from the field. The Green Wave are also eighth in the country in scoring at 86.9 points per game. FAU must figure a way to be aggressive on defense at all times to disrupt Tulane's offensive potency.
Vladislav Goldin will be quite busy guarding Kevin Cross. The six-foot-eight forward is a double-double threat with five so far this season, leading Tulane in points with 16.2, rebounds with 7.8, and assists with five. Battling him on the boards and denying him easy looks close to the rim could help Goldin in getting the edge in this matchup.
Three-pointers are heavy from this trio of players: Kolby King, Sion James, and Jaylen Forbes. They have combined for 77 of the team's 106 made three-pointers this season, demonstrating themselves as perimeter threats the Owls must have eyes on constantly. James is shooting 43.4% from downtown while King has converted 39.3% of his three-point attempts, which would rank them among the 100 best perimeter shooters in the country.
Keeping opponents from crashing the glass seems to be a primary weakness for Tulane, which is something the Owls must take advantage of. The Green Wave have the 18th-worst rebounding margin in the country at -5.6.
Preventing them from drawing fouls to get to the charity stripe would also play another factor in the Owls being successful. Tulane ranks first in the nation in both free throws made per game (21.4) and free throws attempted per game (28.9).
The only player Tulane might not have heading into Thursday's game is Tre' Williams, currently questionable as he is dealing with an ankle injury. He has fulfilled his role quite well in the 10 games he took part in, averaging 9.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 on 50% shooting from the field and 39.1% from beyond the arc. His status could be worth keeping an eye on.
Following this matchup, the Green Wave will travel midwest to Oklahoma to face off against Tulsa on January 14th at 3:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.