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GAME CAPSULE: #24 FAU @ USF - February 18th, 2024

FAU heads to Tampa to face red-hot rivals USF in nationally-televised matchup

What: #24 FAU (20-5, 10-2 AAC) vs USF (18-5, 11-1 AAC)

When: Sun. Feb. 18th, @ 12:00 PM EST

Where: Yuengling Center

Series: Bulls lead 14-2 all-time against the Owls. FAU last beat USF on November 2016 (78-62).


Radio: FoxSports 640

Live Stats: Here

Line: FAU -5

FAU at a Glance

Offense - 83 PPG, 48% FG, 37% 3PT

Defense - 72 PPGA, 44% FGA, 33% 3PTA

Rebounding - 38 RPG Owls, 34 RPG Opponents

Owl Notables

FAU simply took care of business Thursday night against Temple, improving to 18-0 when leading with five minutes left so far this season.

Now they move on to one of their biggest games of the season against in-state rival USF. Heading to Yuengling Center will a tough challenge for them, considering they haven't won in that arena in 11 attempts. The Owls faced the Bulls once with Dusty May as the head coach, falling in a 60-58 nailbiter back in December 2019 when Karlis Silins, Jailyn Ingram, Richardson Maitre, Cornelius Taylor, and Michael Forrest highlighted the team.

A big performance from Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin will be needed. Davis, named to the Naismith Trophy Player of the Year Top 30 Midseason Team this past Thursday, recorded his fourth game of the season with 10 or more points (17), five or more rebounds (5), and five or more assists (6). Martin has become consistent with his scoring, tallying double-digits for the seventh time in eight games, scoring 16 and adding seven rebounds against Temple.

Shooting well from deep could also play a factor in this game, particularly from Nick Boyd (pictured above via Rick Henderson). He splashed four triples against Temple, extending his streak of making at least one three-pointer in a game to eight. He is averaging 9.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game on 41% shooting from the field and 46.2% from downtown throughout this current stretch.

Keep an eye on Brandon Weatherspoon as well. He had his third straight game of scoring in double figures against Temple, putting up 12 points throughout the night. In the last three games, he is shooting 17-for-25 on field goals and 9-for-16 from beyond the arc.

FAU returns to Boca Raton as they host SMU on on February 22nd at 7:00 PM EST. The matchup will be broadcast on ESPN2.

USF Team Site: Here

USF at a Glance

Offense - 75 PPG, 44% FG, 37% 3PT

Defense - 68 PPGA, 42% FGA, 31% 3PTA

Rebounding - 36 RPG, 36 RPG Opponents

Bull Notables

It wasn't long ago when USF posted a 8-23 record back in the 2021-22 season, having a 3-15 display in conference play as one of the worst teams in The American.

They have since bounced back strong, and with the 2023 Mid-Major Coach of the Year winner Amir Abdur-Rahim leading the way in his first year as the Bulls' head coach after coaching Kennesaw State to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance last season, they have become one of the best squads the AAC has to offer.

Following a convincing 19-point win over Tulsa this past Wednesday, the Bulls extended their winning streak to 10 conference games, making it the longest streak in program history. The 10-game winning streak is the second-longest winning streak in program history, trailing only the 12-game streak set during the 1980-81 season.

The 11 wins they have in conference play so far are the second-most in program history, behind the 12 wins in the Big East in 2011-12. No wonder they have control over the top spot of the league at the moment.

They are the third-best three-point shooting team in The American at 36.5%, ranking 54th in the country. Chris Youngblood (51-122) and Selton Miguel (48-117) are USF's best snipers, making over 40% of their shots from downtown. Jayden Reid (48.7%) and Jose Placer (40%) are honorable mentions, splashing 41 of their 94 attempts (43.6%) combined.

A key player that FAU must watch out for is Kasean Pryor. He recorded his seventh double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds against Tulsa. He is the team's most active rebounder with 7.4 per game and stands out as the best free-throw shooter, making 83% of his chances at the charity stripe.

Preventing Miguel from creating a spark off the bench would be crucial for FAU. He averages 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game as he's capable of getting hot at any point throughout the game for the Bulls.

Following this matchup, USF will next travel to Texas for an encounter with UTSA on February 21st at 8:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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