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GAME CAPSULE: FAU @ Memphis - February 25th, 2024

FAU plays long-awaited rematch with Memphis


What: FAU (21-6, 11-3 AAC) vs Memphis (19-8, 8-6 AAC)

When: Sun. Feb. 25th, @ 2:00 PM EST

Where: FedExForum

Series: Both teams are tied 1-1 all-time. This marks a rematch from last year's NCAA Tournament.


TV: ESPN

Radio: FoxSports 640

Live Stats: Here

Line: FAU -2


FAU at a Glance

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

Defense - 73 PPGA, 44% FGA, 33% 3PTA

Rebounding - 38 RPG Owls, 34 RPG Opponents



Owl Notables

Thursday night showcased a balanced performance on both sides of the ball for FAU as they went on to take down SMU, placing them at second in the AAC standings behind USF as they only need at least two more wins to secure a top-four finish.

Being sound and efficient on offense and defense was especially the case for Alijah Martin, who had 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He even threw down a fantastic one-handed posterizer that gained plenty of well-deserved recognition from local and national media, specifically landing at the top spot of SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays on ESPN. Having hovered around 35-37% shooting from the field to begin the season, Martin has finally passed the 40% mark as he looks to maintain his solid rhythm against Memphis.

Speaking of Memphis, this marks the first game they'll play against one another since their destined encounter last season during the first round of the NCAA Tournament. That was where FAU ignited their remarkable run to the Final Four, beginning with the iconic game-winning layup from Nick Boyd. The Tigers will look to avenge that loss, so the Owls must have complete focus at all times.



A player who played a key role in helping FAU beat SMU was Jalen Gaffney (pictured above via Bob Markey II). Returning to the starting lineup for the first time since January 6th, he nabbed a career-high eight rebounds to help the Owls edge the Mustangs 43-37 on the glass. He is averaging 6.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.2 steals over his last five games.

Keep eyes on FAU's big Vlad Goldin and Giancarlo Rosado. Goldin is coming off of recording back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career, while Rosado looks to utilize his post game with excellence against Memphis as he scored 15 points and shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the field during their last matchup.

A standout performance from Johnell Davis is possible. He settled for 10 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the field as Martin and Goldin handled scoring duties against SMU, so there is a chance that Davis bounces back with remarkable shot efficiency on Sunday.

FAU returns to Boca Raton and will rest for a few days before they host Tulane on March 2nd at 12:00 PM EST. The matchup will be broadcast on ESPN2 or ESPNU.


Memphis Team Site: Here


Memphis at a Glance

Offense - 80 PPG, 46% FG, 36% 3PT

Defense - 76 PPGA, 42% FGA, 35% 3PTA

Rebounding - 37 RPG, 36 RPG Opponents


Tiger Notables

Despite a strong start, this season hasn't gone according to plan for Memphis.

Going 11-2 against non-conference opponents featuring four ranked teams, the Tigers are 8-6 in league play as they sit at sixth in the standings. With a top-four finish still in reach, the team must do well in their last four conference games while hoping for losses from teams above them. They are coming off a convincing 24-point win over Charlotte this past Wednesday, giving them much-needed momentum heading into their long-awaited rematch against FAU.

They may be dealing with several absences entering Sunday. Star guard Caleb Mills (knee) is out for the year, Jayhlon Young (ankle) and Jayden Hardaway (concussion) are questionable to play, JJ Taylor is serving an indefinite suspension, and recent reports have confirmed that key big man Malcolm Dandridge will miss Sunday's game due to alleged academic fraud.

The top priority for FAU in this game must be to slow down David Jones. He leads The American and is eighth in the nation in scoring at 21.6 points per game. He's also aggressive in launching from downtown (68-170 from three) and getting to the free-throw line (79.4% on 180 attempts), so the Owls must do everything in their power to prevent him from getting easy points for the entirety of Sunday's matchup.

Disrupting their playmaking would also be key, especially against Jahvon Quinerly. He's the undisputed leader in assists with 133, making him a top 5 passer in the conference and placing him 48th in the country.

Another player the Owls should watch out for is Nae'Qwan Tomlin. A big midseason transfer from Kansas State, he played a pivotal role in leading the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. During the four-game March Madness run, Tomlin averaged 12.5 points, five rebounds and two blocks against Montana State, Kentucky, Michigan State and FAU. His familiarity with the Owls might play a role in how things go down on Sunday.

Following this matchup, Memphis will next travel to North Carolina for an encounter with East Carolina on February 29th at 7:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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Rating

Unrated