Feb. 3, 2009
FLORIDA ATLANTIC (5-18) @ NEW ORLEANS (9-13)
Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 - 8 p.m. ET
Lakefront Arena (8,933) - New Orleans, LA
GAME #24: Florida Atlantic (5-18; 1-10 SBC) goes for its second-straight win Thursday night in New Orleans. Thursday's game is the only scheduled meeting this season between the Owls of FAU (Sun Belt East) and the Privateers of UNO (Sun Belt West). Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET. New Orleans (9-13; 4-7 SBC) is 7-5 at home this season.
TV/RADIO/INTERNET: All of FAU's regular season games (home and away) will air on live commercial radio WFTL - 640 AM with audio links available via FAUSPORTS.com. Steve Bishop (play-by-play) will call the game for WFTL on Thursday.
THE SERIES: Florida Atlantic leads the all-time series 3-0, with UNO being the only SBC team FAU is undefeated against. FAU twice beat UNO two seasons ago (2006-07) and won the only meeting last season, 82-72 at the FAU Arena (1/30/08). Carderro Nwoji scored 18 points (4-for-4 from 3-point range) and Paul Graham III had 13 in last year's win. In the first-ever meeting and only game played in New Orleans (1/4/07), FAU beat UNO 93-86. The Owls are averaging 91 points per game in its three meetings vs. the Privateers.
# Mike Jarvis (368-220 all-time) is in his first year as FAU head coach
# Jarvis got the Owls off to the best start in its Division I history (3-1) before injuries and eligibility issues decimated the team
# Both teams are extremely limited in numbers
# The Owls will make the trip with just eight scholarship players
# Due to injuries, UNO used only seven players in its two games last week
# FAU is winless on the road (0-12)
# New Orleans is 7-5 at home and 4-2 vs. the Sun Belt at Lakefront Arena
# UNO is 1-5 in its last six league games, they will host ULM Saturday
# A large crowd is not expected at UNO; the Privateers rank second to last in the league in home attendance (781)
# FAU is coming off a 63-47 win over Louisiana-Lafayette, which snapped a 13-game losing streak
# UNO is averaging 60.2 points per game in its 11 SBC contests, 32 of those points are coming from senior guards Kyndall Dykes (16.5 ppg) and T.J. Worley (15.3)
# Among all NCAA teams, FAU ranks #19 in 3FG Defense (.304); #23 in FT% (.744); and #32 in turnovers per game (12.2)
# Senior G Paul Graham III is the league's leading scorer (18.7 ppg) in Sun Belt play
# Graham scored 22 and 18 in FAU's two games last week
# Graham has made 25 of his last 27 free throws and is approaching FAU's career record for free throws made
# G Shavar Richardson (11.8 ppg) leads all Sun Belt freshmen in scoring
# Freshman G Alex Tucker ranks second in the SBC in assists (4.8 apg)
# Sophomore F/C Brett Royster leads the league in blocks (51) and needs just nine more to break the school record for blocks in a single-season
# FAU's Carlos Monroe - who was picked by a number of publications as the projected "Player of the Year" in the Sun Belt this season - is out with an injury. Monroe has played in just six games this season.
# NEXT UP: FAU will host Troy Saturday night at 7 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the FAU women's team. Troy (13-10) enters the week having won six straight.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC: The Owls (5-18) used an 18-point performance by high-scoring guard Paul Graham III to snap a 13-game losing streak, beating Louisiana-Lafayette 63-47 Saturday at home. The Owls hope to bring that momentum into Thursday's game at New Orleans where they hope to pick up their first road win of the season. With the exception of a lopsided loss at UAB in late December, FAU has had a legitimate chance to win every game it has played, making its 5-18 record a bit misleading. First-year head coach Mike Jarvis inherited a team that has seen three starters (senior forward Carlos Monroe and sophomore guards Xavier Perkins and Sanchez Hughley) miss significant time due to injury and eligibility issues. Hughley and Perkins are out for the season. Monroe is hoping to return from injury later this month. With just eight available scholarship players FAU has relied heavily on Graham, who is pouring in a league-best 18.7 points per game in league play. Rookie guards Shavar Richardson (11.8 ppg) - the Sun Belt's top freshman scorer - and Alex Tucker (4.8 apg) have emerged as two of the league's best young guards and sophomore big-man Brett Royster is rewriting the FAU record book for blocks shots.
NEW ORLEANS: Surprisingly FAU is running into a team that is even smaller in personnel than themselves. The Privateers (9-13) had just six scholarship players available in its two games last week, losing to FIU 64-54 at home and on the road at South Alabama 56-53. UNO is scoring just 60 points per night through its 11 league games (4-7). Preseason All-Sun Belt pick, 6-foot-3 senior Kyndall Dykes scores a team-high 16.3 points per game for second-year head coach Joe Pasternack. The Privateers were 19-13 overall last season and 8-10 in the league. New Orleans is 7-5 at Lakefront Arena this season, but has lost 5 of its last 6 league games overall. Thursday's game with FAU will be followed by a home date with ULM Saturday.
NEXT UP: FAU will host Troy Saturday night at 7 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the FAU women's team. Troy (13-10) enters the week having won six straight and beat the Owls 94-87 December 18 at the Trojan Arena. 150 FREE t-shirts will provided by Tim Grabowski Roofing. Additionally, the first 100 FAU students will receive a voucher good for either a FREE hot dog or popcorn or nachos and the first 100 fans will receive FREE popcorn. The FAU baseball team will signing autographs in lobby before the game. For tickets or more information call 1-866-FAU-OWLS.