July 9, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla.- The Florida Atlantic University men's basketball team is conducting summer workouts in preparation for the upcoming 2013-14 season.
Three newcomers are taking part in the workouts, all in an effort to help the team prepare for 2013-14 and the first year of Conference USA competition. Head Coach Mike Jarvis gave his early impressions of the newest Owls.
"This class represents a bit of a shift in our philosophy," said Jarvis. "We may give up a little athleticism, but we will make up for it with intelligence and work ethic. The new comers in this group have high basketball IQs, team players and are most importantly, committed to getting a meaningful degree."
Marquan Botley is a guard from Plano, Texas who led Prestonwood Christian to three state private school titles in his four seasons on the team. He was named the TAPPS I-5A Offensive Player of the Year.
"I'm really excited to have (Marquan) here, he can really play," Jarvis said of Botley. He's already shown all the qualities of a true point guard, including incredible leadership. He played alongside (University of Kentucky signee) Julius Randle in high school, so he's comfortable playing in high pressure situations."
Deandre Johnson hails from Detroit, MI and also was a four-year starter at Cass Tech, where he was a three-time captain and first team all-public school team member.
"Deandre has the ability to play both guard spots, which will add quality depth to the backcourt," said Jarvis. "He's a tough kid from one of the best basketball cities in the country. Michigan had more good guards than almost any other state in the country this year and Deandre's one of them."
They were joined in workouts by fall signee Grant Pelchen (Jupiter, FL), a 6-foot-9 center, who Coach Jarvis has mentioned as a possibile redshirt.
"I would love to coach him for five years. It would be great if we can redshirt him. He has great hands, he's a very good passer and he can score from the post. The bad news is his body isn't quite where it needs to be. The good news is that he has a lot of natural, God-given ability."
FAU is still awaiting the arrival of guard Tyler Pate and center Brian Hornstein. Pate is a 6-foot-3 guard from Port Aransas, Texas. Pate was a multiple-sport athlete, also competing on the track and tennis teams.
"Tyler is on a mission trip, which tells you about his character. He was a bit under the radar because he played at a smaller school, but he's a tough kid. He's also a great student and he will show up as basically a sophomore academically because of the college credits he's already earned."
Hornstein will come to FAU from Richland Community College in Dallas, Texas after a stint at Army. Hornstein can play right away and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
"Brian is a big guy with skill who can play either the four or five for us," said Jarvis. "He's versatile, can run the floor and shoot out to 18 feet. Along with Justin (Raffington), Dragan and Kelvin, he should allow us to keep two quality big men on the floor at all times."
The Owls return two starters and six total players from last year's squad.