Nov. 2, 2008
EXHIBITION #1: Under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Jarvis, Florida Atlantic University makes its season debut in an exhibition game against Lynn University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday night at the FAU Arena, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton Campus. For tickets and more information call 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
THE SERIES: The two local schools have never played a regular season game and have not played an exhibition for a number of years. "This is the first time since I've been at Lynn that FAU has agreed to play the game," said sixth-year Lynn head coach Scott McMillin via Lynn's official athletics website. "Coach [Mike] Jarvis kindly has agreed to start it up once again. We both believe that it is great for both programs as well as for basketball in the city of Boca Raton."
TV/RADIO/INTERNET: Live video streaming and play-by-play audio will be accessible free of charge on FAU's official athletics website (FAUSPORTS.com). Steve Bishop (play-by-play) will call the action Wednesday night. The pre-game show begins at 6:45 p.m. ET. Lynn will also be providing a free audio broadcast on www.lynn.edu/athletics. Please note that all of FAU's regular season games (home and away) will air live on commercial radio WFTL - 640 AM with additional audio and video links available via FAUSPORTS.com.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC OWLS: FAU's future looks bright. Having been to just one NCAA Tournament (2002) in the program's 14-year Division I history, FAU hired a proven winner in Mike Jarvis - a veteran of nine NCAA Tournaments and five National Invitational Tournaments in 19 seasons as a head coach. Jarvis inherits a squad that returns its top three scorers from 2007-08 and some of the league's most talented players in seniors F Carlos Monroe (Philadelphia, PA/Cape Coral HS) - a preseason All-American - G Paul Graham III (Philadelphia, PA/Philadelphia Lutheran) and G Carderro Nwoji (Wichita, KS/Redlands CC). The trio is a big reason FAU is welcoming back 80% of its offense and 69% of its rebounding production. The Owls were 15-18 overall and 8-10 against the Sun Belt under Rex Walters, who left the program to assume the role of head coach at the University of San Francisco, near his Bay Area hometown.
LYNN FIGHTING KNIGHTS: An NCAA Division II university located just four miles west of FAU's Boca Raton campus, the Fighting Knights finished the 2007-08 season 16-13. Head coach Scott McMillin has averaged 19 wins per year at Lynn in six seasons. The Knights were within one game of playing for the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) championship a year ago, but saw its season end with a 76-62 loss to Florida Southern in the SSC Tournament semifinals. The team McMillin puts on the court Wednesday will be without its top two scorers and rebounders from 2007-08. However, Lynn does return a pair of talented guards in 6-foot-2 sophomore Chris Hall (12.9 ppg) and 5-foot-10 senior Randy Jones (12.9 ppg). Hall was named to the Sunshine State Conference All-Freshman Team and SSC All-Tournament Team in his debut season with the Fighting Knights. Jones played two years at NCAA Division I Long Island University before transferring to Lynn prior to last season.
FAU HEAD COACH: Mike Jarvis is in his 20th season as a Division I men's basketball head coach and his first as coach of the Florida Atlantic University Owls. Jarvis' accomplishments place him among the nation's elite college basketball coaches, having led three different programs into the NCAA Tournament during stops at Boston University (1985-90), George Washington University (1990-98) and St. John's University (1998-04). 9 NCCA Tournaments | 5 National Invitational Tournaments (NIT) | 18 Conference Tournaments | 3 Conference Tournament Championships | 1987-88 ECAC-North Atlantic Champions (BU) | 1989-90 ECAC-North Atlantic Champions (BU) | 1992-93 NCAA Sweet 16 (GW) | 1994-98 Six-straight berths into NIT or NCAAs (GW) | 1998-99 NCAA Elite 8 (SJU) | 1999-00 BIG EAST Champions (SJU) | 2002-03 NIT Champions (SJU) | 7 NCAA Tournament wins | 5 NIT victories | 25 conference tournament wins.
BASKETBALL SEASON TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Single game and season tickets are on sale for the 2008-09 men's basketball season. Season tickets are available for the 14-game regular season for $120. Tickets for youth and senior citizens are sold for $84. Courtside and sideline seats are also available. Those who purchase courtside seats will receive a priority parking pass, buffet food service, and five free admission tickets to all women's basketball doubleheader dates during the season. Single game tickets are on sale for as low as $5, general admission seats are $12, and reserved seats are being sold for $18. For more information call 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
IMMEDIATE PROGRESSION: Improvement on FAU's 2007-08 Sun Belt Conference record (8-10) seems to be a realistic goal for the Owls. Just once in 19 seasons has a Jarvis-coached team failed to post a winning record within conference play. In the first season at each of his three previous coaching stops - Boston University, George Washington and St. John's - Jarvis has reached the NCAA Tournament or NIT.
ON THE ROAD EARLY AND OFTEN: FAU plays just three home games during the months of November and December. The Owls will not play consecutive home games until mid-January. The Preseason NIT has the Owls playing perennial Pac-10 Conference power Arizona in Tucson November 17 (televised nationally on ESPNU). FAU will also face either UAB or Santa Clara in Tucson on November 18. Two more NIT games (at least one is gaurunteed to be away from home) follow the road trip to Tucson. Early-season dates at Kentucky and at nationally-ranked Miami should prepare FAU for conference play which dominates its schedule during the months of January and February. The Owls first two SBC games are on the road (at Denver Dec. 16, at Troy Dec. 18).
2008 DICK'S SPORTING GOODS NIT SEASON TIP-OFF: Florida Atlantic is gaurunteed four games in the 2008 Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament. Two days after FAU's season-opener with Monmouth, the Owls travel to Tucson to play the University of Arizona. It will be the Wildcat's season-opener. The NIT bracket pits FAU against either UAB or Santa Clara in round two. The winner of the four-team bracket in Tucson moves onto New York's Madison Square Garden over the Thanksgiving holiday for the semifinal and final doubleheaders November 26 and 28. The remaining 12 teams will play third and fourth round games on November 24 and 25. These games will be played on the home campus sites of the three highest remaining seeds. Participating teams will not play any team twice and third and fourth rounds will be assigned to the most geographically compatible site possible.
MONROE PICKED AS SUN BELT'S TOP PLAYER: CollegeHoops.net has named Florida Atlantic University senior Carlos Monroe a Preseason Mid-Major All-America player. Monroe, a 6-foot-8-inch power forward from Philadelphia, enters his final collegiate season as the projected "Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year" according to Lindy's Magazine and the USA Today. A Third Team Preseason All-America pick by CollegeHoops.net, Monroe was one of just 15 players nationally to earn a spot on one of the three teams announced by the online publication and the only Sun Belt Conference player to earn such an honor. Monroe averaged 15.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game as a junior last season, which included 13 double-doubles. He has already established himself as FAU's all-time leader in rebounds and is on pace to become the school's all-time leading scorer.
FATHER AND SON: In 1992-93 FAU's associate head coach Mike Jarvis II began his collegiate coaching career as a first-year assistant working with his father, Mike Jarvis, at George Washington. A veteran of nine NCAA Tournaments, his impressive resume includes coaching tenures at George Washington University, Drexel University, St. John's University and Duke University. As a coach, Jarvis II has reached the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 four times. He owns four conference championship rings and was essential in St. John's National Invitational Tournament (NIT) Championship title in 2003 and the Red Storm's run into the NCAA Tournament's South Regional Final (Elite 8) in 1999.
GRAHAM AMONG LEAGUE'S BEST GUARDS: FAU's 6-foot-5 senior guard Paul Graham III scored 14.0 points per game for the second-straight season a year ago. Graham was picked by the league's coaches to be a Third Team All-SBC player this season. The USA Today projected Graham to be a second team player. The Philadelphia native needs just 54 more points to total 1,000 for his FAU career. He also ranks among the Owls' all-time leaders in assists.
FAU PICKED FOURTH IN SUN BELT EAST: The Owls were picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt's East Division as voted upon by the league's coaches. The SBC East sent two teams to the NCAA Tournament last season (Western Kentucky and South Alabama) and Middle Tennessee State is projected favorite to win the league title in 2008-09.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: Three-time all-conference power-forward Carlos Monroe headlines an accomplished FAU senior class. Point-guard Carderro Nwoji, the league's top returning assist man, and high-scoring swingman Paul Graham III offer first-year head coach Mike Jarvis a combination of talent and experience in the backcourt. Look for senior forward Sammy Hernandez - a transfer from George Mason's Final Four team of 2006 - to play a prominent role as well.
COACHING CREDENTIALS: Collectively the FAU coaching staff has made 23 trips to the NCAA Tournament. As a staff, FAU's four coaches (Mike Jarvis, Mike Jarvis II, Matt McCall and Tim Kaine) boast a career record of 816-386 - a near 70% career winning percentage.
JARVIS BRINGS IN FOUR NEW PLAYERS: Despite getting a late start in the recruiting process due to his hiring in May of this year, Jarvis was able to ink a pair of the nation's top prep school guards in Alex Tucker (San Pedro, California) and Shavar Richardson (Bronx, New York). Also new for 2008-09 is sharp-shooting high school standout Nick Gagel (Jeffersontown, Kentucky) and 6-foot-8 transfer Justin Davis (Jacksonville, Florida). Davis will practice with the team but sit out the season due to NCAA transfer rules.
HARD TO BEAT IN BOCA: FAU is 32-7 when playing at home spanning the past three seasons. The Owls were 11-4 in Boca Raton and 7-3 versus SBC teams in 2007-08. Included in FAU's 11-4 home record last season was a seven-game winning-streak from Jan. 12, 2008 - Feb. 20, 2008.
MAJOR UPGRADES IN `THE BURROW': The FAU Arena (a.k.a. `The Burrow'), home of Florida Atlantic basketball, has undergone a transformation over the past two years. The entire arena was remodeled inside and out in the fall of 2007 - which included the installation of a state-of-the-art video scoreboard. Gone are the bleacher seats, as chair-back seating is now in place throughout the arena. Additionally the completion of four luxury suites is expected soon. The suites will be equipped with 16 seats, nine fixed seats in front and seven stools in the back row. A sink and refrigerator will be available as well as individual climate control and a wall-mounted flat-screen TV. For more information on seating and tickets call 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
STRONG FINISH IN 2007-08: Florida Atlantic won 8-of-12 to finish the 2007-08 season. Under the direction of second-year head coach Rex Walters the Owls rebounded nicely from a 1-7 overall start and a 0-5 conference beginning. The Owls were 15-18 and 8-10 in Sun Belt Conference play. FAU won its first round Sun Belt Conference postseason tournament game for the second consecutive year, topping Florida International 91-64 at the FAU Arena. Junior forward Carlos Monroe (15.4 ppg/9.5 rpg), the league's top rebounder, was named a First Team All-Sun Belt player. Monroe broke the school's single-season rebounding record and eclipsed FAU's career rebounding mark - remarkably Monroe still has another season to play.
THE FAU RECORD BOOK: F Carlos Monroe enters the season as FAU's all-time leader in rebounds (644), 5th in points scored (1,191), 4th in scoring average (15.4) and field goals made (466), 3rd in career field goal % (.542), 2nd in career double-doubles (24), 5th in free throws made (255). F/C Brett Royster set FAU's freshman record for blocks (41) last season. G Paul Graham III ranks 7th all-time in points (946), 8th in assists (168), 6th in free throws made (222). G Carderro Nwoji hit 87.4% of his free throws last season, the 2nd-best single-season % in FAU history. Nwoji also posted the 5th-highest single-season assist total (122) and was 9th all-time in single-season 3-point baskets (59).
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