Nov. 15, 2006
BOCA RATON, FL (November 15, 2006) -- Though the Florida Atlantic University men's basketball team dropped each of the first two games, there have been bright spots along the way as the team prepares for the second leg of its five-game opening road trip. Paul Graham (17.0 ppg) has led the Owls in scoring each of the first two games and Carlos Monroe posted his first-career double-double against UMKC. The duo will need to continue their offensive output if FAU is to pick up its first victory of the season this weekend against Old Dominion and Marist.
ODU and FAU meet for the first time Friday in Norfolk, VA. The Monarchs opened the season hosting the Cox Classic, going 2-1 in the tournament. ODU defeated Monmouth 54-40 in the 2006-07 opener and edged Arkansas State 69-61 in the second round before falling to Clemson, 74-70.
The Monarchs are led by Drew Williamson and his 16.3 ppg. He is shooting 53 percent from the floor and is 6-for-14 (43 percent) from behind the arc. Valdas Vasylius adds 14.0 ppg to the offensive attack, and has already made 23 trips to the charity stripe (16-for-23, 70 percent).
On the defensive end, Sam Harris has registered three blocks already this season, and ODU has swatted six shots as a team. The Monarchs have a positive assist to turnover ratio (44:30) led by Brandon Johnson (14 assists, 6 turnovers) and Williamson (12 assists, 2 turnovers). Williamson also leads the team with 12 steals, while Johnson has nine.
As a team, ODU has a positive rebounding margin (+2.3) and is shooting 39 percent from the floor. Opponents are shooting 45 percent from the floor but have made nearly half as many trips to the charity stripe (62-38).
Marist fell 83-66 in its season-opener to Ohio in Athens. The Red Foxes have a game prior to their meeting with the Owls on Tuesday at Delaware.
The Red Foxes were led by Jared Jordan, who scored 21 points on 7-of-22 shooting, struggling with a 1-for-9 effort from behind the arc. He also led the team in rebounding with five and in assists with seven. Will Whittington dropped in 19 points on 5-of-17 shooting. All five of his makes were treys.
As a team, Marist shot 34 percent from the floor while Ohio hit nearly 56 percent of its attempts. The Bobcats had five players in double-figures and had two players post double-doubles. Ohio held a decided rebounding advantage, 44-26.
Keys to victory for Florida Atlantic include cutting down on the opponents' open three-point looks. Oklahoma State and UMKC hit 26-of-51 treys in FAU's first two contests. The Owls must also tighten their interior defense, as they have been outscored in the paint in each of the two games. Many of those points have come as a result of offensive rebounds.