Florida Atlantic Tries to Even Record at FGCU
Brett Royster - 15 blocks in the last four games - is on pace to shatter FAU's all-time record for blocked shots in a single-season

Brett Royster - 15 blocks in the last four games - is on pace to shatter FAU's all-time record for blocked shots in a single-season

Nov. 30, 2008

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FLORIDA ATLANTIC (3-4) @ FLORIDA GULF COAST (1-4)
Monday, Dec. 1, 2008 - Alico Arena (4,500)
Fort Myers, FL - 7:00 p.m. ET

GAME #8: Florida Atlantic will play Atlantic Sun Conference member Florida Gulf Coast Monday, December 1, 2008 at the Alico Arena on the FGCU campus in Ft. Myers. Tip-off is set for at 7 p.m. ET.

THE SERIES: FAU and Florida Gulf Coast have met only once, on December 8 of last season in Boca Raton. The Owls led 30-15 at halftime and went on to win 69-55. FAU held the Eagles to just 30% (19-of-62) shooting from the floor, with FAU's Carlos Monroe leading all scorers with 26.

TV/RADIO/INTERNET: All of FAU's regular-season games (home and away) will air on live commercial radio WFTL - 640 AM with additional audio links available via FAUSPORTS.com. Ken LaVicka will call Monday night's game in Ft. Myers. WRXY TV Southwest Florida will air Monday night's game on tape-delay in SW Florida only. No satellite coordinates have been made available at this time.

GAME NOTES:
# Mike Jarvis (366-206 all-time) is in his 1st year as FAU head coach
# FAU is coming off a 72-68 road loss to McNeese State Friday
# The Owls have lost three-straight after starting the season 3-1 for the first time in its 15-year Division I history
# FAU will play just three non-conference home games and is in the midst of a stretch where the team is playing 10-of-12 away from home
# Senior G Paul Graham III leads the Owls in scoring at 14.3 per game
# Underclassmen G/F Xavier Perkins and G Shavar Richardson are each scoring 13+ per night
# Since 2005 FAU is averaging just four wins per year on the road
# The Owls continue to play without all-conference forward Carlos Monroe, who has missed the first four games (eligibility).
# F Carlos Monroe scored 26 in FAU's 69-55 win over FGCU last sea son in the school's only other meeting
# Senior point guard Carderro Nwoji has committed just 7 turnovers in 205 minutes this season
# In each of FAU's last five games Shavar Richardson has made three 3- point baskets and has reached double-figures in scoring
# Sophomore F/C Brett Royster (2.6 blocks p/g) is on pace to shatter FAU's single-season record in blocked shots
# G/F Xavier Perkins is averaging a team-best 19 points and 10 rebounds in FAU's last three games
# G/F Xavier Perkins has gone to the line a team-leading 44 times this season. Perkins is also shooting 26-of-52 (50%) from the field
# Senior G Paul Graham III became the 7th player in FAU history to score 1,000-points after scoring 16 against UMKC
# The Owls will next play vs. SE Louisiana Saturday, December 13 at 7 p.m. ET

FLORIDA ATLANTIC: The Owls (3-4) have lost three-straight after starting the season 3-1 for the first time in its 15-year Division I history. First-year head coach Mike Jarvis is receiving a team-high 14.3 points per night from senior guard Paul Graham III, who made a series of clutch shots to allow FAU a 65-61 win over Santa Clara on a neutral floor earlier this year. FAU soundly beat UMKC, 77-59 at home - a team that edged FGCU 73-69 last Wednesday. Playing in the preseason NIT for the first time in school history, FAU lost a pair of games on the home floor of No. 24 Davidson last week. Davidson (76-60) and James Madison (81-64) dropped FAU to 3-3 and a road loss to McNeese State (72-68) the day after Thanksgiving has the Owls at 3-4 heading into Monday's game at FGCU.

FLORIDA GULF COAST: The Eagles are off to a 1-4 start, losing to UMKC 73-69 in front of 1,143 fans at FGCU's Alico Arena on November 26. FGCU is scoring 58.4 points per game, dropping a lopsided 85-45 season-opening decision at Kansas while also losing to Richmond (69-58) and Bradley (58-54) at home during its CBE Classic early-season tournament. Starting guard Delvin Franklin scored 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting (3-of-4 from 3-point range) in FGCU lone victory over North Carolina Central. Franklin is one of four players who score between 9 and 11 points per game to pace the Eagles offense.

NEXT UP: A home game Saturday, December 13 at 7 p.m. vs. SE Louisiana at the FAU Arena. The Lions (2-3) took Arkansas into overtime in their season-opener and Texas Tech had to rally to overcome a first-half deficit to SE Louisiana to beat the Lions 74-63 last Tuesday. For tickets or more information call 1-866-FAU-OWLS.

LAST TIME OUT: Sophomore guard C.J. Collins scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half to lead McNeese State past visiting Florida Atlantic 72-68 at the Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles, LA. Collins made a fade-away 18-foot jump shot with 2:02 remaining that extended the Cowboys lead to seven and McNeese State (2-2) held on for the win. Florida Atlantic (3-4) received 16 points from senior guard Paul Graham III. Underclassmen Xavier Perkins and Shavar Richardson each added 13. The Owls were playing its fifth game in six outings away from home. Perkins cleared a team-high 11 rebounds and Brett Royster and Alex Tucker each had seven to counter a McNeese State team that came into the game out-rebounding its opponents by 10 per game. McNeese State, a member of the Southland Conference, and their 6-foot-11, 300-pound senior center Kleon Penn benefited from a big night from Collins. The 5-foot-8 Collins dished out six assists and scored seven-straight points while Penn was on the bench with foul trouble in the second half. The Owls enjoyed an early 16-7 lead and held a five-point edge, 21-16, with 7:02 remaining in the first half.

GETTING TO THE LINE: Xavier Perkins has gone to the foul line a team-leading 44 times this season, which is 15 more times than any other FAU player. He is shooting 79% (35-for-44). He is on pace (6.2 attempts per game) to turn in the second-highest single-season total in school history (Carlos Monroe went to the line a program record 233 times in 2007-08). As a freshman last year Perkins attempted 138 foul shots, which ranked 10th best in FAU history. As team the Owls are going to the line more than their opponents this season (153-142).

REJECTED: Brett Royster's league-leading 2.6 blocks per game average puts him on pace to total 80 blocks this season - that would shatter FAU's season block record of 59 set by Raheim Brown in 2001-02. Royster established a new freshman record (41) for blocks in a season a year ago.

FIRST HALF FAMINE: FAU shot a season-low 34% from the field (22-for-63) against McNeese State (11/28), thanks largely to going just 8-of-31 from the floor in the first half. The Owls went through an eight-minute first half stretch where they did not make a field goal at McNeese St., relinquishing a 7-point lead... similar to a 5 minute and 36 second first half scoring drought in a loss to JMU (11/25) in which they gave up an 8-point first half lead after leading with 10:49 to play before the intermission.

WEARING OUT THE BLUE UNIS: FAU plays just three non-conference home games (all in the months of November and December). They are in the midst of a stretch where they are playing 10-of-12 away from home. The Owls will not play consecutive home games until mid-January. 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).

FREE THROW SHOOTING: FAU started the season shooting exceptional from the free throw line - 86% (38-for-44) in the first three games. The Owls have been just 73-of-109 (66%) however in its last four.

PRESEASON NIT: Florida Atlantic made its first-ever appearance in the NIT this season. The Owls played at Arizona and at No. 24 Davidson, while playing neutral court games against both Santa Clara and James Madison.

HARD TO BEAT IN BOCA: FAU is 34-7 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.

LONG RANGE: FAU has made seven or more 3-point baskets in four different games this season and averages 18 3-point attempts per game. The Owls connected on a season-high eight 3-pointers last time out against McNeese St.

MAKINGS OF CAREER-YEARS: Sophomores Brett Royster and Xavier Perkins have both established a number of new career-highs. Perkins has set a new personal bests in virturally every category, including scoring (24), rebounding (11) assists (6) and free-throws made (12). Royster has twice scored 12 points, has pulled down 9 rebounds and blocked four shots in three consecutive games - all career-highs.

A DEFENSIVE DIFFERENCE: FAU held UMKC to 59 and Santa Clara to 61 points. Holding an opponent under 60 points is something that was only done three times all of last season.

ATHLETIC ADDITION: True freshman forward Chris Watson - who was also recruited to play football at FAU - has made immediate contributions. Watson was promoted to the starting lineup in Game 2 after going 5-for-5 from the floor with five rebounds in the season-opening win against Monmouth. Watson grabbed 15 rebounds against Arizona as a starter and then added eight points and had a two steals against SCU the next night. Watson cleared 12 rebounds against UMKC.

LONG RANGE: FAU has made seven or more 3-point baskets in four different games this season and averages 18 3-point attempts per game. The Owls connected on a season-high eight 3-pointers last time out against McNeese St.

RECORD START: FAU began the season 3-1 - it was the first time and FAU team had started 3-1 in its 15-year Division I history (since 1994-95). The best start in program history was 10-2, belonging to the 1989-90 Division II team which finished a with a school-best 21-7 record.

 

 

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