FAU guard Stefan Moody and the Owls will have to slow down Dayton's up-tempo attack to pick up a victory on Saturday. (OwlAccess.com photo)
Date in Dayton
FAU will have to slow down Dayton's fast-paced offense if the Owls want to see their winning streak reach four games.
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Florida Atlantic is hoping the experience gained in its season-opener against traditional basketball powerhouse North Carolina has prepared them to upset rising mid-major Dayton on Saturday.
The outcome against North Carolina – an 80-56 loss – wasn't what the Owls were hoping for in Chapel Hill, but it did give FAU a crack at trying to slow down a face-paced offense.
“They are kind of like Carolina in the sense that they really push the ball up the court, even on makes,” senior guard Greg Gantt said of the Flyers.
Dayton's fast-paced offense has been impressive, leading the Flyers to a 7-2 record that includes victories over Boston College, Auburn and Alabama.
“They score a lot of points in transition, but they also get lot of baskets off of penetration and kicks,” FAU coach Mike Jarvis said.
The man doing much of that penetrating and kicking – as well as scoring – is Kevin Dillard. The senior guard followed a 26-point 6-assist performance against Alabama with a 15-point 4-assist night in a victory over Miami (OH) in the Flyers' most recent outing.
Those back-to-back performances prompted ESPN to tab Kevin Dillard its National Player of the Week.
“He's really talented,” said Gantt, the reigning Sun Belt Player of the Week. “He can make a crossover and get to the rim, and also get his teammates involved.”
To counter Dillard and slow down Dayton's pace, FAU will try to turn the contest into a half-court game and contain the Flyers' offensive penetration.
“If we try to make it a track meet they are going to beat us,” Gantt said.
Need to Knows: Owls at Flyers
FAU (5-4, 1-1 Sun Belt)
at Dayton (7-2, 0-0 A-10)
About the Owls: FAU will be looking for its first four-game winning streak of the season, a feat the Owls' couldn't accomplish last season. ...Stefan Moody, who's come off the bench in the past seven games, is the Owls second leading scorer at 15.2 point per game. ...Center Dragan Sekelja is coming off a career-high 11-rebound outing in the Owls' victory over Warner.
About the Flyers: Like FAU, Dayton is also riding a three-game winning streak. ...Dayton has held the halftime lead in all nine of their games this season. ...The Flyers 62-61 loss to Weber St. marked the only time they've been out-rebounded this season. ...Dayton's defense can be pretty good, too. The Flyers held Northern Illinois to 5 points in a Dec. 1 victory.