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Posts from February 2011

Monday’s Daily Briefing: Sun Belt will award regular-season title to Owls after all

It turns out that “mythical" Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship FAU won on Thursday isn’t so mythical after all.
 

Last week theSun Belt Conference emphatically said it did not recognize an overall regular-season conference champion and instead just awarded trophies to the division winners, and of course, the tournament champion.
 

Well, upon further review, Sun Belt Conference Associate Commissioner John McElwain just told me that the league does indeed award an overall regular-season title to satisfy the NIT’s automatic bid requirement.
 

I don’t know if it will matter to the team that it is getting a trophy or not, their celebration on the court was due to having the best conference record in the Sun Belt and winning the NIT bid. They know who the best team in the conference was this season – and apparently now the Sun Belt does, too.
 

 

Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
In basketball, the Owls defeated South Alabama in the regular-season finale. ...In baseball, the Owls bats came alive and FAU salvaged a game in a three-game series vs. Stony Brook.
  • Other linkage
Here’s how the Mobile Press-Register saw the Owls-Jaguars game. …Here’s coverage from the Sun-Sentinel.
 

 

 

Sunday's Daily Briefing: Sun Belt Tournament picture clearing up

It’s never to early to look at possible matchups for Florida Atlantic in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and that picture became a little clearer after Saturday’s games.

There are still two games remaining to be played in the Sun Belt Conference regular season. FAU faces South Alabama today and UALR goes against North Texas on Monday.
And, wouldn’t you know it, not only will the tournament seedings have to wait to be finalized until after the final game, but the winner of that game could also be the Owls’ opponent in the quarterfinals.
So here’s how the bracket is shaping up and what will be determined in the next 48 hours.
As the top seed in the East, FAU will face the winner of the first round game beween the East No. 5 team and the West No. 4 team.
That East No. 5 team will be Troy, which would lose the tie-breaker with South Alabama if both teams are tied with  South Alabama based on divisional records after the Jags and the Trojans split their series this season.
The Trojans which will face the winner of UALR-North Texas on Saturday in Hot Springs, Ark.
It’s also worth noting that the road to the finals for the Owls won’t be easy after Arkansas State won on Saturday as the Red Wolves earned the top seed in the West Division by winning more division games than Louisiana-Lafayette.
That means the Owls and the Ragin’ Cajuns – one of the hottest teams in the Sun Belt – would meet in the semifinals.
Well, no one ever said getting to The Big Dance would be easy.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
In baseball, FAU’s bats were silent again in a loss to Stony Brook. …Here’s our preview of the basketball regular-season finale.
  • Other linkage
Here’s a preview of today’s Owls-Jags game from the Mobile Press-Register.
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: Can’t blame Angelos if he talks to UM

When news was leaking out that Miami AD Kirby Hocutt was on his way out of Coral Gables, I made sure I caught up with FAU AD Craig Angelos to ask him about his interest in the job.

Of course, Angelos didn’t divulge much except for professing his desire to finish what he has started at FAU.
But, as expected, Angelos’ name has been circulated as a possible candidate based on his previous tenure at UM in the 1990s.
Angelos wasn’t a serious candidate when Hocutt got the job less than three years ago, but Angelos’ resume now has an on-campus football stadium on it. I would not surprised if he gets more serious consideration this time around – especially when two other early candidates may be FIU’s Pete Garcia and UCF’s Keith Tribble, according to the Miami Herald. The Associated Press mentioned Angelos as a possible candidate.
FAU fans may remember Angelos was a serious candidate at some bigger schools a few years ago, including BYU, Mississippi State and LSU. But lately either he hasn’t been applying for as many jobs or is doing a better job of sneaking out of town to talk to other schools. Or maybe, just maybe, he is committed to FAU.
If two of the candidates are indeed Garcia and Tribble, I can’t imagine Miami not talking to Angelos. And while he may say he is where he wants to be,  if UM wants to talk, I also can’t imagine he won’t listen – and I can’t blame him for that.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
In baseball, the Owls ran into one of the top pitchers in the nation and lost 5-0 to Stony Brook on Friday night. You can see our video highlights, recap and post-game analysis by clicking here.
  • Other linkage
The Sun-Sentinel says the Owls have risen quickly under coach Mike Jarvis
Friday's Daily Briefing: FAU earns right to celebrate no matter what Sun Belt says

Once the buzzer sounded and Florida Atlantic defeated Troy and Thursday, the celebration was on – and it didn’t stop until a few minutes later when athletic department officials and security officers told a group gathered around coach Mike Jarvis to get off the court for another important event.

That’s right, like most celebrations for winning conference championships at the Division I level, the court had to be cleared for a YMCA game between kids from elementary schools.
It’s a good thing the Owls didn’t cut down the nets or else that important contest may have been cancelled and Jarvis could have spent even more time probably thanking every one of the supporters who was courtside before being pushed aside.
Actually, it’s a very good thing the nets weren’t cut down because in the eyes of the Sun Belt Conference, FAU didn’t win a championship last night.
The Sun Belt Conference confirmed to FAUOwlAccess.com it doesn’t award an overall regular-season championship, so the only trophy FAU will be getting will be for the winning the East Division title.
However, even thought the “championship” isn’t recognized  by the Sun Belt, FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos told me the he will commission a “Sun Belt Regular Season Championship” banner to be hung at The Burrow next season.
That’s the right move.
Maybe an “official” championship wasn’t won last night, but the victory vs. Troy did clinch the Owls the NIT automatic bid for finishing with the best conference record in the Sun Belt. FAU hopes it won’t need it and will qualify for the NCAA Tournament - and another trophy from the Sun Belt.
But winning that NIT bid is more important than any piece of hardware from the conference and is an accomplishment worth celebrating – at least until the next YMCA game is ready to tipoff.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
Check out our complete coverage of the basketball game complete with video highlights, a recap and post-game analysis by clicking here. …The baseball team begins a three-game series vs. Stony Brook. Here’s our series preview.
  • Other Linkage
Here are game stories from The Palm Beach Post, Sun-Sentinel, TCPalm.com and the University Press.
Van Camp tweaks throwing motion, Jean wants speed at NFL combine

Like former FAU quarterback Rusty Smith a year ago, Jeff Van Camp spent the better part of January and February tweaking his throwing motion.

Unlike Smith, Van Camp (photo by Ralph Notaro) will get to show off those changes at the NFL scouting combine.

“I talked to (Rusty) a little bit about it,” Van Camp told me earlier this week. “He basically told me it would be in my best interest to fix the to throwing arm as much a possible to let NFL teams see you were willing to work at it,”

The changes in Smith's throwing motion helped him become a sixth-round draft choice by Tennessee.

Van Camp is looking for similar success, and FAU fans may be able to judge his progress when he begins throwing at the combine on Thursday. The NFL network will televise many of the workouts.

Scouts, Van Camp hopes, will see a throwing motion that is more over-the-top, which will aid in accuracy. He had already been working on the change with quarterback coach Steve Calhoun in California prior to the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game.

“I think that game really opened up my eyes that I need to get the elbow over my shoulder,” Van Camp said. “That's kind of the knock some of the scouts were saying was that I had kind of a low arm release. I really came back (to California) and worked  on that.”

As FAU fans know, Van Camp won't be the only Owl looking to impress NFL scouts this weekend. Wide receiver Lester Jean and tight end Rob Housler are are also going to be in Indianapolis.

“I know they are going to have  a great combine – they are just going to blow everyone away,” Van Camp said. “If I get a chance I'm going to do everything I can to throw to them because I pretty much know everything they are going to do on their routes.”

For Jean, the big test will likely be the 40 yard dash. He's been timed in the low 4.5s, but has been working with Ignition in Naples in an attempt to break into the 4.4s.

“I was just working on the drills because in the Shrine Game it was more football oriented, but in the combine it's more drills and different movements they want us to do,” Jean said. “My one goal is to be a top performer and have them talk good stuff about me. I don't want to have any negative stuff surrounding my name.”
 

Thursday's Daily Briefing: Western Kentucky likely opponent to open new FAU stadium

Florida Atlantic athletic administrators have been told that Western Kentucky will likely be the Owls' opponent on Oct. 15 when FAU opens its new on-campus football stadium.

The Sun Belt Conference recently sent member schools a tentative schedule to review. If adjustments don't need to be made, the Hilltoppers will become the first school to travel to Boca Raton.

After playing its home games at Dolphin Stadium and Lockhart Stadium during the program's first 10 years, FAU is currently in the process of building a 30,000 seat stadium.

The tentative schedule will be finalized and announced by the Sun Belt Conference on Tuesday

FAU will begin the 2011 season on the road against Florida, Michigan St. and Auburn. The Owls will also play host to UAB  in November.

Are the Hilltoppers the ideal opponent to christen the stadium? Depends what you are looking for. They should be a beatable opponent, and it's always nice to open a new facility with a victory.

Western Kentucky is not exactly a marquee name, though. There isn't much FAU can do about that at this point without delaying the stadium opening until 2012 – and no one wants to do that. So you take what you are given.

Again, this is a tentative date and opponent, so there is still time for one or both to change. But the Hilltoppers appear likely to be the first to learn whether FAU will truly experience its first real home field advantage in program history.

Owl Links

  • FAUOwlAccess.com

We have team coverage of FAU's 7-4 victory vs. No. 20 Miami. You can check out video highlights, a recap and post-game analysis by clicking here.

  • Other linkage

The Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and University Press were also at the game.

Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: FAU-UF game should continue at Roger Dean Stadium

The score wasn’t what FAU baseball fans would like to see, but even the outnumbered Owl supporters couldn’t find too much wrong with the atmosphere Tuesday at Roger Dean Stadium.

When FAU took on the top-ranked Gators at the spring training home of the Marlins and Cardinals, the game had almost a post-season feel to it.
The Gators fans may have outnumbered the Owls supporters (OK, about 90 percent of the stadium was in orange and blue) but regardless, having a large crowd of more than 3,000 fans made the game a success.
And with some tickets going for around 17 bucks, the game was a financial success as well, as those Gators fans help put money in FAU’s coffers.
The word I got was that the series may continue, with UF coming to Jupiter every other year.
Sounds like a good deal to me. Despite the 13-2 loss to Florida, it was a good night for FAU and its fans.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
Here’s our coverage of the game including video highlights and our recap and post-game analysis.
  • Other linkage
The Palm Beach Post , Sun-Sentinel and University Press were also at the game
Tuesday's Daily Briefing: Beer will be flowing at FAU-Miami game

It didn’t take long for the baseball season to get going.

Fresh off a three-game sweep of Hofstra in the season-opening series over the weekend, FAU will play two big games the next two days by facing Florida at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday and playing host to Miami on Wednesday back on campus.
The Owls will be returning to Jupiter, where they have played the St. Louis Cardinals in the past, to face the Gators, ranked No. 1 in some polls, and a good crowd will likely be on hand.
For those who can’t make it to Jupiter, I did see something interesting planned for the UM game. For 25 bucks (or cheaper for FAU National Alumni Association members or baseball season ticket holders) fans can party on the berm and eat hamburgers, hot dogs and drink soda and beer.
And yes, you did read that correctly – that includes beer. If I wasn’t working for FAUOwlAccess.com that night, I know where I would be.
One disclaimer should be on there, however.
Since the ballpark renovations that were promised last season never materlialized, the beer drinkers should be warned - there are no permanent bathrooms at FAU Stadium.
That said, if your bladder can take the long walk to the lockerooms at the field house, it’s a great deal.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
Here’s our preview of tonight’s UF-FAU game.

 

FAU shortstop Nick DelGuidice named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week

After leading Florida Atlantic to a three-game sweep of Hosfstra, Owls senior shortstop Nick DelGuidice was name the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.

DelGuidice was 9-for-12 with eight RBI and scored four runs.
“I didn’t want to start off slow like last year, so I wanted to come out with a hot start,” DelGuidice said. “If I keep swinging the bat like this for the whole season, I’ll be very pleased this season.”
Here’s the complete release fron the Sun Belt Conference...
Delguidice, Grimmett Earn SBC Baseball Players of the Week Honors

NEW ORLEANS - Florida Atlantic’s Nick Delguidice and UALR's Nick Grimmett have been respectively named the Sun Belt Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week the league office announced on Monday afternoon.
 
DelGuidice was the leading catalyst during Florida Atlantic’s three-game season opening sweep of Hofstra as the senior shortstop went 9-for-12 with eight runs batted in and four runs scored. The Miami, Fla. native posted a .750 batting average in the three-game set, highlighted by a 5-for-5 showing with 5 RBI’s in Friday’s win. DelGuidice had an impressive 1.250 slugging percentage and reached base on 69 percent of his plate appearances.
 
He had two RBI’s as part of a 3-for-4 performance during Sunday’s series finale. Four of his nine hits went for extra bases and he drove in six of his eight runs with two outs.
 
In 7.2 innings of relief work in UALR’s 6-4 victory at Stephen F. Austin on Saturday, Nick Grimmett allowed just one hit while striking out three batters en route to his first win as a UALR Trojan. The Beggs, Okla., native entered the game with a one out and a runner on second in the bottom of the second inning, trying to preserve a 6-4 Trojan lead. Grimmett was able to get the Trojans out of the jam; forcing the third batter he faced into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
 
The junior struck out three and allowed just one hit over the next seven innings, doing his part to help the Trojans to their first win of the 2011 season.
 
Monday's Daily Briefing: FAU one game away from Sun Belt title

Thanks to an unexpected result on Sunday, Florida Atlantic’s road to winning the Sun Belt Conference regular season title can be summed up simply.

If the Owls win, they are in – at least in the NIT should they lose in the Sun Belt Tournament.

South Alabama became the first Sun Belt Conference team to win in Denver in 16 games dating back to last season to clear up the picture and put FAU’s magic number at one. That means any combination of FAU wins or loss by Denver and ULL  will eliminate that team and give the Owls the title. Arkansas State could still tie FAU if the Owls lose the next two games and share a co-championship, but FAU would win the tie-breaker and the NIT automatic bid over the Red Wolves.
FAU would like nothing better than to beat Troy on Thursday in the last home game of the season to celebrate the championship with a game left to play. Should they lose, the Owls will have to watch the scoreboard on Thursday and Saturday before facing South Alabama on Sunday.
A new mascot will be named that night at The Burrow, and possibly a new Sun Belt Conference champion as well.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
We were at the ballpark on Sunday as FAU completed the sweep over Hofstra.
  • Other linkage
The University Press was also at the game.
 
Sunday's Daily Briefing: FAU shows life down the stretch

Even after Florida Atlantic lost two consecutive games coach Mike Jarvis didn’t want to hear any comparisons to last year’s team which ran out of gas at the end of the season.

Well, it looks like last season’s fade may have been a one-time occurrence. On Saturday FAU didn’t pull an el foldo late in its game vs. FIU. Instead the Owls were en fuego and outlasted the Golden Panthers in overtime to win 80-78.
Aside from the obvious, the victory was huge because of the confidence boost it could give the team.
It appears that unlike last season, this stretch run may be enjoyable to watch.
And it would be just downright disrespectful if I didn’t mention another way  that this year’s team can’t be compared to last year’s team – or any other team in FAU history.
The Owls are the Sun Belt Conference East Division Champions – the first time in school history the Owls have won a basketball conference regular-season championship of any kind.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
We had complete coverage of the 80-78 overtime victory at FIU with a recap, analysis and of course video highlights. ...We didn’t blow off the baseball game vs. Hofstra and were on hand for the 10-5 victory.
  • Other linkage
The Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, and University Press were on hand for the basketball game. …The University Press was at the baseball game
FAU wins Sun Belt East Division Championship

Middle Tennessee’s 62-58 loss to UALR gives Florida Atlantic the Sun Belt Conference East Division Championship regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game between FAU and FIU.

It is the first regular-season title for the Owls of any kind in basketball.
FAU is still in the hunt for the overall regular-season title and the automatic bid to the NIT that goes with it.
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: East Division title on the line today for FAU

Could the champagne be popped or the nets cut down tonight in Miami vs. FIU?

By my calculations it certainly is a possibility that FAU could win the East Division championship tonight.
By a check of the standings, here’s what has to happen, and it spears to be pretty simple. If MTSU loses or FAU wins today, the Owls win the division championship. MTSU faces UALR at 4 p.m. on the Sun Belt Newtork so the Owls could know if they are champions before they take the court.
However the Owls can’t clinch the overall regular-season championship – and the automatic invite to the NIT – today.
Not sure if FAU has any plans to celebrate a possible East Division title, but maybe some of the fireworks and confetti FIU was going to use for Garrett Wittels breaking the all-time hit streak record in college baseball could be sold to FAU for a reduced rate?
Winning the East title would be a huge accomplishment for the program - and it is the best thing FAU could do to improve its SBC tournament seeding since winning the overall title isn't factored into the seeds for the tournament, something most haven't figured out yet.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
It was opening night for the baseball team and we have full coverage of FAU’s 12-4 victory vs. Hofstra complete with a story, analysis, postgame quotes, video highlights and more. Click here for all the content. …We also had our preview of Saturday's basketball game at FIU
  • Other linkage
Here's the UP's version of the game. ...The Sun-Sentinel talks to Ray Taylor.
Friday's Daily Briefing: Tonight's start comes after a tough couple weeks for Garton

One of the reasons we enjoy sports is that the game provides participants with a respite from the happenings of their every day life.

For Ryan Garton the break from reality might be more welcomed than ever before.

Garton's aunt Florence, “Flo” Massaro, died unexpectedly shortly after the Owls opened their pre-season camp.

“She was like my second mom,” Garton said. “She's been there all my life. She's been to all my games. Every Friday she would drive down from Tampa. It's going to suck not to see her, but I know she'll be here for me every game - everywhere I go.”

Garton, who will be the Owls' opening-day pitcher tonight against Hofstra, has missed some practice time while attending funerals and memorial services in Florida and Pennsylvania.

FAU coach John McCormack has juggled the Owls practice schedule a little to try and accommodate Garton's baseball and familial needs.

“The support from my teammates and my coaches – I couldn't have asked for anything more,” Garton said last week, before heading to Pennsylvania. “Right now, I'm kind of not in reality after everything that happened.”

Garton has been back with the Owls all this week but he's still a little behind schedule. McCormack said on Wednesday that he expects Garton to be on a pitch count of around 50.

Left-handed JUCO transfer Josh Gonzaga will likely follow Garton in relief. Gonzaga was originally slated to start Sunday's game.

The Owls enter the weekend unsure of who their Sunday starter will be. Hugh Adams, Jake Meiers, Ahmed Garcia or Taylor Everist could get the ball. McCormack wants to see how many pitchers he uses in the first couple games before making a decision.

Owl Links

  • FAUOwlAccess.com

Baseball season is upon us and we previewed the season-opening series against Hofstra by looking at the development of Garton.  ....We also provided this follow-up to Monday's Women's Professional Soccer blog, noting that the league released its schedule which officially stated that there will be a team playing its games on FAU's campus.

  • Other linkage

The Maimi Herald had this story on Boca Raton's new soccer team. ...The Sun-Sentinel had this preview

 

WPS announces professional soccer team will use FAU as its home

Here's a quick update to the story we first told you about on Monday.

The Women's Professional Soccer league released its season schedule on Thursday and it contained this little nugget:

“The home venue for magicJack’s Washington Freedom will be Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. The team might play one or two of its home games in the Washington, D.C. area. “

The magicJack part of the name comes from a product invented by new owner Dan Borislow and is a change from the magicTalk name previously listed. It also appears the the club will be keeping the “Washington Freedom” part of the name – at least for now.

Judging by the schedule, which is listed below, the first opportunity for FAU fans see the team could be Saturday, April 23. The site for most of the magicJack's games is listed as TBA, so apparently there are still some details to be worked out.

FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos told FAUOwlAccess.com over the weekend that is was likely the magicJack will play their home games at the FAU Soccer Stadium, which is located next to the football practice fields behind the Oxley Center. FAU will handle ticketing and game operations.

If all goes well, Angelos hopes to be able to build a larger stadium – one that could hold 5,000 fans – near the on-campus track.

This should please soccer fans at FAU and throughout South Florida.


2011 magicJack Season Schedule


Saturday, April 16
Philadelphia Independence vs. magicJack’s Washington Freedom (Widener Univ.) 7:00PM

Saturday, April 23
magicJack’s Washington Freedom vs. Boston Breakers (TBA) 7:00PM
 
Sunday, May 1
magicJack’s Washington Freedom vs. Philadelphia Independence (TBA) 4:00PM

Sunday, May 8
magicJack’s Washington Freedom  vs. Atlanta Beat (TBA) 4:00PM

Sunday, May 22
Western New York Flash vs. magicJack’s Washington Freedom (Sahlen’s Stadium) TBA (FSC)

Saturday, May 28
magicJack’s Washington Freedom vs. Atlanta Beat (TBA) 7:00PM

Sunday, June 5
Boston Breakers vs. magicJack’s Washington Freedom (Harvard University) TBA (FSC)

Saturday, June 11

Atlanta Beat vs. magicJack’s Washington Freedom (KSU Soccer Stadium) 6:00PM

Saturday, June 18
Philadelphia Independence vs. magicJack’s Washington Freedom (Widener Univ.) 7:00PM

Saturday, July 9
Sky Blue FC vs. magicJack’s Washington Freedom (Yurcak Field) 7:00PM

Wednesday, July 20
Western New York Flash vs. magicJack’s Washington Freedom (Sahlen’s Stadium) 7:30PM
 
Saturday, July 23
Atlanta Beat vs. magicJack’s Washington Freedom (KSU Soccer Stadium) 7:00PM

Wednesday, July 27
magicJack’s Washington Freedom vs. Sky Blue FC (TBA) 7:00PM
 
Saturday, July 30
magicJack’s Washington Freedom vs. Boston Breakers (TBA) 7:00PM

Wednesday, August 3
magicJack’s Washington Freedom vs. Sky Blue FC (TBA) 7:00PM
 
Saturday, August 6
Boston Breakers vs. magicJack’s Washington Freedom (Harvard University) 7:00PM

Wednesday, August 10
magicJack’s Washington Freedom vs. Western New York Flash (TBA) 7:00PM
 
Sunday, August 14
magicJack’s Washington Freedom vs. Philadelphia Independence (TBA) 4:00PM
Thursday’s Daily Briefing: Finally, some rest for FAU

Florida Atlantic’s basketball team mercifully gets a break tonight with a much-needed day off before playing its next game on Saturday against FIU.

Let’s face it, the schedule for the Owls lately has been brutal with Thursday games in places like Denton, Texas and Denver before home games on Saturday.
Earlier this week, FAU coach Mike Jarvis said the travel demands - and the usual travel problems this time of year - have had an impact on the team’s play lately.
“I really believe that our schedule and our travel the last two weeks - and not being able to practice because of spending days in the airport  when you want to be on the court - has had to do with it more than anything else,” Jarvis said. “It was quite obvious the other night that our guys lost a step. We were a step slow…The only thing I can attribute to that is the travel.”
If you were at The Burrow on Saturday for FAU’s loss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette you saw some shots by Greg Gantt and Ray Taylor that not only were off the mark, but were off by a few feet. That can be attributed to fatigue.
Jarvis said he wasn’t giving players any extra time off this week, but would lift weights a couple of days and practice more half-court sets instead of full-court scrimmages this week.
We’ll see how well that worked on Saturday against FIU, who by the way, is off tonight as well giving two rested teams an equal chance for a change.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
We posted the most recent edition of our popular podcast, Owl Talk with Brian Rowitz
  • Other linkage
FAU, FIU will play more games vs. each other in baseball, the Sun-Sentinel reports
Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: FAU baseball on TV twice this season

Florida Atlantic, picked to repeat as Sun Belt Conference champion, will have two of its games televised this season on the Sun Belt Network, which is carried on CSS.

The first will be FAU’s game at Western Kentucky on May 7 and the second will be the final game of the regular season on May 21 when the Owls travel to face FIU.
The complete Sun Belt Conference baseball TV schedule can be found here.
The bad part for the Owls is that there are no home games televised. I wonder if the fact that FAU’s facility is so outdated it couldn’t handle a television production without possibly starting an electrical fire. No matter, fans around the Sun Belt will be able to see the other facilities around the league especially the recently renovated baseball stadium at FIU, which somehow was able to handle building a football stadium and an upgrade its baseball facility.
But it’s obvious, FAU’s baseball stadium is Not Ready for Prime Time.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
With baseball season starting Friday, we unveiled our season preview complete with projected lineups, pitching rotations and scouting reports. Check it out here.
  • Other linkage
FAU basketball coach Mike Jarvis says travel affected team, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
 
Tuesday’s Daily Briefing: FAUOwlAccess.com reaches 1,000 followers on Twitter

Sometime over the weekend, FAUOwlAccess.com reached another milestone.

It was probably during Saturday’s basketball game when we providing our live Twitter reports, that we landed our 1,000th Twitter follower.
Twitter was more of an afterthought when we launched FAUOwlAccess.com two years ago last month - another milestone worth celebrating. However, as more and more people began to use the service which lets users give quick updates of 140 characters or less it became clear that Twitter had potential to help us tell FAU fans what was going on with the Owls.
When people started coming up to us at games saying that they followed us and kept up with games on their phone with our Tweets, we knew we were on to something.
Now we count several FAU coaches and players as our followers. Hey, they know where to get the best information on the Owls.
We’ve had 5,579 Tweets and counting, but perhaps we’re best known for our football practice Tweets live from the Oxley Practice Fields and for the live game Tweets when even people who don’t use Twitter can follow our reports on the home page of FAUOwlAccess.com
Now we incorporate those in-game Tweets into something we came up with called the Re-Tweet Replay and we incorporate what we put out on Twitter during the games into our game coverage to give kind of a feel to how the game flowed. After we started that, I’ve noticed some newspapers and other on-line sites begin to start doing the very same thing.
And recently we put a scrolling Twitter widget on our home page to make our Tweets more accessible.
This blog has far exceeded 140 characters, but I thought it might be interesting to our readers to explain our thoughts when it comes to Twitter.
If you are in the shrinking number who don’t follow us, you can change that quickly by heading to @FAUOwlAccess as we keep Tweeting away.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
We have a video feature of FAU linebacker Michael Lockley preparing for FAU’s upcoming Pro Day.
  • Other linkage
Speaking of football, former FAU defensive end Michael Hancock was picked up by the Toronto Argonauts, the Toronto Sun reports.
Monday's Daily Briefing: Professional soccer could find a home at FAU

Florida Atlantic may be about to become the new home site of a professional football team. Actually, it's more like futbol. And this could turn interesting quickly.

FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos told FAUOwlAccess.com that a team owner from the Women's Professional Soccer league is exploring the possibilities of having his team play its home games on FAU's campus.

And we're not talking next year, when the new football stadium is complete. He wants to play in Boca Raton for the upcoming season, which begins in April.

Dan Borislow recently brought the Washington Freedom and seems to have received permission to relocate the franchise to South Florida. Judging by the WPS schedule page, Borislow, a Palm Beach County resident who invented the MagicJack internet telephone connection, has apparently already renamed the franchise the magicTalk SC, after his company's latest product.

Borislow reportedly showed interest in playing at Lockhart Stadium, but has also met multiple times with FAU officials. Angelos said the plan would be to bring in additional seating to FAU's main soccer field (located next to the Oxley Center football practice fields), raising the capacity to the neighborhood of 3,000.

FAU would provide turnkey services, including ticket sales and event staffing. Angelos said he hopes the first season goes well enough to allow the creation of a new soccer stadium on campus - perhaps over near the track - that would seat about 5,000 and allow the magicTalk SC to consider FAU more of a permanent home.

If that happens, the FAU campus could become a major player in the South Florida soccer scene, providing a home for various youth and perhaps college tournaments. Along with raising FAU's prestige in the soccer community, the move could being added funds to the athletic department down the road. The plan sounds like it could be a winner for both parties, so we'll keep FAUOwlAccess.com readers updated on the progress.

Now, if Angelos could find a minor league baseball team willing to play in the Owls' current ballpark, the baseball team may finally get the much needed upgrades to their stadium, too.

 

Sunday's Daily Briefing: Owls struggling down stretch again

Florida Atlantic may be on a losing streak for the first time since November and has lost three out of its last five games.

But Owls coach Mike Jarvis isn’t panicking just yet even as the Owls appear to be heading for a repeat of last season when they held a share of first place late in the season then went into a tailspin in the last few weeks of the season.
Jarvis was quick to dismiss any comparisons to last season’s collapse.
“I’m certainly not worried about that,” Jarvis said. “Only if you are worried about that would it have a chance of coming to fruition. It’s a different team - different scenario.”
Still, Jarvis appears to be concerned about the team’s fragile psyche.
For instance, Jarvis talked to the team for an extended period of time judging by the full hour he took before talking to the media for his post-game press conference. Jarvis also didn’t allow his players to talk the media after the tough loss to ULL on Saturday.
Judging by the unusuall post-game procedure, it appears Jarvis is taking steps to keep the players from having to talk about another late season swoon.
But one way this is business as usual - the Owls are stumbling down the stretch again.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
We provided the most comprehensive coverage of the game you will find anywhere complete with reacp, analysis and video highlights.
  • Other linkage
The Sun-Sentinel had this game story and The Palm Beach Post provided this report
Saturday's Daily Briefing: Will big crowd be on hand for tonight's big game?

There are plenty of signs on campus highlighting an upcoming basketball game at The Burrow.

Unfortunately for coach Mike Jarvis and the Owls, the game that has been pushed for the last few weeks with posters and flyers all over campus is a March 2 contest featuring  the Harlem Globetrotters.
It seems if Saturday’s game between FAU and Louisiana-Lafayette has been forgotten.
That’s too bad because after having a few weeks of big (and succesful) efforts to get people to the games, today’s contest may be the most important of all of them.
ULL comes in on a six-game winning streak and FAU is smarting after a loss to Denver. The Owls desperately need to bounce back or serious questions will be raised about the team that seemed a shoo-in to cut down the nets in Hot Springs, but would be slumping at the worst possible time.
On the flip side, if FAU wins, a blowout loss to Denver can be tolerated.
But with the Ragin’ Cajuns travelling from Miami to Boca Raton on Friday while the Owls had to fly from Denver, ULL will have a huge advantage.
Perhaps more than any other game this season, FAU needs a sixth-man home-court advantage tonight. Unfortunately I fear there will be a bigger crowd at The  Burrow for the Harlem Globetrotters instead of a key game for FAU.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
The FAU baseball team is picked to repeat as Sun Belt Conference Champions. …Here’s our preview of Saturday’s game between ULL and FAU.
  • Other linkage
Here's a game preview from the Lafayette Daily Advertiser...The Sun-Sentinel had this preview.
 
Friday's Daily Briefing: Did FAU peak too early?

It's far too early to panic, but it's not too early to at least worry about the way the FAU basketball team is playing.

Sure, the 10-2 conference record is best in the Sun Belt, but the team that has taken the floor in the past couple weeks isn't representative of the Owl squad that posted the majority of the 18 wins the Owls garnered so far.

Greg Gantt has struggled with the 3-pointer for much of the year, and it seems to be getting worse. I realize he's the reigning Sun Belt Player of the Week, but his job is to score. Last night he only took three shots – missing both attempts from behind the arc. His 3-point percentage on the season has dipped below 34, after connecting on 39 percent last year.

Kore White is playing more like Snow White – he's scored six points total in the Owls' past four games.

And as stagnant as FAU's offense has become, FAU coach Mike Jarvis seems to think the defense is worse.

I realize a loss to Denver, all-be-it by 27 points, is nothing to be ashamed of. The combination of their unusual offense and the altitude have helped the Pioneers win 15 straight at home. And FAU could have been suffering from a hangover following the emotional win over FIU on Saturday.

But the Owls didn't play very well against FIU either, needing to overcome a seven-point deficit in the final 1:10 to beat the Golden Panthers. FAU obviously didn't play well in its loss to Western Kentucky, and the victory over Middle Tennessee prior to that game wasn't worthy of a bookmark.

Which means the only noteworthy performance in the past five games might have been against North Texas, and even then the Owls needed a lockdown defensive effort late to seal the deal.

Yes, Denver, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee and North Texas are four of the top five teams in the Belt (FAU is still No. 1). And FIU is a rival. Any one of those could have been tight. The concern, though, is not that FAU lost two, it's that they haven't played well in five.

Now the Owls have a long flight back to Boca Raton before Saturday's game against Louisiana-Lafayette, which enters The Burrow as one of the hottest teams in the Sun Belt.

Is all of the travel over the past half year finally having a cumulative effect on the Owls' legs? Are thoughts of last year's late-season collapse sneaking into some players' heads? Did the Owls peak too early?

FAU has four games remaining in the regular season – all against teams the Owls have already beaten. Facing ULL, FIU, Troy and South Alabama could be exactly what FAU needs to get rolling again heading into the Sun Belt tournament.

Until that happens, there will be reason for concern.

Owl Links

  • FAUOwlAccess.com

We had the latest edition of our podcast, Owl Talk with Brian Rowitz with an interview with QB Jeff Van Camp. ...Needless to say, we also stayed up late to give readers coverage of the loss to Denver.

  • Other linkage

The Sun-Sentinel had this take on the game

 

Bleachers starting to take shape at FAU stadium construction site

The construction site really is amazing – in the sense that it's beginning to look like a real FAU football stadium.

Snapped some shots while on campus today. Some of the framework for the south end zone bleachers, which I believe might be the student section, is now in place. It's kind if a “between a palm” look, but it works.

Here's a view from the other side:



The site is crawling with activity, as different parts of the stadium are beginning to take shape:

And those two towers continue to grow higher:


Construction on the new FAU football stadium continues to take gigantic steps each week. At the rate they are going, it's understandable why everyone is optimistic it will be read for next season.

Thursday’s Daily Briefing: Schnellenberger taps Remington to build Owls' strength

Florida Atlantic's football team has been undergoing its voluntary workouts for about a month, so that’s enough time to see how the offseason program is going under new strength and conditioning coach Brian Remington.

A few weeks ago FAUOwlAccess.com readers found out first that Remington would be taking over the strength and conditioning duties for the football team from Rod Payne, who remains the head strength and conditioning coach for the athletic department.
Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger made the change in hopes of emphasizing the strength in strength and conditioning,
“I hope to see kids respond to his philosophy of lifting heaving weights and going after the max,” Schnellenberger said. “Right now we are not a strong team and we need to get stronger.”
Remington (pictured on the right) told Schnellenberger he wanted to increase the team's power when he talked to him about the job a few months ago.
“If you want to get stronger, you have to lift heavy weights,” Remington said. “When he asked me my philosophy, I told him we are going to get in the weight room we are going to lift heavy and test their physical limits as much as possible. That’s what he was looking for.”
The players have gotten the message.
“Since he took over a lot of us have seen gains pretty quick,” said FAU running back Alfred Morris, who will be a senior in the fall. “This off-season we are trying to strengthen not only physically but mentally, but we are trying to get our max lifts back up. That’s good for morale, when you see the numbers jump up like that.”
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
Here’s our preview of tonight’s FAU-Denver game.
  • Other linkage
The Sun-Sentinel had this preview
Wednesday's Daily Briefing: Royster's final shot worth another look

 

A few weeks ago in this space I wrote a blog after seeing an extraordinary photograph by JC Ridley, one of the top sports photographers around.
The photo was of a Ray Taylor layup with the clock winding down that gave FAU a 61-57 victory vs. Arkansas State
I saw JC before Saturday’s game vs. FIU and joked the photo was great, but would have been better if it was a game-winning shot (Taylor’s basket came with FAU already winning and put the game on ice.)
A few hours later, Ridley got his game-winner and again, it’s such an extraordinary shot, it’s worth mentioning.
This shot of Brett Royster’s layup with :04 remaining that gave the Owls their first lead reminds me of the photographs on the first few pages of Sports Illustrated. While I don’t expect SI to have that much interest in the Owls – at least not yet - I have to thank JC for letting FAUOwlAccess.com pretend we are SI at least for a day with this cool photo.
Don’t forget you can browse and buy other FAU photos – going back from the earliest days of the program – at his site OwlPix.com.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
Brett Royster redeemed himself with his game-winner vs. FIU
  • Other linkage
FAU wanted its offensive lineman to be big, the Sun-Sentinel reports
Tuesday's Daily Briefing: FAU forward Kore White has had his own Whiteout

Zero, four, zero. That's not a new area code I'm representing. That's Kore White's point totals in the past three games. For the math challenged, that's a 1.3 average, which is much closer to a great golf handicap that the stats of even a decent basketball player.

Twenty five games into the season, FAU sits atop the Sun Belt at 10-1 (18-7 overall). As well as the Owls are playing, the recent poor stretch of play by White (right) should do more than worry FAU fans – it should frighten them. It's hard to believe come tournament time the Owls will be able to win three games on consecutive days with White failing to show up.

I suspect the coaches are taking notice, too.

White already had one stretch similar to this earlier this season. He combined for seven points against Hofstra and Siena during the first two games of the Owls' five game road trip.

For the third game of that trip Jordan McCoy replaced White in the starting line-up. Had McCoy not come down with an illness shortly thereafter, his stint in the starting line-up could have lasted.

Could McCoy find himself back in the starting lineup on Thursday at Denver? Sure. He's given the Owls big minutes over the past three games and has certainly out-played White during that stretch.

Should the ballots be checked today, McCoy would easily be the Most Improved Player. That's certainly a positive for the Owls.

This break-through season has FAU followers seriously talking about NCAA Tournament possibilities. Rightfully so. There has never been this kind of energy and optimism in The Burrow. Make no mistake, though, FAU needs White if it is to fulfill the promise of this season.

If sitting White somehow snaps him back into the player who scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Arkansas-Little Rock a couple weeks ago, it could be the most important personnel move of the season. That Kore White could make the Owls unstoppable in Hot Springs.

Until that player returns, the current Kore White's ineffectiveness should have FAU fans starting to worry about another zero: tournament wins.

Owl Links

  • FAUOwlAccess.com

For the second time this season, an FAU player earned Sun Belt Player of the Week honors. Congratulations to Greg Gantt.

  • Other linkage

The Sun-Sentinel also noted Gantt's honor

 


 

 

 

2011 FAU football season tickets are on sale

FAU announced Monday that season tickets for the 2011 football season are now on sale.

With announcements like these, it makes you realize that FAU will indeed be playing on campus this fall.
Here’s the full release from the athletic department.
FAU Football Season Tickets on Sale
On-campus Football Stadium to Host Home Opener in October
           
BOCA RATON, FL (February 7, 2011) –Florida Atlantic University 2011 season ticket packages for football are currently on sale. This season will mark the first year that FAU will play its home games in the new, 30,000 seat stadium at its Boca Raton campus.
To be one of the first to experience the 2011 season in the on-campus stadium, season ticket packages can be purchased with prices beginning as low as $135 if purchased before May 6. After May 6, a season ticket package will begin at $150. The Owls are slated to play five home games in the new stadium, with the season opener taking place on Saturday, October 15.
The Owls began in 2001 with their opening game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, where fans gathered to witness the University’s first FAU football game. In 2003, FAU moved closer to home and played at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium.
The new FAU stadium is the centerpiece of FAU’s Innovation Village, located in the north central area of campus. A $70 million project, it is slated to feature 6,000 premium seats, including 24 suites, 26 loge boxes, 1,000 premier club seats and 4,000 priority club seats, and the latest, state-of-the art amenities.
For more information, contact Scott Erdmann at 561-297-0579 orserdmann@fau.edu, or visit www.faustadium.com.
Monday's Daily Briefing: Thursday's game at Denver has high stakes

With Florida Atlantic still boasting the best record in the Sun Belt Conference, Thursday’s game at Denver is certainly looming large.

But it’s not necessarily for the reason many are thinking.
FAU has the best SBC record at 10-1 and Denver is second at 7-3.
High stakes? Yes and No.
A couple of weeks ago I described how this year’s format for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament didn’t give any advantage to the team with best Sun Belt record. Of course, that hasn’t kept some (the misinformed fans who don’t read FAUOwlAccess.com) from declaring that Thursday’s game at Denver, the West Division leader, could help decide the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Unfortunately there is no competitive difference between winning the West or winning the East, regardless who has the better record. Having the best record only determines which team is listed as the “home” or “visitor” in should both division winners reach the finals in Hot Springs, Ark.
When you hear or read someone say this Thursday’s game is big because it could determine the No. 1 seed, disregard that opinion. In fact, in that respect it’s really not that big of a deal at all.
But back to the reason FAU’s game at Denver is big. The winner of the game will hold the tie-breaker for an invitation to the NIT - a possible consolation prize if the team with the best Sun Belt record fails to win the conference tournament. If the Pioneers were to pull the upset, they would only have to finish with the same - not a better -  Sun Belt record to have the NIT bid as a fallback.
And, should FAU win on Thursday, the Owls will clinch at least a first-round bye for the tournament.
That’s why it’s a big game and can’t get here soon enough.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
It was Super Sunday, but it wasn't so super for the FAU women's basketball team, which lost to FIU
  • Other linkage
Shavar Richardson is stepping up, the Sun-Sentinel says
Sunday's Daily Briefing: Give crowd some credit for FAU victory

Ever since FAU coach Mike Jarvis went after the athletic department for failure to properly market the basketball program, there has been increased scrutiny on the crowds at FAU Arena.

After Saturday’s game, it’s easy to see why Jarvis felt he need to speak up for what he perceived was a lack of marketing of the team.
On Saturday, FAU rallied to pull out a huge 73-72 victory vs. FIU thanks to gritty play from the team, but also from the packed crowd at The Burrow.
How else to explain FIU shooting the lights out all game on 3-pointers, but making one of two attempts in the second half, then missing two free throws and botching the ensuing in-bounds attempt?
Well, one common thread on all three sequences was that FAU Arena was about as loud during that span as I have ever heard it.
There were officially 2,961 in attendance and FAU declared the game a sell-out. There were some pockets of empty seats and some seats were not available where the TV cameras were.
Interestingly enough, last year’s FAU-FIU game drew an official attendance of 2,916 – smaller than this year’s attendance, making last night’s game the largest attendance in the new reconfigured Burrow.
How is that possible? I have no idea, but the biggest question is how many of those in attendance will  come back? I think the team’s big victory and the excitement it created made that choice a little easier.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
Here's our coverage of the game complete with recap, analysis, video highligts and photos all available here.
  • Other linkage
The Sporting News says Owls TE Rob Housler was impressive at Texas vs. The Nation. ...Here are game stories from The Sun-Sentinel , The Palm Beach Post and The Miami Herald
Saturday's Daily Briefing: Where's this bus heading?

Florida Atlantic basketball players are finding themselves in plenty of new situations this season. Some, like the recent eight-game winning streak, are exhilarating. Others are more comical.

At one point on Thursday, the Dallas ice and snow nearly claimed the Owls as a victim. While dropping the players off following their morning shoot around, the bus the Owls were using managed to become stuck on the icy curb outside of the hotel.

At one point, several players and coaches tried to push the bus out of its predicament.

“I've never been in a situation like that before - it was funny,” Greg Gantt said. “You see everybody, even coaches, struggling to move the bus. We actually thought we could move it, but at the end of the day, it's a bus.”

After providing about an hour's worth of comic relief, pool salt managed to give the bus enough traction to drive its way to freedom. A few hours later it delivered the Owls to the Super Pit, where FAU ended North Texas' 17-game home winning streak.

Snow messed with the Owls again on Friday, delaying their travel back to Boca Raton. FAU players and coaches finally made it back to The Burrow after 6 p.m., but that still left FAU with more than 24 hours to prepare for tonight's FIU game.

The color of the day is red. Don't let Mike Burdman catch you in anything different.

As for the on the court action, Jarvis said the Owls would like to follow a simple script.

“We have to control the pace,” he told me on Friday. “Just like (against North Texas), we controlled the pace of the game. If we can control the game and get ahead, then we will be in great shape.”

Even though the game will be televised on CSS, I expect most FAU fans will want to be in The Burrow for this one. Let us know your tailgate plans. We'll see you there.

Football pre-game: This could be a pretty interesting sports day for FAU fans. Start the party early by watching the Texas vs. The Nation game, which will feature FAU QB Jeff Van Camp and tight end Rob Housler. It will air on CBS College Sports, which is channel 744 on Comcast. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.

Owl Links

  • FAUOwlAccess.com

We were at The Burrow for the basketball team's return to Boca, and included some photos in this blog.  And here is the preview of tonight's game against FIU.
 

  • Other linkage

Game Previews: Palm Beach Post / Sun-Sentinel
 

Fans, free shirts welcome Owls back to Boca

Dallas snow and I-95 traffic did their best to stymie the celebration, but a decent-sized group of Owl fans showed up at The Burrow to welcome the Owls back from their victory over North Texas.

Depending on who's counting, the win in Denton marked the 400th victory of Mike Jarvis' career. Judge for yourself whether Jarvis is holding up four fingers - one for each 100 wins - or simply giving dual peace signs as he walked off the bus.

To celebrate, student government printed about 200 shirts commemorating the milestone. They managed to give most of them away, although nearly all of the shirt takers left before the team actually arrived home.

Hard to blame them. Many showed up at 4:30 p.m. – more than an hour and a half before the team arrived back in Boca. Hey, not everything goes as planned.

This turned into a pretty grueling one-game journey for the Owls, who sat in the airport today for about six hours waiting for the snow to stop. The depth of the morning snow had Jarvis wondering whether Saturday's contest against FIU would be played as scheduled.

“If we got home late tonight or tomorrow, we were going to play on Monday,” Jarvis said. “I was not going to play tomorrow, so I was glad we got back.”

Saturday is red-out, which might be a word. Friday's shirts were gray, which, fashionably speaking, were the most appealing I'd seen, yet.

In the photos on the right you'll see AD Craig Angelos and broadcaster Ken LaVicka modeling them.

The players simply seemed pleased to be back in Boca. I'll have more about the craziness of this trip tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday's Daily Briefing: Football players reach out to community as part of Iron Owl Challenge

Florida Atlantic quarterback Graham Wilbert was throwing passes and cornerback Keith Reaser was defending routes far away from the Oxley Practice Fields on Thursday.

It wasn’t an off-season workout. It was much more important than that.
There was a marvelous scene at Boca Raton’s Youth Activity Center, a non-profit agency for underprivileged children, where several FAU football players were helping at-risk kids by spending a few moments talking with them about football, college and what it means to be an adult. And there was plenty of fun to be had as well as the players tossed footballs to the kids, ages 5-12 (Memo to coach Howard Schnellenberger: there appeared to be a few prospects out there.)
This community outreach project was the first of many to come led by FAU football’s new strength and conditioning coach, Brian Remington. In addition to leading the players through early morning workouts in the off-season, Remington has started the Iron Owl Challenge – a series of projects including community service events and other character-building  exercises such as helping with Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity. The football team is split into 12 groups, with each earning points for academics and other off-the-field endeavors.
 “I’ve always felt that our guys should be giving back to the community,” said Remington, who took over the football strength and conditioning duties from last year’s coach, Rod Payne. “Athletes sometimes have a sense of entitlement, but events like this shows there are lots of people in need.”
The best part of the day was that it was hard to tell who had the biggest smiles on their faces. The kids or the FAU football players.
“I love working with kids and whenever I can reach out I always like to do that,” said Owls running back Alfred Morris. “We are excited about this, because we’ve never done anything like this. Just looking at their faces…It was a great time and we really enjoyed it.”
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
The basketball team snapped the 17-game home winning streak by North Texas with a 72-55 victory over the Mean Green Thursday night.
  • Other linkage

The Denton-Record Chronicle provides this report on the game...Here's the Sun-Sentinel's take

Thursday's Daily Briefing: With a scholarship open, FAU may not be finished recruiting for 2011

National Signing Day 2011 has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean FAU is finished recruiting for this year.

After signing 24 players on Wednesday, Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger said there is still a possibility the Owls could add one more to this year’s signing class.
Schnellenberger said the first step to deciding whether to bring in another player was to find out who didn’t sign on Wednesday and who may have been left at the alter by the school they thought would have a scholarship.
“There seems to be a lot more dejection at the signing parties,” Schnellenberger said. “There are more people that didn’t sign where they should have signed and that’s going to continue.”
One reason the Owls might have room to sign one more is that two players, QB Colton Kane and OL Matt  Chaney, could possibly "grey shirt" this fall and enroll full-time in January. No decision has been reached, but  it's interesting because it would give them a spring practice under their belts next year before they officially join the team as true freshmen in the fall 2012.
That would give Kane time to learn the system but not burn a year of eligibility in training camp this fall when he would find difficulty getting reps as the fifth quarterback.
As far as Chaney (pictured) goes, most defensive lineman could use a year in the weight room to give them a better chance at playing time when they take the field.
We’ll be monitoring the situation closely, as you have come to expect.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
It was National Signing Day. We got up early, stayed late, drove to high schools to talk to signees, reported the signings as we confirmed them - you know, the things you have come to expect from FAUOwlAccess.com when it comes to recruiting. Here's our complete coverage. …The basketball team is expected to make to Denton, Texas for tonight’s game at North Texas, so here’s our preview.
  • Other linkage
The Sun-Sentinel’s recruiting coverage can be found here…The Palm Beach Post had this coverage.
 
Give FAU credit for landing all of its commitments
There are very few things you can count on in life.
Death, taxes and some high school phenom switching his commitment at the last minute on National Signing Day are among those certainties.
But not this year, as far as FAU is concerned.
The Owls landed every one of the players who committed to them, keeping the National Signing Day drama to a minimum.
We at FAUOwlAccess.com thank players like Miami-Pace DB Damian Parms (pictured) for that.
With all of FAU’s prospects “All In” as it were, the only things that could have happened on Wednesday were pleasant surprises.
FAU was hoping Miami Central DB Dennis Nalor, who had committed to Central Michigan earlier, but showed some signs of signing with the Owls. Nalor, though, didn’t pull the trigger and sent his NLI off to Mount Pleasant, Mich. Call me a cynic, but if he had to deliver it in person today, Nalor might think twice about spending the next four years of his life there.
But this day is not about the ones that got away, I’m sure FAU fans want to know about the players that are coming to Boca Raton and we’ll have more on them later today and much more later as their careers take flight at FAU.
National Signing Day is finally here

National Signing Day is always a major undertaking and there probably will be a surprise or two before today is through.

But this year at FAU, it’s really just the capper of of a long process to stock its roster full of prospects for the near and for the distant future.
You get the feeling that the Owls’ class really came together that first recruiting weekend when they picked up almost 15 commitments.
FAU isn’t in the running for too many players who will make their decisions today.
But, I have a sneaking suspiscion , FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger wants it that way. He’s not a big fan of the prima donna who needs to play the game where he has the three hats in front of him making even his own mother guess which cap he will put on.
If things go well today, I think FAU coaches will be pleased with the class, regardless of what the recruiting experts think.
Special note to FAUOwlAccess.com readers: As you have come to expect, FAUOwlAccess.com will be the top source for recruiting information today.
We will have coverage of signing ceremonies at the high schools of players expected to sign with the Owls.
As soon as we confirm a player has signed, we will update it on Twitter (@FAUOwlAccess) and then update it on our FAU Signee Central. At FAU Signee Central  you can get profiles on every recruit including links to stories we have written about each player as FAUOwlAccess.com is the only source to have interviewed each player during the recruiting process.
We’llcontinue our full coverage after Schnellenberger takes questions on the class later in the day.
Buckle up, it should be fun.
Owl Links
  • FAUOwlAccess.com
Late Tuesday night we were the first to tell you about the Owls’ latest commitment…We also had a story on WR Derek Moise
  • Other linkage
The Sun-Sentinel reports on the traffic problems expected for FAU’s football stadium and basketball's schedule
   

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Go watch college football in Boca. It's that simple. Support your local team and go have a good time!

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