While this basketball season has probably felt like it couldn't get
any worse for Owl fans, recently I've been thinking about a season
that was, in fact, worse.
In 1999-2000 I was on the first full year of covering the FAU beat
for the Boca Raton News after covering the last few months of the
If FAU faithful thought winning just six games was tough, how about
watching a team win one game in the regular season - against a
Division II team no less. That's right the Owls were 1-27 in the
regular season under first-year coach Sidney Green, who ran off the
players he didn't want to coach left over from the previous Kevin
Billerman regime. With just one returning starter around plenty of
newcomers who Green signed very late in the recruiting period the
results were predictable.
That's probably the biggest difference between Green's first team and
the first team under new coach Mike Jarvis - most believed with Carlos
Monroe and Paul Graham on the roster, perhaps the top duo of any Owls
team in the past, FAU would at least be competitive in the Sun Belt.
Instead this year's team indeed looked more like the team in the
first year of the Green era than the teams in the first year of Matt
Doherty or Rex Walters.
However, with the conference tournament on our doorstep, here's what
I probably remember most about the 1999-2000 season.
With the team 1-27 it was the last-seed in the TAAC tournament, held
in Jacksonvillle that season. No one really gave the Owls, who also
failed to win a road game that season, a chance.
Covering the game for the Boca Raton News, I packed one change of
clothes expecting to be heading home after the Owls gracefully made
their exit in the first round.
However, FAU, playing in the first Division I conference game in
school history, had other plans and won for just the second time that
season by defeating Stetson.
Not only had the Owls extended their stay, but I didn't have another
set of clothes – including underwear – for the drive home after FAU
lost the next game. I may have had to wear dirty clothes for a day,
but it was worth it to see a team that had struggled the whole year
celebrate a surprising victory.
I guess the point is, anything can happen in these tournament games.
I predict the basketball season will mercifully be over tonight with
a loss to the Mean Green. The sooner the countdown to next season
begins, the better.
But stranger things have happened like at the end of the 2000 season.