Curry said while there will be no changes coming to the starting lineup, he plans on expanding reserve guard Devorious Brown’s role in hopes of expediting the Owls’ offensive tempo.
Brown logged 20 minutes over the Owls’ last five games – including two DNP’s – and attempted only one field goal.
Brown’s coach is now entrusting the seldom-played guard with shifting the momentum of Conference-USA’s worst scoring offense..
“We think added minutes for Devorious Brown is gonna be important for us because he plays with a speed that gets us out in transition,” Curry said. “Finding minutes for him is something we’ve been looking at and hopefully he can help with the speed in which we play.”
Prior to the season Curry hoped the Owls would play feature an uptempo offensive, but the Owls quickly changed course to a more deliberate pace.
Brown is shooting 36 percent from the field and missed all five of his three point attempts over his 18 appearances for the Owls this season.
Curry acknowledged that the Owls’ slow pace needs to be fixed, but maintained that having a low-post scoring threat in Ronald Delph forces him to slow the game down.
“I think that playing Devorious more minutes on the perimeter can help [us] play with a little more pace in transition and hopefully we can get a few more easy ones and not just play so much in the half court.” Curry said. “But it’s kind of difficult when you have one of the top two or three bigs in the league, and you kind of need to play some half court.”
Curry said his team’s hard-nosed defensive mentality and relentless rebounding effort translates to postseason success, but admitted the Owls must be more productive offensively to advance in the tournament.
“Rebounding defense is the only way you could ever win the tournament,” Curry said. “It hasn’t been the leading scoring team to win the conference tournament “ Curry said.
Coming into a three-game homestretch, Curry played down his team’s recent home misfortunes; attributing the Owls’ 1-5 home record in conference play to the strength of opponents and missed offensive opportunities.
“We’ve been able to come up with critical stops throughout but we haven’t made enough critical shots – and when we have we’ve won.” Curry said.
Curry said his team will bring the same winning mentality they play with on the road back to The Burrow for Saturday’s game against FIU. The Owls lost to the Panthers in the closing seconds earlier this season.
“For our season it’s important that we take care of these [home] games and that we bottle up the performances we’ve had on the road because we’ve been really good on the road all season.” Curry said.
- FAU didn’t play a Thursday game this week, giving the Owls a week to prepare for FIU. The Owls extended time between games should help prepare the team mentally and physically for the road ahead. The Owls were able to spend double the amount of time watch filming film this week and added an extra weightlifting session. “Winning that game Saturday gives us three out of the last four match-ups against [FIU] so it’s important to continue to move up in that rivalry match-up,” Curry said.
- Senior center Ronald Delph has been on a tear all season, most recently notching his seventh double-double of the season in a loss at Marshall. “Watching his growth from the time he stepped on this campus to now as a coaching staff we’re excited, and more so for Ronald and the seniors especially we would love for them to finish on a strong note – hopefully we could put them in a position to do that,” Curry said.
- Along with the insertion of Brown in to the playing rotation, the Owls will look for more production out of Anthony Adger, Jailyn Ingram, and Simeon Lepichev. “We think Anthony Adger could score more for us… we think Jailyn Ingram and Sim could both score for us as well.” Curry said. The trio has shot 14-44 over the last three games.
- FAU has struggled with turnovers all season; ranking second to last in both assists and assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play, but Curry placed the blame on missed shots rather than the team’s ball movement. “Our turnovers, I think a big part is we’re not scoring – all those things are tied together: low three-point percentage, low field goal percentage, low scoring, and assist-to-turnover ratio” Curry said.
Around C-USA: Middle Tennessee is riding an eight-game winning streak to first place in C-USA at 13-1, Old Dominion and Western Kentucky are tied second at 11-2 in conference play. ODU’s only two losses in its last 16 games came against MTSU and WKU. FAU sits at 11th in the conference at 4-9.
Working Women: The Lady Owls are on a five-game losing streak, with three of those losses coming by double digits. Sasha Cedeño passed Breanna Turner in career points Wednesday, becoming the eight leading scorer in school history. Coach Jim Jabir’s team returns to action at FIU on Saturday.
Game of the Week: Easy choice this week as there is only one game. FAU takes on rival FIU at home in a Saturday afternoon match-up, Tip off set for 2:00 p.m.