Don’t expect the Owls to pick up the scoring pace any time soon.
“We play a lot of possession basketball, it’s the make-up of our time,” FAU coach Michael Curry said.
At 4-5, the Owls are in a four-way tie for seventh in C-USA play. The 61.9 points the Owls average against C-USA opponents is dead last in conference play.
Nationally, FAU’s 69.3 points per game is tied for No. 282.
The low point totals are partly by design. FAU looks to get the ball to center Ronald Delph in the post on most every possession, which takes time.
But even when the Owls get the looks they want, they aren’t a particularly good shooting team. For the season, FAU is only shooting 41.2 percent. In conference games, that percentage dips to 38.1 – worst in Conference USA.
The Owls’ strong defensive play also limits their own scoring. FAU holds C-USA opponents to an average of 65.2 points – second best in the conference – forcing teams to work for their points, thereby eating clock and limiting offensive possession for both teams.
“We make it difficult for teams to score,” Curry said.
The magic number for FAU appears to be 70 points. FAU has yet to lose a C-USA game in which it scored at least that many points. The Owls have only won once all season when scoring fewer than 70 points, that victory coming on Saturday at Rice.
- Conference USA named FAU center, Ronald Delph its Player Of The Week, making him the first Owl in four years to claim the honor. In last week’s games, Delph scored 41 points and had 15 rebounds. Delph leads the Owls in scoring, rebounds and minutes. “When he’s over 30 [minutes] and our turnovers are low, and we rebound equal or better, we like our chances of winning,” Curry said.
- The Owls perfectly executed a designed play to defeat Rice on Saturday. After Payton Hulsey took the inbound pass he could have looked to either Gerarius Troutman on the left wing or Justin Massey on the right. Payton dribbled to near mid-court before passing to Massey, who caught and shot all in one motioning, launching the game-winning three-pointer before time expired. “If you can throw it diagonal, normally you can find an open guy diagonal,” Curry said.
- Curry believes his Owls continue to gain confidence and that they are becoming more comfortable late in tight games. “If you lose your confidence after a couple of losses, this isn’t the game for you,” Curry said.
Around The Conference: FAU took the spotlight this past week in Conference USA, with Massey’s game-winning shot landing in ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 plays of the day. Middle Tennessee defeated UTSA and UTEP over the weekend and remains atop the C-USA standings with an 8-1 record.
Working Women: Scoring hasn’t been a problem for FAU’s women’s basketball team. The Lady Owls scored a season-high 99 points in a victory at UTSA. FAU had three 20 point scorers in the win, with Ra’Kyra Gabriel leading the team with 27 points. Gabriel followed that game with 24 points in a 90-57 loss at UAB.
Game Of The Week: Curry and the Owls face Louisiana Tech Thursday at The Burrow. LA Tech has been one of the best teams in the conference the past few years, but are struggling this year and enter Thursday’s game tied with FAU in conference play. With this being the lone match-up of the two teams this season, the winner would have an edge if the two teams have the same record at the end of the season. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.