Representatives from the CBI and CIT postseason tournaments have already contacted FAU to gauge the Owls’ interest in their tournaments.
“They reach out and ask if you’d be interested in continuing play,” FAU coach Dusty May said. “It’s preliminary discussions but all signs point toward us having some options.”
Doors opened for FAU (17-12) once the Owls ensured they’d post their first winning season since joining Conference USA.
Has never played in either the CBI and CIT tournaments. Both have only existed for a few years.
FAU reached the NCAA tournament once, in 2002, and played in the 2011 NIT.
“We want to play as long as we can and keep this team together and continue developing and gaining more experience, especially postseason experience,” May said. “It would be great for our guys.”
Both tournaments play their games in the campus arena of the higher-seeded teams. It is unlikely that FAU would host a game.
Tournaments try to match teams against others in their region of the country. The travel costs associated with a match-up requiring travel to a distant location could prompt FAU to decline an invitation.
“We want to play as long as we can,” May said, “Obviously right now no door has been closed, other than probably the NIT.”
FAU’s chances of playing in an end-of-year tournament received a boost from one of the commentators who called an FAU game earlier this season.
“Guys that do the games, one of them reached out and said they spoke with someone at one of the tournaments and thought we’d be a good fit,” May said.
May declined to identify the media member.
In his first year as head coach, May turned a team that struggled to qualify for the Conference USA tournament in recent years into one that owns four victories over 20-win teams.
Arriving in Boca Raton a little less than a year ago, May initially didn’t think possible this kind of a turnaround.
“If you asked me 11 months ago if I thought we would be in the postseason (this) year, absolutely not,” May said. “But as the team started coming together and as we evaluated our roster we thought we had a chance to be pretty good.”
In its most recent outing, FAU defeated North Texas, last year’s CBI champion.
FAU still has two regular season games and the C-USA tournament before any postseason plans can be finalized. Winning the C-USA tournament carries an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Owls tip-off against Louisiana Tech tonight at 7 p.m. FAU defeated La. Tech, May’s former employer and forward Xavian Stapleton’s original school, 69-61 on January 31. The duo shared a celebratory hug following that game, the 6-foot-8 Stapleton picking up the much shorter May and twirling him around.
“We’re looking more at a chance to get a quality win than beating a team where a couple of us used to work,” May said.