BOCA RATON – Though NCAA teams rarely will get the early season wear-and-tear that those in the NBA and MLB will, the schedule that comes for a college basketball team can often have some curious facts and dates.
For FAU, the early season schedule is both curious and, to an extent, frustrating.
Following two games within a three-day stretch last week where the Owls defeated both Edward Waters and the University of South Florida, FAU faced an interesting dilemma as they packed up after Tuesday’s win: what to do with next seven days off before a game.
“I was actually going to practice Friday and give them off Saturday because we were going to go recruit, but I want to stay here and continue to get our work done so we can prepare for UT-Martin,” coach Michael Curry said on Tuesday night.
Today’s game against UT-Martin will be the first road game in what will be a four-game stretch with three road games. After a Sunday home game against Hofstra, the Owls travel to Ohio State next week and play at Miami 10 days later.
Since playing three games within a five day span during their Hawaii trip, FAU has played only twice in the past 13 days.
After the Miami game, the schedule begins to get a bit more condensed. Counting the trip to Coral Gables, the Owls will play five times in17 days – and four times in 10 days from December 28 to January 7.
While all of those games are in Florida – the last four all being home games for FAU – that’s a long ways away from two games in 13 days.
The Owls’ 2017 schedule may have some quirks to it as well.
“Next year, we’re actually going to play in the Gulf Coast Showcase which will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday so that we have Thanksgiving here,” Curry said.
Curry also pointed out that the way this season is scheduled may actually benefit players in ways other than rest and game prep.
“This is a critical time academically,” Curry said. “We got our last week of class, our reading days prior to exams, so it’s important for us to get our Hawaii trip out of the way early because now is when a lot of papers, projects, and preparations for final exams are.”
Exam week begins December 8.
- After the win over USF, Curry made it clear that he’s not worried about the team getting greedy when it comes to taking three-point shots as long as they continue to do everything else right on offense. “They’re shooting the ball well but we keep telling them you can’t live off strong side shots and as a team, you can’t shoot a great percentage if you don’t finish some of our layups at the rim,” Curry said.
- Keep an eye on shot selection this week, especially from mid-range. With only one of the four players averaging in double digits having a shooting percentage over 40%, it will be interesting to see if the Owls try to go more for high-quality shots this week rather than some of the flashier plays they’ve opted for seen so far.
- C-USA named forward Jailyn Ingram its Freshman of the Week on Monday. Ingram tied a career high with 16 points against USF in the Owls’ lone game last week. He’s averaging 10.7 points since entering the starting lineup three games ago against Hawaii.
Conference Counterparts: Middle Tennessee is off to the best start in C-USA with a 6-1 overall record, while Marshall and Rice both sit with a 4-1 record.
Game of the Week: In what will be their final game in The Burrow before the end of the fall semester, FAU hosts Hofstra on Sunday as a non-Florida team travels to Boca for the first time this year.