Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Commentary: FAU men’s basketball season takes another odd twist

The Owls are now on a two game losing streak after winning three games in a row. Photo by Melissa Landolfa.

The intensity in the inner-state contest was present from the outset of the game.

After a hard  hit on a shot attempt by FIU’s Dejuan Wright early in the first half, FAU guard Shavar Richardson had some words for the Golden Panthers best player. Shoving between the two ensued and the scuffle had to be broken up by teammates and coaches.

It would turn out to be the most fight FAU showed all night. After taking a one-point lead into halftime, FAU, in the second half of the game lacked something it has been without all season – consistency.

The Burrow was buried in red, but the Panthers exacted revenge on FAU,  which beat them on the road earlier in the season, as FAU fell to FIU 76-56.

Afterwards FAU’s coach lamented the laisse-fair approach to the game.

“Very disappointed,” Jarvis said. “I thought we would have played a lot better, a lot more emotion. Wish I had the answers. Maybe they’ll be revealed to me tonight during my sleep.”

Sadly, it was the Owls who were sleep walking through the game. The difference was consistency.

FIU had it. FAU did not.

“They played the same for the whole game and we didn’t,” Jarvis said. “We had too many opportunities and every time it’s a two point game or it’s a four point game… we throw the ball away or kick it away. We can’t do that.”

Despite the 20-point beat  down, FIU coach Isiah Thomas resisted the temptation to call this a rivalry after he beat FAU for the first time.

“We’re rivals,” Thomas said. “But he [Jarvis] wins the majority of the times, so I don’t know how much of a rivalry it is.”

While saying that Jordan McCoy was not the focal point of his discussions to his team after he had a career-high 18 points in the last outing, he admitted that it was key.

FAU forward Jordan McCoy was held to four points after scoring a career-high 18 points in a road victory over FIU on Jan.21. Photo by Melissa Landolfa.

“Clearly he was a topic of conversation,” Thomas said. “However, at least  I start with Ray and Gantt. Those are the two guys I talk about the most. McCoy’s had his career high’s against us. Our guys did a good job the second half of rebounding the basketball.”

Lackluster shooting from beyond the arc doomed the Owls. FAU made just six of its 27 3point attempts. FIU clearly was more active and engaged in the game, which are the main reasons for the FAU’s ugly loss.

The Owls were neutralized by a 2-3 zone. Instead of penetrating to break through it, FAU played right into the hands of the defense, aimlessly swinging the ball around and firing bricks. FIU methodically dictated the tempo and FAU could not find its rhythm.

“They play a slower type of game,” Jarvis said. “When you play them, there’s not usually going to be as many possessions as there as when you play against most teams.”

As FIU was using a 13-2 run midway through the second half, shot after shot would clank off the basket for FAU, with the combination of Shavar Richardson and Greg Gantt misfiring on 14 3pointers by themselves. FIU, scored double the amount of points in the paint as FAU(40-20).

Jarvis was infuriated with the lack of calls his team received in the game.

“I’ve never seen so many continuation calls in a college game,” Jarvis said. “I’m going to watch the film and I hope I see what they saw…I taught phys. ed for 17 years. I refed for 17 years and referees have everything to do with a game.”

Style of play is also a crucial factor too though. The more aggressive team usually gets the benefit of the doubt. Tonight, FIU was the aggressor and it paid dividends. The Owls are sorely missing Brett Royster. His presence would have made the difference in a slug fest of a game such as this. Instead, the Owls are left to depend on the inconsistent Kore White, who had just 8 points and 5 rebounds.

Just when it appears the team is on the verge on turning the season around, nights like this occur. The house was packed and rocking, ready for what seemed like the inevitable- another victory over FIU, which it had defeated five times in a row. Now, though, the team takes a two-game losing streak into its next game, which is five days away.

Jarvis rightfully understands the significance of using the break, heading into the Denver game as an opportunity to mentally refresh his stagnant squad.

“Everybody in our program, is going to have to really dig down,” Jarvis said. “ And look inside and just decide. Is this the way it’s going to be? We’ve got to step up and bring it. We didn’t bring it.”

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