Men’s Basketball: Team looks to improve upon last year’s performance

The Owls will have nine new players for this season.

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Senior guard Gerdarius Troutman shoots a 3-point shoot in the second half of his team’s 80-78 loss against UAB on Jan 19. Troutman shot 6-of-11 from behind the arc on the night.

Matt Brown, Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic men’s basketball comes into this season trying to best its 10-20 record from just a season ago, head coach Michael Curry’s best season so far with the team. Despite the improvement, the Owls finished 11th in the Conference USA standings and fell to Marshall 89-74 in the first round of the Conference tournament.

The team that lost to Marshall last year is not the same team that will be stepping on the court this season though, as they only return five players from last year’s squad. They have added nine new players, seven of which are junior college transfers.

That total includes junior guard Anthony Adger who transferred to FAU because he said “the coaching staff always talked about leadership, and becoming a better basketball player everyday which is just something that I love to do.”

Adger said not to expect a learning period with all the new players coming in.

“I feel like we just brought in a bunch of good new guys,” he said. “They bring in all of the toughness and intensity and everything that we need to do.”

In order to be successful though, Curry believes they need to play better at home. Last year’s team had the same number of wins at home (5) as it did on the road.

“I expect us to be good at home,” Curry said. “We’ve been good enough as we need to be on the road. Everybody that was 4-5 on the road in Conference USA last year got a bye in the first round of the conference tournament because they were either 8-1 or 7-2 at home.”

Curry said to be on the lookout for senior guard Gerdarius Troutman and sophomore forward Jailyn Ingram. Last year, the pair averaged 9.9 and 8.2 points per game respectively.

“They have had a great summer and fall with leadership, watching film, working hard, and getting extra shots in,”  Curry said.

He also said redshirt senior center Ronald Delph should have have a great season because the team has improved as a whole around him. Delph had 8.4 points per game and 37 blocks last year.

Despite the seemingly overnight success of the FAU football program, the team does not feel any added pressure to succeed.

“We want FAU to succeed as a whole.” said Troutman. “When we see football succeeding it gets us amped up for our season.”

Curry wants people to know that success is not always overnight. In each season with Curry at the helm, the team has won nine, eight and 10 games respectively.

“Sometimes it’s not a miracle pill that is taken,” he said. “Sometimes guys overtime continue to get better if they got the right kind of work in them. If you get that and combine it with some of the right pieces, things will work a lot better.”

He said current FAU redshirt junior starting quarterback Jason Driskel is a prime example of player growth. Last year, Driskel was the starter for a 3-9 team and had struggled to run the offense consistently well.

A season later, he has the team currently in first place in Conference USA with a record of 5-3.

“It takes college kids some time,” said Curry. “A lot of these kids are not the top 100 kids in the country. It takes a while.”

The team will play its first preseason game at Lynn University on Saturday Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m.The regular season will begin on Friday Nov. 10 at the University of South Florida.

Matt Brown is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected]