Men’s Basketball: Head coach Dusty May reflects on the season, expresses optimism for the future of FAU basketball

Dusty May sees the growth of the players in the program and their competitiveness against the best programs in a tradition-rich league as “a rewarding process.”


Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

Richard Pereira, Sports Editor

FAU men’s basketball head coach Dusty May gave his outlook on the 2020-21 season, gave credit to the players, and showed his optimism for the potential the team has moving forward in a media conference call on Wednesday afternoon.

The team went 13-10 overall while going 7-5 in conference play, as they reached the quarterfinals of the C-USA tournament for the second consecutive year and were a few minutes away from the semifinals. Their season ended after a 75-69 loss to Louisiana Tech.

“It’s disappointing that we were that close and we didn’t get over the hump, so we’re definitely eager to take the next step,” May said.

May sees the growth of the players in the program and their competitiveness against the best programs in a tradition-rich league as “a rewarding process.”

“The work ethic and togetherness of our players, especially late in the season, they’ve had the mindset that they weren’t concerned with their individual stats or accolades; they just wanted to find a way to win and survive and advance and not go back and be regular students,” May said. “It also gives us positive momentum going into the offseason and more energy that we are making progress and we’re getting closer.”

May listed forwards Karlis Silins and Jailyn Ingram, and guards Michael Forrest and Kenan Blackshear as the players who stood out throughout the season.

“He’ll be one of the better returning players in Conference USA next year and if he can make a similar jump, then he could be one of the best,” May said in regards to Forrest. “He’s improving once again defensively and his playmaking and decision-making. He just keeps getting better and he’s the ultimate worker and he’s everything that we embody as a program.”

Freshman players such as forward Giancarlo Rosado and guards Nicholas Boyd, Alijah Martin, and Johnell Davis also got complimented by May for staying the course and continuing to grow as players.

“Even when they weren’t playing, they were focused on getting better and preparing for the future,” May said. “We need more out of everyone on our roster and then obviously, we love the continuity.”

May saw the turnovers and free-throw shooting as the main weaknesses for the team throughout the season. Despite this, he knows the team has done well in being the best three-point shooting team, the best offensive rebounding team, and one of the top overall shooting teams in C-USA.

“We’re trying to assess what we did really well and what we’re going to keep, and also take a look at what we struggled with,” May said. “The things that we stressed going into the season, we did well. We really appreciate our administration, with the shooting core upstairs, allowed our guys to get shots up basically 24/7, and that paid immediate dividends.”

With both men’s and women’s basketball making the C-USA quarterfinals in the same year for the first time, May believes it to be a result of basketball being on the rise at FAU.

“Coach [Jim] Jabir’s team was fun to watch. They had some ladies that really brought it, competed, and worked,” May said. “You come in at night there and they’re shooting in the mornings, they’re shooting like our guys are so it’s been fun to watch and we have a great relationship with their staff.”

May said that the program is on the verge of breaking through, especially after what they’ve been through in the season. With forward Tre Carroll committing to the team next season, the ability to sign high-level players has never been better.

“Whoever we sign this spring will be great additions to what we’re trying to do and you’re adding them to a group that has great potential,” May said. “When you look at the freshman class, for those guys that play and contribute in meaningful games as freshmen in our league, it’s not only rare but it shows their talent level and their potential.”

Richard Pereira is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.