Men’s Basketball: Owls hope to take flight for the 2022-23 season

FAU had an overall record of 19-14 last season, including an 11-7 performance in conference play.


Eston Parker III

Alijah Martin (15) walks to the free throw line as his teammates celebrate against Miami on November 16, 2021. Martin made three of his four free throws against the Hurricanes.

Anthony Brown, Contributing Writer

FAU men’s basketball will tip off their 2022-23 season tonight at 7 p.m. against the Lynn University Fighting Knights in the Burrow at Abessinio Court in Boca Raton, Fla.  

 “We challenged our returners to be significantly better players as individuals when we tip off on Nov. 7,” said head coach Dusty May. “We feel very good about the individual improvement of each of the individuals of our returners.”

As the Owls prepare to begin their fifth season under May, they hope to bounce back from the disappointing end of last season. 

The Owls ended last season with an overall record of 19-14, finishing 11-7 in Conference USA. This is the program’s best conference record as a member of C-USA.

Rising confidently to the occasion, the Owls won 10 straight home games and tallied 2,442 points last season, breaking two more school records.

During the past four seasons, the program has finished with a winning percentage above .500 under May. As FAU’s ninth head coach, he is the only one to have led his team to four consecutive winning seasons and currently is the program’s winningest coach with a career record of 66-56 at FAU. 

Bryan Greenlee (left), Giancarlo Rosado (center) and Dusty May (right) discuss a gameplay against FIU on March 3, 2022. (Eston Parker III)

Senior guard Michael Forrest was the only player to start and play in all 34 games of the season last year. He made the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Second Team All-District, making him the first Owl to earn the honorable mention in nine years.

Forrest averaged double-digits in scoring, 13.2 points per game, for the third consecutive season, which was the second most on the team. In C-USA, he finished seventh in three-point shooting (.353), three-pointers made per game (2.50), 15th in assists per game (3.0), and 20th in scoring.

“I want to finish my year with a ring. I want that ring on my finger,” Forrest said regarding how he wants to finish his college career. 

With Forrest becoming the Owls’ veteran leader, he is relishing his role as the team’s lone senior as he hopes to leave a lasting impact on the young and newer players.

“Being more vocal and leading by speaking up, just leading,” said Forrest.

May complemented the talent of junior guard Jalen Gaffney, who transferred from the University of Connecticut over the offseason. Over 87 games, he averaged 4.5 points and 16.3 minutes a game for the Huskies between 2019 and 2022. 

“He has good size, excellent decision-making, and great shooting ability,” said May. 

Along with Gaffney, the Owls will be adding the talents of junior forward Isaiah Gaines, who committed to FAU in November 2021. 

Gaines, who has three years of eligibility remaining, played at Northwest Mississippi Community College where he averaged 13.6 points per game in 2021. Due to the fact that he planned to be in the rotation, he looks to make a major impact for the team. 

“He’s done a great job in the weight room; he’s changed his body,” said May. “We’re able to switch from 1-5 with him on the floor because he’s able to move his feet so well. We want to evolve into a more switchy team than last year.” 

Coming into the season, the newer players will play an important role along with the returning players from last season.

“We want to continue to build each year and if you have an entirely new team, you have to re-teach terminology, re-teach the offensive principals, and the defensive principal just a lot slower progressions with newcomers and returners get the new guys up to speed,” said May. “We’re trying to play a little bit faster with our depth but all those new guys have done a good job of acclimating themselves in the program.”

Anthony Brown is a contributing writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email @[email protected] or DM him @popular_vlone