Men’s Basketball: Owls debut in AP Poll for the first time in program history at #24

Their arrival in the Top 25 comes amidst the Owls’ program-record 15-game winning streak.


Jaden Wiston

Johnell Davis, Michael Forrest (11), Nicholas Boyd (2), and Giancarlo Rosado (3) against Charlotte on Jan. 7, 2022.

Zachary Watts, Staff Writer

For the first time in program history, FAU’s men’s basketball (15-1, 5-0 C-USA) has been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll (AP Poll), earning the #24 spot in the latest ranking released on Monday afternoon.

In their 30th season, the Owls find themselves sitting atop the Conference-USA standings, and on a program-record 15-game winning streak, which is the second-longest active winning streak in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Led by head coach Dusty May, who became the winningest head coach in school history with their victory over Northern Kentucky on Dec. 21, 2022, the Owls have put together some dominant basketball through the first 15 games of the season.

Their only loss came during the second game of the season to the University of Mississippi. Since then the Owls have yet to lose a game, picking up some marquee wins along the way, such as an upset victory over Florida, as well as victories over conference rivals UAB and North Texas.

“I am extremely excited for us to receive the recognition of being in the AP Top 25. Our student-athletes work incredibly hard and deserve all the rewards that come with their hard work,” said FAU Student Body President Pierce Kennamer. “For anyone who hasn’t come to a basketball game yet at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena, I highly encourage you to come be a part of this ride together! It truly is such an exciting time to be an Owl.”

Consistent team play has kept the FAU squad rolling through the tough schedule to open the season. Currently sitting at 13th in the nation in NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings, the Owls feature some statistics that sit amongst the nation’s best.

The Owls currently rank first in the NCAA in bench points per game (37.41), 13th in average score margin (+14), sixth in opponent assists per game (8.8), and 17th in three-pointers made per game (9.8).

Their ability to spread the ball around has been pivotal to their early success, as the Owls have four players who are averaging 10+ points per game. Offensively, they are led by sophomore guard Alijah Martin who posts a team-best 13.2 points per game. Despite only starting four games for the Owls, Martin continues to be the best offensive option.  

Defensively, the Owls have stepped up as well with help of sophomore center Vladislav Goldin who’s tallying a team-best 5.9 rebounds per game. They aren’t only good on the boards though, five players have reached double-digit steals, led by junior guard Brian Greenlee with 16.

Despite the hot start for the FAU program and the historical precedent set for the Owls already, the team knows there is still a lot more to be accomplished. With just a little more than half the games remaining on the schedule, the Owls look to build on their already impressive resume. 

The Owls first appearance as a ranked team will be on the road against the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers (11-6, 3-3 C-USA) on Monday night at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. 

Zachary Watts is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories email [email protected] or tweet him at @ZachWatts1_