Conference USA’s Florida teams head up from the beaches of the Sunshine State to visit the Charlotte 49ers this week. First up is Florida Atlantic (or FAU), coached by Mike Jarvis, before FIU invades Halton Arena for a Saturday night tilt. Three things you need to know before the matchup tonight (7pm), one that the Niners must win to shake off their recent slide:
–As mentioned, Mike Jarvis coaches the Owls. Jarvis was the former coach up at St. John’s from 1998-2003, where he led the Red Storm to three NCAA tournaments before being fired six games into the 2003-04 season. The success he had up in Queens hasn’t really transferred to Boca Raton yet: he is 74-103 thus far with an NIT appearance.
–Pablo Bertone is the player to watch for the Owls. The senior is averaging 18.1 points in all contests (2nd in the league) and 15.0 points in five conference games (7th). Justin Raffington (9.2) is the conference’s third-leading rebounder. Keep an eye on Kelvin Penn, averaging 2.10 blocks a contest (3rd).
–The Owls’ roster has a little international flavor to it: redshirt senior center Dragan Sekelja is from Croatia; sophomore forward Javier Lacunza hails from Spain; Bertone is from Argentina; and Raffington is from Germany.
Bonus points: The forecast high for Boca Raton today is 73 degrees.