Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #7 Florida Atlantic Owls – TechVerdant

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The Florida Atlantic Owls made a magical run to the Final Four in March. This was a program that, before last year, only had a few good seasons since it moved to Division 1 in 1993. The basketball program itself had only been around five years before that. They may have been the ninth seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, but they were 35-3, possessing the most wins in college basketball. The Owls were no Cinderella. Oh, and pretty much everyone from that team is back.

FAU has now made the move to the AAC. With the move to the American, there will be a bit more competition, but that should be no problem for this team. The Owls will be tested early due to a tough non-conference schedule, but they have proven they can handle it.

Previous teams in my rankings can be seen here.

Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #7 Florida Atlantic Owls

Head coach Dusty May got multiple job offers from power conference teams but turned them all down. In this era of the transfer portal, players who had the kind of success this team had last year would usually transfer to bigger schools. But not these players. Except for Michael Forrest, who ran out of eligibility, everyone from that team is back. It is a testament to May’s coaching that none of these players entered the transfer portal or entered the NBA Draft.

Let’s start with the guards. First is the high-scoring duo of Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin. They form one of the better guard duos in college basketball. Both scored over 13 points per game, and with that, they were in the top 11 in scoring in Conference-USA. What’s crazy is that despite that, they didn’t start every game. Martin started in just 21 of their games, and Davis only started 16. But they did play more minutes than anyone.

The two points guards, Bryan Greenlee and Nick Boyd, are back to run things. While they aren’t the high-volume scorers that Davis and Martin are, they are excellent facilitators. Brandon Weatherspoon and Jalen Gaffney both started 23 games each last season. They will both come off the bench this year, but both are big contributors to this team despite being so guard-heavy.

Vladislav Goldin is a seven-foot-one Russian center who was one of the best players at his position in the C-USA last season. Despite only playing a little more than he did the year before, he improved mightily, averaging new career highs across the board. His rebounding and block averages were both sixth in the conference. Giancarlo Rosado is an excellent role player at power forward. He also provides great depth, considering that this team’s only real weakness is its lack of size.

Projected Lineup

C – Vladislav Goldin (10.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 0.2 APG, 0.2 SPG, 1.2 BPG)

SG – Johnell Davis (13.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.1 BPG)

SG – Alijah Martin (13.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG)

PG – Nick Boyd (8.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.0 BPG)

PG – Bryan Greenlee (7.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG)

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