BTH Gameday: UALR needs to utilize size advantage vs. FAU

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Quick, undersized team exploits UALR’s size advantage against the Trojans. Think both games against Troy. And that’s the recipe Florida Atlantic brings tonight as they take on UALR (12-9, 6-4) at 7 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.

UALR is expected to start a front line tonight that is 6-5, 6-10 and 6-10. And the Trojans will bring 6-8 and 6-10 off the bench. Florida Atlantic counters with 6-4, 6-6 and 6-6.

While the marquee matchup tonight features the Sun Belt’s leading scorer, FAU’s Greg Gantt, vs. one of the conference’s best defenders, UALR’s Leroy Isler, the real matchup to watch is whether or not UALR’s bigs can utilize their size on the offensive end while neutralizing FAU’s quickness when the Trojans are on defense.

Troy’s undersized lineup won both of those matchups in both meetings with UALR and it cost UALR a victory on the road. It will be key tonight.


After a disastrous season last year, several FAU players decided to transfer (including a couple to rival Florida International). But Gregg Gant stuck around and he’s paying off big for the owls. Gantt averages 22.5 points and 5.0 rebounds.


But don’t just focus on Gantt tonight. FAU point guard Stefan Moody was a Parade All-American out of high school in Kissimmee, Fla. He’s the Owls’ second leading scorer.


Get to 60: While we don’t anticipate another 40-38 game like last year, expect this to be a defensive battle tonight. FAU is 5-0 when it holds opponents to fewer than 60 points. UALR is 8-0 when its opponents score fewer than 60.
Windex: In what figures to be a defensive struggle, rebounding is going to be key. UALR can’t allow the smaller FAU lineup to grab offensive rebounds and pile up second-chance points.
Will to win: UALR’s Will Neighbour doesn’t have to score to be effective. But Neighbour figures to get a favorable matchup tonight and needs to take advantage.


UALR is a 5.5-point favorite at home tonight.


OK. Everyone's in. Everyone takes UALR. Everyone anticipates a pretty close game:
OmniRankings (10-2): UALR 67, FAU 59
Real Time RPI (16-4): UALR 74, FAU 64
Jeff Sagarin (15-5): UALR 73, FAU 68
The Sports Network (14-5): UALR 67, FAU 61
CBS Sportsline (12-8): UALR 73, FAU 68
BTH Average (13-6): UALR 70.8, FAU 64.0