Florida Atlantic 66, Manhattan 73
The lethargic "pass...dribble...dribble...pass...dribble...dribble" motion set vanished and Barry Rohrssen finally let his Manhattan College Jaspers play a fluid up-tempo offense fueled by constant movement and screens.
It's much easier, as the Jaspers proved, to put points on the board when you spend less time standing around on the perimeter.
Also, it's not a coincidence that Manhattan's free-throw attempts skyrocketed in this game plan. Fouls will be drawn when players attack the basket. The Jaspers hit 23-of-31 foul shots.
Florida Atlantic had some pesky guards who suffocated Manhattan defensively at points, but the new-look offense helped the Jaspers prevail.
Defensively, Manhattan still struggled on the perimeter, but they didn't surrender as many open looks as they did in Saturday's game. The Owls shot 8-of-23 from long range.
Individual Player Analysis
Rohrssen chose Antoine Pearson as his primary point guard tonight, and the senior produced his second straight stellar game offensively.
Pearson only took eight shots from the floor, but he converted on four. He didn't tally any treys after connecting on 5-of-6 in Saturday's match, but he was just as effective on offense by penetrating the lane and either getting fouled or making a flashy pass to a teammate.
Pearson only had four assists, but a combination of fouls and mishandles detracted from his potentially high total. With phenomenal court vision, quickness, and handles, Pearson should run the point even when Rico Pickett—who should move to the two—returns from his suspension. His 18 points and nine boards tonight helped his cause.
Andrew Gabriel still should not be anywhere other than the low post, but because of the fast pace of the offense, his presence on the perimeter was not detrimental. Manhattan would benefit from a more active Gabriel—he's there to corral rebounds, yet his meager total of 17 rebounds in four games is insufficient.
Darryl Crawford might have forced a few too many shots en route to his second straight bad game from the field (4-of-15). That being said, Crawford took many good shots, but simply got unlucky with the roll. He's probably Manhattan's best scorer—Pickett hasn't shown much yet—and the Jaspers can expect him to be resilient.
Patrick Bouli is Manhattan's best defender and continued to be more aggressive on the offensive end tonight. The guard has a great stroke on his jumper, which the Jaspers would love to see six or seven times per game.
The "King of the O-Board" had a relatively quiet night on the offensive glass until his second half tip-slam. Plagued by foul trouble, Laurence Jolicoeur played a solid game. The 6'9" center scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting and grabbed six rebounds, two of which were offensive.
Manhattan's best hustler, Brandon Adams, received his first minutes of the season tonight and played very well. He was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe and, as usual, provided defensive intensity.
One suggestion for Adams: he forces too many shots—yes, he only took four shots and hit two of them, but the two misses and even the one make were forced—and should look to kick to a shooter when he has two defenders on him.
The Owls subdued the sharp-shooting Nick Walsh tonight, but the 5'9" guard helped the Jaspers by grabbing five rebounds.
George Beamon is very athletic. He was a prolific scorer in high school. Although he hasn't shown much statistically, it is clear that he is talented and will be a reliable contributor in years to come. He just needs to be more assertive on offense.
Raymond Taylor's only 5'6" but he is a player. A very good, quick player. Manhattan didn't have an answer for Taylor's speed, and if the Owls could hit their open shots, Taylor would have recorded a double-double.
Mike Jarvis has a really, really, really, really, really shiny head.
Jarvis always looks angry—maybe the fact that his Owls never possessed a lead tonight could account for that.
Photo from Stockton Photo