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FAU: Perfect Portrayal of Modern Hoops

Success from Deep Bolsters Owls

The game of basketball has rapidly changed over the last quarter-century. Basketball has slowly moved toward a “positionless” style with players providing more versatility. The way we view offense has completely changed over the last decade.

There has been a joint movement across the sport for increasing the volume of 3-point shooting. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was the primary influence in this sudden change. After making the rounds throughout the NBA, it has moved to the college level.

Brandon Weatherspoon #23 of the Florida Atlantic Owls
Brandon Weatherspoon #23 of the Florida Atlantic Owls | Elsa/getty images/afp

Over the last 25 years, college basketball has also featured less offense in the post, instead focusing on guards who can create their offense.

March Madness expert picks often look for exceptional guard play and 3-point shooting. Florida Atlantic’s run to the Final Four has been a Cinderella story to remember. Many have questioned how the Owls have done it. Florida Atlantic embodies the spirit of modern basketball. Check out how the Owls’ offense functions and its impact on college basketball lines.

Versatility Name of the Game

Let’s get one thing straight: FAU is not purely a scoring team. It can defend, ranking 29th in Kenpom’s defensive efficiency. We have heard it many times and it still remains true. Defense wins championships. Without balance, good luck winning games. This is one reason to fade Miami (+450), who ranks 104th in defensive efficiency.

Now, let’s get back to the Owls’ offense. We mentioned 3-point shooting, but it goes beyond just that. Florida Atlantic plays a versatile lineup that is guard-heavy. The starting lineup features a traditional center with 7-foot-1 Vladislav Goldin. The other four spots are manned by guards standing 6-foot-4 or shorter. This makes FAU’s lineup quick and hard to defend, which brings us to our next point.

The Owls love to push the ball after a defensive stop. After a rebound, they will quickly snap the ball up the court. Goldin will come rolling down the middle of the lane while the guards spread wide looking for a spot-up, 3-point shot. This is modern basketball to a T. Play fast, space the floor and hunt a shot from beyond the arc.

The same idea is used in Florida Atlantic’s half-court offense. The center takes up space in the lane while the four guards spread out on the arc. This leads to many opportunities for its guards to attack in isolation and shooters are always waiting on the wing.

The Owls also like to use a lot of pick-and-roll action in the halfcourt. This gives their guards space to operate. Plus, FAU will always have a player floating behind the ball handler for a kick-and-shoot chance.

Check out one of the best guards of the NCAA Tournament in Johnell Davis, who is averaging over 17 points in the last four games. In the clip below, notice how a shooter floats behind Davis following the action.

The video also shows how Florida Atlantic gives its guards a chance to create. Now, let’s look at 3-point shooting and how it could impact our online gambling picks.

Threes Better Than Two

If Curry never stormed onto the NBA scene, I’m not sure if 3-point shooting would increase to this level. However, it is not all just a player’s influence. Analytics have also become quite popular in sports. For example, think about coach Brandon Staley of the Los Angeles Chargers. Staley is considered an “analytical guy” and frequently goes for fourth-down conversions because the numbers say so to do it.

Shooting from beyond the arc can be viewed in the same light. It is this simple – three points are better than two points. It boils down to that. While 3-point shooting is not as efficient, coaches are willing to take the risk. If you have a good shooting team, those frequent shots from deep will pay off. This has greatly impacted our sports bets in recent years. However, how does Florida Atlantic’s style impact our March Madness picks?

The Owls are a two-point underdog on Saturday against San Diego State. If they win that, they will be underdogs in the national championship game as well. The sportsbook lists FAU with the highest odds to cut the nets at +600. Of course, if we have sound reasoning for backing the Owls, we will. Any March Madness prediction favoring Florida Atlantic can provide nice payouts. Here’s how its style impacts the betting world.

Since 2000, only four teams have won the NCAA Tournament while shooting under 36% on 3-pointers. Florida Atlantic (36.5%), Miami (36.9%) and UConn (36.3%) all check that box. It looks like this trend will ring true once again. Four of the last five national champions also attempted at least 19.8 shots from three per game. Once again, Florida Atlantic, Miami and UConn fit the mold.

Shooting the 3-pointer has had a direct result on national champions, especially in recent years. This is yet another reason why Florida Atlantic has reached the Final Four and why it could have more wins ahead. The Owls are the best 3-point shooting team left at 26.2 attempts per game (18th) and 9.6 made threes per game (12th).

The Owls are a small mid-major school that had zero tournament wins before this magical run. It makes perfect sense why people have wondered, “How does a team like FAU make it this far?” The Owls are the perfect portrayal of modern basketball. They space the floor with good guard play, attack in transition with versatility, and shoot the three well.

Coach Dusty May, who is due for a promotion soon, has done a wonderful job implementing an effective system to perfection. Florida Atlantic’s modern style will be on full display against San Diego State in the Final Four.

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