Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
7 p.m., TV - ESPNU
"In some ways it will be very difficult, but I will look down at the other bench with a great sense of pride. I am extremely proud of that youngster. The three toughest competitors I have ever coached are Michael Jordan, Rex Walters and Raymond Felton." -- Roy Williams
Missing Star?: FAU may be without its leading scorer on Tuesday. Sophomore off guard Paul Graham (16.2 ppg) is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. He's logged the most minutes on the team (31.6 mpg), is tied for the lead in assists (4.2 apg) and has been the team's only legitimate long-range threat (49% 3pt).
Joining the Fray: Senior guard DeAndre Rice and freshman guard Eni Cuka will see their first action of the season on Tuesday. Rice, who had thus far been ineligible to play because of academic shortcomings, will be a huge addition (especially if Graham is sidelined), as he led the Owls in scoring with 16.1 points per game last year. Cuka is a transfer from Niagara who had to sit out the fall semester due to NCAA rules.
Ruling the Boards: The Owls' frontline combo of Carlos Monroe and Jeff Parmer has been a rebounding force of late. They've combined for an average of 19.3 boards over the last four games. Parmer is the cousin of Houston Rockets guard Tracy McGrady.
Familiar Face: FAU is coached by former Kansas standout Rex Walters, who played for Roy Williams, leading the Jayhawks in scoring during the 1991-2 and 1992-93 seasons. Walters, 36, is in his first year as a head coach, after four seasons as an assistant.
Series History: This is the first meeting between the two schools.
Background Location: Boca Raton, Fla. Enrollment: 26,000 Conference: Sun Belt Nickname: Owls Colors: Blue & Red Head Coach: Rex Walters Record at FAU: 4-5 (1st year) Last Year: 15-13 (14-6, 3rd)
Projected Starters: 30 Brent Crews (6-3, 210, Sr.) – 5.0 ppg, 4.2 apg 25 Paul Graham (6-4, 185, So.) - 16.6 ppg, 4.2 apg 00 Derrick Simmons (6-6, 200, Jr.) – 10.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg 21 Jeff Parmer (6-8, 235, Jr.) – 8.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg 32 Carlos Monroe (6-8, 245, So.) – 15.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg Key Reserves: 10 Avery Holley (6-0, 175, Fr.) – 8.5 ppg 4 Sean Alarcon (6-3, 195, Jr.) – 5.4 ppg 11 Seydou Kone (6-9, 250, Jr.) – 4.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg 2 DeAndre Rice (6-3, 200, Sr.) – N/A 1 Eni Cuka (6-2, 180, Fr.) - N/A
Monroe ....... Simmons