BOCA RATON, Fla. — It’s been an eventful off-season for the Florida Atlantic Owls thus far.
Following the 2017-18 season, administration relieved head coach Michael Curry of his duties after four seasons at the helm. Over that time, the Owls amassed a record of just 39-84.
Two weeks after relieving Curry of his duties, the Owls named Dusty May the program’s next head coach, giving him the task of turning around the program and helping to make them a contender in the Conference USA. May spent the last three seasons in the SEC as an assistant coach with the Florida Gators, who made two NCAA Tournament appearances over May’s three years.
It won’t be an easy task to turn around a program, and it’s not going to happen in one year. However, on Thursday, the Owls landed an impact transfer who will add some talent and intrigue to the roster come the 2019-20 season.
After a strong freshman campaign with the Wright State Raiders, forward Everett Winchester committed to Florida Atlantic on Thursday, giving the Owls one of the better transfer players left on the market.
Last season, the 6’6” Winchester was a key cog for the Raiders as they moved towards the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The native of Baltimore, MD saw action in 33 games for the Raiders, averaging just over 21 minutes of court time per night out.
Winchester was a part of a balanced offensive attack for Wright State, as he was one of seven players to average at least eight points per game. To go along with his 8.0 points per game, Winchester also averaged 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per outing.
Over his last six games of the season, Winchester put together four games with double digit points, a stretch that included a strong performance in front of a national audience in the NCAA Tournament. Against the Tennessee Volunteers in the First Round, Winchester posted 11 points and three rebounds, while going 5-of-8 from the floor.
In the regular season finale, he dropped a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds on the UIC Flames to help the Raiders kick off a four-game winning streak that would propel them to the Big Dance.
Due to the NCAA’s transfer regulations, Winchester will sit out the 2018-19 season. He will have three years of eligibility remaining, starting with the 2019-20 campaign.
On Thursday, the Owls landed a commitment from a 2018 forward who will look to help the team right away. Big man Madiaw Niang committed to Florida Atlantic after playing with DME Sports in Florida.
– T. Bennett