Friday, November 21, 2014

Jaylen Bond Expected To Play Against #4/3 Duke

As per intrepid Temple reporter John Di Carlo:
At 6 feet, 7 inches and 225 pounds, Bond will be a welcome addition to the Owls frontcourt tonight against the Blue Devils after missing the first two games of the year with an ankle sprain. The former Plymouth-Whitemarsh star averaged 3.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in two years at Texas before sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Bond likely won't be able to stop star freshman Jahlil Okafor but of all the frontcourt options the Owls have he has the best chance of at least slowing him down.

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Gameday Preview: No Sleep Till Brooklyn for Temple and #4/3 Duke

Let's be straight about one thing right from the top: Temple is probably going to lose tonight. I'm not saying that to be negative, I'm just stating a fact. Duke is a very good team loaded with stud talent. Temple is, well, I'm not sure what kind of team the Owls are. They are 2-0 against two likely tournament teams but there are still a ton of question marks surrounding the program.

If this game was happening later on in the season then maybe I'd have a different opinion on it but it's not so it's time to face some facts. Jahlil Okafor is a stud who might be playing for the Sixers next season. Temple has no answer for him inside, even if Jaylen Bond plays. The kid is currently shooting a cool 83 percent from the floor on 25-of-30 shooting. If Michigan State couldn't combat him inside then I'm not giving the Owls much of a chance to, either.

With their usual embarrassment of riches, Duke features three other double-digit scorers. Senior Quinn Cook averages 16.7 per game while freshmen Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones average 16.0 and 12.7 respectively. Plus you have Rasheed Sulaimon and local boy turned carpetbagger Amile Jefferson to worry about. The Blue Devils average 101 points per game this young season and are connecting on 60.2 percent of they're shots.

So, yeah, Duke is pretty good.

Temple's improved defense will be put to the test tonight. The Owls are certainly several weight classes above Presbyrterian and Fairfield so I don't expect Duke to hang triple digits but it could get ugly nonetheless. It would take career nights from every Owl who checks in tonight as well as a little bit of luck to knock off the Blue Devils. Easy peasy, right?

So, let's not worry about tonight and, instead, reflect on happier times. We can regroup and worry about either Stanford or UNLV tomorrow.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Temple Basketball To Play In The 2015 Puerto Rico Tip-Off

Clear your schedule for next November 19-22 because Temple has been selected to play in the 2015 Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

The Owls will join Butler, Miami, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri State, Texas Tech and Utah in San Juan for the three day tournament.

The Owls have some history in this pre-season tournament as they took third place in 2011. They beat Western Michigan, lost to Purdue and then knocked off Wichita State in overtime, 78-74. Temple also played in the inaugural Tip-Off in 2007, losing to Providence and the College of Charleston before beating Marist in the 7th place game.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

REPORT: Temple to Play UNC In 2015 Veterans Classic

As per the Washington Post:
Navy has a four-year contract with CBS to televise the doubleheader and already has lined up North Carolina to play Temple and Notre Dame to play the Midshipmen at Alumni Hall next season.
A nationally televised game on a neutral court against big name competition? That's the Fran Dunphy Special.

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Temple Drops Visiting LA Tech, 82-75

Recapping what went well, what didn't and what was downright ugly about Temple's somewhat surprising 82-75 victory over Louisiana Tech.

The Good

  • Josh Brown: The sophomore point guard from St. Anthony's had his breakout game for the Owls, scoring a career-high 17 points with seven rebounds, two blocks and an assist in 26 minutes off the bench. Brown looked very confident in his offensive game as he did his scoring in a variety of ways: a three from the wing, a couple of mid-range jumpers, some driving layups and 4-of-5 conversions from the foul line. One of the big problems with last year's team was that once Will Cummings was off the floor the Owls looked like they had no one who was capable of scoring. If Brown can take the next step in his development and be a spark off the bench for Fran Dunphy then the Owls will be that much more formidable his season. It's only been two games but Brown just looks more comfortable on the floor.
  • Quenton DeCosey: DeCosey rebounded nicely from his less-than-stellar start to the season Friday night with a team-high 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting, five rebounds, three steals and two assists. It wasn't all good for DeCosey, however, as he turned the ball over five times and committed four fouls.After two seasons it's clear what kind of player QDC is: an offensive talent who may or may not show up on the other end of the floor on any given night. Last night was a relatively good night. Hopefully there are more of those than not this season.
  • Will Cummings: Cummings' poor shooting continued as he went 3-of-13 for the field but he managed to get to the line 18 times and finished tied with DeCosey for the team-high in points with 20. He also matched his career high with nine rebounds. Like a couple of other Owls he was plagued with foul trouble that forced Dunphy to go offense-defense with him and Jimmy McDonnell in the first half. If he can start finishing at the rim then the sky is the limit for him offensively this season as he is the Owls one true slasher. Cummings showed time and time again last night that he could get to the basket whenever he wanted, he simply couldn't finish the often-times difficult layups he was attempting.
  • Temple's 27-9 run to close the first half/begin the second: The Owls went from being down 12, 29-17, at 8:34 to go in the first half to up six at the 15:17 mark of the second half. Louisiana Tech threatened a few times but were unable to get within fewer than four points.

The Bad

  • Jimmy McDonnell/Devontae Watson: The two tallest players on Temple's roster combined to score two points, three rebounds and two personal fouls in 23 minutes. If it wasn't for the one foul he committed, McDonnell would've had the ultra-rare eight trillion (eight minutes played with zeros across the board on the statsheet). Obi Enechionyia saw extended minutes for the first time in his young college career while McDonnell was rotated in and out in the second half and Watson sat for good with 12:38 to go in the game. You've got to take advantage of situations when they prevent themselves to you and so far this season neither of Temple's bigs have done so. Also, when your opponent is pressing and you get the ball at right before mid-court you should dribble across the line instead of pivoting multiple times. That was maddening to witness live.

The Ugly

  • Louisiana Tech's free-throw shooting: 12-for-26 from the charity stripe just isn't going to get it done. On the flipside, Temple went a whopping 34-for-49 from the line. Make your foul shots and good things happen.
  • Mark Williams' blocked dunk: Two games into the season and Mark Williams has emerged as Temple's most .gifable player. From my vantage point you couldn't tell that the ball was partially blocked by Erik McCree. It just looked like a sad attempt at a two-hand slam that went horribly wrong. Still, it's a pretty good .gif if I do say so myself.
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