Preview: Temple at Pennsylvania
What Temple coach Fran Dunphy lacks in returning talent, he will try to make up for with familiarity on Saturday when his Owls continue their “Big Five” city rivalry at Pennsylvania. One of only eight teams to compete in the last six NCAA Tournaments, Temple must replace 73 percent of its offensive output from a season ago, including Atlantic-10 Player of the Year Khalif Wyatt. The Owls also changed conferences in the offseason, leaving for the new American Athletic Conference.
Although much is different for Temple, Dunphy has gone 6-1 against the Quakers' team he coached for 17 years before joining the Owls prior to the 2006-07 campaign. He will attempt to extend his current team’s dominance in this Philadelphia-based rivalry against the Quakers, who are coached by one of Dunphy’s former players in Jerome Allen. Pennsylvania, which did not record a Big Five victory in 2012-13, has not defeated Temple since Dunphy’s first season at Temple.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, None.
ABOUT TEMPLE (2012-13: 24-10, 11-5 Atlantic-10): With starters Wyatt, Scootie Randall and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson moving on, the Owls do not return a double-digit scorer. Their losses will place more pressure on Anthony Lee (9.8 points, team-high 6.8 rebounds) and Will Cummings (5.8 points), the only two returning players who saw more than 12 minutes per game last season. Quenton DeCosey averaged only 1.9 points as a freshman last season, but led the team with 14 points per game during the team’s four-game trip in Europe over the summer.
ABOUT PENNSYLVANIA (2012-13: 9-22, 6-8 Ivy): The Quakers created enthusiasm with a 6-7 finish after a 3-15 start despite a season-ending injury to Fran Dougherty (13.8 points, 8.1 rebounds), who was leading the team in scoring and rebounding through the team’s first 12 games. All 13 players who logged court time last season return, including Miles Cartwright (13.5 points) and Tony Hicks (10.4) – the team’s second- and third-leading scorers. The Quakers also possess rare size for an Ivy League team in 6-11, 265-pound Darien Nelson-Henry (7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds).
1. Pennsylvania and Temple are two of only 11 programs with at least 1,700 victories.
2. The Owls have won four Big Five titles in Dunphy’s seven seasons.
3. Temple's three wins in season openers against the Quakers have come by a combined 11 points.
PREDICTION: Pennsylvania 71, Temple 64