Temple Men's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule

Temple Owls
American (23-10, 13-5)


Temple seems to be a streaky team. After an up and down start to the season, a massive win over Kansas propelled them to a hot start in AAC action. But then they lost three in a row against the top teams in the conference and looked like a team ready to fold. But they rebounded from a bad 84-53 loss at Cincinnati and won their next seven contests before the schedule got tougher again against SMU and Tulsa. This is a team that can beat the teams they should beat, but AAC play has proven that they may not have the firepower to beat the better teams.

Big Wins: 12/22 Kansas (77-52), 12/31 at Connecticut (57-53), 2/10 Cincinnati (75-59)
Bad Losses: 11/22 vs UNLV (50-57), 12/3 at St. Joseph’s (56-58), 1/10 Tulsa (56-63)
Coach: Fran Dunphy

Why They Can Surprise:
Temple can stay close to most teams because of their defense. The team allows the opposition to shoot just 39.1 percent from the floor and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc. A large bench allows Coach Fran Dunphy to keep the defensive intensity up. This is not a great shot blocking team, but the five big men in the regular rotation can push people around in the paint. Jaylen Bond is the team’s top interior scorer with 8.1 points per game. He is also easily the team’s best rebounder. Obi Enechionyia and Devontae Watson are the Owl’s best shot blocking threats and Daniel Dingle and Mark Williams are solid role players.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Despite all the defensive prowess in the frontcourt, this is not a team that gets easy looks at the basket. The guards are the scorers and that has led to some poor shooting outings. The team as a whole shoots just 38.5 percent from the floor, ranking 335 of 345 teams in Division I basketball. They also shoot just 30.5 percent from beyond the arc. Will Cummings is a superb floor leader and a great scorer, but his shot has not been falling this season. Quenton DeCosey and Jesse Morgan are double digit scorers as well. What the backcourt does do well is take care of the ball. If shots are falling, this team can beat anybody. In the win against Kansas, they committed just 12 turnovers, which is above their season average, shot 58.3 percent from the floor, blocked eight shots and held Kansas to 18-of-56 from the floor. That is a recipe for an upset and how Temple can pull off an upset or two.

Probable Starters:
Will Cummings, Senior, Guard, 14.2 ppg, 4.3 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.0 spg
Quenton DeCosey, Junior, Guard, 12.4 ppg, 2.1 apg, 4.4 rpg
Jesse Morgan, Senior, Guard, 11.8 ppg, 1.4 apg
Jaylen Bond, Junior, Forward, 7.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg
Devontae Watson, Junior, Center, 2.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.0 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Josh Brown, Sophomore, Guard, 6.2 ppg, 1.5 apg
Devin Coleman, Junior, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Daniel Dingle, Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Obi Enechionyia, Freshman, Forward, 5.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Mark Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 3.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.6 (242nd in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.9 (27, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 38.5 (335, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.1 (25, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.4 (168, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.5 (306, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.7 (230, 4)
Rebound Margin: 1.5 (137, 7)
Assists Per Game: 12.5 (183, 4
Turnovers Per Game: 10.0 (12, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NCAA    Second Round win over North Carolina State
2013    NCAA    Third Round loss to Indiana
2012    NCAA    Second Round loss to South Florida
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Penn State
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to San Diego State
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Cornell
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Arizona State
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Michigan State
2006    NIT    Opening round loss to Akron

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules