#57 Temple Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Temple Owls

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #57
Conference Rank: #4 AAC

Temple Team Page#57 Temple Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Temple Basketball Tickets

Temple had a very good argument to make the NCAA Tournament last season. They went into Selection Sunday with a 23-10 overall record and a 13-5 mark in American Athletic Conference play. The Owls even had some signature wins, most notably a 77-52 whooping of Kansas. But Coach Fran Dunphy and company had to settle for the NIT, where they went to the semifinals in New York and lost to Miami (FL). This time around there are some questions that need to be answered, but Coach Dunphy has done better things with lesser talent. Senior guard Quenton DeCosey is the team’s top returning scorer at 12.3 points per game. DeCosey looks his best in the open court, yet he has developed into a pretty solid all-around scorer. If DeCosey can take the next step, the Owls will be competing in the AAC and competing for an NCAA berth.

2014-15 Record: 26-11, 13-5
2014-15 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Fran Dunphy
Coach Record: 193-108 at Temple, 503-271 overall

Who’s Out:
DeCosey will be asked to do more this year because his backcourt mates Will Cummings and Jesse Morgan are gone. Cummings was easily the team’s best all-around player, averaging 14.8 points, 4.2 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals during his senior season. That is a lot of production to replace, but losing his leadership could turn into an even bigger issue. Morgan was not nearly as dynamic as Cummings, but he averaged nearly a dozen points per game and connected on a team high 68 three-pointers. Morgan was one of the few shooting bright spots on a team that often struggled to shoot the ball efficiently from long range. The only other departure is little used Nick Pendergast.

Who’s In:
Coach Dunphy has experience down the bench that will need to step up, but he also has a pretty solid four man recruiting class heading to Philadelphia. Levon Shawn Alston could turn out to be the star of the class. The 6-4 shooting guard knows how to score, but he can also run the point in college. No matter where he plays, Coach Dunphy will find some minutes for him in 2015-2016. Trey Lowe and Avan Nunez de Carvalho will add more options on the wing. Lowe is a big 6-6 wing who has a ton of versatility. He can handle the ball pretty well for a player his size. However, for now at least, his scoring could be the bigger asset for Temple. Ernest Aflakpui may not make as big of an impact right away as Alston and Lowe, but he is a nice looking prospect for the future. The 6-10, 235 pound center is coming off of a knee injury, but he is a tougher rebounder and defender, so that could earn him some minutes in 2015-2016 while he continues to develop his overall game.

Who to Watch:
Not counting DeCosey, the Owls return seven players who averaged at least 11.4 minutes per game last year. Senior forward Jaylen Bond is the most experienced of the bunch. Last year he averaged 7.6 points and 7.9 rebounds. He is great on the glass, but Temple may need him to score a little more often. The same is true of promising sophomore Obi Enechionyia. He was the team’s top shot blocker as a freshman and showed some potential on the offensive end as well. It was usually Devontae Watson, not Enechionyia, who was starting beside Bond last season though. At 6-11, Watson is the tallest player on the roster and he too can block some shots. Watson is also a bit more productive on the glass, but Enechionyia’s game is still developing so that may not be the case anymore. It does not really matter who starts, as long as Enechionyia and Watson can account for just about 40 minutes per game in the paint. Mark Williams can take some of those minutes too, but he is a candidate to backup Bond at the four spot too.

Final Projection:
The frontcourt will be fine, but the bigger questions are on the perimeter. Josh Brown, Daniel Dingle and Devin Coleman will be asked to help replace the lost production of Cummings and Morgan. Brown is a pretty good shooter and is also a candidate to take over the point guard duties. Dingle is a big wing who can attack the basket, while Coleman had some promising moments after becoming eligible after the first semester last season. Options are plentiful and now it comes down to who fits best where. Coach Dunphy must find a point guard out of this group and a secondary shooter option to compliment DeCosey. On this team everybody on the roster can shoot the ball, but the team as a whole connected on just 6.4 three-pointers per game. But taking care of the ball without Cummings will be the bigger concern. The team committed a mere 9.5 turnovers per game, ranking seventh in the country, during the 2014-2015 season. If that number does not stay relatively close to ten, Temple will miss the NCAA Tournament and it will have nothing to do with the selection committee snubbing them.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Josh Brown, Junior, Guard, 6.3 points per game
Quenton DeCosey, Senior, Guard, 12.3 points per game
Daniel Dingle, Junior, Guard, 3.6 points per game
Jaylen Bond, Senior, Forward, 7.6 points per game
Obi Enechionyia, Sophomore, Forward, 5.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.8.1 (211th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.2 (45, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 38.8 (332, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.4 (28, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.4 (177, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.4 (309, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.9 (142, 3)
Rebound Margin: 1.1 (144, 6)
Assists Per Game: 12.4 (187, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.5 (7, 1)

Madness 2015 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#118 Levan Alston
#158 Trey Lowe


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