#72 Temple Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Temple Owls

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #72
Conference Rank: #6 American

Temple Team Page#72 Temple Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Temple Basketball Tickets

Usually this is a Temple program that reloads, but this may qualify as a rebuilding year for the young Owls. In their final year in the A-10, Temple went 24-10 overall and beat North Carolina State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament before giving Indiana all they wanted in the Round of 32. With only two players back who averaged over a dozen minutes per game from that team, the expectations are relatively low. The AAC is going to be very tough too. Louisville, Connecticut, Memphis and Cincinnati are all going to prove to be problematic for the young Owls. Another trip to the NCAA Tournament is not likely to happen, but Coach Fran Dunphy can take his team to the NIT and shoot for the 2015 tournament.

2012-13 Record: 24-10, 11-5
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Fran Dunphy
Coach Record: 134-65 at Temple, 444-228 overall

Who’s Out:
Any way you look at it, the Owls lose a huge chunk of their production from 2012-2013. Khalif Wyatt made this team tick on both ends of the floor. He led Temple with 20.5 points, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Wyatt did not have a great outside shooting year by his standards, but the opposition knew better than to give him an open look. Even with his 31.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc, Wyatt was the player every coach would want with the ball in his hands at the end of the game. Wing Scootie Randall did it all during his senior season, averaging 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Guard T.J. DiLeo was never going to score like Wyatt and Randall, but he was good for 20 minutes of solid ball handling and great defense every game. Up front Jake O’Brien and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson are gone. O’Brien seemed like the only player on the team who could knock down three-pointers with any consistency. Hollis-Jefferson was another versatile forward who played great defense, dished out 3.4 assists per game and could score in the paint or step out and knock down the mid-range jumper.

Who’s In:
With all of those departures, it seems like this should be a pretty big recruiting class. But there are only two confirmed commitments at this point. Coach Dunphy prefers to run a seven or eight man rotation, but this year he is not going to have a choice. That puts a lot of pressure on freshmen Josh Brown and Mark Williams. Both are solid pickups and they do not need to be ready to start this year, but both will be asked to play quality minutes off of the bench. Brown, a 6-3 shooting guard, can do some nice things offensively and Williams, a 6-8, 240 pound forward, adds some much needed toughness to the frontcourt.

Who to Watch:
Anthony Lee and Will Cummings are the new stars of this group. Lee, a 6-9 junior, topped the Owls in the rebounding department in 2012-2013 and was the frontcourt’s most consistent interior scorer. After boosting his scoring total to 9.8 points per game last season, the offense will have to work through Lee and he will need to continue to develop his post moves in order to deal with the inevitable double teams he will face. Cummings will be the man who makes sure that the offense does work through the post. He stepped into a starting role as a sophomore and averaged 5.8 points, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals. He is not going to do all that much more scoring even with available shots, but he can run the show and create opportunities for everybody else on the team. Dalton Pepper, a 6-5 wing, was usually part of the regular rotation after transferring in from West Virginia. Coach Dunphy is going to have to find some scorers on the perimeter and Pepper is probably not going to be one of those scoring threats. But he is a big, tough guard who can do a bit of rebounding.

Final Projection:
It is moving further down last year’s rotation where one finds the unknown commodities that will need to see their minutes increase dramatically. Quenton DeCossey is another big wing. The sophomore has a decent shot and enough size to be a dynamic scorer, but he has yet to prove it. Daniel Dingle is brimming with potential. He may have to spend more time at the four spot than Temple would like, yet he has the size to pull it off against most opponents. The New Yorker was a highly regarded recruit, but he played in a mere ten games a freshman. Yet another sophomore, Davontae Watson, will at least have to spell Lee at the five spot. If Coach Dunphy has to rely on Jimmy McDonnell or Nick Pendergast for any meaningful minutes, Temple will be in trouble. Overall though, this is not a bad team. There is talent. There is just not any room for error or injuries. With one serious injury or one player who ends up not being ready to contribute as much as expected, Temples season will go south in a hurry.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Will Cummings, Junior, Guard, 5.8 points per game
Quenton DeCosey, Sophomore, Guard, 1.9 points per game
Dalton Pepper, Senior, Guard, 2.9 points per game
Daniel Dingle, Sophomore, Guard, 1.3 points per game
Anthony Lee, Junior, Forward, 9.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.2 (59th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.9 (204, 12)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.8 (197, 13)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.8 (222, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (73, 7)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.8 (216, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.3 (79, 3)
Rebound Margin: -1.6 (242, 12)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (52, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.8 (13, 1)


See All Top 144 Basketball Previews