Owls Head Home Empty Handed

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Well, there will be no Cinderella story after all.

The East Carolina Pirates led early and often as they took down the Temple Owls in the opening round of the Frontier Communications American Athletic Conference tournament by a score of 80 to 69.

ECU knocked down a couple of three pointers in the opening minutes of Thursday afternoon’s game to take a 6-0 lead, and that lead would never be erased.

The Owls shot 31.3% from the floor in the first half and never led in the game, and that percentage would have looked a lot uglier if it was not for an excellent performance by junior Obi Enechionyia. Enechionyia carried to load in the first half with 12 points on 5 of 8 shooting, but his teammates could not hit water if they fell out of a boat.

Senior Dan Dingle, freshman Quinton Rose and sophomore Shizz Alston Jr. shot a combined 4 for 19 in the first half and the Owls could not take advantage of the 11 offensive rebounds that they grabbed.

ECU’s Kentrell Barkley guided the Pirates with 14 first half points as they took a 36-29 led into halftime.

Temple showed some fight to start the second half, knocking down 4 of their first 5 shots, to cut the deficit to 3 at 42-39 but they simply could not get themselves over the hump and take a lead of their own.

With the score at 53-52 at the 10:53 mark, East Carolina grabbed all momentum and never looked back. Freshman Elijah Hughes converted couple of ferocious takes to the hoop and Caleb White swished a three ball to take a seven point lead at 61-54.

The entire afternoon belonged to sophomore Kentrell Barkley, who dominated with 26 points and 16 rebounds on 9 of 17 shooting. Barkley tormented the Owls earlier in the season with 19 points in their win at home, and poured salt on the wound in today’s game as he dominated the boards on both sides of the floor.

For the Owls, Obi Enechionyia continued his steady stroke in the second half and he had 20 points on the day. This was the first time Obi had 20+ points since their Big 5 matchup against St. Joe’s back in November.

Senior Dan Dingle’s day ended early as he fouled out with 4:13 remaining. The captain from the Bronx had a night to forget and finished with a line of 10 points and 3 rebounds on 3 for 10 shooting in 32 minutes of play.

The East Carolina Pirates will move on to face the top-seeded SMU Mustangs on Friday at noon.

The one bright spot of Thursday’s defeat and the entire 2016-2017 season is the exposure that so many young Owls gained. The three freshmen, Quinton Rose and Alani and Damion Moore, played key minutes for Temple from the second the started balling on Broad Street. Sophomores Shizz Alston and Ernest Aflakpui played little roles in their freshmen, and then played huge roles on this year’s squad. With all the tough defeats and inconsistent play that came with the Owls’ season, a glimmer of hope and potential remains for the Temple Owls.

 

American Athletic Conference Tournament Preview

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

The month of March belongs to college basketball. There will be buzzer-beaters, upsets, and a heck of a lot of nets being cut down to celebrate championships.

The Frontier Communications American Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament will kick off Thursday, March 9th at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. The 11 team field is set, with conference powerhouses Cincy and SMU poised for a deep run into March.

Here is the entire bracket and a brief lay-out of the chances of each team bringing home the title and earning that automatic bid.

The Favorites:

Southern Methodist (27-4, 17-1 in AAC, 1 seed)

The Mustangs have had their way in conference play and are showing no signs of slowing down. Fresh off a 103-62 thrashing of the University of Memphis to clinch the AAC regular season title, SMU has flown under the radar in the college basketball world and propelled themselves to a #12 ranking in the AP polls. The Mustangs’ player rotation is one of the most interesting ones in college hoops. They play positionless basketball and only six players tend to see the floor most nights, with the heights of those six studs ranging between 6’5 and 6’8. Led by Duke transfer Semi Ojeleye with his 18.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, SMU will likely breeze through their side of the bracket with ease and meet up with the Cincinnati Bearcats in the final on Sunday afternoon.

Cincinnati Bearcats (27-4, 16-2 in AAC, 2 ssed)

It took an upset loss at UCF on February 26th to remove the Bearcats from the top spot in the conference tourney. This is probably the most well-rounded team head coach Mick Cronin has had during his tenure at Cincy. Not only do they play that renowned stifling and psychical Bearcats defense, they can put the ball in the bucket. Cincy is the highest scoring team in the AAC with 74.7 points per game and also dish out 16.5 assists per contest (tied for 1st in AAC). The three-headed monster of Gary Clark, Jacob Evans and Kyle Washington have led Cincy to a dominant conference season and they are currently projected at 5 seed by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. If the Bearcats can avoid another upset, basketball fans should be in for a treat as SMU and Cincy could potentially face off in the championship for round 3, with each squad coming away victorious on their home floors.

Potential Cinderellas

Houston (21-9, 12-6 in AAC, 3 seed)

It will take magic from the Cougars’ dynamic duo of Rob Gray and Daymean Dotson to win the title, but it is too much of a stretch. Gray (20.3) and Dotson (17.3) were two of the top four scorers in the AAC and have the potential of lighting up the XL Center for a few nights. Houston went a combined 0-4 against SMU and Cincy (as did almost every other team in the AAC) but it is rather difficult to take down a quality team three times. Houston is currently in the “Next Four Out” in Joe Lunardi’s recent Bracketology, so the Cougars need to appear in the championship at the very least to earn a spot in March Madness.

UCONN (14-16, 9-9, 6 seed)

Yes, UConn has a losing record and have lost four straight, but there is something about the month of March that makes the Huskies rise to another level. UConn will be playing the entire tournament on their home floor and in front of a pro-UConn crowd. Expect Jalen Adams and Rodney Purvis to get back on track against USF in the opening round, then who knows what could happen when the host team starts gaining some momentum.

The Rest of the Field

UCF (20-10, 11-7, 4 seed)

Led by the giant center Tacko Fall, who is the AAC’s most improved player with 11.5 points 9.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, the Knights are red-hot as they have won 5 straight which includes a win against the all-mighty Cincy. B.J. Taylor and Matt Williams lead the Knights’ offense that could potentially upset SMU, but it will be tough to take down both SMU and Cincinnati.

Memphis (19-12, 9-9, 5 seed)

The Tigers know how to score the basketball. They are second in the AAC in points per game thanks to Dedric and K.J. Lawson, who average 19 and 12 points per game respectively. First year head coach Tubby Smith has been around the block a few times and has plenty of experience in March, but Cinderella’s glass slipper does not fit the Tigers.

Tulsa (14-16, 8-10, 7 seed)

The Golden Hurricane have fallen off a cliff as of late. They have dropped 8 of their last 10 contests after starting 6-2 in AAC play. Tulsa’s deep eight man rotation should be enough to take down Tulane, but one should next expect anything more out of them.

 

Temple (16-15, 7-11, 8 seed)

TheTemple Owls opened everybody’s eyes back in November when they took down West Virginia and Florida State in consecutive days, but it has been a tough road since then. Junior Obi Enechionyia has struggled to find a consistent shooting stroke after his hot start and head coach Fran Dunphy has been forced to rely on underclassmen Quinton Rose, Alani Moore, Damion Moore, and Shizz Alston Jr. to close games out and the youngsters have not been able to do so. Of the Owls 7 conference victories, 5 of them came from teams behind them in the standings. Their first round matchup against ECU will break the tie after the two each had blowout wins on their home floors, but the Owls will need to shoot like UConn greats Ray Allen and Kemba Walker from behind the arc in order to make noise in the AAC tourney.

The Cellar Dwellers

East Carolina (14-17, 6-12, 9 seed)

Tulane (6-24, 3-15, 10 seed)

USF (7-22, 1-17, 11 seed)

It has been a tough and disappointing season for the teams at the bottom of the AAC. East Carolina got back up on their feet after starting 1-6 in the AAC and finished 5-6 the rest of the way. Tulane is in rebuilding mode with new head coach Mike Dunleavy and played several inexperienced underclassmen this season. South Florida has one victory in 2017 and fired their head coach Orlando Antigua midway through the season. These teams will be huge underdogs in the conference tournament, but crazier things have happened in March.

Owls Beat Up the Bulls, 72-60

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The Temple Owls will finish the 2016-2017 regular season with a winning record at 16-15 (7-11 AAC) after their 72-60 victory over University of South Florida on Sunday afternoon.

Four Owls finished in double figures as the Cherry and White were swishing three balls all afternoon. Temple made 11 threes, with great performances from Obi Enechionyia and Daniel Dingle.

Enechionyia has struggled with consistent shooting throughout the season but #0 was 4-8 from behind the arc and finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals.

While Enechionyia has certainly had his hot and cold streaks, senior Daniel DIngle continues to be a model of consistency. Dingle finished with 17 points and 5 assists and 2-3 from three to lead the Temple O. Shizz Alston Jr. and freshman Quinton Rose chipped in 13 points apiece as well, and Rose was a nuisance on defense with 6 steals.

South Florida (7-22, 1-17) trailed throughout almost all of Sunday’s matinee. The Bulls and Owls traded buckets early on, but after an Alani Moore three with 6:36 remaining in the first half broke the 20-20 tie, South Florida was forced to try and play catch-up.

USF’s Geno Thorpe tried his best to help give the Bulls their second AAC victory with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, but the home team shot themselves in the foot constantly as they turned the ball over 19 times and shot 5 for 12 from the free-throw line.

The Temple Owls’ postseason matchup was already set prior to Sunday’s game, they will take on East Carolina on Thursday at 3:30 in the first round of the AAC Tournament, but it is certainly a great thing to end the regular season by winning their final two contests.

Temple and East Carolina split the regular season series, with each team winning in a rout on their home floors. With Thursday’s game taking place on a neutral court, fans should be in for a treat as the two duke it out to face the top-seeded SMU.

 

 

Owls Stunned by the Huskies

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The frustration and disappointment continued Sunday afternoon for the Temple Owls as they lost to the UConn Huskies 64-63 thanks a Jalen Adams layup with 2.9 seconds to go.

Temple lead for nearly 36 minutes in their 6th annual “White Out” game, but came away with the loss which evens their record at 14-14 overall and 5-10 in the American Athletic Conference.

In the first half of this nationally televised game, the Cherry and White’s offense was firing on all cylinders as they shot 44% from the floor. Senior Dan Dingle and sophomore Shizz Alston Jr. did a bulk of the scoring as the duo scored 12 and 9 respectively in the first twenty minutes. The Owls consistently held a small lead within the first half, with the largest lead being 6 points, and they took a 35-29 lead into intermission.

The crowd of 8,702 were left screaming for Moore and Moore buckets to start the second half. Freshmen Alani Moore II and center Damion Moore catapulted the Temple offense as they scored the first 14 points for Temple in the second half. Damion Moore, who was starting his third consecutive game, reached a new career high in points with 11 due to his scoring explosion in the beginning of the half.

With the Moores leading the way for Temple, it took the entire UConn squad to step up their game and stay within striking distance. As Alani and Damion were scoring, so were UConn’s Jalen Adams, Rodney Purvis and Kentan Facey. Temple’s lead got to as low as 1 point early in the second half as UConn shot 54.2% from the floor, but Dan Dingle was giving his best effort to come away with a huge AAC win.

Dingle’s scoring led the Owls in the first half, then it was his rebounding and passing in the second. The senior finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. All three of those marks led the game on Sunday, the last time an Owl led his team in points, rebounds, and assists was on March 6, 2013 by Khalif Wyatt. But it was a missed free throw by Dingle that ended up changing the course of the game.

The Owls built up a solid 10 point lead with 8:29 remaining at 56-46, but UConn stormed back with an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 1 once again. UConn’s Rodney Purvis led the Huskies’ run with eight of those points, and he finished with 18 points and 5 assists on the day.

It all came down to the final minute.

On a crazy Owls possession that included two offensive rebounds, Shizz Alston grabbed that second board and looked to throw it to Dan Dingle, who would then burn out some clock with Temple up by three. UConn’s Jalen Adams picked off the pass as he read Alston perfectly and then was fouled on the ensuing possession as he tried to slam one home. Adams knocked down a pair to cut it to 1.

Then on Temple’s possession, Dan Dingle was fouled on a reach-in, and headed to the line. Dingle took one dribble, one spin, and a moment to gather, and his free throw rimmed out. After a UConn timeout, head coach Kevin Ollie diagramed a pick-and-roll for Jalen Adams, who drove to his left and threw up the shot. On the glass and in with 2.9 to go. With Temple having no timeouts left, Shizz Alston’s near halfcourt prayer fell short and UConn escaped with the one-point win. 64-63.

This was the second time Temple lost an AAC on their home floor on a last second layup as they lost to Tulsa in January in familiar fashion.

The Owls will try and bounce back Wednesday night when the face the monstrous Tacko Fall and the UCF Knights. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm.

 

Rose Leads the Owls in His First Career Start

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Temple’s head coach Fran Dunphy decided to switch things up for the Owls’ road game at Memphis. The Owls started the veterans Shizz Alston Jr., Daniel Dingle and Obi Enechionyia, but surprised everyone when he inserted freshmen Damion Moore and Quinton Rose.

Dunphy’s decision to dip into the fountain of youth paid off as Damion Moore provided a much-needed post presence and Quinton Rose ignited the Temple offense in their 74-62 win against the Memphis Tigers.

In Damion Moore’s second career start, he posted 6 points and 8 rebounds in his 15 minutes and Quinton Rose recorded a team-high 18 points as he knocked down 4 of his 5 three-point attempts.

Early in Sunday afternoon’s contest, it looked like Temple’s road woes would continue against the 3rd ranked team in the American Athletic Conference. The AAC’s second leading scorer, Dedric Lawson, dominated with 7 points in the first 4 minutes, and the Temple offense lacked any sort of flow.

The tables turned at the 11:43 mark with the Owls trailing 23-14.

In a little less than a dozen minutes, the Owls put on a beautiful scoring display and completely shut down Dedric Lawson and the Memphis Tigers. They went on a 25-2 run to take a 14-point lead heading into halftime.

The 25-2 surge was led by sophomore Shizz Alston Jr., who recorded 10 points over that stretch, including a three-pointer as time expired in the first half. The Owls shot 57% from the field with their 17 for 30 shooting clinic and all eight Owls that saw action in the first half scored at least one bucket. On the defensive end, the Tigers could not buy a bucket as they made 1 of the last 13 field goal attempts to end the first half.

The Tigers clawed back into the game in the second half as they switched up their defense and applied a full court press. The full-court pressure did not force turnovers, as the Owls finished with 19 assists to 10 turnovers, but it seemed the break that fantastic offensive flow the Cherry and White showed late in the first half.

Temple was held to only 9 made field goals in the second half, and while the Owls attempted all twenty of their free throws in the second half, they only sunk 12 of them.

In what was at one point a 19-point Temple lead, Memphis went on an 14-1 run of their own and cut the deficit to as low as four at 56-52 with 7:05 remaining.

The Owls outscored the Tigers 18-10 in the final 7 minutes to put the game on ice. Of those final 18 points, 9 came from the charity stripe as Temple shot 9-12 from the line during this stretch and the other 9 points came from behind the arc. Quinton Rose cashed two threes in the last seven minutes and then Obi Enechionyia nailed the dagger from the corner with 33 seconds to go.

Enechionyia posted 10 points (3/8 from behind the arc) and 6 rebounds. Senior captain Dan Dingle had 13 points and tied his career high with seven assists.

The victory was the Owls’ third win in a true road game, and it improves their record to 14-12.

The Owls will be back in action Wednesday night against the East Carolina Pirates. The Pirates, at 3-9 in the AAC, sit in 9th place in the conference. This matchup could potentially be the same matchup the Owls have in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament in Connecticut. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm and the game will air on ESPNNews.

 

 

Owls Stay Afloat in the AAC, Sink the Green Wave

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With the Owls on the brink of joining the cellar of the American Athletic Conference standings, freshman Quinton Rose and the Temple Owls went on a second-half surge to secure their first conference road win at Tulane 79-71.

In a first half that saw 7 ties and 5 lead changes, the Owls headed into the locker room all tied at 34 apiece despite their poor rebounding performance. Tulane’s center Ryan Smith, who had 11 points and 5 offensive rebounds, and forward Sammis Reyes, 9 points and 7 boards, dominated the glass with Temple’s Ernest Aflakpui stuck on the bench early on. Tulane’s 11 offensive rebounds and 16 second chance points in the first half kept them in the game against the Owls that shot 51% from the floor.

The second-half surge for the Cherry and White was led by Quinton Rose. The Rochester, NY product finished the night with 18 points and 9 rebounds, including 5 for 6 from the free throw line. Rose used his superior quickness from the second he entered the game to get into the paint and used his athleticism to finish around the rim.

Obi Enechionyia knocked down a three-pointer and Shizz Alston Jr. swished a few free throws to generate a 10-2 run early in the second half to give the Owls some breathing room at 48-40.

Enechionyia looked like his old self Tuesday night with 13 points on 5 for 8 shooting, but he struggled with foul trouble in his 27 minutes played. Shizz Alston Jr, the Owls new leading scorer, struggled with foul trouble as

Owls Fall to Houston 79-66
Enechionyia posts 13 points in the win

well. Alston scored 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds before he fouled out in the final minutes of play.

 

With 6:45 left in the game, Quinton Rose threw a cross-court fastball to Ernest Aflakpui for the layup and the Owls took their largest lead of the game at 13, but the Green Wave would not quit. Tulane’s Cameron Reynolds scored 5 straight points to make the score 67-61, then with the score at 69-63, Reynolds hit a three pointer to trim the Owls’ lead to 3. That was the closest that Tulane got to a comeback, but the redshirt-junior still had a game-high 29 points in defeat.

The number 70 continues to be the magic number for Temple. In games when the Owls put up more than 70 points, they are 11-1, with that one loss coming to the AAC’s strongest team in the Cincinnati Bearcats.

As far as the American Athletic Conference standings, the Owls still sit in 8th place at 3-7, but they still have a great opportunity to climb the standings and assert themselves with the AAC’s best.

Of the Owls 8 remaining games, 4 of them come against South Florida (twice), East Carolina and Tulane. Those three programs have a combined 3 AAC victories. Along with the Owls four matchups with the worst teams in the AAC, they face UCONN and Central Florida, the two teams right ahead of TU in the AAC standings. Those two games are great opportunities to gain even more ground as both games will be at the Liacouras Center.

Catch the Owls in action next this Sunday, February 5th as they face USF. Sunday’s game is at the Liacouras Center and tipoff is scheduled for 1 pm and will be televised on CSN.

Owls Fall to Houston 79-66

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Photo Courtesy of Owl Sports
Photo Courtesy of Owl Sports

The road woes continued for Temple Saturday night as they were defeated by the Houston Cougars 79-66.

The Owls trailed early and often throughout the contest. The only Temple lead came when Obi Enechionyia knocked down a three pointer on the Owls’ first possession to make it 3-0, but Houston controlled the rest of the night behind huge games from Rob Gray and Damyean Dotson.

Damyean Dotson put up his seventh double-double of the year in a 20 point and 10 rebound effort. Rob Gray, the AAC’s leading scorer, racked up 28 points as he shot 3-4 from behind the arc and a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line to lead the extremely efficient Houston offense. The Cougars rank 1st in free throw percentage and 2nd in 3-point percentage in the American Athletic Conference and stayed true to form as they shot 46% from the floor and 86% at the free-throw line in their win.

For Temple, Obi Enechionyia put in a performance that looked similar to the Obi that propelled the Owls’ 5 game win streak early in the season as he scored 16 points on 4-9 shooting from three and grabbed 7 rebounds. The junior was only averaging 9.9 points per game in AAC play and was struggling mightily from behind the arc after his stellar nonconference showing where he recorded 20+ points 5 times within the first seven games.

Freshman Quinton Rose provided a spark off the bench with 9 first-half points in only 9 minutes of play, but then shot 1 for 5 in the second half and finished with 11. The Jekyll and Hyde season continues for the Rochester, NY native. While Rose’s athleticism and effort on the court this season has been a mainstay, it is his inconsistent shooting and ability to take care of the ball that gets him stuck to the bench at times. Q Rose is shooting 26% from three this season, but in games when Rose swishes at least one trey, the Owls are 7-2. As far as the ball security, Rose has more turnover (44) than assists (38) this year.

Senior captain Dan Dingle remains a model of consistency and did the same in Saturday night’s loss. Dingle posted 15 points, 3 boards and 3 assists. This was the 11th time in the last 12 games in which #4 has recorded double-digits in scoring.

With the loss the Owls’ record in true road games has fallen to 1-7 with that one victory coming within the city of Philadelphia when they beat St. Joseph’s 78-72 in late November. Oddly enough, Temple has had a couple of their most impressive wins on neutral courts, when they defeated West Virginia and Florida State at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but they can seem to get on the winning end when playing at somebody else’s gymnasium.

The Owls have a great opportunity to get that second road win of the 2016-2017 season next game when they travel to New Orleans to face Tulane. Tulane has had a miserable season with a 4-17 overall record and a 1-8 record within the AAC. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 pm and the game can be viewed on ESPNNews.

Sizzlin’ Shizz Leads the Way as the Owls End Their Skid

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While the Owls have had some extreme highs and extreme lows throughout the 2016-2017 campaign, the one thing that remains constant is the solid play of point guard Shizz Alston.

For the third consecutive game Alston took control of the Owls’ offense with 20+ points. His effort Wednesday night was good enough for the 77-66 victory against the University of Memphis, which put a stop to Temple’s three game losing skid.

The sophomore from Philadelphia has made great strides in his second year wearing the Cherry and the White. When Alston Jr. was a freshman he posted 63 points the entire season. During Shizz’s recent three-game scoring spree, he has racked up 72. Along with Alston’s improvement as a scorer, he continues to protect the basketball as good as anyone. His 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks second in the American Athletic Conference.

The first half of Temple’swin saw the Owls and Memphis Tigers trade buckets and go on runs of their own, but only to end up where they started, with a 30-30 tie at the intermission. Temple struggled early on as they turned the ball over 3 out of their first 4 possessions, but they quickly shook off the rust from their week long break thanks to the play of captain Dan Dingle. Dingle knocked down a couple of three-balls to kick-start the scoring and finished the half with 8 points.

As the Owls were about to head into the locker room down by 2 points, freshman Alani Moore intercepted a pass and pulled up from behind the three-point line. Moore missed the shot, but he grabbed the offensive board and threw a pass down low to fellow frosh Quinton Rose as he threw in the contested layup as time expired.

Coming off a little momentum from the stellar play by Rose and Moore, the Owls, particularly Shizz Alston, started knocking down some shots. After an Ernest Aflakpui layup, Shizz Alston channeled his inner Reggie Miller and posted 8 points between the 19:04 and 18:09 marks in the second half. Alston sandwiched a couple of three balls with a steal and a layup in traffic to generate a 10-2 Owls run and create a safe cushion throughout the second half.

Alston totaled another 5 after his individual 8-0 run to finish with 13 in the second half and 22 points and 5 boards in the win, but it was the captains that sealed the deal. Seniors Dan Dingle and Mark Williams (who was celebrating his birthday) scored 15 of the final 20 points for Temple, including a combined 10-11 from the foul line on the evening, to cap off that elusive second conference victory. Temple is 3-1 on the season when Williams and Dingle score double digits. Williams scored a season high 15 points along with 4 boards and 4 assists and Dan Dingle had 16 points and 7 rebounds.

Temple’s second AAC win bumps the Owls in the 8th spot in the standings with their 2-6 record, and their road ahead is no walk in the park. The Owls will spend some time away from North Broad as they travel to Houston to face the Cougars (formally known as Phi Slamma Jamma in the 1980s) on Saturday night at 10 pm and then will stop in New Orleans to take on the Tulance Green Wave to following Tuesday.

 

Obi Struggles, Owls Fall to UConn 73-59

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Amida Brimah skies to reject Enechionyia, one of his six blocks on the night (Credit: Qaud City Times)

In a matchup between two AAC teams that were desperate for their second conference win, the Temple Owls lost to the UConn Huskies 73-59 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT.

Temple and UConn have rich basketball traditions but the two programs have not had hot starts to their American Athletic Conference play. Coming in, they both had only won one of their first conference battles. With the threat of falling to 1-4 in AAC play, UConn dominated the paint on both sides of the floor in the win thanks to great performances from senior forward Kenton Facey and rim-protector Amida Brimah.

The 6-foot-10 Kenton Facey posted a career high 23 points, on 9/11 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double, and blocked two shots on defense.

Amida Brimah, who has blocked more than 300 shots while at UConn, denied six shots tonight and added in 13 points in only 26 minutes of play.

The two men down low were responsible for 8 of the Huskies’ 9 blocks, and led them a 52.8% shooting night where the team only had to make four three-pointers in order to put up 73 points on the night. UConn (7-9, 2-3) out-rebounded the smaller and much younger Owls 40 to 31.

Along with the stellar play of the Huskies big-men, sophomore guard Jalen Adams posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 assists.

The Huskies jumped out to an early 22-9 lead and never looked back on Wednesday night. The UConn lead was consistently double-digits throughout the contest, and they were up by as much as 14 in the first half until Temple’s Dan Dingle cashed a three-pointer as time expired in the first-half.

The Owls made a slight run of their own in the middle of the second half as they cut the UConn lead to 7, at a score of 55-48, but a few layups by the Huskies bounced the lead back up and over double digits as Temple continued to leave the paint wide open.

For Temple, three players recorded double digit scoring. Senior captains Daniel Dingle and Mark Williams had 10 apiece and point guard Shizz Alston Jr. had 13 points and 6 assists. The Owl’s leading scorer, junior Obi Enechionyia, had a night one would love to forget as he put up 7 points on 3 of 17 shooting, and 1 of 10 from behind the arc.

Also, freshman Damion Moore saw action as sophomore center Ernest Aflakpui got into early foul trouble. In Moore’s 7 minutes on the court he went a perfect 3 for 3 to get a career-high 6 points.

The Owls have a 1-5 record in true away games this season.

Between the absence of senior Josh Brown, freshman Quinton Rose and Alani Moore showing signs of slowing down, and the inconsistent shooting of Obi Enechionyia, Temple’s back-to-back wins against Top-25 teams are in the distant past.

The Owls will need to see more production from the young guards like Shizz Alston

Brown, who was coming off an Achilles injury, has not played since December 13th. The senior was averaging 7 points on 52% shooting, 2 rebounds and 2 assists per game. In Brown’s absence, the Owls have gone 3-4. With no Josh Brown, the Owls then looked to freshmen Quinton Rose and Alani Moore to pick up the slack. Rose and Moore played well and avoided typical freshmen mistakes early in the season, but the pair has struggled as of late. Moore has averaged 5 points on 26% shooting in AAC play and Rose has averaged 8 points on 36% shooting. In the loss to UConn, Rose had 1 point in 21 minutes play and Moore went 2/9 from the floor with six points.

With no Brown and the subpar play of the freshmen guards, the pressure has all gone to Obi Enechionyia to put the ball in the basket. The junior from Springfield, VA cannot have shooting nights like the one he had at UConn if the Owls want to make a run into March this season.

The non-conference season brought some fantastic wins that will look great for a March Madness resume. The Cherry and White took down top-ranked teams in Florida State and West Virginia at the Barclays Center, finished second in Big 5 play with their only loss to then #1 Villanova, and beat the Big East’s DePaul and the Yale Bulldogs, last years Ivy League champions.

With a 1-4 conference record, which puts the Owls in 9th place out of 11 teams, Temple will need to turn it around quickly so their excellent non=conference resume does not go to waste.

One key for the Owls is is shooting. When the Owls are above 40%, they are 9-1. When below, a brutal 1-7. Temple ranks 23rd in the country in turnovers, with only 11 per game.

The Owls will be back in action on Saturday, January 14th against Tulsa. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 o’clock at the Liacouras Center and the game will air on ESPNNews.

Collins Begins Forming His New Staff

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After watching the Owls suffer a 34-26 defeat to Wake Forest in the Military Bowl, new head coach Geoff Collins quickly turned the page on another historic season for Temple football and began the difficult challenge of forming his coaching staff.

So far, there are two newcomers to the Temple football program as Dave Patenaude has been hired as the offensive coordinator and David Feeley was hired to be the head strength and conditioning coach for the Owls.

The offensive coordinator position was one of the biggest hires Collins, a defensive-minded coach, had to make. Dave Patenaude has been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the last 5 seasons for Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers, who make most of their noise on the baseball diamond, posted a 10-2 record in 2016 behind an stellar offense that posted over 37 points and 380 yards per game. Before Patenaude’s time at Coastal, he served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Georgetown University. Patenaude has also coached at several universities in the northeast like Holy Cross, New Haven (Conn), Fordham, Columbia, and Hofstra. At Hofstra, Patenaude coached Bryant Savage, the brother of Houston Texans’ quarterback Tom Savage.

David Feeley is the new head strength and conditioning coach. Feeley is coming from the University of South Carolina where he held the same position for one season. Back in 2010, Feeley and Geoff Collins coached together at Florids International University. At FIU, Collins was the defensive coordinator and Feeley the strength and conditioning coach. The two coaches helped lead the FIU Panthers to a victory in the Little Cesar’s Pizza Bowl.

Three familiar faces from the 2016 offensive coaching staff will return, but their positions have yet to be announced.

Ed Foley, who coached the Owls in their bowl game, will be back for the Cherry and White in 2017. Foley has been apart of the Temple football program under three different head coaches (Al Golden, Steve Addazio, and Matt Rhule) and has manned a plethora of positions on the offensive side of the ball. While at Temple, Foley has been the assistant head coach, tight ends coach, assistant offensive line coach, and director of football operations. The Cherry Hill, NJ native has been a mainstay for a Temple football program that has had so much turnover in the last decade as the Owls worked their way from one of the worst teams in Division 1 football to the American Athletic Conference champions that have been ranked in each of the last two seasons.

The other two offensive assistants returning are Frisman Jackson and Chris Wiesehan. Jackson has been the Wide Receivers coach at five different division 1 schools (including at Temple for 2 years) and was also the passing game coordinator for the Owls in 2016. Jackson played wide receiver at Western Illinois and then spent six seasons in the NFL where he played for the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets. In Jackson’s first season as the wide recievers coach he worked hard with senior Robbie Anderson, who was not even with the team the year before, and Anderson had nearly 1,000 receiving yards and seven touchdowns to earn a NFL contract with the New York Jets. This season, Temple’s receiving corps, highlighted by Ventell Bryant and Keith Kirkwood, made huge strides throughout the season and have some very promising talent returning for 2017 season.

Chris Wiesehan has coached at Temple for three seasons, coaching the offensive line in 2014 and 2015 and then the running backs and serving as the senior offensive assistant in 2016. Wiesehan has coached all around the country for the last 22 seasons, making stops at Univ. of Hawaii, the Canadian Football League, and several other division 1 football programs. Wiesehan’s experience and great knowledge for the offensive side of the ball made this a no-brainer for Geoff Collins to ask him to return to the Owls.

While the Temple coaching staff is beginning to round out, head coach Geoff Collins needs to fill the vacancies on the defensive side of the ball. Three defensive coaches, including defensive coordinator Phil Snow have already announced that they will be on Waco next season as parts of former Temple head coach Matt Rhule’s coaching staff.