While the rest of the college basketball world is three-four games deep into their seasons, Temple basketball is eagerly awaiting their tip off. The Owls are heading down to South Carolina to take on Old Dominion in The Charleston Classic.
Old Dominion is off to a hot start on their season. They are 2-0 after defeating Towson and James Madison. They held both opponents to under 55 points. Last season Temple was able to average 70 points per game with an offensive unit that was not too strong. Temple’s new found depth is surely looking to up the ante on the scoreboard.
Temple’s depth this season relies heavily on their guard rotation. The absence of Josh Brown last season, due to an achilles tendon injury, forced Temple’s younger guards to step up. Shizz Alston Jr. led the team in minutes played with 36.4 minutes played per game. Alani Moore and Quinton Rose each averaged about 25 minutes, as freshmen. With Brown back as the primary caretaker of the ball, the Owls are going to have more than enough weapons that can take care of the ball. That is not even factoring in Temple’s freshmen guards, Nate Pierre Louis and De’Vondre Perry. Both freshmen were high profile prospects, but their ability to transition from high school level competition to D1 will be tested in their matchup against the monarchs.
Despite having an arsenal of guards available, Temple’s height is surprisingly going to be a key for how they will be able to contest ODU. The Monarchs are returning their second leading rebounder, Brandon Stith. The redshirt senior averaged 7 rpg last season as a 6’ 7” forward. ODU only has one big guy that is over 6’7” that could potentially be trouble for the Owls. Trey Porter, a 6’10” redshirt junior is coming back, he averaged 4.8 rpg last season. Temple returns leading rebounder, Obi Enechionyia the 6’10” stretch-forward with a nasty jump shot. Enechionyia averaged 5.8 rpg. In addition to their multitude of guards, the Owls will have a nice rotation of big men. Ernest Aflakpui stands at 6’10” and is hungry on the boards, he averaged 5 rpg. Sophomore, Damion Moore, the 6’11” center will be vying for minutes with Aflakpui. Temple’s presence under the rim should be able to help them increase their ability to rebound as a whole this season.
Although ODU is returning 3 out of their 5 top scorers from their previous season, Temple is returning 4 out of their top 5, including their number 1 and number 2. In addition to Josh Brown who redshirted last season. Shizz Alston Jr. led the team in points with 13.9 ppg and Enechionyia followed with 13.1. Their sophomore guards are expected to contribute to the Owls’ offense even more this season. Rose averaged 10.1 ppg and Moore II 6.5.
The action kicks off at 1:30 on ESPN3.