PHILADELPHIA — After a comfortable win against Tulane on March 6th, Temple clinched the AAC regular season title. In the Memphis game prior to Tulane, Temple secured a no.1 seed to head into the conference tournament. Temple has a conference record of 14-4, and an overall record of 20-10.
The Owl’s first taste of tournament action will come from the winner of the first play in game between University of Southern Florida (4-14 conference, 7-24 overall) and Eastern Carolina University (4-14 conference, 12-19 overall). Temple swept USF in the regular season, but the Owls were only able to defeat the Pirates of Eastern Carolina once, and fell to the Pirates by a bucket in the follow up game.
After 30 years in the Atlantic 10 Conference, this is Temple’s third year competing in the American Athletic Tournament. The Owls are 1-2 in the AAC tournament. Their no.1 seed is an improvement from last season, when they entered as no. 4 seed and fell to front-runner SMU in the quarterfinals.
Temple has the momentum to carry them far into the tournament bracket. They are coming off of three big victories and have won 12 out their last 15, the three game streak started off with another close one against UCF that came down to a game winning shot by senior, Quenton DeCosey.
Quenton DeCosey has led the team all season, and his efforts did not go unnoticed in the AAC. DeCosey is one of two players in the conference to be named a unanimous pick to the American Athletic Conference First Team of the 2015-2016 season. Senior guard averages, 15.9 ppg, scoring in the double figures 27/30 games this season, as well as becoming tied for 22nd on the all time leading scorer list for Temple.
DeCosey is not the only one making moves for the Owls. Sophomore Obi Enechionyia has been averaging over 15 ppg in the last 12 contests, and is shooting 40.5% from the 3 for the season. Not bad for a big guy. Junior guard, Josh Brown, has also made himself a hefty presence in the Owl’s success. Brown is ranked third for assists in the league, and leads the league in fewest Assist/TO ratio (3.8:1) and most minutes played. Do not forget about senior captain, Jaylen Bond. Bond on average grabs 8.3 rebounds per game, making him the 6th best rebounder in the league.
Temple’s game play is very simple, don’t turn the ball over and hope to hit the 3. The Owls lead the nation in fewest turnovers, averaging just 9.2 turnovers a game. They also manage to score 7.9 threes a game, leading the conference in most threes made per game. With two three point snipers shooting over 40% from behind the arc, Devin Coleman and Obi Enechionyia, they are threat from range.
The Owls will face in the quarter finals Friday March, 11th against the winner of ECU and UCF.