Temple basketball looks to rebound from a five game losing streak in the American as they take on cross town rival La Salle at the Palestra on Saturday.
The Owls (5-10, 0-5 American) are 2-0 versus Big 5 teams this year, but have yet to win in 2014.
The new year has been plagued by injury and second half collapses for the Owls, beginning December 29th when sophomore forward Daniel Dingle tore his right meniscus during practice. After undergoing successful surgery, however, he may be sidelined for the season.
Junior guard Will Cummings went down during a conference game against USF late in the first half with concussion-like symptoms. He played varied minutes against Memphis, however, he did not make the trip out to Cincinnati for a game later in the week. Cummings did not practice on the Thursday before the La Salle game, however, it is currently undetermined whether he will play on Saturday.
Without Dingle, the Owls have only eight scholarship players available and one walk-on in Nick Pendergast.
Senior guard Dalton Pepper is the teams leading scorer with 17.5 points per game, ranking third in the American
Sophomore guard Quenton DeCosey has scored in double digits in all 15 contests so far this year.
Junior forward Anthony Lee continues to lead the American in rebounds averaging 9.5 per game.
Scouting La Salle
The Explorers (10-6, 3-0 A10) will look to improve to 2-1 in the Big 5 with a win over Temple.
Their 3-0 start in the A10 marks their best start to conference play in program history.
La Salle has four players who average over 10 points per game (Tyreek Duran, Tyrone Garland, Jerrell Wright and Steve Zack).
Forward Steve Zack leads the Atlantic 10 in rebounding averaging 9.4 per game. He also leads the A10 in double doubles, currently with 9, ranking him 11th in the country.
Senior Tyreek Duran is averaging 20.4 points per game in his last 5 at the Palestra.
Last season marked a landmark for the program and head coach John Giannnini as the team qualified for their first NCAA tournament since the 1995-1996 season. The Explorers went on to the Sweet 16 in last year’s tournament, where they lost to Wichita State 78-52.
Series and the Palestra
This game marks the 113th game between the Owls and the Explorers and the 33rd at the Palestra. Temple leads the series 73-40 and has not lost to La Salle in 8 consecutive games. Temple won the last meeting between the squads at the Palestra, January 4, 1989, 67-57.
The last time the Owls and the Explorers met was in front of a sold out crowd at the Liacouras Center on February 21st, 2013. The Owls won 82-74. Each team went 3-1 in the Big 5 that season sharing the city title.
Head coach Fran Dunphy, a 1970 graduate of La Salle, is 25-6 all time as a coach against the Explorers. He is the most winningest coach to play at the Palestra, holding a 171-55 record, including an 11-3 record since he took the reigns at Temple in 2006.
ESPN’s will be hosting it’s first College GameDay of the season prior to Saturday’s game. The game will be televised on ESPN2. Tip-off is set for 12 PM.