The 2016-2017 Temple basketball season is set start off with a Big-5 matchup against the Explorers of LaSalle on Friday night. Looking ahead at the season, just 4 members of the Owls current roster are seniors, leaving plenty of work to be done by underclassmen. Three of the four members of the senior class have been named captains for the season; as Josh Brown, Mark Williams and Daniel Dingle will bear the honors.
Following an AAC regular season championship, the Owls departed key contributors in Quenton Decosey (1st-Team all AAC), Jalen Bond (2nd-Team all AAC), and Devin Coleman (team-high 64 three-pointers). With the same goal in mind, here is the team’s roster breakdown by position for the season.
(** denotes projected starter)
#1 Josh Brown
The senior captain suffered an Achilles tendon injury in May and is likely to miss a bulk of games in the 2016-2017 season. The 6-3 point guard was constantly on the floor last season, leading the AAC in minutes played with 36.2 per game, and did a fantastic job running the offense and taking care of the basketball. Brown’s 3.5 assist to turnover ratio was also tops in the AAC last year and his 8.3 point per game last season ranks second among the returning Owls. If Brown can get back to full strength and provide valuable minutes for the Owls this season it will improve the team dramatically and take some pressure off of some of the younger guards that will also be running the point.
#2 Alani Moore**
In the wake of the injury to Josh Brown and decision to redshirt sophomore Trey Lowe, Alani Moore will play meaningful minutes from the second he steps on the floor for the Owls. Moore, a Washington D.C. native, last played for the Friendship Collegiate Academy where he averaged 20 points and 10 assists. His ability to score along with his great court vision earned him a 3-star rating for both ESPN’s and Rival’s recruiting page. The 5-10 point guard is most likely to earn the most minutes out of Temple’s highly-touted freshman due to the injury of Josh Brown, and he will be manning the backcourt alongside sophomore Shizz Alston Jr..
#3 Shizz Alston Jr.**
In the 2015-2016 season, Alston averaged 2 points and 1 rebound in his 10 minutes per game. Alston showed glimpses of potential as he racked up 12 points against the University of North Carolina and 11 points versus the University of Wisconsin but the 6-4 guard’s minutes decreased as the season progressed. With the injuries and departures in the Owls’ backcourt, Alston will play a much bigger role this season, likely at the 2-guard position.
#11 Trey Lowe
The sophomore will be taking a medical redshirt this season as Lowe is still not fully recovered from the car accident he suffered back in February 2016. As a freshman, Lowe averaged 4.8 points in 12 minutes per game, including a 23-point performance against eventual National Champion Villanova. Lowe will not appear in games for the Owls in the 2016-2017 campaign but will act as a mentor for the younger guards that will take his place on the court.
#13 Quinton Rose
Rose is another freshman guard that will play meaningful minutes for the Owls right away. The 6-6 guard from Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester, NY was rated as a 4-star recruit by ESPN scouts and had offers from schools like Florida State, Miami, Penn State, and many more. In Rose’s senior year at Bishop Kearney, he averaged 23 points and 6 rebounds which would earn 2nd team All-State honors.
#15 Isaiah Lewis
A late addition to the roster, Lewis is eligible to play this season for the Owls after spending last season at Casper College (Wyoming) where he averaged 5.5 points and 2.2 assists in a limited role. Before his time at Casper, the 6-4 guard attended Lee Junior College in Texas where he averaged 10 points, 4.7 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. There is not much known about the well-traveled junior, but with such a young backcourt, Lewis could end up spending time on the court as he plays for his third school in three years.
#20 Steve Leonard
Also a late addition to the Owls, Leonard will get his first taste of Division 1 basketball after playing the last two seasons at Ursinus College where he averaged 5.6 points over his 43 game career. The 6-6 native from Collegeville, PA is likely to have a practice squad role this season.
#22 Mike Robbins
Robbins walked onto the Owls in the 2014-2015 season and is one of the four seniors on this year’s squad. A Lower Merion graduate, Robbins has scored six points in 18 minutes throughout his career as a member of the Temple Men’s Basketball team.
#32 Ayan Nunez de Carvalho
Nunez de Carvalho was the fourth member of Temple’s recruiting class of 2015, but the Argentinian guard redshirted his freshman season. The 6-6 shooting guard continues the pipeline that connect Argentina to North Philadelphia like former players Pepe Sanchez and Juan Fernandez had done in the past for the Owls. Coach Dunphy has been quoted saying that Nunez de Carvalho is made strides from last season and has largely adapted to the American style of basketball.
#0 Obi Enechionya**
Enechionya is the leading scorer for all returners with his 11 points per game last season and is one of the two returning starters from last year’s AAC regular season championship team. Enechionya had a lot of success from behind the arc last season, shooting 38.6% from 3, and became a prolific scorer down the stretch for the Owls as he posted double digits in points in 12 of the final 15 games. The 6-10 forward from Springfield, VA also is a huge shot-blocker on the defensive end. In the last two seasons Enechionya has 75 rejections and nearly averaged 1 block per game last year. With so many question still needed to be answered heading into the home opener, Enechionya can be the “go-to-guy” for the Owls’ offense and will be a serious matchup problem for opposing teams with his great size and ability to hit long-range jumpers.
#4 Daniel Dingle**
A redshirt senior, Dingle returns for his final season as an Owl as one of the three seniors that were elected captains. Dingle has started 25 games for the Owls over the last two seasons and will bring a veteran presence to the inexperienced Owls. As a junior, Dingle averaged 4.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game while racking up 20 minutes per contest. Throughout his tenure, the 6-7 swingman from the Bronx has struggled with being a consistent shooter. In the 2015-2016 season, Dingle had great games where he was hot from behind the arc, like his 15 point night against UCONN and 14 points in only 16 minutes against SMU, but then there were some not-so great games. Daniel Dingle will got plenty of shots this season, and he will be poised for a huge year if he can bump up his shooting percentages from all over the floor.
#10 Mark Williams
The senior forward, who was also elected captain, will see an increase and minutes and play a larger role compared to last season. Williams averaged 3.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in his junior year, but also only saw the court for 9.5 minutes per game, the lowest Williams has had while at Temple. When Williams sw action, he was efficient as he shot 43.8% from the floor during the 2015-2016 season. At 6-8, Williams can also space the floor as he knocked down 11 three-pointers last season at a 32.4% clip. With no Jalen Bond and Quenton Decosey, who combined averaged nearly 15 rebounds per game, Mark Williams needs to be a beast on the boards to make up for their key departures. Due to increased minutes and more touches in the offense, expect Williams to play a huge role for the Cherry and the White.
#23 Damion Moore
Moore is the largest member of Temple’s freshman class, and at 6 foot 11 inches and 225 pounds, he will be quite a force down low in the paint. The center from Jackson, Mississippi played his senior season for Callaway High School where he averaged 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block per contest. It is likely that Moore will play behind sophomore Ernest Aflakpui but expect to see the freshman on the court for the Owls this season.
#24 Ernest Aflakpui**
The sophomore center from Archbishop Carroll (Pa) is the largest member of the Owls at 6-10 and 240 pounds. Aflakpui saw action in 17 games last season, including 6 consecutive starts during AAC play. As a freshman, Aflakpui averaged 1.7 points and 2 boards per game. In the two games where the Ghana native played heavy minutes he was very productive. Against East Carolina, he scored 8 points and grabbed 10 boards in 25 minutes, and at Cincinnati Aflakpui posted 6 points and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes. Expect Aflakpui to play a bigger role this season and be the Owls’ rim protector and shot-blocker.