The Temple Owls are coming off their biggest win of the season, a 71-64 victory over then-ranked SMU. Led by Dalton Pepper's 24 point performance, the Owls improved to 7-17, 2-10 in the AAC. Temple had another "signature" win against St. Joseph's earlier in the season 77-69 led by Pepper again who scored 16. While Temple's record is not good, they have been competitive in most of their games, losing by 10 or fewer points in 10 games this season including an overtime 81-80 loss to Texas.
In conference play, Temple only has one other win besides SMU, an 88-82 win over Rutgers behind Will Cummings' 21 points and 8 assists. Right now Temple is playing one of the toughest stretches that you can play in the AAC as they have already played Louisville and SMU back-to-back and now have to play UConn before going on the road to Memphis and Louisville.
The last time these two teams met, Temple only shot 4-19 from three and was routed by UConn 90-66. Four players did most of the scoring for the Owls which is usually the case for this squad. Temple has four players who average double figures with the next highest scorer only averaging 6.7 PPG. Now, we'll look at those players:
Dalton Pepper, G, Senior (6-foot-5, 220 pounds): Leads the team in scoring with 17.3 PPG and is also 2nd on the team in rebounding with 5.0 a game. He has scored double figures in all but four games this season. Although he hasn't taken enough free throws to qualify for the national ranks, he is shooting 90%. He is also by far Temple's main three-point threat as he ranks in the top 100 in both three-point attempts and makes. Pepper shoots 39.2% from distance. He scored 12 points and pulled down 4 boards when these two teams met earlier in the year.
Will Cummings, G, Junior (6-foot-2, 175 pounds): Leads the team in assists with 4.4 APG and is also second on the team in scoring with 16.2 points per contest. Cummings is pretty consistent, having scored double figures in all but two games this season. He is also a very good free throw shooter, making 83.1% from the line. Cummings led the way for Temple last time the Owls played UConn, scoring 20 points.
Quenton DeCosey, G, Sophomore (6-foot-5, 180 pounds): Third on the team in scoring as he averages 14.8 PPG while also pulling down 3.5 rebounds a game. He is the second three-point threat for the Owls as he is 43-125 on the year from distance for 34.4%. DeCosey scored 12 points while also recording 6 rebounds in the loss to UConn.
Anthony Lee, F, Junior (6-foot-9, 230 pounds): Leads the team in rebounding with 8.9 per game which is good for 42nd in the nation. He is also the 4th player for the Owls to average double figures with 14.0 PPG. Lee scored 14 points in the loss to UConn while somehow not recording a rebound for the first time this season.
Temple is coached by Fran Dunphy who is in his 8th year at Temple where he has compiled a 165-92 record. Dunphy has coached the Owls to six straight NCAA Tournament appearances, a streak that is looking pretty much dead right now. Before Temple, he coached at Penn where he led the Quakers to an impressive 310-163 record while making the NCAA Tournament nine times. Although Dunphy has led teams to the NCAA Tournament a total of 15 times, he has not been able to make it to the Sweet 16.