Kevin Ollie’s UConn Huskies (13-12, 8-5 AAC) are kicking off a two-game road stretch in Philadelphia with a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Temple Owls.
In the teams’ first meeting, UConn notched an impressive victory which saw Kentan Facey put up 23 points and Jalen Adams hand out 12 assists. The Huskies jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.
Since that win, UConn is 6-3 after weathering a chunk of games without Juwan Durham and Steve Enoch in addition to the other debilitating injuries. The hosts are coming off a perplexing loss to East Carolina where they allowed the Pirates to mount a 19-3 run in the second half to claim their fourth conference win.
Temple (14-13, 5-9 AAC) sits eighth in the conference standings, looking up at UConn, who is just a half game back of 3rd-place Houston. KenPom rates UConn higher, with the Huskies ranked 93rd in the country in overall efficiency compared to Temple’s 111th, but close enough that the Owls are still projected to win, 68-65, due to the home-court advantage.
Their scoring attack is balanced, as freshman guard Shizz Alston leads Temple with 13.7 ppg followed closely by forward Obi Enechionyia (13 ppg) and senior guard Daniel Dingle (12.5 ppg).
With Durham and Enoch now fully healthy, the Huskies will have the depth to be aggressive down low against Enechionyia, a 6-foot-10 junior averaging 6.5 rebounds per game, and shut him down the way they did last time out, when he finished with seven points and three rebounds. Amida Brimah and Kentan Facey will have their work cut out for them.
A win would give the Huskies four straight and seven of their last eight heading into an important matchup with Houston on Wednesday. Most recently, they miraculously came back from a double-digit deficit to take down Memphis at home.
This is the open thread. Feel free to share your pregame thoughts and predictions here and stick around to discuss the game!