Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
Regardless of who is gone or who is returning, the Temple Owls always have a tendency to reload under head coach Fran Dunphy. As the program makes the transition to the American Athletic Conference though, Temple faces a larger rebuilding effort than usual.
Last Season: T-3rd, 11-5 in A-10, 24-10 overall
Predicted AAC Finish: 5th
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Anthony Lee (Jr)/Devontae Watson (So)
F:Jimmy McDonnell (Jr)/Mark Williams (Fr)
G/F: Dalton Pepper (Sr)/Daniel Dingle (So)
SG: Quenton DeCosey (So)
PG: Will Cummings (Jr)/Josh Brown (Fr)
Gone: SG-Khalif Wyatt, F/C-Jake O’Brien, SF-Scootie Randall, F-Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, PG-T.J. DiLeo
Per usual, Temple will rely on their stout defense and that end of the floor will be even more vital this year since the Owls lose four of their top five scorers. Big man Anthony Lee is the lone returning player who averaged more than six points per game last season but did so in a complementary role and I cannot see him blossoming into a legit number one scoring option.
Outside of Lee, there is a serious lack of experience in the frontcourt. Returning players Jimmy McDonnell, Devontae Watson, and Daniel Dingle played a total of 57 minutes last season. Freshman Mark Williams will try to work himself into the rotation as well as playing time is totally up for grabs.
The backcourt faces the enormous challenge of replacing Khalif Wyatt who at times, carried Temple on his back. Will Cummings takes over as the lead guard. He started most of last season but often deferred to Wyatt which he won’t have the luxury of doing this time around.
Dalton Pepper and Quenton DeCosey were the eighth and ninth men in the rotation last year but get thrust into major roles especially since there is a lack of depth in the backcourt. Pepper is a physical wing player known for his long distance shooting while DeCosey might possess the most talent on the roster and could be headed for a breakout season. Dunphy typically doesn’t give freshmen a lot of run but he will have no other option but to play Josh Brown for about twenty minutes a night. Brown is an aggressive guard capable of running the point or playing off the ball and is a perfect fit with the Owls due to his pitbull mentality on defense.
Temple also picked up a transfer in Texas forward Jaylen Bond. The Philly native is returning home after two underwhelming seasons with the Longhorns. He must sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules but will add some physicality to the frontcourt in 2014-15.
Defense will be calling card for the Temple Owls during their inaugural season in the AAC. It has to be since the team loses 73.4% of their offensive production from a year ago. Until Dunphy can find answers on the offensive end, expect to see a grind-it-out style of play as this team scratches and claws to try and make their seventh straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Player to Watch: Quenton DeCosey
The 6-5 shooting guard had to play the waiting game last year sitting behind a plethora of experienced wings. This season, he will be given every opportunity to snatch major minutes and display his ability to score the basketball from all over the court.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/11 vs. Kent State
11/14 at Towson
11/21 vs. Clemson (Charleston Classic)
11/22 vs. Davidson/Georgia (Charleston Classic)
11/23 vs. New Mexico/UAB/UMass/Nebraska (Charleston Classic)
12/4 vs. St. Joseph’s
12/7 vs. Texas
1/18 vs. La Salle
2/1 vs. Villanova
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#64 Florida State
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#70 Miami FL
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#84 Washington State
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#95 Seton Hall
#97 George Mason
#99 Penn State
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#108 Virginia Tech
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks