Temple Owls Men’s Basketball Season Preview
The temperatures are falling and Temple men’s basketball sweatshirts are beginning to be seen around campus. That’s right, Temple hoops are just days away from kicking off the season. The first matchup is an exhibition game vs Jefferson University at 7:30 pm, from the Liacouras Center.
— Temple University (@TempleUniv) November 8, 2017
It seems like a decade ago, but Temple was in the NCAA tournament 2 years ago and the chemistry was at an all-time high. Josh Brown was becoming the leader this team needed ever since Will Cummings, and Obi Enechionyia were s looked at as the players to put Temple over the top to advancing further into the NCAA tournament.
Injuries derailed the momentum the team had and the Owls finished with a 16-16 record last season. Josh Brown is back for a final season after being granted a redshirt season after injuring his Achilles back in May of 2016. This led him to be a redshirt senior, which gives him eligibility to play for his final season. As a junior, he was second in assists at 4.9 a game in the AAC, and first in assist/turnover ratio at 3.5 per game. Brown isn’t going to go James Harden on you and go 15-19 from the field, but he will get those all-around stat games most nights. A team must have a leader to motivate and improve a young player’s game and push them to new heights, and that is what Brown will do for Quinton Rose this season.
Rose was a finalist on the USA U-19 team in the offseason, which was a step in the right direction on maturing as a player. Hopefully, this honorable mention will help his game grow. Coming off being named on the all-rookie team for the AAC, look for his field goal percentages to increase and his free throw line numbers to flourish. After discussing his new shot with Dunphy, the goal is to increase his percentage from .300 to .350. He will have freedom this year to create his own shot, and this will allow him the ability to take over games.
Lastly, the player all NBA scouts will be coming to see this season is Obi Enechionyia. The senior out of Springfield Virginia was on a tear at the beginning of last season. He scored 20+ points in 5 of 7 games and shot 53% from the field. The media started to take notice and it was almost a lock he would be going into the draft. When he scored 26 against Saint Joseph's, many NBA scouts were in attendance and were very impressed with his perimeter shooting and also ability to get to the rim. His season went downhill as teams figured out his inability to post up, which affected his game on both ends of the floor. This season he must prove why he is an elite player in the NCAA and help get Temple back to the tournament.
I believe Brown, Rose, and Obi are the 3 impact players who will lead this team back to the NCAA tournament and represent Temple basketball the way it should be. This program has the fifth most wins all time and should be in the tournament every year.
Temple plays its first 6 games on the road including the Charlestown classic from November 16-19th. Look for them to surprise the college basketball world right out of the gate.