The Temple Owls took on the #9 Cincinnati Bearcats tonight and lost 75-42 in a blowout. Temple drops its record to (10-10) on the season and (2-6) in American Conference play with the loss. At this point, the fan base and students are at a loss for words. The once-promising season that had early NCAA Tournament hopes have all been forgotten. This loss is what Temple Basketball has become, in limbo.
I think a stat that needs to be noted is the fact that no Temple player scored in double digits. On the other side, the Bearcats had four of their five starters in double digits. If a team is going to be at least competitive on the road, against a ranked team, you have to have a go-to scorer. Quinton Rose had a team-high seven points on (3-12) shooting.
The Owls shot a miserable 28% from the field goal tonight with only shooting 43% from the free throw line. Average that together and you at a stunning 35%. Essentially only three times out of ten trips down the court did Temple score a point. The Bearcats shot 43%, which allowed them to pull away.
Alright, lets move onto another area Temple looked awful in, and that is turnovers. The Owls turned the ball over 20 times tonight leading to easy layups the other way. Cincinnati used to be a team that played defense well and that’s how they won games, so you could get away with a lot of turnovers if you could go on some runs, Well, that is not the case this season as the Bearcats have many offensive weapons, including veteran Garry Clark, who had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
In the first half, Temple stuck in the game well as they were within a 10 point deficit up until the last two minutes of the first half. That is pretty sad that is the way we view this season now. We would have accepted a 10 point deficit at halftime.
Going into the half, the score was 35-19 Bearcats. The Cats went out a (7-0) run leading into halftime to put the dagger in the heart of the Temple confidence.
The second half can be summed up in a few sentences. I would rather be working the graveyard shift at Target then witness the devastation I had to see from the Owls offense. Normally a team has a least one run to make it interesting, but Temple did not have an answer. Turnover after turnover, brick after brick, the Owls looked lost.
The final score could have been even worse, but the scrubs played the last seven minutes of the game. It was like I was watching NBA Blacktop at the local park. Something is seriously wrong with this program and things need to be addressed.
How does a team with the hardest RPI in non-conference play, just shut down when they have a chance to make a name for themselves in the conference these past few weeks. It starts with coaching.
Fran Dunphy has done a lot for this team over the last decade, but it is time for a change. Heck, he even cost Temple the game at home vs Cincinnati by getting a technical earlier this year when they were still playing decent. I think that really sums up this team as a whole. The Owls are a dysfunctional group.
The Owls have these veterans such as Josh Brown, Obi Enechionyia, and Shizz Alston Jr who at first were playing together and putting Temple in a good position to make the tournament. Now, they have gone silent. Maybe part of the reason is Fran Dunphy integrating his freshman into the rotation. This could have a negative effect on the old guys and cause them to not play with heart due to less playing time.
Freshman Nate Pierre-Louis in this picture
Then, you have the freshman such as De Vondre Perry, Nate Pierre-Louis, and J.P Moorman who are very talented and earning minutes. They are slowly taking away minutes of older players. The dynamic is off and there seem to be “clicks” within the team based on experience.
Then, you have the overall, most talented player on the team in Quinton Rose. He has flashes of greatness but also has flashes of selfishness. In my opinion, once he saw this season falling apart, he decided to play one on five. He plays isolation basketball, which is totally fine if you are making the team better, but that is not the case at all. He is in his own world, worrying about himself, more than worrying about Temple Basketball.
This all leads back to coaching. How does a team who beat all these power five teams such as Auburn, South Carolina, Clemson, and Wisconsin, fall to rock bottom. The identity of the Temple Owls is lost in limbo. I have no idea where to find it.
The Temple Owls have a rich history but a poor future as of now.