Temple basketball 2014-15 season preview

Temple Owls

2013-14 Record: 9-22, 4-24 in the AAC

Head Coach: Fran Dunphy

Tenure at Temple: 8th Season

Career Coaching Record: 472–260

Home Court: Liacouras Center

Starters: F Obi Enechionyia, F Mark Williams, G Will Cummings, G Quenton Decosey, F/C Devontae Watson

Bench: G/F Daniel Dingle, G Josh Brown, F Nick Pendergast

Overview: Temple is entering its second season as a part of the American Athletic Conference. The Owls struggled in their inaugural season in the AAC, facing tougher competition. including defending NCAA champion Connecticut and now ACC bound Louisville. Temple did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and was eliminated by UCF in a double-overtime 94-90 loss in the first round of the AAC Tournament.

Temple will be returning the majority of its roster at nine players, and will also welcome freshman forward Obi Enechionyia along with transfers Jesse Morgan, Jaylen Bond and Devin Coleman from Massachusetts, Texas and Clemson, respectively.

Senior Will Cummings will return to the squad and will be forced to take on a leadership role as the team’s only returning senior starter. He started each of the 29 games he played last season—he sat out two due to a concussion—and averaged 16.8 points per game, ending the season with a career high of 31 points against UCF.

Redshirt sophomore Daniel Dingle is also returning as a bench player after a season-ending meniscus tear early in the 2013-14 season. Before the injury, he was the team's sixth man, posting 11 blocks, 14 defensive rebounds and 19 assists in 10 games. His defensive presence will be vital to the Owls' pursuit of returning to the Big Dance.

At 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, Enechionyia—the only freshman on the squad—is in position to perform at the same level as last year's leading scorer, Dalton Pepper. As a senior in high school, Enechionyia averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds per game, strikingly similar to Pepper's numbers in his last two seasons at Temple. With the addition of this new talent and a solid returning core, the Owls have a chance to be much improved in 2014-15.

One thing that needs to go right: The addition of the three transfers significantly benefits the team and is able to create a new chemistry that is more effective in the paint and the perimeter.

One thing that could go wrong: Dingle is unable to perform at the same level pre-injury coming off the bench. Temple relied heavily on his defensive efforts and saw its season suffer after he took a medical redshirt.


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