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2019 NCAA tournament preview: Temple

Temple Owls: 23-9, 13-5 in the American Athletic Conference

Head coach: Fran Dunphy (13th season)

Players to watch: Shizz Alston Jr. (19.7 PPG, 5.0 APG, 90.7 FT%); Quinton Rose (16.5 PPG, 2.1 SPG); Nate Pierre-Louis (13.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG)

Season recap: Temple advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016, where the Owls lost to Iowa in overtime. This season will also mark the last on the Temple sideline for head coach Fran Dunphy, who has won 580 games at Temple and Penn combined.

After a 17-win season a year ago, Temple started the year 7-1 before the Owls lost to then-No. 21 Villanova by 10. Temple won the next three and then lost to Central Florida on the road. In the next stretch of games, the Owls defeated then-No. 13 Houston before falling to Penn a few games later.

Temple ended the regular season with wins in eight of the last 10 games including a victory against No. 25 Central Florida to close out the regular season. In the conference tournament, the Owls lost to Wichita State in the quarterfinals.

Senior Shizz Alston Jr., led the team in scoring in 10 of the last 11 games and 19 games overall this season. The Philadephia native led the conference in scoring as well as free throw percentage. Junior Quinton Rose finished ninth in scoring.

How they make a run: Shizz Alston Jr. continues to led the team through a couple of upsets to advance to the second weekend.

How they falter: The team becomes uncharacteristic of Temple basketball and turns the ball over in excess and rushes its shots, leading to an early tournament exit.


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