Note: Josh Safran, the creator of Corona Madness, got very bored while in quarantine and wanted to see this year’s college basketball season played to completion. Thus, he used the Temple Men’s Basketball roster to play a hybrid version of their schedule in the NCAA10 video game. The team competes in the A-10 and isn’t an exact replica, but it’s here to serve your basketball boredom for now.
Written by: Josh Safran
After garnering some national media attention for playing the part of cardiac kids, it had to feel good for the Owls to be removed from a tournament setting, a neutral court, and the chance to play in front of the home fans. Those three elements typically play large factors in the college environment as players are less mature, but a team led by seniors is proving the elements may not weigh on them as much as their counterparts.
Following their epic stint in the NIT Season Tip-Off, Temple trekked back home to meet the Aggies from Texas A&M, who the Owls made easy work of, 49-38. While Texas A&M (3-1) fields a decent team led by senior guard Donald Sloan and freshman forward Khris Middleton, they picked the wrong time to come into the Liacouras Center. Temple (5-1) looked like they picked up right where they left off from their recent tournament victory, except this time they didn’t wait until the final two minutes to kick things into second gear. Once again the high man of the game was last week’s hero, Alani Moore II, who notched 17 points in his 19 minutes.
Following a stagnant first half that left the two teams tied at 18, Temple came out and ran a much slower, scripted, offense. The Owls started working the ball into the post, exhibited beautifully on their first possession out of the half, swinging the ball around the perimeter until they had a matchup they liked, finding Jake Forrester on the low post and allowing him to exploit his one-on-one matchup for an easy two. A couple possessions later saw more of the same, but this time Quinton Rose’s shot creating ability got him a nice 10-footer.
After making it clear what their gameplan was, the Aggies began to back off the ball handlers, trying to play the passing lanes and keeping out the quick first step of Rose. Seeing that Texas A&M had dialed their pressure back, Nate Pierre Louis called for a pick and roll from Rose, and when the defense went under, he let it fly for a sweet three. Pierre Louis would finish the day with 12 points coming off a 4/9 day from the field.
The game was smooth sailing from there on out, as Temple seemed to be able to get whatever they wanted inside and out through the rest of the half. Although a double digit victory, Temple still found a way to lose the battle of the boards, bringing down just 17 compared to Texas A&M’s 19. What made up for their rebounds however was free throw shooting. Temple shot just 78% on the night, but were perfect when it counted, knocking down 6/6 free throws in the final minute.
Temple’s next (non-simulated) game will be on the 3rd, their biggest test of the year as they travel to Kansas to take on the Wichita St. Shockers.