For the second consecutive season, Temple Men’s Basketball is playing at Brooklyn. This year, the Owls will face the Miami Hurricanes at 9:30 PM on Tuesday night (Editors Note: Going to be later) as a part of the Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational. The match-up is the third game of a three game set, following Iona-Princeton and Providence-Florida. Here’s some notes on the game.
Off the Court Info
By: Ray Dunne
The Venue: Barclays Center
- Temple is 4-5 all-time at the arena, including a 1-1 trip a year ago while playing in the Legends Classic. Over their last five games in the arena, they are 4-1 with notable wins over Cal (2018-19), then 25th-ranked Florida State (2016-17), and then 19th-ranked West Virginia (2016-17).
- The Barclays Center was the site of the Owls’ most recent Round of 64 NCAA Tournament game. On March 18th, 2016, Temple lost a heartbreaker to Iowa 72-70 on a putback buzzer-beater by Adam Woodbury in overtime. Senior Quenton DeCosey led the team in scoring that night with 26 points, the final of his 1,513 points in his Temple career.
- Jay-Z sold out the arena eight times to open it up in 2012. That has nothing to do with basketball, but it feels important to note.
The Event: Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational
- The invitational is a part of a series of events being put on by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during the 2019-20 season This year’s event is the inaugural season for this specific invitational.
- Princeton-Iona opened up the slate of games at 4:30 PM followed by Providence-Florida at 7:00 PM.
- The 9:30 PM EST tip-off marks the latest game, in terms of local time, the Owls are slated to play this season. Editor’s note: The Princeton-Iona game went to overtime (because of course it did) so the game will likely not tip until close to 10 PM.
Temple Owls (7-2)
By: Sam Cohn
Under the new regime of Head Coach Aaron McKie, the Owls are off to a hot 7-2 start with quality wins against USC and Davidson.
Temple is led by captains Quinton Rose and Nate Pierre-Louis who bring very different strengths to the floor.
Rose, a pure scorer averaging 14.7 ppg and shooting 36% from the field, came out with a much-improved jump shot from last season. His release and decision-making have both come a long way and he’s quick enough to be able to get to his spots without forcing too much.
Pierre-Louis is slowly but surely making his case for AAC Defensive Player of the Year locking down opposing team’s primary scorers and bringing an infectious energy to the floor.
Jake Forrester is the player to watch against Miami. He missed the first four games waiting to get his transfer waiver cleared but has shown improvement in each of his six appearances. Forrester is coming off an 8-8 shooting performance, in which he poured in a career-high 17 points, against St. Joe’s to go along with six boards.
Take it with a grain of salt considering St. Joe’s had a tough time matching up against Forrester but his presence in the post helps space the floor offensively creating room for Temple shooters. He’s shown an aggressiveness around the rim with an ability to finish through contact from the baseline.
For what it’s worth, Temple is 11-4 against Power 5 schools since the start of the 2016-2017 season and they’ve shown road games won’t slow them down.
Temple’s defense remains their calling card through nine games matching up against a Miami team who can shoot the lights out. If the Owls can manage to slow down the 19th best 3-point shooting team in the country, they should be in good shape.
Miami Hurricanes (6-3)
By: Dan Wilson
If you like points, you’re going to like Miami’s basketball team. The Hurricanes average 73.7 points per game while allowing their opponents to score an average of 72.2. Their 39.8 percent shooting percentage from beyond the arc is the 19th best in the country.
This style of play is a direct contrast to what the Owls have shown through nine games this season. Temple’s 60.1 points allowed per game is 29th in the country this year and their three-point shooting percentage is nearly a full ten percentage points worse at 31.1.
When the Hurricanes take the floor in head coach Jim Larranaga’s hometown of New York City on Tuesday night, the Owls will have a beatable opponent in front of them. The Hurricanes were projected to finish eighth in the ACC by ESPN’s consensus projections before the season started and Larranaga’s squad already has two 20+ point losses to their name this season, dropping home games to unranked Florida and unranked UConn in the same weekend. Miami is currently 87th in KenPom’s rankings, Temple is 66th.
Miami is led by their three-man front court of senior Dejan Vasiljevic, junior Chris Lykes and redshirt junior Kameron McGusty. This trio of guards account for the majority of the Hurricanes scoring averaging 14.9, 14.6 and 14.1 points per game respectively. Lykes, McGusty and freshman guard Harlond Beverly, who comes off the bench, share the distributing duties, all averaging at least 2.3 assists per contest.
This game is likely going to boil down to whether or not Miami shoots the ball well, particularly from deep. Temple’s back court should have no problems controlling the glass, as the Hurricanes 31.9 rebounds per game fails to match up well with the Owls, who grab 40.8 boards on the typical night.
Sam Cohn: Hammer the under. Take Temple -2.5 but don’t bet the house. The differences in these two teams could play right into each other and it should be a close battle.
Ray Dunne: Temple -2.5 & the under. Miami has struggled against the other two tough defensive teams they’ve faced (Florida & UConn) and Owls’ unders have hit seven times in nine games.
Dan Wilson: Temple -2.5 and the under. The Owls have done a good job of keeping the game at their own pace this season, which dictates lower scoring games. Miami has also struggled to shoot the ball well when good defense stands in their way. Basically what Ray said.