A pair of teams from the AAC take to the floor in the Lone Star State. The Temple Owls are on the road as they make the trip to battle with the SMU Mustangs Saturday night. Temple comes in off a 65-53 home upset of #16 Wichita State Wednesday night in their previous contest. SMU came up on the short end of a 71-62 decision on the road at Houston in their last game Wednesday night. The Mustangs own a 6-5 advantage in the all-time series between the schools but the Owls have taken the last two meetings, including an 82-74 home win in the most recent matchup February 13, 2019.
Temple Owls Try to Build Off Upset WinAaron McKie was once a star player at his alma mater but after Fran Dunphy hung up his whistle after 13 years at the school, he took over the head coaching reins. So far, it’s been all right for the former guard as his team enters the game 10-6 overall and 2-3 in Atlantic 10 play. Temple started the season 4-0, including a road win at USC, before losing to Maryland on a neutral floor. The Owls followed that with wins over Texas A&M and Davidson on a neutral floor before falling at home to Missouri. Temple won three of their next four before losing three straight to Tulsa, Houston and Tulane leading into their signature win of the year, the upset of Wichita State.
13th straight season with a win over a ranked opponent 💪 pic.twitter.com/3xcxRzWKDJ— Temple Men's Basketball (@TUMBBHoops) January 17, 2020
The Owls are putting up an average of 68.6 points per game on the season, putting them 254th in the nation in scoring offense. Temple is grabbing 39.8 rebounds per contest and hands out 14.4 assists per game. The Owls are well above average on the defensive end ranking 56th in scoring defense by allowing 63.1 points a night. Quinton Rose (team-high 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists) and Nate Pierre-Louis (10.4 points, nine rebounds) are the two players for the team scoring in double figures. De’Vondre Perry, Jake Forrester, Monty Scott, Josh Pierre-Louis, Alani Moore II, Justyn Hamilton and J.P. Moorman II each put up at least 4.5 points a night for the Owls. Temple shoots 40.6 percent from the field on the year. The Owls knock down 7.3 threes a night while shooting 32 percent from beyond the arc. Temple has some work to do at the free throw line, as they are sinking 68 percent of their chances on the year.
The numbers from KenPom show how much Temple relies on their defense to have success this season. While the Owls are 220th in offensive efficiency, they are a terrific 21st in defensive efficiency on the year. Temple plays at a quick pace, ranking 64th in the nation in tempo with 71.1 possessions per game on the year. The Owls don’t waste time offensively as they are 17th in shortest possession time on average offensively as they fire up a shot in 15.5 seconds. Their opponents are 332nd in that category, holding the ball on average for 18.3 seconds before taking a shot. Temple is 279th in effective field goal percentage offensively at 47.6 percent but stand 24th in that statistic on the defensive end of the floor, limiting opposing teams to 44.3 percent effective field goal percentage on the year.
SMU Mustangs Hope Return Home Leads to Return to Win ColumnSMU had been cruising along this season with only a couple bumps in the road. After their recent pothole, the Mustangs hope that a return home leads to a change in recent fortunes for the program. SMU started the year with eight straight wins, the best of which was a four-point road victory at UNLV. The Mustangs suffered back to back defeats as they were hammered by 17 at home by Georgetown before losing in double overtime on the road to Georgia. SMU responded with four straight wins, including their first two conference tilts, before going on the road and falling by three to East Carolina and by nine to Houston. A return to Dallas gives the Mustangs a chance to get back on the right track here.
The Mustangs are putting up 76.8 points per game this season as a team, putting them 63rd in the nation in scoring offense. SMU pulls down 39.1 rebounds per contest while dishing 16.6 assists per game. The Mustangs are okay on the defensive end as they come in 161st in the nation by allowing 68.3 points per contest. Kendric Davis leads the team with 16.5 points plus 7.1 assists per game on the season. Isiaha Mike (15.4 points, 7.1 rebounds), Tyson Jolly (14 points, 6.4 rebounds) and Feron Hunt (13.5 points, 7.6 boards) are each averaging in double figures. Ethan Chargois and Emmanuel Bandoumel are the only other players averaging more than 2.9 points per game for the Mustangs. SMU shoots 46.5 percent from the field as a team this season. The Mustangs knock down 7.8 triples per contest and sink 33.9 percent from beyond the arc. SMU is stellar at the free throw line as they connect on 77.6 percent of their attempts this season.
The numbers from KenPom show that SMU is an offensive driven team, even with a short rotation as far as scoring options go. On the season, the Mustangs are 24th in offensive efficiency, 44th in effective field goal percentage (53.2 percent) and 24th in offensive rebound percentage at 35.1 percent. SMU is 17th in two-point field goal percentage (54.8 percent) and stands 13th in free throw shooting so far this season. The Mustangs do quite a bit offensively despite playing at one of the slower paces in the country. SMU is 319th in the nation in tempo with 65.3 possessions per game.
The top trends for this contest according to Covers.com:
- Owls are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Owls are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games
- No Key Trends