Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#619 Drexel 149 vs.
#620 Temple -12
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Written by Chris Altruda

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#619 Drexel University
#620 Temple University
0-0
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17-13-1
15-16-2
15-15-1
17-15-1
75
74
77
71

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Drexel at Temple

When and Where: Tuesday, Nov. 5, The Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pa., 8 p.m. EST.

It is back to the future for Temple -- Aaron McKie is the latest former player-turned coach at his alma mater as he makes his NCAA head coaching debut Tuesday night for the Owls against intracity rival Drexel.

Dragons look to turn corner in Spiker's fourth season

While Drexel is not considered part of the "Big 5" rivalry among Philadelphia-area Division I teams, the Colonial Athletic Association school usually turns up on one or two schedules among those schools every season.

The Dragons have not had a winning season since going 16-14 in 2013-14 and not made the postseason since claiming an NIT bid in 2011-12 and going 29-7.

Drexel went 13-19 in 2018-19 and finished tied for sixth in the CAA. The Dragons return two of their five starters but must replace second-leading scorer and rebounder Alihan Demir (14.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg), who opted to graduate and transfer to Minnesota.

Coach Zack Spiker, though, must also improve a defense that yielded 77.3 points per game last season -- the second-worst mark in the Colonial and tied for 309th nationally. Drexel was tabbed to finish eighth in the preseason CAA poll, ahead of only UNC-Wilmington and Elon.

2019 CAA Rookie of the Year Camern Wynter is expected to be Drexel's go-to player offensively. He averaged 11.3 points, 5.4 assists, and 4.6 rebounds last season and was also sixth in the league in steals (1.38).

“No one can say they were expecting that,’’ Wynter told the Philadelphia Inquirer about last season. “I wasn’t surprised when it happened. I knew how much work I had put in, how true I was to getting in the gym every day. I was just glad my hard work was paying off.”

This game is also about family bragging rights for sophomore forward Tim Perry Jr., whose father played at Temple from 1984-88 and was the seventh overall pick in the 1988 NBA draft. The younger Perry averaged 2.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 27 games as a freshman in 2018-19

Wynter had 12 points but also seven turnovers in last season's 82-64 home loss to Temple, Drexel's third straight in the series since a 69-54 road win in 2006.

McKie takes Temple reins after five years as assistant to Dunphy

Philly-born and Philly-bred, McKie makes the slide one seat over to head coach after serving as an assistant and associate head coach the previous five seasons under Fran Dunphy, who retired after getting Temple to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in his 14 seasons after replacing McKie's former coach, John Chaney.

McKie was part of the Owls during their peak under Chaney, powering them to one of their five NCAA Tournament regional final appearances while scoring 1,650 points in three seasons. A first-round pick in 1994 by Portland, McKie had a 13-year NBA career and quickly jumped into the coaching ranks after retiring, serving as an assistant with the Detroit Pistons for five seasons before joining Dunphy's staff in 2014.

"If you look at my lifespan and my connection to this program, I went from being a kid watching Big 5 games, watching Temple Basketball, and really enjoying watching Coach (John) Chaney and the local guys he coached," McKie told Temple's official website. "From there I went from watching to playing and having an impact on this program. It was an honor to play for Temple and now I get the honor of being the head coach.

"It is a lot of responsibility because I am following in the great footsteps of Coach Litwack, Coach Chaney, and Coach (Fran) Dunphy, who I had the pleasure to work with and who gave me my first opportunity to coach in college. I am extremely grateful, and I want to do a great job for those guys."

The Owls cupboard is still fairly well-stocked from the team that won 23 games last season and was in the First Four as starting guards Quinton Rose and Nate Pierre-Louis return. Rose averaged 16.3 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.2 steals while Pierre-Louis chipped in 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest.

Pierre-Louis' younger brother, freshman Josh, is expected to be a regular in the rotation, and McKie is counting on J.P. Moorman to be Temple's top perimeter threat. Moorman primarily came off the bench last season and averaged 5.9 points but shot 41 percent from 3-point range.

"J.P. is one of our glue guys," McKie told Blue Ribbon Yearbook. "He is a hard worker, a guy who is continuing to get better. I like his versatility. He'll be playing some of that stretch-four position, as people call it now. He can make open shots and is capable of putting the ball on the floor and getting by bigger and slower guys."

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Once the jitters of the pomp and circumstance of McKie formally being announced as the head coach of Temple, the Owls should be able to cruise to victory.

For all the talk from Spiker about the potential for Drexel's defense to improve, there is a healthy amount of skepticism. Part of that is the 82 the Owls hung on them at The Palestra last season as both Rose and Pierre-Louis hounded Wynter when he had the ball.

Pierre-Louis also scored 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting in that game while Rose chipped in 14 despite making just 6 of 19 from the floor. Rose, though, creates matchup issues on both ends of the court as a 6-foot-8 guard, and the Owls defense should prove formidable enough to make Wynter earn his points.

This line has ticked down a point closer to a tip-off, and the Owls remain a strong pick.

Prediction: Temple -12 (-110)

Full-Game Total Pick

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The under is the play, trending strongly in this series of late. Per Covers.com, it has delivered in the last five meetings, and the under was solid for both teams last season.

The under went 7-3 in Drexel's last 10 games and is also 4-1 in its last five versus AAC opponents. It is 10-1 in Temple's last 11 against Colonial foes and 5-2 in its last seven non-conference games.

Prediction: UNDER 149.5 points (-110)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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Temple limited the Dragons to 64 points in last season's meeting, and with McKie having an experienced backcourt returning that can slow down Drexel's best player in Wynter, there is plenty of confidence in this matchup delivering.

The Owls also held four of their six non-conference opponents at home to 67 or fewer points, while Drexel scored 66 or less in three of its five non-conference road games in 2018-19.

Prediction: Drexel UNDER 69 points (-115)

Half-Time Side Pick

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The Owls have led at halftime by 11 and nine points after 20 minutes in the last two meetings, and the feeling is they will clamp down defensively enough to narrowly cover this number. They did a good job containing Wynter and forcing turnovers last season and should be able to do so again.

Prediction: Temple -7 (-110)

Half-Time Total Bet

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The 71 points in the first half of last season's matchup was the high-water mark of the last six meetings between the teams. The expectation is Temple's defense will carry the game early, resulting in a low-scoring first half.

Prediction: UNDER 71 points (-115)

Half-Time Prop Prediction

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Drexel averaged 34.6 first-half points last season, and with no one aside from Jarvis Doles to help Wynter on the perimeter in what looks to be a poor matchup with Temple's returning guards, the feeling is the Dragons will fall just short of this number.

Prediction: Drexel UNDER 32 points (-115)
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Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is based in Chicago. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiner, he worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Follow Chris daily right here at W&W and on Twitter at @AlTruda73. You won’t be disappointed.