Fran Dunphy (above) has assembled a challenging non-conference schedule for his Owls. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
(Ed. Note: This article is part of our 2017-18 season coverage, which will run for the six weeks preceding the first official games of the year on Nov. 10. To access all of our high school and college preview content for this season, click here.)
Here’s a look at the Owls’ schedule for 2017-18:
The Owls’ road to 16-16 was quite unusual last year. After a 1-2 start to the season, they picked up two Top 25 wins in the Preseason NIT and looked like an NCAA Tournament team. However, the Temple faltered once conference play started, going 0-7 against the top four teams in the league and 7-11 overall in the league.
Temple will once again be challenged in the non-conference in 2017-18. While Villanova is currently the only clear-cut Top 25 opponent on the non-conference slate, there are several other intriguing matchups. The Owls’ season starts against Old Dominion in the Charleston Classic. Temple plays either Auburn or Indiana State in its second game and could face either Clemson or Dayton in its third game depending on how the tournament shakes out. South Carolina was a Final Four team last season and Wisconsin advanced to the Sweet 16. Georgia is a potential tournament team this season after spending most of last year near the bubble.
The American Athletic Conference will be even tougher this season with the addition of Wichita State, who the Owls play twice in their first year since leaving the Missouri Valley Conference. The Shockers could be one of the best teams in the country this season.
Non-Conference: Dec. 6-12 (Wisconsin, Saint Joseph’s, Villanova)
Fran Dunphy’s team will get a good sense of where it’s at in mid-December. The Owls face Wisconsin, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova all in a row. Wisconsin beat Temple by 16 in Madison two years ago. Saint Joseph’s and Temple have split the series in two very close games over the past two seasons. The Owls are hoping to snap a four-game losing streak against Villanova. Luckily for Temple, all three games are at home.
Conference: Dec. 30-Jan. 10 (@ Houston, Cincinnati, @ Central Florida, @ Southern Methodist)
After starting their conference season at home against Tulane, the Owls face the top four finishers in The American from last season. To make things even tougher, three of the four games are on the road. Temple went 0-7 against Houston, Cincinnati, Central Florida and Southern Methodist last season.
Opposing Players to See
1. Ethan Happ, F, Wisconsin
Happ was a third team All-American last season and should be one of the top players in college basketball once again this season. The 6-10 forward led Wisconsin in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals during Big 10 play in 2016-17.
2. Yante Maten, F, Georgia
Maten averaged 18.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game to earn first team All-SEC honors last season. He thought about declaring for the NBA draft, but decided to return to Georgia for his
3. Markis McDuffie, F, Wichita State
McDuffie does a little bit of everything for the Shockers. The first team Missouri Valley Conference selection led Wichita State in points, rebounds and steals last year.
4. Tacko Fall, C, Central Florida
At 7-feet-6 inches, Fall is one of the top 40 tallest people in the world. He put together a stellar sophomore season to earn American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
1. Nov. 20 vs. South Carolina (Madison Square Garden) and Dec. 22 @ Georgia
The Owls’ non-conference schedule looks a little different with two SEC opponents on it for the 2017-18 season. Temple hasn’t faced an SEC opponent since beating Georgia in 2013. Both South Carolina and Georgia will provide interesting challenges for the Owls. South Carolina is coming off a Final Four run and Georgia returns four starters from a 19-win team. Temple could also potentially face Auburn in the Charleston Classic.
2. Feb. 1 vs. Wichita State
Wichita State returns all five starters and its top reserves from last season’s NCAA Tournament team. The Shockers should be the favorites to win The American in their first season in the league after leaving the Missouri Valley Conference. The Owls play Wichita State twice this season, but the two team’s first meeting is Feb. 1 at the Liacouras Center.
3. Dec. 6 vs. Wisconsin
The Badgers beat Temple by 16 points when the Owls traveled to Madison two seasons ago. Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ is one of the best players in the country and will be tough for Temple to handle inside. Wisconsin hasn’t missed an NCAA Tournament since 1999. The Badgers present an opportunity for Temple to pick up a marquee win early in their season.
Full Schedule(all times TBD unless otherwise mentioned)
* = American Athletic Conference game
# = Charleston Classic
#Thurs., Nov. 16 vs. Old Dominion (2 PM)
#Fri., Nov. 17 vs. Auburn/Indiana State (11 AM)
Sun., Nov. 19 vs. TBD
Sun., Nov. 26 @ La Salle (5 PM)
Thurs., Nov. 20 vs. South Carolina (9 PM)
Sun., Dec. 3 @ George Washington
Wed., Dec. 6 vs. Wisconsin (7 PM)
Sat., Dec. 9 vs. Saint Joseph’s (2:30 PM)
Wed., Dec. 12 vs. Villanova (7 PM)
Sat., Dec. 16 vs. Drexel (5 PM)
Fri., Dec. 22 @ Georgia
*Thurs., Dec. 28 vs. Tulane (7 PM)
*Sat., Dec. 30 @ Houston
*Thurs., Jan. 4 vs. Cincinnati
*Sun., Jan. 7 @ Central Florida (noon)
*Wed., Jan. 10 @ Southern Methodist (9 PM)
*Wed., Jan. 17 vs. Tulsa (6 PM)
Sat., Jan. 20 @ Penn (2 PM)
*Wed., Jan. 24 @ Cincinnati (9 PM)
*Sun., Jan. 28 vs. Connecticut (8 PM)
*Thurs., Feb. 1 vs. Wichita State (7 PM)
*Sun., Feb. 4 @ Tulane (3 PM)
*Wed., Feb. 7 vs. East Carolina (7 PM)
*Sat., Feb. 10 @ South Florida (noon)
*Thurs., Feb. 15 @ Wichita State (7 PM)
*Sun., Feb. 18 vs. Houston (4 PM)
*Sun., Feb. 25 vs. Central Florida
*Wed., Feb. 28 @ Connecticut (7 PM)
*Sun., March 4 @ Tulsa (3 PM)