Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
The Temple men’s basketball program unveiled its non-conference schedule on Thursday. The Owls have matchups set with all five of the other City 6 programs and teams from the SEC and Big 10 on next year’s slate.
The Owls are slated to return Khalif Battle (21.4 ppg) from injury along with leading scorer Damian Dunn (14.9 ppg) from last year’s 17-12 (10-7 AAC) team.
Damian Dunn is one of the leading returners for Temple in 2022-23. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
They should have a roster capable of taking fourth-year coach Aaron McKie to his first NCAA tournament as head coach and hope to have put together an offseason schedule with which they can bolster a tourney resume.
“This is truly a challenging schedule which we believe will prepare our team for one of the toughest conferences in the nation, the American Athletic Conference,” McKie said in a release. “We are excited to add another SEC opponent with a trip to Ole’ Miss and play former conference rivals Rutgers and VCU. Our fans will also be able to watch their Owls play in the Barclays Center against a strong field that includes Richmond, St. John’s and Syracuse.”
Temple kicks off its season with three home games starting Nov. 7 against Wagner, last season’s Northeast Conference runner-up. The Owls then-host Big 5 rival Villanova on Nov. 11 in the teams’ first meeting since Feb. 16, 2020. Prior to the 2020-21 season the last time the teams didn’t meet was 1998-99, but a COVID-shortened 2020-21 restricted their schedules and the annual matchup was postponed and later canceled due to COVID-19 protocols last season.
Temple finishes the early home stretch Nov. 15 against Vanderbilt, who the Owls took down in overtime in Nashville last season. Then comes a Nov. 18 trip to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. for the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic against Rutgers — the teams’ first matchup since meeting twice during Rutgers’ lone season in the American Athletic Conference in 2013-14. Mckie’s squad will stay on the road for two games Nov. 21-22 for the Empire Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as part of a field that includes Richmond, St. John’s and Syracuse.
Four of the next five games from Nov. 27-Dec. 10 are against City 6 schools (vs. Drexel on Nov. 27, at La Salle on Nov. 30, vs. St. Joe’s on Dec. 6, and at Penn on Dec. 10) with a Dec. 3 home game against VCU sandwiched in between. The two schools have met just twice previously with the Owls dropping an early non-conference meeting in 2018-19 and Temple taking down the Rams during their lone season together in the Atlantic-10 in 2012-13.
Temple’s non-conference slate finishes up on the road Dec. 17 against Ole Miss and then home against Maryland Eastern Shore on Dec. 20 before AAC play begins. The conference recently announced its pairings. Temple will play two home and away games against everyone in the league besides SMU (road) and Wichita State (home).
Villanova and Rutgers are the two 2022 NCAA Tournament teams on Temple’s non-league schedule. A meeting with Richmond at the Empire Classic would add a third.
Even after the transfers of Jeremiah Williams (Iowa State), Tai Strickland (Georgia Southern), Jake Forrester (Saint Louis) and Sage Tolbert (San Jose State) the Owls have plenty of returners back in the mix heading into 2022-23 to give the program some buzz after a 2021-22 season that showed promise.
Along with Dunn and Battle, Zach Hicks (8.3 ppg, 163 threes), Jahlil White (7.4 pgg, 6 rpg), Nick Jourdain (6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Hysier Miller (4.9 ppg) are key pieces ready to return.
The Owls also added transfer forwards Jamille Reynolds (UCF), Taj Thweatt (West Virginia) and Kur Jongkuch (Northern Colorado) and former four-star guard Shane Dezonie (Vanderbilt) this offseason.
Temple’s MBB 2022-23 Non-Conference Schedule
(All game times TBD unless otherwise noted)
Mon., Nov. 7 vs. Wagner
Fri., Nov. 11 vs. Villanova
Tues., Nov. 15 vs. Vanderbilt
Basketball Hall of Fame Classic
Fri., Nov. 18 vs. Rutgers (at Uncasville, Conn.)
Empire Classic (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Mon., Nov. 21 TBD (Syracuse, St. John’s, Richmond)
Tues., Nov. 22 TBD (Syracuse, St. John’s, Richmond)
Sun., Nov. 27 vs. Drexel
Wed., Nov. 30 at La Salle
Sat., Dec. 3 vs. VCU
Tues., Dec. 6 vs. Saint Joseph’s
Sat., Dec. 10 at Penn
Sat., Dec. 17 at Ole Miss
Tues., Dec. 20 at Maryland Eastern Shore