Know Your Enemy: Temple Owls

The Lions return home for the rest of December, kicking off a six game homestand with the Temple Owls on Saturday.  The game’s set to tipoff at 6 PM and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.

Results thus far

  • vs. East Tennessee State – W 79-65
  • at College of Charleston – W 70-65
  • vs. Clemson – L 72-76
  • at Lafayette – W  71-55
  • at Buffalo – L 73-83
  • Miami OH – L 52-68

Starting Lineup

  • Luis Guzman – G Junior
  • Ryan Brooks – G Junior
  • Semaj Inge – G Senior
  • Dionte Christmas – F Senior
  • Sergio Olmos – F Senior

Tempo-Free Matchup

Penn State Temple
Possessions 65.05 68.77
O-PPP 1.19 1.01
D-PPP 0.94 1.00
TO Rate 16.9% 22.8%
Reb% 53.3% 51.9%

This is a very favorable matchup for the Nittany Lions. Temple isn’t big, starting four perimeter players 6’5″ or shorter. Dionte Christmas is by far their best player. He has averaged 20 points the last 3 seasons, including this season where he’s already dropping 21.8 PPG. He can do it all, outside or inside, averaging 7.5 RPG and connecting on 22 threes already. He’ll be tough to stop. Due to Temple’s lack of size, I’d expect DJ Jackson and Jeff Brooks to handle the Christmas duties.

After Christmas, there’s a huge dropoff. All these guys have been role players throughout their career, however Dionte needs a legitimate #2 threat. Ryan Brooks has gotten off to a good start, hitting double figures in 5 of Temple’s 6 games. He’s averaging 12.8 PPG. Semaj Inge has been consistent so far, hitting in between the 6-11 point range in all 6 games. Luis Guzman is in his first season running the point and while he is not a threat to score, he has put up Battle-like 5 APG and 4.3 RPG.

Sergio Olmos has started the last 2 games after missing the first four with an ankle injury. He’s very tall (7 footer) but has very poor rebounding numbers for his size (2.5 RPG for his career). He’ll swat a few shots, inside on defense, though. Lavoy Allen was pegged by Gasaway and Pomeroy in their Basketball Prospectus preview as a guy who could have a breakout year. They certainly seemed correct as he started off the season with 2 double-doubles. Since the return of Olmos however, he has come off the bench. The 6-9 sophomore is averaging 9.8 PPG with 8 boards. Michael Eric (6-9 reserve from Nigeria believe it or not) and 6-4 Ramone Moore are reserves that have cracked coach Fran Dunphy’s 8 man rotation.

Penn State’s at home in the BJC, where we play significantly better. It should be our first big home crowd, along with a couple bigtime football recruits. The Nittany Nation has planned for the first-ever S-Zone at the basketball game, so that should look pretty cool. With the swagger these guys have after the GT win, I don’t see how they could lose at home. Temple isn’t big, they’re sloppy with the ball, and they don’t shoot as well as us. They did go to the NCAAs last year, but they lost Mark Tyndale and they certainly have not gotten off to a good start this season, losing to two MAC teams. They don’t even shoot free throws particularly well, shooting at a 68% clip this season.

Prediction: I expect the line to be around somewhere along the lines of PSU by 8. I’ll take Penn State by 16.

Here‘s a Collegian article with an update on Billy Oliver.

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