The 2014-15 season for the Temple Owls was a disappointment on a broad spectrum. They finished the year at 23-10 through the regular season and the conference tournament, along with a 13-5 record in American Athletic Conference play to finish third in the conference. However, the Owls missed a spot in NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament by one spot. They did qualify as the number one overall seed for the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). In the NIT, Temple made it to the semifinals where they lost to the Miami Hurricanes and fell short of proving to the world they should have been in March Madness.
Entering the 2015-16 campaign, Temple no longer has their top two guards, Will Cummings and Jesse Morgan, and have to rebuild their offensive attack so they can find success this season. They do have three recruits with an 80 or above recruiting grade - shooting guards Levan Alston and Trey Lowe, as well as center Ernest Aflakpui. Head coach Fran Dunphy should be able to guide all of the new guys and help them get back to the promise land of postseason play.
The Owls will be led by forward Jaylen Bond, who began to come out as a potential star for them and was named team captain for the upcoming season. Temple has the outstanding play of guard Quenton DeCosey and forward Obi Enechionyia to assist Bond in their quest to get atop of the American Athletic Conference.
Bond, DeCosey and Enechionyia combined last season for an average of 25.2 points, 16.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists, all while having to play behind Cummings and Morgan. Bond is projected to have a larger role with the team and be the focal point of the revamped offense. They still have senior Devin Coleman who is expected to have a large impact for Temple off the bench in his final year and looking to make the most of it.
Just like their football team who has been making waves, Temple’s basketball team is focused around its defense. The Owls were in the top-30 in rebounding, the top-50 in points allowed and opponents rebounds, and in the top-80 in blocks and steals.
Temple’s projected starting lineup for the 2015-16 season: (G) Quenton DeCosey, (G) Daniel Dingle, (G) Josh Brown, (F) Jaylen Bond, and (F) Obi Enechionyia.
Temple has a very tough schedule this year ahead of them, including tough games against North Carolina, the top team in the nation, #17 Wisconsin, #11 Villanova, and two games against #20 Connecticut.
As for Temple’s outlook on the season, they can find themselves towards the top half of the conference standings but it’ll be hard for them to make the NCAA Tournament again. However, if their offense can makes leaps and bounds, then they can potentially make March Madness and redeem themselves from last season.