What to Expect: Temple

  • 03/23/2013 6:33 pm in

032313werDAYTON, Ohio — Indiana will look to punch a ticket to the Sweet 16 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. when it takes on Temple Sunday afternoon in a round of 32 NCAA Tournament game at the University of Dayton Arena.

The game will tip at approximately 2:45 p.m. on CBS with Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg and Tracy Wolfson on the call:

The Atlantic 10 made a statement that it belonged in the conversation as one of the country’s best conferences through the first two rounds of this year’s tournament, winning six games and advancing five teams into the round of 32. That total was surpassed only by the Big Ten, which had six. The first Big Ten/A-10 meeting of the tournament went the way of Michigan on Saturday afternoon as the Wolverines easily dispatched of Virginia Commonwealth, and Indiana will look to knock out another A-10 team when it faces Temple.

The Owls had an up-and-down season, which is what you’d expect to see when examining the profile of a nine-seed. The highlights: Wins over Syracuse and St. Louis. The lowlights: Losses at home to Canisius and St. Bonaventure.

PERSONNEL

One player on the Temple scouting report stands out above the rest: senior guard Khalif Wyatt. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound guard poured in a second-round high 31 points (highlights from that performance here) in leading Temple past North Carolina State 76-72 on Friday. Wyatt enters the meeting with IU averaging 20.2 points and the Atlantic 10’s player of the year can score in a variety of ways. He’s not particularly efficient from the perimeter (32.6 percent), but is hitting 49.4 percent of his twos and has a free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of nearly 50 percent. Once he gets to the line, he’s Temple’s best free throw shooter at 83.2 percent.

Wyatt injured his left thumb in the win over North Carolina State, but said on Saturday afternoon that x-rays were negative and doesn’t expect the injury to be a factor Sunday. Victor Oladipo should get a fair share of time on Wyatt, who seemed confident when asked about the possibility of going against the Big Ten’s top defender. “I know he’s Big Ten defensive player of the year,” Wyatt said. “I know he’s a great athlete, and he plays really hard. He’s a good defender. But, I mean, not the first good defender.”

Joining Wyatt in the backcourt rotation are Scootie Randall, Will Cummings and T.J. DiLeo. Randall is the team’s second leading scorer at 11.6 points per game and is a high volume shooter from the perimeter with 185 threes attempted over 32 games. Cummings is a solid defender with a 3.6 steals percentage, but isn’t much of a scorer. And DiLeo comes off the bench to provide quality backup minutes at the point guard position. He can knock down the 3-pointer if left open, but he only attempts two shots per game.

The Owls play primarily three guys in the frountcourt: Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, T.J. O’Brien and Anthony Lee. Hollis-Jefferson, a 6-foot-6 forward, is solid on the offensive glass (9.7 OR%) and has a team-high 34 blocks. He played all 40 minutes in Temple’s win against North Carolina State and is an important player for the Owls to keep out of foul trouble. O’Brien, who transferred from Boston University, once scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against the Hoosiers back in 2009. At 6-foot-9, he’s a tough matchup because of his ability to step out and knock down the three (42.9 percent). The 6-foot-9 Lee is Temple’s best defensive rebounder (26.2 DR%) and could have his number called quickly off the bench if Cody Zeller gets off to a quick start.

POMEROY PREVIEW

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Temple coach Fran Dunphy used the word “concerned” liberally in Saturday’s news conference discussing Indiana and a glance at the profiles of both teams justifies that sentiment. The Owls haven’t been a good defensive team this season and some of their deficiencies play directly into Indiana’s strengths.

Temple ranks 246th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense and the Hoosiers enter Sunday as the second-best 3-point shooting team in the country at 41.1 percent. Defensive rebounding isn’t a strength for the Owls either and IU’s ability to generate second-chance points by crashing the glass when it does miss has been pivotal all season. Temple has also struggled at times with fouls and keeping opponents off the foul line, which is a third area where the Hoosiers appear to have a distinct advantage.

Pace figures to be important for Temple, and while Wyatt mentioned the Owls can be successful when trying to run, he acknowledged it might not be the best strategy against IU. “They like to go up and down, but we can go up and down, too,” he said. “We want to make sure we control the pace.” Both teams are averaging a similar number of possessions per game (67 for Temple, 68 for Indiana), but look for Temple to attempt to grind out possessions in the halfcourt rather than taking quick shots that could open the floodgates for the Hoosiers in transition.

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO 

Indiana currently sits as a 12-point favorite and Pomeroy is even more bullish on the Hoosiers, predicting a margin of 15 points and an 88 percent chance of a victory. Temple is undersized on the frontline and doesn’t really have a physical presence who can body up to Zeller and push him off the block, nor do they have the compliment of defensive players capable of slowing down the nation’s best offense. Every team that has knocked off IU to this point ranks in the top 46 nationally in defensive efficiency and Temple comes in at No. 117.

That said, it’s the NCAA Tournament and with an explosive scorer like Wyatt, it’s important for Indiana to create some separation early to demoralize any thoughts of an upset bid. If the Hoosiers can slow down Wyatt like they did Michigan’s Trey Burke and play through Zeller, a second straight trip to the Sweet 16 is more than a good possibility come Sunday afternoon.

All tempo-free stats via KenPom.com.

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  • AZIU71

    Not the type of team that typically gives us trouble, but still a good team that requires our full attention. Never more true than now …one game at a time. Should be a “Cody fest.”

  • AZIU71

    Not the type of team that typically gives us trouble, but still a good team that requires our full attention. Never more true than now …one game at a time. Should be a “Cody fest.”

  • marcusgresham

    I watched quite a bit of the Temple/Syracuse game and that had me worried, but now that I’ve read this article I feel a lot better. Wyatt is going to score, but he’ll have one of those games like Burke did where he took 20-some odd shots to get his pionts. They don’t have anyone to stop Zeller, and Hulls is about to explode.

  • Eastwood88_2

    When looking at their schedule, i was shocked at how many games they gave up 80 against bad teams. 246 against the three is unthinkable given they are in the tourney and not named liu. Teams that beat us get into our guards and physical down low. Kenpom is right. We should win by 20 unless we cant hit an open shot. I expect we score 90 tomorrow. I just like the matchup. Great game to get our confidence back.

  • NKYHoosier

    Really like the matchup I expect a double digit victory…gym should be rockin…similar to U of L’s win today at Rupp Arena to make things even tuffer for Temple

  • Did you see what Michigan and Michigan State did today? Expecting the same from IU tomorrow.

  • Kelin Blab

    IU will win by 20 or more and send a message to whomever is next!

  • PDXHoosier

    Ok for Wyatt to get his points as long as he isn’t efficient in doing so.

    Do these guys play zone or man to man?

  • mike

    Why watch this Temple game, IU will not beat Louisville. No one can, IMO. No way, after what I saw today…. IU may well get to Final 4 (thought Miami is a big roadblock), but I cannot see our team beating that Louisville team I saw today. Hope I’m wrong.

  • jermhoosierfan

    Louisville can go into offensive slumps like any team can. Smith gets into a “I can hit every shot” frenzy which hurts them. It is the defensive pressure you have to handle. If you can, you can beat them.

  • They lost 3 straight this year. Not invincible but certainly very dangerous. Pitino is a master at coaching trapping defenses. As good as yogi is, he’s a freshman, and he may struggle against that press. I really hope UL gets bumped out somewhere before the finals.

  • iuoiu

    Well seeing that we would not play them until the final IF they both make it there I see no reason to just stop watching the Hoosiers.

  • iuoiu

    Mr. Wyatt, meet Mr. Oladipo. Have a great afternoon.

  • Ole Man

    I’ve stopped predicting “double digit” wins because, they usually wrong, and it’s bad karma.

  • Ole Man

    Hush your mouth. Karma!

  • Ole Man

    Karma! Hush!

  • Ole Man

    Temple is a dangerous team. To disregard them is to do so at our own peril.

  • IUGRADUATE

    “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

    I will stay positive and believe we will win it all. Go Hoosiers!

  • JohnFromBeyond

    I’m sure the team isn’t going to overlook anyone in the tournament. However, this is an IU fan site, it’s OK for fans to be enthusiastic about our chances of winning. We are clearly the better team, by far, although we all know that doesn’t guarantee a victory.

  • BluegrassHoosier

    If we can break UofL’s press, we can win. They aren’t a great shooting team in a half court set, so limiting turnovers greatly increases the chances of victory.

  • Eastwood88_2

    I will be negative as usual upon tip, but the numbers dont lie. This matchup favors our team. Doesn’t mean we are disrespectful or casting them away. We still have to play. Dont show up and play hard, you lose. Have a great day ole man.

  • Eastwood88_2

    John didn’t you know, we effect the outcome of the game.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Man to man. Very little help defense. Thursday they let Leslie do what he wanted.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Sidenote….i am predicting one bigten team loses every round. Today will be Minnesota. Illinois over miami. Big ten wins the national title

  • marcusgresham

    The most important person to not overlook the opponent in this game is Vic, as he has the task of stopping their only real offensive threat, and I’m sure he takes it as a personal challenge to demoralize the guy.
    You could also add in that Hulls still hasn’t gone ballistic in a while.

  • marcusgresham

    No one can? Tell that to Villanova, Notre Dame, Duke, Syracuse, and Georgetown.

  • marcusgresham

    If they don’t help Zeller should get what he wants.

  • Ole Man

    He is thus far.

  • papreps

    He owns the Home Depot

  • papreps

    Blab is an appropriate last name. Dude knows nothing about basketball.

  • papreps

    Wyatt can score on anybody and he’s proving it.

  • papreps

    Probably would have been better off wishing he had a bad afternoon. He’s going to drop 40 on this team

  • cdog

    Temple is a team very much like Wisconsin and if IU can’t get to 70 points they will lose. Zeller really needs to have a 20-10 game is order to pull this one out. VO needs to start attacking the backet like he did at OSU.

  • cdog

    Somebody needs to tell Zeller that they have no one to stop him. He didn’t get that memo.

  • iuoiu

    Yeah he was great but VO hit the one that counted. Go IU!

  • RBHoosier

    Wyatt proved he couldn’t score when it counted. If he played defense as well as he taunts and runs his mouth, maybe they would be in the sweet 16. #classless