For much of the first half of the season, sophomore Obi Enechionyia and senior Devin Coleman were regulars in the starting lineup. But with Coleman’s recent shooting struggles and Enechionyia’s foul trouble, Dunphy decided to mix it up a little on the road against UConn last week.
Junior Daniel Dingle and freshman Levan Shawn Alston Jr. took Enechionyia and Coleman’s place in their last matchup against the University of Connecticut. For their sake, it didn’t really work out. Both Dingle and Alston shot 0 for 3 from the field and Enechionyia had two fouls early on his way to a two point, two rebound night. Despite the three point lead at the end of the first half, Dunphy even admitted before he went into the locker room that he wasn’t so sure that the change in the lineup actually paid off.
It did however pay off for Devin Coleman, as he shot 50% from the field, scoring 14 points. It gave a big boost off the bench in the Owls’ upset win over the Huskies.
Dunphy would stick with Coleman and Enechionyia on the bench the next game against East Carolina. This time though, freshman Trey Lowe and junior Mark Williams took their spots in the starting lineup. Lowe missed all three of his shots while Williams managed only four points, but Coleman and Enechionyia combined for 27 points off the bench.
Against ECU, Coleman had a very similar game to the one he had against UConn. He shot 6 of 13 from the field for 17 points. Enechionyia also had a much better game shooting 3 of 8 for 10 points all while never getting into serious foul trouble. Before the game, he only had 19 points total in the previous four games.
Since Dunphy’s lineup change, the Owls are 2-0. No, they haven’t shot lights out (though they did shoot 50% against ECU), but it is crucial to have a spark coming off of the bench. Coleman has provided much of that spark and if Enechionyia can come back to form off of the bench, Temple could greatly benefit from the lineup switch.
It isn’t known whether or not Dunphy will keep these guys on the bench permanently. But time will tell if having a starting lineup without a guy taller than 6-foot-7 will work out in the long run. However, it’s probably for the best that Dunphy keeps this going. The starting lineup of Enechionyia-Coleman-Bond-Decosey-Brown rarely had a good shooting day and there wasn’t a strong bench to back them up. Coleman and Enechionyia on the bench has already been a drastic improvement for the Owls.
The team will look to continue this winning trend tonight at Memphis.
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