Temple basketball is not in a good state right now. After barely getting by Penn at the Palestra, they lose a heartbreaker at home to Saint Joseph’s in overtime. There seems to be a lack of fire in this team and many are putting the blame on Coach Dunphy.
At 4-5, the Owls’ fifth loss is the one that will hurt more down the stretch. St. Joe’s is off to a good 7-2 start, but this was a obtainable game for Temple; especially at home. They were underdogs in their previous four losses. So what went wrong in this game?
For one, Trey Lowe was nowhere to be seen. The freshman has been one of the biggest spark plugs for this offense and he did not play nearly enough. At 6’6 and 165 pounds he had an abysmal night; ending with zeroes in all statistical categories. Devin Coleman, an important offensive asset for Temple, also played poorly. He had plenty more minutes than Lowe and still had the same amount of points. He missed all seven shots he took.
Senior Quenton DeCosey, the only man who has been with Temple for four years, was as inconsistent as it gets. Despite having 13 points and an important dunk that sent the game to overtime, he only shot 27% from the field accompanied with a couple of turnovers as well. Senior captain Jaylen Bond also shot 27% from the field, many of which were missed layups. He fouled out which really hurt Temple in the rebound aspect late in the game, although he only had four rebounds when he fouled out.
Additionally, coach Fran Dunphy seemed to let his guys loose too many times. Jaylen Bond took a couple of unadvised jump shots. Typically a rebounding machine, one would think coach Dunphy would make Bond stay down low. As for junior Mark Williams, it’s hard to figure out his role with this team. He played a ton of minutes in the game and didn't have his best performance.
Furthermore, Obi Enechionya rebounded a ball with six or so seconds left in overtime when he took it down the court and kept it until his attempt at a game winning shot. Although coach Dunphy was probably trying to keep the Saint Joseph's defense off-balance, it would have been nice to use a timeout to settle the team and draw up a play. It was clear Enechionya looked a bit lost and couldn’t find a better alternative.
It would’ve been wise for coach Dunphy to call that last time out and put the ball in a more seasoned players hands; such as Josh Brown. After all, Brown has been smart with the ball in his hands this season and had one of his better shooting performances this year (5 of 10 from the field).
There were a lot of “ifs” in this game for Temple, but the fifth most winningest program in the nation now has five losses through its first nine games. Aside from their win against Minnesota in Puerto Rico, the team as a whole hasn’t resembled anywhere near an NCAA Tournament team. Things need to change quickly before conference play begins in two weeks or Temple may be in for a long season.
Photo: John Geliebter/USA Today Sports