Temple will play host to the Duke University Blue Devils tonight at 7:00pm on ESPN2. The Temple Owls are 9-3 on the season. The Owls have wins over Penn, Western Michigan, Wichita St, Central Michigan, Toledo, Villanova, Rice, Buffalo, and Delaware. These teams are obviously not power houses but Temple does have some weapons.
Guard Ramone Moore lead the Owls in scoring at 17.4 ppg. He had 32 points against Villanova and went 14 of 15 from the free throw line. Khlif Wyatt at the other guard position is second on the team in scoring with 14.2 ppg. Michael Eric is their big man inside, averaging 10.5 ppg while pulling down 11.3 rpg.
Temple is a hard nosed team that should not be considered a walkover. They will play hard for 40 minutes and while this game will be played at Wells Fargo Arena and not on Temple’s home court it will still be a decidedly home flavor for Temple.
There will be several questions for Duke tonight, one will be consistency. Will the Plumlees continue to develop their strong play, will Seth Curry find his shot as he did in the last game against Penn. Will Austin Rivers continue to improve with each game as he’s done so far. Can Ryan Kelly find his range on a consistent basis. Andre Dawkins seems to disappear at times and needs to find his niche in the lineup.
Perhaps the biggest question will be centered around Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton. A growing number of Duke fans have been eager to see Cook take the point guard position as his own. Tyler Thornton, the better defender between the two has played well but the offense seems to have a better flow with Cook at the helm. Both Thornton and Cook will be needed down the stretch for Duke to make a deep NCAA run.
Prediction: Duke should be able to close out it’s early season schedule against Temple before heading into conference play with a win. They’ll need contributions from it’s evolving rotation that Coach K is still experimenting with. They will need that consistency from everyone if Duke is to be successful this year.