You had to look long and hard to find many positives for the Temple men's basketball team in Saturday's 90-67 drubbing by No. 2 Duke at the Izod Center in East Rutherford.
But there was one obvious bright spot – freshman swingman Quenton DeCosey.
DeCosey totaled career highs of 13 points, 18 minutes and three rebounds in the loss as one of the only Owls to produce offensively. He was 5-of-6 from the field and 3-of-3 from long range.
The performance against the Blue Devils continued a progression in both playing time and production for DeCosey, who has played double-digit minutes in three of the last four games after seeing just nine minutes of time total in the first three games of the season.
"He's a great guy, and he's very talented," said senior forward Scootie Randall. "Coach has a lot of confidence in him and he has a lot of confidence in himself, and that's going to take him a long way. The only thing he can do is continue to get better. He's got a long time and he can still get a lot better than he is now."
When he has been on the floor, DeCosey has not been afraid to shoot, putting up 22 shots – and hitting 13 for 59 percent, including 6 of 10 from three. He shot seven times in10 minutes against Buffalo and launched a trio of three-pointers in four minutes against Villanova.
"Q is going to be a really good basketball player," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "He feels he can score on anybody at any time. He's learning.
"There are some mistakes on the defensive end we have to clean up, but he's arriving as a college basketball player and figuring out how tough this really is."
On such a veteran team, a freshman could lean towards being deferential, but DeCosey has maintained the aggressiveness that made him such an explosive scorer at St. Joseph's-Metuchen in North Jersey.
"I just wanted to come in and be aggressive and (Saturday) it was scoring," said DeCosey. "When I'm out on the court, I just follow (the veterans') lead and when I have an opportunity, I like to capitalize on it."
Dunphy is usually resistant to playing freshmen major minutes, especially when he has veterans on the team who are good enough to earn playing time. But DeCosey seems to be forcing his way into the rotation, giving the Owls a scorer off the bench they otherwise lack.
"I didn't know what to expect, I knew I would have to work hard for any minutes I was going to get," said DeCosey. "I've just been continuing to work hard and learn from the older guys, and I think that's where he's gained some confidence in me."
Saturday's game was a bit of a homecoming for DeCosey, who had a couple family members in the stands at the Izod Center watching him in what to now has been the most productive game of his career.
But if Saturday is any indication, there will be better days to come.
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