Preview: Duke (11-1) v. Temple (6-6)

Previewing the Blue Devils and Owls who will tip off on Wednesday night in Philadelphia at the Wachovia Center. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN beginning at 7:00 PM EST.


Duke (11-1) vs Temple (6-6)
Philadelphia, PA - Wachovia Center
TV: ESPN / Tip: 7:00 PM EST

Program Vitals
Conference: Atlantic 10
Nickname: Owls
Colors: Maroon and White
Head Coach: Fran Dunphy (2nd year)
Career Record at Temple: 18-24 (328-187 Overall)

Projected Starters:
13 Mark Tyndale (6-5, 210, Jr.) – 15.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.9 spg
24 Lavoy Allen (6-9, 225, Fr.) – 8.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 57% FG
41 Sergio Olmos (7-0, 220, Jr.) – 5.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.4 bpg
10 Luis Guzman (6-3, 180, So.) – 5.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.9 apg
22 Dionte Christmas (6-5, 205, Jr.) – 19.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.8 apg

Key Reserves:
 1 Chris Clark (6-2, 190, Sr.) – 4.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.6 apg
 2 Ryan Brooks  (6-4, 200, Fr.) – 9.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 90% FT
 3 Martavis Kee (6-2, 180, Fr.) – 0.0 ppg, 0.3 rpg
15 Semaj Inge (6-4, 180, Jr.) - 2.6 rpg, 1.2 rpg

Storylines:

How They Got Here:
Duke returns to the court for the second time in three days after spending the previous 17 days without a game. In their return from the long lay-off, Duke showed visible signs of rust before pulling away from Cornell on Sunday afternoon by an 81-67 score.

Temple, on the other hand, is still adjusting to the changes implemented by second year coach Fran Dunphy - and enter the game on the heels of a 17 point defeat at the hands of Florida. The Owls currently sit at 6-6 on the season, but have won two of their last three games overall.

Series History:
The Blue Devils and Owls have met 25 time before, including last season's game in Cameron, which ended with the Blue Devils earning a 73-55 decision on January 2nd, 2007. Duke leads the all-time series by a 16-9 margin. Duke has an all-time record of 72-27 against teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Injury Report: No major injuries reported between either team.

Owls Have Experienced One-Two Punch:
Junior Dionte Christmas (20.0 ppg.) and senior Mark Tyndale (19.4 ppg,) became the first players in Atlantic 10 Conference history to finish one-two in scoring in the league. Tyndale, an honorable mention all-Atlantic 10 Conference selection, improved his field goal percentage from 39.3 percent as a sophomore in 2005-06 to 53.9 percent, placing fourth in the conference. Christmas was named the 2006-2007 A-10 Most Improved player after increasing his scoring average 16.5 points. Only one other NCAA Division I school entering the 2007-08 season, Virginia Military Academy, returns a one-two punch such as Christmas and Tyndale, that averaged 19.0 points or more per game.

Christmas continues his strong play this year, leading his team in scoring in seven of the team's first eight games including a season-high 32 points against Charleston - the sixth 30-plus game of his career. He was named to the All-Tournament team at the O'Reilly ESPNU Puerto Rico Tip-off Classic. Currently he ranks third in the Atlantic 10 in scoring with a 19.9 average. He also leads TU in rebounding (6.5 rpg.), three-pointers (34) and minutes played (37.0 mpg.). He needs 70 points to become the 44th player in Temple history to score 1,000 for his career.

Meanwhile, Tyndale has continued to prove himself as the team's most versatile player, scoring 15.5 points a game, while leading the team in assists (33) and steals (21), while ranking second in rebounding (6.5 rpg.) and minutes played (35.9 mpg.). An honorable mention All-Atlantic 10 selection last season, he led the league in scoring in conference games only with a 21.3 average, while placing second overall in the league (19.4 ppg.) behind Christmas.

Interesting Off-Season Program:
In the unlikely event that the game dissolves into a fighting situation, the Blue Devils may be at a severe disadvantage. Why? Because the Owls utilized a novel strength and conditioning program this preseason. Under the direction of assistant strength and conditioning coach Jamie Heigel, the Owls implemented a kickboxing regimen. Said Coach Dunphy of the program:

"I think the physicality of kickboxing is what I like. Our game is a very physical game. There is a lot of contact within our game. I don't expect these guys to be golden glove champions. I think there is a lot of padding that is within the workout. I think that it is a great conditioner. It's great to understand that you're going to get banged around out there and to enjoy the contact. It's as much that as anything else.

Marksmen Abound For Temple:
Temple ranks among the top three in the Atlantic 10 Conference in all three shooting categories. The Owls are second in field goal percentage (.478) and three-point percentage (.385) and third in free throw percentage (.755). Temple's 47.8 field goal percentage is better than its 46.0 percent during the 2006-07 season. That mark was the highest percentage for an Owl team since the advent of the shot clock at the start of the 1984-85 season. Prior to last season, the last time a Temple team shot over 46 percent was during the 1983-84 season (.477). The all-time season record for field goal percentage by a Temple team is 52.5% (1978-79).

Coach K continues assault on wins list
Duke's victory over Cornell was Krzyzewski's 786th, good enough for seventh on the all-time list. Coach K has 786 wins overall and 713 as the head coach of Duke. A win against Temple would move Coach K into sixth on the all-time list. With 713 victories at Duke, Coach K is just six victories short of tying UTEP's Don Haskins for seventh on the all-time wins list at one school.

Notable Numbers:
Duke has nine players averaging over 10 minutes per game. Team captain DeMarcus Nelson leads the team in minutes played (29.7 mpg.). Jon Scheyer (27.5), Greg Paulus (26.6), Kyle Singler (26.5) and Gerald Henderson (23.6) are also averaging more than 20 minutes per game. The Blue Devils are 185-54 (.773) in the month of January under Coach K. Duke has won six straight games in the month and 79 of their last 86 January games (dating back to the 1997-98 season).

Prediction:

Duke 84
Temple 64


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