Scout By Numbers: Temple

Here is a look at how NC State and Temple match up statically on a possession-by-possession basis as the Wolfpack prepares for its opening round game with the Owls.

Here's a look at how the Pack and Temple compare on a per possession basis this season.

Pack Offense Against Temple Defense

Category NC State Offense Temple Defense
Points per Possession 1.16 (10) 0.98 (124)
2-point FG% 52.5 (19) 46.8 (146)
3-point FG% 39.3 (11) 35.5 (254)
Turnover % 17.9 (63) 20.2 (164)
Off. Rebound % 34.9 (70) 31.9 (168)
FT Rate (FTA/FGA) 41.2 (47) 33.9 (125)
Point Dist. - 3pt/2pt/FT 20/59/21 26/54/20

Temple profiles as something akin to the Atlantic 10's NC State – a great offensive team with problems at the other end of the court. Of course, Temple isn't as good offensive or as good defensively as the Pack.

Defensively, their issue is that they aren't particularly good at anything. They aren't particularly bad at anything either, but with no defensive calling card they rate out as a very mediocre defensive team on the whole.

They've given up a high percentage from beyond the arc this season, and they also give up a high percentage of baskets from beyond the arc meaning the Pack might be able to get some looks not only for Scott Wood but also for Rodney Purvis or Lorenzo Brown as well.

Their interior defense is decent but nothing special and the same can be said for their defensive rebounding.

One area of concern for the Pack is their ability to generate steals – they don't get a ton of turnovers but over half of the ones they do generate are steals.

They rank 41st in the nation with 11.8 percent of defensive possessions ending with a steal – Khalif Wyatt, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and Will Cummings are the big threats on the team to pick pockets.

Pack Defense Against Temple Offense

Category NC State Defense Temple Offense
Points per Possession 0.97 (105) 1.10 (35)
2-point FG% 47.4 (171) 48.7 (119)
3-point FG% 29.9 (21) 33.4 (195)
Turnover % 16.9 (317) 16.2 (9)
Off. Rebound % 33.0 (225) 31.2 (190)
FT Rate (FTA/FGA) 28.1 (25) 35.6 (185)
Point Dist. - 3pt/2pt/FT 25/57/18 30/49/21

Wyatt is the man for this team on offense, with a usage rate in Erick Green territory at 31 percent of all Temple offensive possessions.

But the good news for the Pack is that he isn't as efficient as Green – he's a worse shooter and turns it over at a higher rate than the reigning ACC player of the year. The bad news is that the players around him are much better than the players around Green – none of the players in Temple's top eight are poor offensive players.

What really makes Temple a dangerous offense is that they simply don't give away possessions. They aren't the greatest shooting team in the world by any stretch, but turning the ball over so infrequently means they get more looks at the basket than their opposition almost every game.

Without the ability to hang onto the ball, they aren't an NCAA tournament team.

The Owls have three shooters who take the majority of their long-range attempts – Wyatt (33%), Jake O'Brien (43%) and Scootie Randall (31%). Only O'Brien is a consistent threat from outside, but all three guys have taken more than 100 attempts so they will all have the green light if the Pack leaves them open.

Hollis-Jefferson and Cummings are the two worst shooters on the team – both hit less than 45 percent of their twos and Cummings is shooting under 30 percent from 3-point range on 48 attempts this year.

If the Pack doubles off to help on Wyatt as they did against both Green and Harris, expect those two guys to be left open for shots

Overall, the Pack has an advantage statistically across the board but Wyatt will be the X-factor for the Owls. If he gets going, the Pack defense is in for a long night and they'll have to attempt to outscore the Owls.

Containing Wyatt doesn't necessarily guarantee anything – again this team has other players who can beat you – but it will make things much easier and might allow the Pack offense a little more breathing room.

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