North Carolina (0-0) vs. Temple (0-0)
Annapolis, Md. – Alumni Hall
Friday, 7:00 p.m.
CBS Sports Network (Tom McCarthy, Steve Lappas, Lauren Gardner)
“What concerns me is their coach, Fran Dunphy, who I think is one of the great coaches in our game. He’s won over 500 games and has been with great people as an assistant… He happens to be a very good friend, a golfing buddy and a guy I really enjoy. Watching his team’s play, they don’t beat themselves. They play extremely hard.” – Roy Williams
"It's a tremendous challenge. I think that's what you want. It's what we advertise when we recruit. We want to play the best. When CBS comes to you a while back and asks if you would like to open against North Carolina at the Naval Academy in the Veterans Classic, you say absolutely." – Dunphy
2014-15 Season in Review: Temple narrowly missed out on a NCAA Tournament bid following a 26-11 season and reached the NIT semifinals. The Owls finished tied for third place in the American Athletic Conference. AAC first-team selection and leading scorer Will Cummings (12.3 ppg) was Dunphy’s primary playmaker, while Quenton DeCosey (12.3 ppg) and Jess Morgan (11.9 ppg) also averaged in double figures. Both Cummings and Morgan exhausted their eligibility last spring.
Preseason AAC Poll: Temple was picked to finish sixth for the second year in a row in the 11-team conference.
BMOC: With the graduations of Cummings and Morgan, DeCosey moves into the primary scoring role for the Owls. The senior guard is 13 points away from becoming the 51st player in school history to break the 1,000-point threshold following a junior season in which he knocked down 51 3-pointers. Oddly enough, DeCosey shot nearly as well from 3-point range (.359) as he did from the floor (37.7). He’s also a solid rebounder given his 6-foot-5 frame, averaging 4.6 rebounds per game – second on the team – in 2014-15.
Reliance on Defense: With an experienced rotation that could go 10-deep, Dunphy will once again lean on a man-to-man defensive approach that served the Owls well last season. Temple ranked 18th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency (93.4) in 2014-15, according to kenpom.com, and 17th nationally in effective field goal percentage (44.5).
O Captain, My Captain: Senior forward Jaylen Bond was a consensus choice by his teammates to be Temple’s first solo captain in Dunphy’s 10 seasons at the helm. The Philadelphia native is the top returning rebounder (7.9) in the AAC. Bond originally signed with Rick Barnes and Texas before transferring after his sophomore season to Temple. He started 29 games last season and averaged 7.6 points.
Success vs. Top-10 Teams: The Owls have upset a top-10 opponent in six of their last eight seasons, including a 77-52 blowout of No. 10 Kansas last December.
Record vs. No. 1-Ranked Teams: Temple is 2-14 all-time against top-ranked teams. The most recent victory came at Cincinnati, 77-69, on Feb. 20, 2000.
Last Meeting: No. 1 seed North Carolina held off 10th-seed Temple, 75-72, in the NCAA Elite Eight at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on Mar. 24, 1991. Hubert Davis and Rick Fox led the Tar Heels with 19 points apiece.
Series History: The series is tied at 3-3. Friday’s meeting is the first in 24 years.
1 Josh Brown (6-3, 185, Jr.) - 6.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg
25 Quenton DeCosey (6-5, 205, Sr.) - 12.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg
34 Devin Coleman (6-2, 205, Sr.) - 3.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg
0 Obi Enechionyia (6-7, 190, Sr.) - 5.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg
15 Jaylen Bond (6-8, 220, Sr.) - 7.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg
23 Devontae Watson (6-11, 215, Sr.) - 2.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg
4 Daniel Dingle (6-7, 235, Jr.) - 3.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg
(Photo by USA Today Sports)