WHEN: Wednesday, January 14 at 6 p.m. CT
WHERE: Liacouras Center (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
TV/RADIO: CBS Sports Network/KAAM 770 AM
SERIES: SMU trails the series 1-3.
LAST MEETING: SMU and Temple split last season’s matchups, each winning on home court.
SMU is expected to be at full strength tonight with a full lineup in this AAC matchup. Guard Keith Frazier participated in shootaround and is expected to play. While SMU will play their second game without assistant Ulric Maligi, the team has been locked in on their roadtrip, beating UCF on Sunday afternoon. Nic Moore went for 21 points in the win over UCF and got everyone involved in the game. If Moore is distributing and taking care of the ball, SMU should be just fine. It starts with Moore in SMU’s gameplan.
Temple’s point guard Will Cummings is not expected to play tonight according to beat writers for Temple and that is a huge blow for the Owls. Cummings is the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 13.6 points per game and a good rebounder, averaging close to five a game. If Cummings can’t go, Quenton DeCosey, Jesse Morgan and Josh Brown will certainly see more of the load fall on their shoulders.
Since the start of conference play, Temple is one of the best teams at forcing turnovers, taking care of the ball and rebounding. The Owls rank 1st against conference teams in total rebounds. Temple is trying to bounce back after a home loss to Tulsa this weekend.
Three Players to Watch
Quenton DeCosey: DeCosey is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 14 points per game, but SMU will have to watch DeCosey from beyond the arc as the team did last year. DeCosey is shooting 37 percent this year, but SMU held him to just 2-for-14 from three-point range last year in the two matchups.
Jaylen Bond: The team’s leading scorer at forward, the 6-8 junior is averaging 8.6 points and rebounds per game. Keeping Bond away from this nearly double-double average will help SMU dominate the glass and paint.
Jesse Morgan: The senior guard has missed a few games this season, but is the team’s third leading scorer when he has played, averaging 12.3 points per game. Although Morgan was 1-for-17 against Tulsa, expect him to take plenty of shots.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Ryan Manuel vs. Quenton DeCosey: Manuel is the team’s best defender and has done a terrific job locking down players the past few games especially. Nick Russell did a great job on DeCosey last year and Manuel has the tools to do the same.
KEYS TO THE GAME
This is a game where SMU needs to take over in the paint and dominate. Temple is missing their leader and there’s nothing that hurts a team’s pride more than destroying them on the glass and in the paint. SMU should get good looks from outside as well by kicking it out to Frazier and Moore. SMU’s ball movement has been solid these past few games so as always, taking care of the ball will be key.