WHEN: Wednesday, January 4 at 8 p.m. CT
WHERE: Moody Coliseum (Dallas, Texas)
TV/RADIO: CBS Sports Net/KAAM 770 AM
SERIES: Tied 4-4
LAST MEETING: SMU lost 89-80 in Philadelphia
SMU took care of business in a defensive struggle on the road in Memphis to kickoff conference play before heading to East Carolina and getting a win as well. SMU beat the Pirates by 31 points and have won eight straight games. The Mustangs have held each of its last eight opponents to under 60 points. The stellar defense from SMU is the big storyline as the team struggled with defense earlier in the season. Without Harry Froling, the team looks like it's on the same page and playing together rather than struggling with assignments and fits into its system. With Temple trending the wrong way, SMU has a good chance to continue its winning ways.
After winning its last two nonconference games, Temple dropped its past two games against Cincinnati and at UCF. The Owls were beat by 24 points by the Golden Knights and aren't trending well even with wins over Florida State and West Virginia on their resume. Even with a pretty solid mix of athleticism and size in the lineup, Temple hasn't gotten it done in the first two games of AAC play.
Key Temple Players to Watch
G Alani Moore II: Moore is the three-point specialist that hits over 45 percent from beyond the arc. SMU's defense has been strong as of late, but they'll still have to shut down Moore to avoid him getting hot.
F Obi Enechionyia: The 6-10 forward will have a big size advantage on SMU this game. Temple's leading scorer will matchup with either Ben Moore or Semi Ojeleye and averages over 14 points per game with five 20+ point games this year.
Projected Temple Starters:
G Alani Moore II
G Shizz Alston, Jr.
G Daniel Dingle
F Obi Enechionyia
C Ernest Aflakpui
Projected SMU Starters:
G Shake Milton
G Jarrey Foster
G Sterling Brown
F Ben Moore
F Semi Ojeleye
Matchup to Watch
Daniel Dingle vs. Sterling Brown. Dingle has double-digit point totals in six of his last seven games and last year, totaled 14 points including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc in SMU's defeat at Temple. Brown will draw the matchup and will have to play great defense against the redshirt senior, who has a bit of a size advantage on Brown.
Keys to the Game
Start fast. If SMU can jump up on Temple, Tim Jankovich's squad could win this one pretty easily the way Temple has played. The Owls will come out ready to go though after being embarrassed by UCF last game out. Fran Dunphy is one of the better coaches in the conference and the Owls have just fallen on tough times early in AAC play. They'll be ready to try to change their fortunes. SMU has to match that energy level and execute at a high level.