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Villanova - Temple Preview

VUSports previews the Big Five championship game, Wednesday night between Villanova and Temple at the Pavilion.

Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m., #1 AP Villanova takes on Temple at the Pavilion in a game to determine the Philly Big Five City Series Championship for 2016-17.  The Cats have won an unprecedented 17 straight Big Five games and the ‘Nova Senior Class has the opportunity to finish a first ever, 16-0 career sweep of the Big Five.  A win by 5 or more points ensures that the VU Class of 2017 will complete four years of Big 5 competition with an average margin of victory of 20+ points per game.  A victory by 10 or more points would ensure that all sixteen wins were double-figure wins.

The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1 (and can be heard on 610 (WTEL AM) or followed on VUSports Live Chat).

Kenpom predicts a 77-59 win for Villanova with a 95% chance of the Cats grabbing a win.  Putting aside that projection and looking at some of the quality wins that the Owls have secured in the early going, it is fair to expect a game more competitive than the projected eighteen point margin.  Temple has a home win over LaSalle (in overtime), neutral court wins over Florida St. and West Virginia (two teams ranked in the Top 25 by kenpom) and BIg 5 wins over Penn and St. Joseph’s (PA).  The Owls are 7-3 overall with losses at home to New Hampshire and George Washington and a road loss at UMass.

Taking a look at the Four Factors for each team:

VUSports (data per

a few things stand out:

  • the Cats are in the Top 10 nationally in both Effective FG% and Off.Turnover % 
  • ‘Nova is an average offensive rebounding teams that has done well keeping the opposition off the offensive boards
  • Villanova does not commit a lot of fouls
  • Temple hasn’t done a good job on the O glass or keeping opposing teams off the O glass
  • the Owls take care of the ball on offense - a staple of Dunphy-coached teams

other stats of interest:

  • both teams are patient offensively and play at a slower tempo
  • Temple is shooting a very solid, 39.2% 3PFG
  • … however, the Owls shoot only 46.8% from two-point range
  • Villanova is shooting 39.6% from three and 58.3% from two
  • the Cats have about a half year experience per player advantage over the Owls

Temple Player thumbnails:

Obi Enechionyia (6-10, 220, Jr.) (35.4 MPG, 18.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 49.2% 3PFG, 46.9% FG, 114.8 ORtg) The primary offensive weapon for Temple.  He is a fabulous three-point shooter - at 6-10, he can just shoot over the defense.  It is wise to try to keep him from getting touches in the first place.  If you race out too quickly to close out, he can put it on the deck and soar in for a dunk too, so the help defender needs to be ready to support the guy out on the wing.  Enechionyia is also a great rebounder and hot-blocker.

Daniel Dingle (6-7, 225, Sr.) (33.5 MPG, 11.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, 39.5% 3PFG, 95.7 ORtg)  Dingle is a defender, a dirty jobs guy and a grinder.  He understands how to play the game and puts team first.  He is not a particularly skilled ball-handler.  He will knock down the open trey if left unattended beyond the arc.  Plays a lot of minutes for Coach Dunphy because he defends, rebounds, and hustles.  Turnover prone, hasn’t shot it well inside the arc this season and not a great FT shooter.

Shizz Alston (6-4, 180, So.) (12.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.6 APG, 2.1 SPG, 26.8% 3PFG, 39.3% FG, 110.9 ORtg)  The former AAU teammate of Donte DiVincenzo, Alston has taken a leap forward this year for Temple.  He is a better shooter from mid-range and off the bounce than he has shown so far this season.  He has never been a great three-ball shooter but can be streaky from deep.  Where he has taken the leap forward is in terms of handling, distributing, decision-making and ball protection.  Logs a lot of minutes and is a very active defender.  Keep your head on a swivel when Shizz is around.

Quinton Rose (6-8, 185, Fr.) (23.7 MPG, 11.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 36.4% 3PFG, 49.3% FG, 102.5 ORtg)  This Temple Frosh oozes potential.  He has a versatile offensive game and can score in bunches.  He is a very good athlete with quickness and a good handle he can use to get to the rim or create space for mid-range jumpers.  Uses his length and athleticism to block shots too.  He is a player for the Villanova defense to keep an eye on.

Alani Moore (5-10, 170, Fr.) (28.1 MPG, 7.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 47.4% 3PFG, 125.7 ORtg)  The Frosh, PG has performed quite well early in his Owl career.  Thrust into extra minutes with the injury to Brown he has been a good distributor of the ball and drained the three-ball at a high clip.  He can be a bit turnover prone and has not yet broken the code on scoring from mid-range and at the rim on the collegiate level.  Plays with confidence for a Frosh and knocks down his FTs at a high rate.

Mark Williams (6-8, 225, Sr.) (14.4 MPG, 4.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 30.6% FG, 85.2 ORtg) Williams is a good rebounder and a good defender but hasn’t been able to get it going on the offense end. 

Ernest Aflakpui (6-10, 240, So.) (15.9 MPG, 4.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 53.8% FG,109.2 ORtg) Very good rebounder and a space-eater on defense.  He remains raw on the offensive end.  Shoots only from two point range and struggles at the charity stripe.  Physically strong.

Josh Brown (6-3, 195, Sr.) (19.3 MPG, 7.5 PPG, 136.1 ORtg) Brown returned to action from injury for Temple’s match-up with St. Joseph’s (PA).  He has now worked himself back to be able to play 24+ minutes in each of the last two games.  Against DePaul, he grabbed 7 steals, dished out 5 assists and made only 1 turnover.  His return brings needed experience to the Pwls back-court and another dribble-drive threat to counter-balance their three-ball shooters.  Brown has been shooting the ball selectively and efficiently and playing hard-nosed defense.

Damion Moore (6-11, 225, Fr.) (14.0 MPG, 3.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, )  Played 21 minutes against DePaul.  Rebounded the ball well but did not shoot the ball efficiently.

Injury: Phil Booth is expected to miss the game for Villanova - he continues to battle left knee tendonitis. Top Stories