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Cal MBB Preview vs. Temple Owls

After a tough loss, we look to take third place in the GotPrint.com Legends Classic.

NCAA Basketball: Legends Classic Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears showed plenty of promise in a hard-fought loss against St. John’s in the semi-finals of the Legends Classic. Now, their attention turns to the Temple Owls, who suffered their first loss of the season against the still-undefeated VCU Rams. Let’s see what exactly we will be up against.

Temple Owls

Record: 4-1

Points/Game: 74.2

Points Allowed/Game: 67.0

Last 5 Games

W vs. La Salle, 75-67

W vs. Detroit Mercy, 83-67

W vs. Georgia, 81-77

W vs. Loyola MD, 81-67

L vs. VCU (neutral location), 57-51

Projected Starters

SR G Shizz Alston Jr. - 18.4PPG/3.0RPG/4.8APG

SO G Nate Pierre-Louis - 13.4PPG/6.6RPG/1.8APG

JR G Quinton Rose - 16.2PPG/3.0RPG/2.0APG

SO F De’Vondre Perry - 6.0PPG/3.8RPG/2.2APG

SR C Ernest Aflakpui - 6.6PPG/8.0RPG/0.2APG

Key Reserves

Try not to get these guys confused...

JR G Alani Moore II - 4.8PPG/1.6RPG/0.8APG

SO F J.P. Moorman II - 3.4PPG/3.2RPG/2.0APG

JR C Damion Moore - 4.2PPG/3.4RPG/0.2APG

Notes

Temple is not a very good shooting team. They are shooting just 28% from three this season and 42% overall. However, they will shoot a lot of shots due to their strong rebounding. This season, they are out-rebounding their opponents by an average of 4.8 rebounds/game. It is a group effort, as all of their starters have more than 3 rebounds/game this year and they have two more such players coming off of the bench. They also tend to win the turnover battle. They protect the ball well, giving up just 12.8 turnovers/game, and play an aggressive defense that forces 18.2 turnovers/game, with 10.4 of them coming from steals. They also convert these turnovers into 20.6 points/game while only allowing 12.8 points/game off of their turnovers.

The offensive attack will be led by star guard Shizz Alston Jr. Standing at 6’4”, he has been the primary scoring threat for the Owls, and is their only real threat from downtown. Look for him to play a heavy dose of minutes. They also get double-digit points/game from both Quinton Rose and Nate Pierre-Louis. These two players won’t kill us from deep but are rather efficient scorers from inside the arc. Other than that, they will get small contributions from the rest of their starters and reserves.

Keys for a Cal Win

  1. Keep the turnover battle close: This Temple team thrives off of forcing turnovers and keeping theirs to a minimum. This young Cal team needs to be able to protect the ball and capitalize on opportunities at the defensive end.
  2. Stop Shizz Alston: Honestly, Temple’s offensive threats don’t worry me too much outside of Alston. If he doesn’t have a huge game, we should have a shot at winning.
  3. Box Out on the Boards: Temple is a team-rebounding team. They have won on the glass so far this season and even have 13.4 offensive rebounds/game. Cal can’t allow Temple to have second chance opportunities, and need to create a few of their own.

What do you think Cal fans? Can we pick up the W?