By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For the first time since the 2000-2001 season, the Temple Owls are 3-0 after beating Delaware on Sunday, 80-75.
“We did a good job on the offensive end,” Temple head coach Fran Dunphy told KYW Newsradio on Monday. “We still can make better choices than we made. We did have 18 assists on 26 baskets, which I was proud of. We still can be a better shot selection team.”
Dunphy says his team did have some struggles in the win on the defensive end.
“We did not guard, in particular, two players who are really good players,” Dunphy says. “I thought (Delaware head coach) Monte (Ross) really did a good job of utilizing his two guys in (Jamelle) Hagins and (Devon) Saddler. They just were a tough twosome for us to control (combined for 54 points).”
LISTEN: Matt Leon interviews Fran Dunphy
The Owls got a great contribution off the bench against Delaware from 6’9″ graduate student Jake O’Brien. He dropped in a season-high 13 points on four of seven shooting (three for five from three) and Dunphy says he brings a good skill set to the table.
“He’s a big guy who makes shots,” Dunphy says. “He steps away from the basket, although he does have a pretty good post-up game as well. He passed the ball well out of the post (against Delaware). We need to get him more playing time and more shots at the basket. He can make shots, which is really a great thing for us to have. It’s a great asset for us off the bench.”
O’Brien is averaging 7.3 points per game this season, shooting 54.5% from behind the arc in the process. He played his undergraduate ball at Boston University.
Temple will return to the court on Wednesday when they visit a 2-5 Buffalo team.
“Best player they have is (junior forward Javon) McCrea, who is inside, who is going to present a tremendous challenge for us,” Dunphy says. “We know what we are in for, we know how good a basketball player he is. We have always had a tough time with Buffalo, we’ve had some really great games.”
McCrea leads Buffalo in scoring at 17 points per game.
Last season, Temple beat Buffalo in North Philadelphia, 87-85, in overtime.
The Owls and Buffalo tip-off at 7:00pm on Wednesday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.