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By Matt Leon

By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Temple Owls have a busy week in front of them as they open play in the Gotham Classic on Monday night at the Liacouras Center against Alcorn State.

The 7-1 Owls will play four games in this Gotham Classic, three of them this week.  After this game with Alcorn State, the Owls will host Canisius on Wednesday and then battle undefeated Syracuse on Saturday.   They wrap up play in this classic on December 28th at home against Detroit.

“This is a big week for us,” Temple head coach Fran Dunphy tells KYW Newsradio. “With Alcorn tonight, Canisius on Wednesday and Syracuse at the Garden on Saturday.  So we have three days in six days, so we have a lot to prepare for and not a lot of time to do it in.”

LISTEN: Matt Leon interviews Fran Dunphy

The first opponent, Alcorn State, comes to town with a record of just 2-7, but Dunphy says they pose problems.

“Very athletic, very fast,” Dunphy says. “They played down at Arkansas the other day (Saturday), were very much in the game early on and then Arkansas just kind of wore them down at the end (Arkansas eventually won 97-59).

“We’ve had troubles this year with teams just like this.  I would liken them to Wagner and couple of others that we’ve played, Towson.  We’re going to have our hands full right from the start my sense is.”

Temple has been off since beating Towson on Wednesday night, 72-61.  In that game, the Owls got a career high 20 points from 6’6″, senior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson.

“If we are going to win our share of games, he has to be a very proficient and efficient mid-range jump shooter, and that’s what he was against Towson,” Dunphy says.

Hollis-Jefferson is fourth on the team in scoring at 9.9 points a game.

Temple and Alcorn State will tip-off at 7:00pm on Monday night.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.


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