By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Temple will return from a week-and-a-half layoff and play its first ever American Athletic Conference game on Wednesday night as the team visits the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers.
“It’s all new for all of us [life in the AAC],” Temple head coach Fran Dunphy tells KYW Newsradio. “It will be an interesting year. We have some terrific games ahead, certainly starting with Rutgers on New Year’s night.”
Listen to the full interview below…
The Owls have been up and down in non-conference play, putting together a 5-5 record.
“I think I’ve been a little bit surprised at how well we’ve scored it,” Dunphy says. “I have not been pleased with how we’ve defended it. We need to absolutely defend better than we have and that’s always the challenge of every coach is to get your team to buy in and be ready to go on the defensive end. And that’s what we’re working on every single day.”
So far this season, the Owls are scoring the ball at a rate of 79.9 points a game while allowing 75.3 points a contest.
Rutgers is 6-7 on the campaign and they are coached by former Sixers head man Eddie Jordan.
“They have four guys that are pretty efficient at the three-point shot,” Dunphy says. “[But] I wish that was the only thing that we had to worry about. I like their athleticism; I like how hard they play. It will be a great test for us. I think they have a good combination of inside players and perimeter guys. It’ll be an absolute battle, I’m quite sure. So we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Rutgers is led by junior guard Myles Mack and his 16.5 points a game. He is shooting just under 40% from behind the three-point arc.
Junior guard Will Cummings paces the Owls in scoring at 17.7 points a game. Senior guard Dalton Pepper is right behind him, pouring in 17.2 points a contest.
Wednesday night’s game will tip off at 8:00 p.m. at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.