2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule: Temple
Atlantic 10 (21-12, 11-5)
Big Wins: 1/16 Xavier (78-59), 2/10 Massachusetts (80-70), 3/2 at St. Joseph’s (57-56)
Bad Losses: 11/16 vs Charleston (76-79), 2/6 at Richmond (58-64), 2/23 Fordham (76-78)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2001, Elite Eight loss to Michigan State
Coach: Fran Dunphy (1-9 in 9 NCAA appearances)
Luis Guzman, Sophomore, Guard, 4.0 ppg, 2.3 apg
Dionte Christmas, Junior, Guard, 20.2 ppg, 2.5 apg, 6.0 rpg
Mark Tyndale, Senior, Forward, 15.9 ppg, 4.3 apg, 7.2 rpg
Lavoy Allen, Freshman, Forward, 8.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Sergio Olmos, Junior, Center, 5.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Ryan Brooks, Sophomore, Guard, 8.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Chris Clark, Senior, Guard, 7.7 ppg, 1.8 apg
Semaj Inge, Junior, Guard, 3.1 ppg, 1.2 apg
Why They Can Surprise:
If there is one thing Temple does well, it is shoot the ball. While Mark Tyndale will take it right to the rim, Dionte Christmas, Ryan Brooks and Chris Clark depend on their shooting touch. Christmas knocks down over three long balls a game and hits 38.0 percent of his attempts. Brooks and Clark are not quite as prolific with their shooting, but both are certainly viable threats from beyond the arc.
Luis Guzman has spent much of the year starting at the point guard position. He is only fourth on the team in assists, but he does what the team needs him to do. Clark, a 5-8 senior, will spell him at the point and has done a great job embracing his role off the bench. He even came off the bench during a must win senior night game against Duquesne for the good of the team. He plays his basketball just like that…very unselfishly. It is Tyndale and Christmas who lead the team in assists and having all those ball handlers on the floor is very good for the turnover numbers.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Just like practically every other stat, Christmas and Tyndale lead the team in rebounding. That is not such a good thing though. Starting forwards Lavoy Allen and Sergio Olmos are not horrible on the glass, but they could do more. Those two also run into some foul trouble quite often and there is not any depth behind them. Tyndale, at 6-5, will have to spend some time at the four spot for that reason. Last season the defense was the worst it has been in a long time. A lot of that had to do with Coach Fran Dunphy’s slightly faster style of play, but it was still a problem. This year Temple’s defense is a little better, but there is plenty of room to improve.
Who To Watch:
The Owls live and die with Christmas and Tyndale. There is nothing they do not do. Christmas shoots a ton of three’s, grabs rebounds and dishes out assists. Tyndale gets to the basket and does all the other things too. Both players average almost 38 minutes per game and you can bet there will be very, very few times they are off the floor in the tournament. As long as those two are effective, Temple will be a dangerous team. However, it can become too easy for defenses to key in on those two if nobody else is scoring.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.1 (94th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.5 (192, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.4 (31, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.8 (125, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.9 (62, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.4 (76, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.7 (23, 3)
Rebound Margin: -1.4 (228, 10)
Assists Per Game: 15.2 (55, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (37, 2)
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