After six games on the road, Temple Men’s Basketball finally returns home
Temple Men’s Basketball (4-2) started the 2017-2018 season with six-straight road games, but they finally return to the Liacouras Center Wednesday night to face Wisconsin (4-5). The Badgers are coming off a trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 last season, knocking off defending NCAA champion Villanova along the way. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU and 1210 AM WPHT.
The Owls have had impressive individual performances in their first six games. Sophomore Quinton Rose leads the team in scoring 19 points per game. He has scored more than 20 points in all but two games, including a game-high 24 points in the win over the University of South Carolina.
Senior forward Obi Enechionyia has also had a significant start, eclipsing his 1,000th career point. He became the 52nd player in program history to pass the accomplishment against La Salle on Nov. 26.
Additionally, junior guard Shizz Alston Jr. continues to be perfect from the free-throw line so far this season. He has made 18-of-18 this season and 46 straight dating back to December 28, 2016. He now has the second longest streak in the history of the program, three behind Lynn Greer’s record of 49 in a row.
Temple comes into the game with just two losses this season to former Atlantic 10 rivals, George Washington (12/3) and La Salle (11/26). Both losses were by a margin of four points. They have had some impressive wins. Most recently, they defeated the University of South Carolina, a team that reached the final four last season as a seven seed. The Owls handed the Gamecocks their second loss of the season. It was their first meeting in nearly 12 years and Temple pounced on South Carolina, a team that only has two starters returning from last season, to defeat them 76-60. Tonight’s game marks another matchup versus an opponent with a distinguished run in the NCAA tournament last season.
Wisconsin is coming off a one-point win over Penn State on Monday night. Although they are less than .500 in their first nine games of the season, they have lost to teams ranked in the top 25 including No. 23 UCLA, No. 22 Baylor, and No.18 Virginia. All-American junior forward Ethan Happ continues to lead the Badgers this season scoring an average 15.4 points per game, grabbing 8.9 rebounds per game, and dishing out three assists per game.
The Owls started the season 3-0 for the first time since the 2012-2013 season. It was the first time in program history Temple won three straight road games to start a season.The game against Wisconsin is the start of a four-game homestand.
Prior to Thanksgiving, Temple clinched the Gildan Charleston Classic Championship to give them the undefeated start. The Owls traveled down to South Carolina to compete in the 2017 tournament. It was a successful trip for Temple as they defeated Old Dominion, Auburn, and then Clemson in the final. A few players received some noteworthy tournament accolades and game achievements. Senior forward Obi Enechionyia was named the tournament MVP. Sophomore guard Quinton Rose not only tallied his first career double-double but also landed a spot on the All-Tournament team. The tournament win marks Temple’s second time winning a regular-season title since over nearly two decades ago in the 1989-1999 season. It is their first time ever winning the Charleston Classic.