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Temple - Preview / Review


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Grab your coffee for some another morning game today, as we take on tourney favorite Temple. This will be a very challenging game for us, there is no vegas line yet, but I would expect this to be a virtual pickem game, with either team being favored by 2 or so points. Temple has a definite size advantage, and will seek to play at a slower tempo. Temple's win over Old Dominion was their first game of the year, so we don't have much to go on. In that game they built a big lead, allowed ODU to come back to within 1 in the second half, before Temple put the game away in the last 2 minutes. They had 50ish points from their starting guards, with Alston and Rose standing out. Rose n particular could be a difficult match up for us due to his size. He is 6'8'' and plays on the wing, he can shoot the three, drive and get to the line and rebound. If Heron is unable to matchup, we may see Dunbar get a more minutes due to this matchup.

Defensively, I think we will try a gameplan of ball pressure. Pressure on the ball makes entry passes harder, limiting some of their size advantage. They have two 6'11'' guys starting in the paint, and that may require CBP to go with a bigger lineup in stead of Murray at the four. Perhaps we see Okeke get a start at the four and play Murray more at the 3 this game. I am very interested to see how CBP deals with this lineup, as it is similar to what we will see in conference, with regard to size.  If we get into a half court game, we probably lose, unless we shoot very well from outside. Up tempo is where we want this game to be, as Temple is multiple in their half court defense and have the size to frustrate our inside offensive game. 

One advantage we have is the schedule. Temple is having to open the season with back to back games in 24 hours. That has to be tough, and hopefully works to our favor. Temple shot 50% from three ad 80% from the free throw line, so we don't want to get in a half court shooting contest. Temple is known for their matchup zone defense, so we likely will not use as much pick and roll as we did vs ISU. 

Attacking the matchup zone is important. Dribble penetration is a great tool to use, and we seem to have enough guys able to do it. Dribble drive and kick will be there and this might be a game where we get a lot of shots from outside. If the jumpers arent falling on the kick, the other spot to attack is the short corner/extended block. We could possibly use our athleticism to our advantage by isolating our posts on theirs in this spot. It would allow them to turn and face the basket and attack, or work with their back to the glass and look for cutters to the rim. Okeke and Murray could be particularly effective in this spot. However we choose to attack, you have to move the ball, and make the zone move. This will be the job of Harper to keep the offense focused and on task. Heron has a great tool set to pick apart a zone and could be in for a big night. 


Push the pace and War Eagle!


We knew this was going to be a tough test, and this group wasn't up to the task at this point of the season. We saw a familiar scene, Auburn playing a likely NCAA tourney team hard, and wilting in the second half. The first half defense was very good, the second half we gave up 50+ points. But instead of harp on that, I want to focus on what was different. This was primarily caused by two factors, in my opinion. First and foremost was a plain and simple bad night shooting the basketball. We missed plenty of good open looks, and when we attempted to take the ball to the basket, we still couldn't get them to fall. That happens, it just does, and our hard defense in the first half and early second half was keeping us in the game even as we struggled. That was something new and a bit encouraging. The second factor that I think cost us the game, was their switch to a small lineup. When they went small, we stuck with Murray at the 3, partly due to how well McLemore and Okeke were playing. But he couldn't defend the 3, and them Okeke had issues defending a smaller 4 man. By the time we attempted to adjust to it, we were down 10 points and there was no time left. I really thought CBP had some options to adjust and didn't. I personally would have gone with Haper, Mitchell, Brown, Murray and Okeke, as Heron was clearly struggling. Make a few shots and we still could have won that game, and maybe that was CBP's thinking, that the offense would get going at some point. Either way we got beat by a good team and have to turn the page. 

We didn't move down much in the KenPom, and I don't think this loss is going to end up hurting us much on any post season resumes if we are fortunate enough to be in the conversation later in the year. 


Sorry for the short review, busy weekend. Let's get one Sunday night and this trip was still a success. 

Edited by JwgreDeux
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Really would have loved to see Wiley play bs these Temple bigs. 

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1 minute ago, JwgreDeux said:

Really would have loved to see Wiley play bs these Temple bigs. 

Expect will make 'em run....push the ball and not give them a chance to set up on D.....hope the 3s are falling for us.

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1 hour ago, JwgreDeux said:

" ... Heron has a great tool set to pick apart a zone and could be in for a big night. "

He may feel the need to make up for yesterday.  It would be nice to see him go for over 20 today with a mix of his left handed drives and a few 3's for good measure. 

I have decided that I am closing my door at the office and I am going to watch this game!

Lets get up early and cruise home to a big win!

Edited by mustache eagle
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Auburn went off at -2.5 as a favorite.

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