The Bearcats are back on their home floor today after suffering a deflating late-game loss to Iowa State at Fifth Third Arena just one week ago. UC moved to 10-3 on the year with the defeat handed out, courtesy of the Cyclones. The good news is that the Bearcats can get back on the winning side of things as they get their conference slate going with a match-up against the Owls.
Meet The Opponent
Making their way from Philadelphia to the Queen City is Temple, who is currently 5-5 on the season and 10th in the American Athletic Conference. It may be unfortunate for the Pennsylvania-based program, but they have faced three ranked programs already, and were on the losing end each time. However, while struggling so far in the 2015-2016 campaign, the Owls will come into the game fresh off of a 15-point victory over Delaware State and will hope to ride the momentum to a victory over Mick Cronin and Cincinnati.
Temple features three double figure scorers with senior guard Quenton DeCosey being their leading scorer at 15.1 per night in addition to 6.6 rebounds. DeCosey is a player that has the ability to make plenty of noise in the scoring column as he has four 20+ point games this year. Senior forward Jaylen Bond and sophomore forward Obi Enechionyia are two other key players for the Owls. Bond, an in-state player, is much like DeCosey as he makes his mark with points and rebounds. The 6'8, 240-pounder comes into today averaging 10.3 points and 7.5 rebounds. As for Enechionyia, he is sitting at 11.0 points per night for the red and white. The Virginia native is also the most efficient player for the Owls as he is shooting slightly less than 48% on the season.
Numbers To Know
On the defensive side, Temple seems to struggle getting stops. They are allowing 70.7 points per game to their opposition which is certainly good news for Cincinnati. While the Bearcats are not the greatest offensive team, they still score a little over 78 points per contest. I would expect Troy Caupain, Gary Clark, Farad Cobb, and Octavius Ellis to see plenty of opportunities to score the ball against the Owls. Could even be a game in which Jacob Evans and Shaq Thomas do some good things on the offensive end.
The Owls, as previously stated, come into the contest against UC with five victories under their belt. With that being said, they have yet to pick up any sort of impressive win out of the five. Their best win on the season so far is against the 6-6 Minnesota Golden Gophers who are ranked just 150th in the latest Ken Pomeroy rankings and that was the second game of their season. The five losses that they have come from teams that are in the Top 65 on the KenPom grades with Saint Joseph's (65th) being the worst loss yet. If this trend says anything, it's that the Bearcats should walk away victorious today as they are well within the Top 65 as they stand at 21st.
The Bearcats were able to bounce back in their prior two defeats that came against No. 9 Butler and No. 6 Xavier. Of course the games that followed weren't very tough with Morgan State and Norfolk State following the losses, but Cincinnati was able to put the losses in their rear view nonetheless and get back to their winning ways quickly. As mentioned above, UC fell to No. 11 Iowa State in their most recent outing and now they have a chance to make it three consecutive losses in which they were able to move on from with victory. Head coach Fran Dunphy and his Owls have other plans however.
How To Watch
Game Time: 3:00 PM EST