Today’s Formidable Opponent: Temple University (3-3)
Location, Location, Location: The Bryce Jordan Center
Time: 6 PM ET
Television: The Big Ten Network.
Brief Synopsis: Temple’s been off to a rough start, losing to two MAC teams (including a 16-point loss at home to Miami of Ohio) and certainly does not look like the team that ran the table in the Atlantic 10 tournament last year to clinch an automatic NCAA Tournament bid.
Dionte Christmas leads the charge with his 21.8 ppg and 7.5 rpg. He’s Temple’s “do-everything” type of player and perhaps part of Temple’s problem is they rely on him a little too much, despite the fact two other players Ryan Brooks and Sergio Olmos are currently averaging 12 ppg. Olmos is 7 feet tall but somehow only pulls down 3.5 rebounds a game, sounds a lot like the many 7-footers that have graced the PSU starting lineup in the past, look for him to get abused by Cornley and DJ down low.
Looking at tempo-free stats provided by Crispin and Cream, We’re a better rebounding team, hang onto the ball much better, and are more efficient offensively and defensively given the average number of possessions each team has had in a game this season. Did I also mention that Temple can’t shoot free throws either? That’s right, they’re currently putting up a paltry 68% as a team. Combine all this with the fact that the game is at home in the BJC and PSU is coming off a critical, momentum-boosting win at Georgia Tech and you would have to consider a Temple victory to be an “upset.”
Oddsmakers seem to feel the same way, as PSU appears to be about a 6.5 point favorite. Crispin and Cream is predicting a thorough whooping by the Fighting DeChellises of the double-digit variety (16 points). Yours Truly also likes the good guys to cover the spread. As for my buddy John, we’re still awaiting word from him but will have it up soon. John texted his prediction to me a while back and is following suit with C&C and I in picking PSU to cover the spread.
As far as “Contest” results go: Yours Truly is once again the sole possessor of first place, thanks to predicting PSU to beat the spread against Georgia Tech. John has also vaulted into a tie with C&C due to following my lead.