Opponent: Temple (American Athletic Conference)
Record: 3-2 (Last game: W vs Penn, 76-67)
KenPom Ranking: 124
Tip-Off Time: 4:00pm
Location: Liacouras Center – Philadelphia, PA
Media Game Coverage: Online: ESPN3/Audio: 1210 AM WPHT
Meeting History: Fifth all-time meeting. Temple is 4-0 vs LIU Brooklyn. Won last season’s meeting 101-65 at the Barclays Center.
Projected Starting Lineups:
LIU Brooklyn: Elvar Friðriksson (G), Gerrell Martin (G), Martin Hermannsson (G), Landon Atterberry (F), Nura Zanna (F)
Temple: Will Cummings (G), Quenton DeCosey (G), Daniel Dingle (G/F),Mark Williams (F), Devontae Watson (F/C)
Temple is coming off a Big Five win versus fellow Philadelphia side Penn at home in which they won 76-67. Temple is 3-0 at home this season with wins over American, Louisiana Tech and Penn.
The Owls are averaging 60.4 points/game and shooting at 35% clip offensively. They are scoring 66 points/game at home in first three home games. In their two neutral court losses (vs Duke & UNLV), they have averaged 52 points/game. They are scoring 0.868 points/possession and are given up 0.9 points/possession defensively. The Owls are giving up 62 points/game and opponents have shot 39% against them.
Their three-point defense is pretty solid as opponents have only shot 28% against them. The Owls are also forcing 13.2 turnovers/game.
The Owls this season are led by senior guard Will Cummings who is averaging 16.4 points/game. He also leads the team in assists (3.2) and steals (1.4) and is second on the team in rebounding (6.6). He has scored 16 or more points over his last four games. Cumming last season scored 23 points with six assists in their win against LIU.
Junior guard Quenton DeCosey is the other double-digit scorer for Temple at 11.4 points/game. He went for 20 against Louisiana Tech in a win and has gone for double-digits in each of the last four games. Decosey scored 19 points versus LIU in their game last season.
Sophomores Josh Brown and Mark Williams are each scoring 9 points/game. Williams is leading the Owls in rebounding with 7.4 rebounds/game while Brown is leading the team in field goal percentage (39.4%) and free throw shooting (85%).
Daniel Dingle is fifth on the team in scoring (8.2 ppg) yet he went for 12 points versus LIU in their game last season. He is also second on the team in assists (2.0 apg).
Temple was picked sixth out of eleven teams in the AAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll.
Sophomore guard Joel Hernandez has a nice start to his season. He is currently leading LIU in scoring coming off the bench at 9 points/game. He is also tied for third in rebounding on the team with 3.7 rebounds/game.
LIU’s offense is having a hard time getting going through the team’s first three games. The Blackbirds offense is producing just 59 points per game and are generating 0.84 points/possession which is remarkably ranked fourth currently in the NEC. They are shooting under 36% from the floor and 25% from three-point range. They don’t have a single player average double-figures coming into this game.
LIU’s Keys to the Game:
– LIU needs to improve their shooting. They are near the bottom of the NEC in field goal shooting and are dead last in the NEC in three-point shooting after a 2-21 performace versus Stony Brook last Thursday. They’re shooting just under 25% from beyond the three-point arc.
– Need a good start and stay in the game. Last season, LIU hung in for the first ten minutes before Temple completely took control and ran away to a blowout win. It is going to be tougher for LIU this time around on the road and the Owls are a better team than they were a year ago. But LIU has shown resiliency in for first few games once they have fallen behind. They might not have that luxury versus Temple.
– The Martins need to get going. Gerrell Martin and Martin Hermannsson were the two players expected to take on a lot of the scoring load for LIU this season. So far, between the two, they have just one double-digit game and that was Gerrell Martin’s 14 points vs St. John’s. Neither are shooting over 30% from floor. Martin has only 18 minutes/game in the last two games and is 3 of 10 from the field. Hermannsson is just 6 of 23 from the field this season and has yet to make a three-pointer.
– Nura Zanna needs to stay out of foul trouble. He has fouled out in the last two games although against formidable opposition. It likely won’t get any easier for the redshirt-freshman against Temple. He has shown he can work in the paint and score some points and be a disturbance on the defensive end as his three blocks against Stony Brook showed along with his help defense. Zanna has already shown how valuable he is to the LIU lineup.
KenPom Game Prediction: Temple, 74-61. LIU win probability: 11%.
The Blackbirds finally open their home schedule as they play host to the New Hampshire Wildcats from the America East Conference at the Steinberg Wellness Center for their home opener on Wednesday, December 3rd. Tip time is schedule for 7:00 pm.