Folks on North Broad Street will tell that 22d-ranked Temple is finally receiving national respect. And they’re right.
Despite their dominance, the Owls didn’t receive a national ranking until Monday.
But Temple better not let the national attention go to its head.
Remember what happened after the Owls relaxed after upsetting Duke?
Three days later, Temple experienced a let-down game versus Dayton. The loss is still mind-boggling.
Temple better not relax in Wednesday night’s Atlantic Ten and Big Five game against La Salle at Tom Gola Arena.
If so, the Owls (21-5, 10-2 A-10, 2-0 Big Five) are destined to lose.
The Explorers (18-9, 7-5, 1-2) are motivated to snap their six-game losing streak to Temple. And La Salle is tough to beat at home. The Explorers are 12-1 at their arena.
So Temple needs to play like a team still searching for respect.
Here’s a glimpse at the starting lineups, coaches' record and series information:
TEMPLE (21-5, 10-2 A-10, 2-0 Big Five)
32 Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson F 6-6 Jr. 8.8 ppg. 6.7 rpg.
50 Micheal Eric F 6-11 Gr. 7.3 ppg. 7.8 rpg.
4 Juan Fernandez G 6-4 Sr. 11.5 ppg. 3.9 apg.
1 Khalif Wyatt G 6-4 Jr. 17.0 ppg. 2.1 spg.
10 Ramon Moore G 6-4 Sr. 18.2 ppg. 3.3 apg.
La Salle (18-9, 7-5, 1-2)
25 Jerrell Wright F 6-8 Fr. 9.5 ppg. 6.0 rpg.
3 Tyreek Duren G 6-0 Soph. 13.7 ppg. 4.2 apg
10 Sam Mills G 6-2 Soph. 11.3 ppg. 2.6 apg.
23 Earl Pettis G 6-5 Sr. 14.7 ppg. 4.1 rpg
55 Ramon Galloway G 6-3 Jr. 14.7 ppg. 4.8 rpg.
Fran Dunphy (441-225 career record)
John Giannini (413-273)
Temple leads, 71-40. The Owls won six consecutive and nine of the last 10.
Hollis-Jefferson had a career-high 19 points as Temple won 76-70 on Jan. 18 at the Liacouras Center.