NEW YORK – As crazy as it sounds, Temple can't focus too much on stopping Chaz Williams in Friday night's Atlantic Ten quarterfinal against Massachusetts.
The Owls (23-8) tried that in the first half of an 83-82 victory over the Minutemen (20-10) on Feb. 16 in Amherst, Mass. It backfired. The Minutemen scored 26 points in the paint before intermission. Fourteen of them came from Cady Lalanne, a sophomore center.
Now, Owls guards Will Cummings and T.J. DiLeo will have their hands full against the speedy Williams, an all-Atlantic Ten selection. However, they must stay out of foul trouble, while at the same time making things uncomfortable for Williams.
Meanwhile, Temple center Anthony Lee must also play aggressive while staying out of foul trouble. The Owls don't have a backup post player capable of slow down the Minutemen inside. More important is having offensive balance.
If Temple plays solid defense and gives Khalif Wyatt scoring help, Massachusetts will struggle.
Here are the probable starters, coaches’ records and series information for the Atlantic Ten tournament quarterfinal between Temple and Massachusetts on Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn:
32 Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson F 6-6 Sr. 8.8 ppg. 1.8 spg.
3 Anthony Lee F 6-9 Gr.. 10.3 ppg. 7.1 rpg.
33 Scootie Randall G/F 6-6 Sr. 11.8 ppg 6.3 rpg.
1 Khalif Wyatt G 6-4 Sr. 19.9 ppg. 4.1 apg.
3 Will Cummings G 6-2 Soph. 6 ppg. 1.5 spg.
21 Sampson Carter F 6-8 Jr. 6.2 ppg. 4.1 rpg.
33 Terrell Vinson F 6-8 Sr. 12.6 ppg. 4 rpg
25 Cady Lalanne C 6-10 Soph. 8.5 ppg. 7.3 rpg.
3 Chaz Williams G 5-9 Jr. 15.4 ppg. 7.6 apg.
23 Freddie Riley G 6-5 Sr. 8.8 ppg. 1 apg.
Fran Dunphy (467-236 career record)
Derek Kellogg (65-65)
Temple holds a 43-21 advantage and has won six of the last eight meetings. Temple won the last meeting, 83-82, on Feb. 16 in Amherst, Mass.
Click here to read the article about Scootie Randall regaining his shooting touch.
Make sure you follow me on Twitter @pompeysgridlock. As tradition, I take pre-game predictions on game days in the hour leading up the game. The person, who comes closest to predicting the actual score, will receive a Best prediction ‘Shout out' in Saturday morning’s "Best" and "Worst" awards blog post. So make sure you send predictions on Friday at 8 p.m.