DAYTON, Ohio. – Here are observations heading into Friday’s NCAA tournament game between Temple and North Carolina State at the University of Dayton Arena.
Who’s hot: Wolfpack guard/forward Scott Wood might be one of the hottest players in the tourney. The 6-foot-6 senior averaged 19 points while shooting 59.3 percent on three-pointers in last week’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Who’s not: It’s hard to believe that Temple’s Khalif Wyatt would be in the category. But the Atlantic Ten player of the year struggled through 4 of 19 shooting in last Friday’s A-10 tourney quarterfinal loss to Massachusetts.
Who wants the ball in crunch time: This definitely goes to Wyatt, who has a knack for producing late-game heroics for the Owls. A prime example was Temple’s victory over Detroit on Feb. 28. Wyatt scored 12 of the Owls’ final 14 points in the 83-78 decision.
Who don’t you foul: Wood is the one person Temple – or any team for that matter- doesn’t want to put on the foul line. The Indiana native is has made 81 of 88 free throws for 92 percent.
Who do you foul: N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie excels at a lot of things. Foul shooting is not one of them. He’s shooting just 61.8 percent (139 of 225) from the free-throw line.
Who hits the three: Wood’s marksmanship in the ACC tourney wasn’t a fluke. He’s the all-time leader in three-pointers (332) at N.C. State. He also leads the ACC in three-point field-goal percentage (44.3).
Toughest matchup: It will be interesting to see how Temple’s undersized forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson defends Leslie. At 6-9, the Wolfpack junior has three inches on the Hollis-Jefferson. Yet, the Chester native has a knack for shutting down bigger opponents.