Last night’s 57-52 loss at the Cintas Center certainly stings but it also wasn’t totally unexpected. Xavier was losers of four straight coming into the game and, for whatever reason, they just don’t lose many Atlantic 10 games there.
It didn’t help Temple’s cause that senior leader Scootie Randall went 5-for-15 from the floor and 3-for-8 from deep for 13 points. He missed a pull-up three to tie the game with 15 seconds left in the game.
Khalif Wyatt wasn’t much better. He went 2-for-11 from the field and missed all five of his three-point attempts.
As a team, the Owls went 4-for-20 from distance. Not good at all.
The bench only contributed three points off of a Jake O’Brien three-pointer. He missed his other five attempts from beyond the arc.
Anthony Lee was the only real bright spot for Temple has he led the team with 15 points and seven rebounds in 36 minutes. He was thrown into the fire as a freshman and has been leaned on heavily as a sophomore and he’s respond in turn. It’s amazing what happens when you throw your young players some minutes.
Quenton DeCosey played exactly two minutes last night.
Daniel Dingle and Devontae Watson? Zero.
I really, truly believe that you have to throw young players some bones here and there to see how they react. DeCosey played in some crucial moments down the stretch against Syracuse and handled himself nicely. Dingle has shown flashes in the very limited time he has been on the court. Watson has blocked four shots in just 10 minutes of total playing time.
Meanwhile, Xavier was led in scoring last night by freshman guard Semaj Christon. He makes some mistakes but he ultimately benefit immensely from his early playing time.
Here is something to chew on: if, IF, Rysheed Jordan ends up coming to Temple do you have faith that he will be able to see ample playing time from day one? Lee has already been touched upon. Lavoy Allen started right away because Temple had no legit big men. Juan Fernandez played almost 20 minutes a game as a freshman because the Owls needed a legit point guard. Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, who stuffed the stat sheet last night with 11 points, six rebounds and six assists, played a lot because he could defend multiple positions and didn’t really make any mistakes.
Those four seem to be the exception to Fran Dunphy’s rule.
All I’m saying is that it might be time to bend that a little bit.