PHILADELPHIA - Coming off its fifth Top 10 win in the
last five seasons, the Temple men's basketball team (9-2) returns to the
Liacouras Center for a Christmas week game against Detroit Friday (3:00
pm/OwlAccess/1210 AM WPHT) in search of a milestone win for the
program. The Owls will be looking to become just the sixth Division I
team to reach 1,800 wins as the Owls enter their final game of the
Chevrolet Gotham Classic with 1,799 wins in their 115 seasons of
Fans can come meet and take pictures with Santa Claus at the Detroit game. In addition, all fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the game for Toys for Tots, and will receive a discounted ticket for as low as $5.00 for doing so.
Temple's most recent win, an 83-79 victory against then #3/3 Syracuse at Madison Square Garden Saturday is one to savor. It extended the Owls streak to a win over a Top 10 opponent to five seasons, the best active streak for wins by an unranked team over a Top 10 foe.
Senior guard Khalif Wyatt, the reigning Atlantic 10 Conference and National Player of the Week, leads head coach Fran Dunphy's squad in scoring (16.2 ppg.) and assists (3.9 apg.). Wyatt scored a career-high 33 points in the upset of the Orange, and made 15 of 15 free throws to propel the team to victory.
Senior forward Scootie Randall is second on the squad in scoring (13.0 ppg.) while topping the squad in rebounding (7.2 rpg.). Sophomore forward Anthony Lee (11.5 ppg., 6.8 rpg.) also had a career day against SU, scoring a personal best 21 points while hauling in nine boards. Senior Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (8.9 ppg., 5.6 rpg.) and sophomore guard Will Cummings (5.5 ppg., 2.0 spg.) round out the Owls' starting five.
Graduates Jake O'Brien (7.5 ppg.) and T.J. DiLeo (3.5 ppg.) are the top two reserves with junior Dalton Pepper (1.8 ppg.) and freshman Quenton DeCosey (3.8 ppg.) also seeing quality time off the bench.
Detroit (7-5), under the direction of fifth-year head coach Ray McCallum, boasts a balanced attack with all five starters averaging double figures. The coach's son, junior guard Ray McCallum, leads the team in scoring (18.5 ppg.) and assists (4.9 apg.). Junior guard Jason Calliste (12.6 ppg.), senior forward Nick Minnerath (11.9 ppg,), senior forward Doug Anderson (11.5 ppg.) and sophomore forward Juwan Howard, Jr. (10.7 ppg.) fill out the Titan five.
The teams have met just once, an 87-76 Titan win in the championship game of the 1968 Motor City Tournament. Detroit, led by future NBA great Spencer Haywood, was ranked 11th nationally at the time with Temple, led by the legendary John Baum, finishing that season as NIT Champions.