1. Is the rebuilding project complete?
Last season’s 14-18 record was largely due to Temple being a team in transition. Of the 11 players on Temple’s 2012-13 roster, three were sophomores with minimal game experience and six were freshmen with no collegiate experience at all. Time will tell if Tonya Cardoza’s team will contend or if it still needs time to grow.
2. Can freshmen centers fill the hole left by Victoria Macaulay?
With the Owls’ Atlantic 10 Second Team center Victoria Macaulay having graduated, Temple has brought in Safiya Martin and Taylor Robinson to fill its vacancy in the post. Both freshmen stand at 6-foot-4-inches, matching Macaulay’s physical presence, but it has yet to be seen if either is equipped with the former star’s skillset.
3. How will Temple compare to the conference best?
Now that Temple is a member of the American Athletic Conference, it will face a number of the nation’s best teams. With the likes of national champion Connecticut and runner-up Louisville on their schedule, the Owls’ increased strength of schedule will serve as a litmus test for the their legitimacy.
4. Will the Owls pick up where they left off last season?
Despite their overall losing record, the Owls ended last season with a strong showing in the A-10 tournament, upsetting Xavier and Charlotte in the process. Consistency damaged Temple’s win total last season, but momentum from the Owls’ effort could help the team find success this season.
5. Who will break out as the Owls’ go-to player?
Last year’s leading scorer, Macaulay, took her 14-point average with her after graduation, and the Owls will need a new player to step in as the team’s top scoring option. Rateska Brown is the only returning player with a double-digit point average, but Tyonna Williams and Natasha Thames have also shown scoring ability.
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