Basketball Preview: Games to Watch (Men’s)

New conference brings tougher competition.

AT PENN (Nov. 9)

The men will kick off the season at coach Fran Dunphy’s old stomping grounds. University of Pennsylvania will look to contend for the Ivy League title after a disappointing 9-22 showing last season. The team boasts a talented frontcourt in Fran Dougherty and Darien Nelson-Henry, and a pair of guards who can score in Miles Cartwright and Tony Hicks. The Quakers struggled with injuries last season, but they should be healthy for this game.


Temple’s first American Athletic Conference game will take place in Piscataway, N.J., on New Year’s Day. Former Philadelphia 76ers coach Eddie Jordan is in his first season at Rutgers, and he will look to exceed expectations as the Scarlet Knights were picked to finish last in the league by The American’s coaches. Myles Mack, is Rutgers’ leading returning scorer and he could give the Owls trouble.

VS. LA SALLE (Jan. 18)

The Explorers may have lost Ramon Galloway after a Sweet 16 trip last year, but they still have plenty of guard power. Tyreek Duren – a preseason First Team All-Conference player – Tyrone Garland, Sam Mills and transfer Khalid Lewis will anchor La Salle. If big men Steve Zack and Jerrell Wright can produce in the frontcourt, this Big5 match-up will be a tough test for the Owls at the Palestra.

AT UCONN (Jan. 21)

Connecticut has what is perhaps the best guard duo in the country in Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. The two combined for 32.5 points and 9.0 assists per game last season when the Huskies were ineligible for postseason play. DeAndre Daniels and Omar Calhoun also averaged double-digit points per game last year. Temple will need to play stellar perimeter defense to slow down UConn.


The defending national champions are coming to the Liacouras Center. The unanimous favorite to win The American, Louisville will be led by Russ Smith – the preseason American player of the year – and Montrezl Harrell. The veteran Cardinals were hurt by the suspension of Chane Benahan, but they will still give the inexperienced Owls fits as they try to repeat as champion.

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