AT LA SALLE (Nov. 8)
If the Owls are to forget the 27-turnover, 71-55 rout they took from La Salle a year ago, they might as well do it with a win on their Big 5 rival’s home court at the Tom Gola Arena. La Salle’s five leading scorers are gone from an 8-21 squad last year, and is a team riddled with inexperience. In what will serve as the season opener for both the Owls and the Explorers, this one has “statement game” written all over it.
VS. MSU (Nov. 26)
This non-conference tilt could turn ugly fast, or it could turn into an interesting contest at home against a national powerhouse. Michigan State debuted at No. 20 in the preseason AP Top-25 poll, and features three of its five starters from a season ago as well as an intriguing freshman guard in Tori Jankoska. Although Temple’s chances on paper are slim, anything can happen when the underdog holds the home court advantage.
VS. LOUISVILLE (Jan. 1)
The national runner-up from last year will travel to Temple for a New Year’s Day match-up at McGonigle Hall. Most of Louisville’s core remains intact, as the Cardinals boast their own version of the Big Three in seniors Shoni Schimmel (14.3 points per game), Antonita Slaughter (10.1 PPG) and junior Sara Hammond (10.8 PPG), who all helped play a big role in Louisville’s run to the NCAA championship game last year.
AT CINCINNATI (Jan. 18)
Tonya Cardoza and Jamelle Elliot coached alongside each other at Connecticut under Hall Of Famer Geno Auriemma and are known to be close friends. They’ll have to face each other as opponents on this day, however, as Cardoza’s Temple squad will face the Elliot-coached Bearcats in the first match-up of the two longtime friends. Cincinnati was picked in the Coaches Poll to finish seventh of the 10 teams in The American Athletic Conference.
VS. UConn (Jan. 28)
90-36. That’s how this matchup’s previous chapter concluded in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2010, and it was about as ugly as the score indicates. The defending national-champion Huskies will bring four of its Top 5 scorers in 2013-14 and at No. 1 in the preseason AP ranking, they look primed to make another title run. Still, it’ll be interesting to see this contest with a packed house at McGonigle Hall.