Basketball Preview: Men’s Games to Watch

At Duke (Dec. 8, East Rutherford, N.J.)

The Owls haven’t forgotten January when they shocked the Blue Devils with a 78-73 win at the Wells Fargo Center. The Blue Devils enter the season ranked No. 8 in the country. Duke will return four of its five starters from last year’s game this season.

At Syracuse (Dec. 22, New York City)

A Syracuse-Temple seasonal match-up would have been in place with the Owls joining the Big East Conference next season, however, the Orange matched Temple’s offseason move with one of their own, and will play in the Atlantic Coast Conference starting July 2013. What looked to be the start of an annual match-up will be short lived.

At Kansas (Jan. 6, Lawrence, Kan.)

Although Kansas lost its two top scorers from last year to the NBA in Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor, it still remains one of the nation’s elite teams. Senior center Jeff Withey stands at 7 feet tall and 235 pounds and is projected to go as high as 23rd in next year’s NBA draft. If Temple can hit shots from the outside, this could be a shootout in Kansas. If not, the game could end quickly against the talented Jayhawks.

vs. UMass (Feb. 16, Amherst, Mass.)

The Minuteman gave Temple fits in the team’s last meeting in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament. Temple needs to find an answer for 5-foot-9-inch senior guard Chaz Williams. Williams gashed the team for 20 points and 10 assists and moved the ball at will on the Temple defense in the A-10 tournament loss.

vs. VCU (March 10, Liacouras Center)

Led by charismatic head coach Shaka Smart, Virginia Commonwealth University is projected by some to finish as high as second in the conference. With this being Temple’s last regular season game, it could have a large impact on its postseason seeding.

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