After going 1-2 at the Old Spice Classic, the men’s basketball team has two games this week before a looming matchup against Georgetown on Dec. 9.
First up for Temple is Central Michigan, which the Owls will face on the road. As part of the football team’s Mid-American Conference membership, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams play four games against MAC opponents every year. The Chippewas are the second of the season as the Owls already defeated Toledo on Nov. 14.
Central Michigan, which is 2-3 on the season, is led by freshman guard Trey Zeigler, who averages a team-high 18.8 points per game. Zeigler, whose father, Ernie, is the coach at Central Michigan, was ranked the fourth-best shooting guard coming out of high school by Rivals.com. Zeigler chose the Chippewas over offers from Duke, UCLA and Arizona, among others.
Zeigler is also averaging 6.8 rebounds per game, the second highest mark on the team. The 6-foot, 5-inch Zeigler has showed some sloppiness so far, however, he’s recorded 21 turnovers in five games.
Senior forward Jalin Thomas is second on the team with 14 points per game. Opponents have been able to exploit Central Michigan’s perimeter defense so far this as teams are shooting 44.8 percent from beyond the arc against the Chippewas.
Senior center William McClure leads the team with 7.6 rebounds per game, and senior guard Amir Rashid leads the Chippewas with 14 assists so far this season. The Chippewas have had a bit of fluidity in their lineup as seven players have started at least two games.
After they return from Michigan, the Owls will travel to Washington, D.C., to face Maryland in the BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center. The Terrapins will face off against Penn State in State College before they face the Owls.
Through seven games, the Terrapins have relied heavily on the shoulders of sophomore forward Jordan Williams. Williams, who was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s All-Rookie team last season, leads the team with 17.4 and 11.9 rebounds per game. Williams has led the team in rebounding in all seven games so far.
Senior guard Cliff Tucker is second on the team with 13.9 points per game.
While Maryland has an impressive record so far, the majority of its wins have come against inferior competition. In their two games against bigger-named competition, Pittsburgh and Illinois, the Terrapins lost.
Against the Panthers, the team lost, 79-70, despite shooting 48.2 percent from the field. The Terrapins struggled at the charity stripe, as they hit only 14-of-30 free throws. Tucker and Williams combined to score 31 points.
The Terrapins lost, 80-76, against the Illini in spite of an evenly balanced offensive attack. Williams, Tucker, senior forward Dino Gregory, junior guard Sean Mosley and freshman guard Terrell Stoglin all scored more than 10 points in the loss.
On the season, Maryland has hit just 28.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Terrapins are averaging 80.4 points per game on the year.