Courtesy of OwlSports.com
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The Temple men’s basketball team returns to the friendly confines of the Liacouras Center to take on one of the surprise teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference, the Charlotte 49ers, Wednesday night (7:00 p.m./OwlAccess/1210 AM WPHT). For families attending the game, Elmo will be on-hand to promote the upcoming Sesame Street Live shows at the venue.
The Owls (14-7, 3-4 A10), under the direction of head coach Fran Dunphy, will be looking to even their conference record while also posting their sixth straight 10-win season at the Liacouras Center. Temple is 9-2 at home this season, and owns a 67-9 record during that time frame.
Senior guard Khalif Wyatt continues to lead Temple and the A10 in scoring with an 18.6 average. The reigning A10 co-Player of the Week, who also tops the team in assists (4.0 apg.) has been red-hot of late, averaging 25.1 points over the last seven games.
Sophomore forward Anthony Lee (11.4 ppg., 7.8 rpg.) and senior forward Scootie Randall (11.3 ppg., 6.4 rpg.) also average double figures while ranking one-two on the squad in rebounding. Senior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (8.4 ppg.) and sophomore guard Will Cummings (5.6 ppg.) round out the starting five. Graduate forward Jake O’Brien (7.7 ppg., .400 3pt%) is the top offensive weapon off the bench while graduate guard T.J. DiLeo (3.0 ppg.), the team’s defensive stopper, has missed the last two games due to an ankle injury and is questionable for the game.
Charlotte, under the direction of head coach Alan Major, is off to its best start (17-4, 5-2 A10) since the 1976-77 season. Picked to finish 12th in the conference, the 49ers have utilized a strong defense and balanced attack to forge a tie for second in the A10 standings.
Nine Charlotte players average 14 or more minutes a game while only two players – DeMario Mayfield (11.7 ppg.) and Chris Braswell (11.4 ppg.) - average double figure points. Mayfield was suspended indefinitely on Jan. 30 and missed the 49ers last game, a 66-65 home win over UMass on Saturday.
Temple leads the series, 7-5, and is a perfect 5-0 at the Liacouras Center against the 49ers.