Men's Basketball Opens Conference Play at Defending NCAA Champion UConn Wednesday
After concluding non-conference play with a 9-4 record, Temple men's basketball travels to Hartford to open the American Athletic Conference portion of its schedule with a road date against defending NCAA champion UConn (6-4) on Wednesday.
The game will be played at the XL Center, site of the 2015 American Athletic Conference Championship. Tip time for New Year's Eve contest is 1:00 p.m. with the game being televised by ESPN2 and broadcast on 1210 AM WPHT.
Temple has won three straight and five of their last six following a 66-56 win over Delaware State on Dec. 28.
With the addition of transfers Jesse Morgan and Devin Coleman, the Owls have transformed from one of the worst three-point shooting teams to one of the nation's best. Over the first 10 contests, Temple made just 4.5 three-pointers per game and hit 25.9 percent of its shots from behind the arc. With Morgan and Coleman in the mix, the Owls have averaged 11.3 made treys per game while increasing their percentage to 38.6 from long distance. Morgan has made 12 three-pointers alone and connected on 44.4 percent of his long-range shots. Coleman, who made his first two three-point attempts as an Owl, is six-for-16 from behind the arc (37.5 percent).
UConn has won three of its last four games. The Huskies loss in that stretch was to undefeated and #2 Duke by a score of 66-56. On Dec. 28, UConn routed Central Connecticut State, 81-48 at home. The defending national champion Huskies are coming off a 32-8 season from which they returned two starters including senior guard Ryan Boatwright (19.2 ppg), the American Preseason Player of the Year.
UConn leads the series, 6-3, and won both meetings last season. The Owls last win over the Huskies came on Jan. 29, 1964, a 53-45 victory at The Palestra.