Temple beat Wisconsin, 59-55, Wednesday night at the Liacouras Center.
OwlScoop.com’s observations from the game can be seen below.
Enechionyia’s defense was a game-changing
Senior forward Obi Enechionyia made three key defensive stops down the stretch.
Enechionyia blocked consecutive shots from Ethan Happ, then contested a final look from Happ that was no good.
Happ, who entered the game as Wisconsin’s leader in points, rebounds and assists, finished with 23 points on 11 of 19 shooting.
Enechionyia’s play in the final 90 seconds impressed guards Josh Brown and Shizz Alston, Jr..
“I think he did well,” Brown said. “I think he took the challenge.”
“In my eyes, I feel like Obi is just as good as Happ,” Alston said. “I feel like Obi could be an All-American also. I feel like he showed it down the stretch.”
Brown continues to feel more comfortable
Before the season started, coach Fran Dunphy estimated that Brown was hovering around 90 percent health.
The fifth-year senior point guard appeared in five games last season and ultimately opted to redshirt as he dealt with complications from an Achilles injury suffered during an offseason workout in May 2016.
But another health issue came about for Brown on Thursday night. He took a forearm to the nose and returned after a short absence as he tried to eliminate the bleeding.
“My knee is fine,” Brown said after the game. “It’s just a bang bang play. It was an accident. I was just being a competitor. He was trying to make a play and I was trying to do the same. I ended up with my nose in the middle of it.”
Brown, who returned to the floor wearing No. 14, said he will undergo an x-ray Thursday to determine if he broke any bones.
“I think I’m fine,” he said. “I’ll be ready for Saturday (against Saint Joe’s).”
Brown finished with 10 points on 5 of 8 shooting, along with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. He said he’s becoming more comfortable on the floor as the season progresses.
“I haven’t played in games in a while,” Brown said. “I’m starting to get my footing back.”
Temple’s four-guard lineup can be dangerous
As has been the case for most of the season, Temple closed out the win over Wisconsin with a four-guard lineup.
The lineup typically features Brown, Alston, Alani Moore, Quinton Rose and Enechionyia at center. This will be how the Owls close out games for the foreseeable future, although matchup issues could dictate Dunphy to change his ways.
“That’s our strongest lineup at the end of the game,” Alston said. “It’s the smartest lineup also.”
But why does Alston like the four-guard lineup?
“It’s a matchup problem,” he said. “Not many five-man centers can guard Obi, so we just space the floor out and kick it to Obi. He can make a play. Not many guys can guard him out there.”
Owls can win without the three-point shot
While Temple has relied heavily upon three-pointers this season and dating back to last season, the Owls managed to beat Wisconsin on a poor shooting night.
Temple shot 3 of 14 from three-point range, including an 0-for-5 stretch in the second half.
Alston shot 2 of 4 from beyond the arc, while the rest of the team shot 1-for-10.
Heading into the Wisconsin matchup, Temple had been averaging 21.7 three-point attempts per game.
Rose struggled in front of scouts
There were at least 10 NBA scouts in attendance for Temple’s win over Wisconsin.
Some were in the building to see Rose, who has drawn attention from NBA teams.
Sophomore Quinton Rose, who came into the game averaging a team-high 19 points per game, struggled in the victory. He scored a season-low 9 points on 4 of 10 shooting (1 of 4 from the free throw line).
Rose scored 20 points or more in each of the last three games, including a 24-point outburst last Thursday night in a 76-60 win over South Carolina at Madison Square Garden.
Before his three-game streak of 20-plus points, Rose struggled in the finale of the Charleston Classic in a 67-60 win against Clemson and was held to a previous season-low of 9 points on 4 of 15 shooting. He’ll bounce back once again for the Owls.