Temple (0-0) at Kent State (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 13, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: M.A.C. Center (6,327) -- Kent, Ohio. Television: ESPN. Home Record: Temple 0-0, Kent St. 1-0. Away Record: Temple 0-0, Kent St. 0-0. Neutral Record: Temple 0-0, Kent St. 0-0. Conference Record: Temple 0-0, Kent St. 0-0. Series Record: Kent State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Temple Owls finally tip off their 2012-13 season as they travel to the Buckeye State to take on the Kent State Golden Flashes in a nationally-televised afternoon affair.
Last year's regular-season Atlantic 10 champions get set to embark on another highly anticipated season, as Fran Dunphy's squad comes into 2012-13 season with a solid nucleus and some exciting newcomers. The Owls are in search of their fourth league crown in the last five years.
The Golden Flashes have already knocked off a Philadelphia program with a great deal of hype, with last Friday's 66-62 overtime thriller against Drexel, regarded as one of the nation's top mid-major programs this season. Rob Senderoff is in his second season at the helm in Kent and hopes his young team can build momentum heading into Mid-American Conference play.
Kent State opened the 2006 season against Temple, knocking off the Owls, 63-54 in Dunphy's first game as the head coach.
The Owls will head into the new season led by the A-10's top returning scorer in senior guard Khalif Wyatt (17.1 ppg). Much more than a scorer, Wyatt was also one of the A-10's top thieves (2.2 spg), while showing the ability to get others involved as well (3.3 apg). Wyatt will serve as a leader in the backcourt to sophomore guard Will Cummings (1.4 ppg) who is expected to take over the point guard duties. Senior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (9.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg) will be the team's staple in the frontcourt. Hollis-Jefferson is an above-average shooter (.522) and knows how to finish around the basket. The remainder of the starting five is likely to consist of senior forward Scootie Randall (knee injury last season) and sophomore forward Anthony Lee (5.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg).
While Kent State is chock-full of young talent, it was seniors Chris Evans and Randal Holt that got the job done down the stretch, leading to the upset of the Dragons in the season-opener. Evans just missed a double-double and finished with team-highs of 21 points and nine rebounds. Holt poured in 17 points, 15 of which came after halftime, while junior guard Bryson Pope chimed in with 10. Evans and Holt went 4-for-4 from the line in the overtime session to secure the win. Mark Henniger didn't add much offensively, but was a key contributor on the boards, finishing with eight rebounds. Kent State won the game despite shooting a rather modest .351 from the floor, including just 6- of-22 from three-point range. They will need to do much better than that to top Temple.
The Golden Flashes are riding high right now and may be in for a better season than originally thought. However, knocking off two strong Philadelphia squads in a few days isn't likely.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Temple 71, Kent State 65
11/13 10:37:53 ET