Men's College Basketball
Preview
Villanova at Temple
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Where: Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Villanova became the No. 1 team in the nation earlier this week, but coach Jay Wright hopes his team can somehow rise to an even higher level. The Wildcats continue to roll over their opponents, both within the Philadelphia area and across the country, and those runs will be on the line Wednesday against host Temple.

The Wildcats moved up in the rankings after Duke and Kansas lost last week, but Wright knows that his team can improve, particularly after a subpar performance its last time out. “It’s always an honor to be ranked No.1,” Wright said. “It’s great for the ‘Nova Nation and we appreciate the respect of the writers and coaches. We know it’s early, though, and we need to get a lot better.” Villanova trailed at halftime against La Salle on Sunday before rallying for a 77-68 victory behind Phil Booth and Donte DiVincenzo (18 points apiece). That was the 21st straight Big 5 win for the Wildcats, who wrap up their Philadelphia series round-robin against an Owls team that has won three of its last four.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

ABOUT VILLANOVA (10-0): The Wildcats rank around 30th in the nation in both scoring and scoring defense, and they do not have a natural low-post scorer, but the team just continues to win. Mikal Bridges (18.2 points) and Jalen Brunson (17.2) are the leading scorers - and both have terrific shooting percentages across the board - plus Brunson has 48 assists and only 13 turnovers as he takes aim at the Big East Player of the Year award. Booth (12.7 points) is averaging 18.3 points over the last three games and is 9-of-18 from 3-point range over that stretch.

ABOUT TEMPLE (6-2): The Owls have two primary scorers in Shizz Alston Jr. and Quinton Rose, both of whom are averaging 17.3 points, although Alston is an elite 3-point shooter (53.5 percent), while Rose is merely a competent shooter from the arc (37.5 percent). Obi Enechionyia chips in 12.6 points and is 19-of-20 from the foul line this season, while Alston is also terrific from the stripe (25-of-26). Temple's last game was a Big 5 affair against Saint Joseph's in which the Owls led by 11 at halftime before holding on to win 81-78.

TIP-INS

1. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 48-43.

2. Villanova F Eric Paschall is 0-for-10 from the field over the last two games and is 1-of-19 from 3-point range this season.

3. Alston had made a school-record 52 straight foul shots before missing one against Saint Joseph's.

PREDICTION: Villanova 88, Temple 73
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Villanova 10-0 W10 4-0 1-0 5-0 5-0 5-0 0-0
Temple 6-2 W2 2-0 0-2 4-0 3-2 3-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Villanova Temple
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/13/16 TEM 57 VILL 78 78 30 46.3 57 29 36.7
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Villanova J. Hart 26 52.6 3
Temple S. Alston Jr. 12 36.4 0
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Villanova K. Jenkins 6 1 5
Temple E. Aflakpui 6 4 2
Assists Player  
Villanova J. Brunson 6
Temple D. Dingle 3
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Villanova M. Bridges 181 54.8 29
Temple S. Alston Jr. 138 48.9 25
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Villanova O. Spellman 75 26 49
Temple Q. Rose 49 3 46
Assists Player  
Villanova J. Brunson 48
Temple J. Brown 29
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar Villanova Off vs  red bar Temple Defense
blue bar 85.6 Points For
red bar 68.8 Points Against
blue bar 50.0 FG%
red bar 43.3 FG%
blue bar 34.8 Reb
red bar 31.8 Reb
red bar Temple Off vs  blue bar Villanova Defense
red bar 74.6 Points For
blue bar 63.3 Points Against
red bar 46.0 FG%
blue bar 41.5 FG%
red bar 30.1 Reb
blue bar 26.9 Reb