#13 Louisville Cardinals at Temple Owls
Liacouras Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Friday, February 14, 2014, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Louisville -14
Current Line: Louisville -14
Opening Total: 154 1/2
Current Total: 153
Opening Money Line: Louisville -1200 / Temple +760
Current Money Line: Louisville -1400 / Temple +850
Weather created havoc in the American Athletic Conference games scheduled for Thursday. Both the Louisville-Temple and SMU-Rutgers games were postponed to Friday because of the snowy conditions on the East coast. The schedule actually worked out because all four are scheduled to play on Sunday. SMU travels to Temple and Louisville travels to Rutgers.
The new AAC conference has 5 really good teams and 5 mediocre to bad teams. Louisville is 19-4 this season and 8-2 in the AAC. The Cardinals are in second place behind 11-1 Cincinnati. Temple is in a rebuilding year at 6-16 overall and 1-9 in conference. The Owls are ahead of only 1-10 Central Florida in the standings.
Temple leads the series against Louisville 4-1, and won the last meeting in the 2002 NIT. Louisville’s only win in the series came in the first meeting in 1952. The two schools became conference rivals for the first time this season. They will meet again in Louisville February 27.
Louisville is coached by Rick Pitino. The Cardinals have losses to North Carolina in a tournament in Connecticut, at Kentucky, Memphis, and Cincinnati. Louisville has key wins over College of Charleston, Hofstra, Cornell, Southern Miss, Louisiana, Western Kentucky, Missouri State, Florida International, Central Florida twice, Rutgers, SMU, Houston twice (including 77-62 in Houston February 5), at Connecticut, and at South Florida. The Cardinals have won 6 of their last 7 games including 2 straight. Louisville is 11-10 ATS and the total is 11-8 this season.
Louisville is outscoring teams 82-62 this season. The Cardinals are #14 in scoring and #25 in points allowed nationally. Louisville is shooting 47.6% from the field and 37.3% from 3 point range. The Cardinals are #35 in field goal percentage. Louisville is #287 out of 351 teams in free throw shooting at 66.4% from the line. Cardinal opponents are shooting 39.7% from the field and 30.4% from 3 point range. Louisville is #30 in both categories nationally. The Cardinals average 38.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 32.5. Louisville is #42 nationally in rebounding. The Cardinals average 15.3 assists, 10.6 turnovers, 9.6 steals and 5 blocks per game. Opponents average 10 assists, 17.3 turnovers, 4.3 steals and 2.3 blocks per game.
Louisville guard Russ Smith averages 18.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Forward Montrezl Harrell averages 12.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1 steal, and 1.3 blocks per game. Forward Luke Hancock averages 11.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Guard Chris Jones averages 10.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Guard Wayne Blackshear is probable with a concussion after missing last week’s Houston game. He averages 9.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. Terry Rozier, Mangok Mathiang, and Stephan Van Treese will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Forward Chane Behanan was kicked off the team earlier in the season for violating team rules. Guard Kevin Ware is out for the season with a shin injury.
Temple is coached by Fran Dunphy. The Owls ha wins at Pennsylvania, Georgia and UAB in tournament in Charleston, SC, St. Joseph’s, LIU-Brookyln, and Rutgers. Temple started the season 4-3 but has gone 2-13 since then. The Owls have lost 3 straight games. Temple has losses to Kent State, at Towson, Clemson in Charleston, Texas, Texas Southern, at Rutgers, at UCF, South Florida, Memphis, Cincinnati twice, LaSalle, at UConn, Villanova, at SMU and at Houston Sunday 88-74. Temple is 8-11-1 ATS and the total is 10-9 this season.
Temple is being outscored 78-75 this season. The Owls are #325 out of 351 teams nationally in points allowed. Temple is shooting 43.5% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. The Owls make 69.4% of their free throws. Temple opponents are shooting 46.4% from the field and 36% from 3 point range. The Owls are #301 nationally in field goal defense. Temple averages 35.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 34.8 per game. The Owls are #323 nationally in rebounds allowed. Temple averages 13.5 assists, 10 turnovers, 5.6 steals and 4 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.6 assists, 10.9 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 4.5 blocks per game.
Guard Dalton Pepper averages 17.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Wil Cummings averages 16.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Quenton DeCosey averages 15.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Forward Anthony Lee averages 14 points and 9.2 rebounds. Guard Daniel Dingle is out for the season with a knee injury. He averaged 6.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game. Mark Williams, Josh Brown, Jimmy McDonnell, and Devontae Watson will also get minutes in the rotation. Temple only has 9 players on the roster with the Dingle injury.
Louisville is 5-1 ATS in Friday games, 4-1 in road games, and 6-2 against teams with losing home records.
Temple is 9-20 ATS at home, 1-3-1 against teams with winning records, 1-4 against teams with winning road records, and 1-6 in Friday games.
Temple is just awful. Louisville has been a little disappointing for a team that returned most of the key pieces from the national champions last year. Still, all of Temple’s weaknesses are strength for Louisville. Louisville should destroy Temple if the Cardinals are properly motivated.