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Big Five basketball is on stage at the Liacouras Center as the Temple men's basketball team hosts Penn Wednesday night (7:00 p.m/OwlAccess/1210 AM WPHT). It is also Al Shrier
Night as the University will celebrate the legendary sports information director's record 60 years of service to his alma mater.
The first 2000 fans will receive Temple Owls document bags, the signature trademark of the Hall of Fame administrator, while the student section will be donned with Al Shrier
popsicle stick masks. There is a pregame reception in his honor with a formal ceremony paying tribute to his work in promoting Temple Athletics taking place at halftime.
Temple (12-5, 1-0 Big 5), under the direction of head coach Fran Dunphy
, is looking to bounce back from an 81-78 loss to St. Bonaventure Saturday. It was the Owls first home loss to the Bonnies in 31 meetings. Senior guard Khalif Wyatt
, who tallied a game-high 31 points before fouling out against SBU, leads the Cherry and White in scoring (17.0 ppg.) and assists (3.8 apg.). Sophomore forward Anthony Lee
(11.5 ppg., 7.3rpg.) and senior swingman Scootie Randall
(11.5ppg., 6.9 rpg.) also average double figures while ranking one-two, respectively, in rebounding.
Senior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson
(8.3 ppg.) and sophomore guard Will Cummings
(5.5 ppg.) round out the starters. Hollis-Jefferson, cited as one of the Top 10 “Glue Guys” but CBSsports.com, tops the squad in steals (30) and blocks (22) while ranking second in assists (3.3 apg.).
Graduate students Jake O'Brien
(8.3 ppg.) and T.J. DiLeo
(3.0 ppg.) provide depth off the bench.
Penn (3-14, 0-3 Big 5), under the direction of head coach Jerome Allen, snapped an eight-game skid on January 17 with a 54-53 road win over NJIT. The Quakers followed that, however, with their third city-series loss of the season, a 79-59 decision at Saint Joseph's.
The Quakers have been without leading scorer and rebounder Fran Dougherty (15.7 ppg., 8.8 rpg.), who has been sidelined the last seven games with mononucleosis. The junior captain will not be available for the Temple game as well.
Junior guard Miles Cartwright is the only active Quaker averaging double figures with a 13.1 scoring average. Freshman center Darien Nelson-Henry is coming off a team-high 17 point outing in the SJU loss in his second collegiate start.
Temple has won the previous five meetings against Penn and owns a 44-22 all-time record against the Quakers. The last Penn win came on Jan. 24, 2007, a 76-74 decision, in Dunphy's first game against his old school. The Temple mentor had coached the Quakers the prior 17 seasons before taking over at Temple in 2006-07.