It will be Super Sunday at the Liacouras Center when Temple hosts #19/21 VCU, presented by Temple University
Alumni Association, this Sunday in the final regular season game of the Atlantic 10 Conference season. The game, which tips at noon, will be televised nationally by CBS (locally by CW Philly) and broadcast on 1210 AM WPHT.
It is Senior Day for Temple with five Owl players (T.J. DiLeo
, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson
, Jake O'Brien
, Scootie Randall
and Khalif Wyatt
) being honored in a pregame ceremony. Halftime will feature a ceremony honoring the 1987-88 Temple team that is the only Owl squad to be ranked #1 in the nation. Fans are also encouraged to wear white as it is Temple's “White Out” game with a limited number of shirts also being distributed courtesy of the Temple University
The game itself, however, is the biggest draw as the Owls (22-8, 10-5 A10), winners of six straight, will be looking to enhance their NCAA Tournament resume and hopefully secure one of the four byes to the A10 Tournament held the following week (March 14-17) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. VCU (24-6, 12-3 A10), which has won eight of its last nine games, has already clinched a bye, but could win the conference regular season title in its first season in the league with a win and a Saint Louis loss to La Salle (March 9 game).
Wyatt, the leading candidate for A10 Player of the Year honors, continues to pace the conference in scoring. The 6-4 guard, who recorded his first career double-double (19 pts, 11 rebs) in Wednesday's win at Fordham, is averaging 19.5 points and a team-best 4.1 assists per game.
Wyatt is far from a one-man show for the Owls. Randall (11.7 ppg., 6.2 rpg.) is second on the team in scoring and rebounding and has tallied double figures in seven straight games. Sophomore forward Anthony Lee
(10.6 ppg.) also scores in double digits while leading the squad in rebounding (7.3 rpg.) as well as field goal percentage (.549).
O'Brien (9.1 ppg.) is one of the top sixth men and three-point shooters (48-115, .421) in the league while Hollis-Jefferson (8.8 ppg., 6.2 rpg.) has compiled three double-doubles over the last six games. Sophomore guard Will Cummings
(5.8 ppg.) rounds out the starting five with DiLeo (2.7 ppg.) serving as the team's top defender and first guard off the bench.
Temple, which is ranked 11th in the nation in fewest turnovers (10.9 tpg.) will get to experience VCU's HAVOC style of defense for the first time. The Rams style of play has helped them claim the top spot in the country in total steals (365), steals per game (11.8) and turnovers forced per game (20.1). VCU forces a turnover on 29% of its defensive possessions, which is also the top mark in the country. Sophomore guard Briante Weber (2.8 spg.) and senior guard Darius Theus (2.7 spg.) rank one-two nationally in steals per game.
Offensively, VCU leads the A10 in scoring, averaging 78.1 points per game. Four Rams score in double figures led by sophomore guard Treveon Graham (15.7 ppg.). Junior forward Juvonte Reddic (14.3 ppg.) tops the team and ranks fourth in the A10 in rebounding (8.2 rpg.) while senior guard Troy Daniels (12.4 ppg.) is among the best three-pointer shooters in the conference (40.5%) and his 105 made treys top the league. Junior guard Rob Brandenberg (10.7 ppg.) also averages double figures.
This is the first meeting between the schools.