No. 19: Temple Owls

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2009-10 record: 29-6 (14-2), tied for first in Atlantic 10
Lost to Cornell in NCAA tournament opener
Coach: Fran Dunphy, 84-49, 4 years (394-212 overall)
Last NCAA miss: 2007
2010-11 roster [click here]
2010-11 schedule [click here

The good: Lavoy Allen is an A-10 player of the year candidate. Juan Fernandez is deadly beyond the arc. Ramone Moore should have a breakout sophomore season. Those three form perhaps the nation’s most underrated trio. Power, finesse and scoring? It’s all there.

They’re also why Temple has a chance for its fourth straight A-10 title and could snag its first NCAA tournament win since 2001. If this isn’t Dunphy’s best team, it’ll be close.

The bad: After the talented trio, it’s mostly role players. Allen needs help up front. Junior center Michael Eric has the size (6-11, 240), but isn’t going to attract any defensive attention. Sophomore Rahlir Jefferson is a hustle player, nothing more. Anthony Lee could work his way into the starting lineup, but that’s asking a lot for the freshman.

The unknown: That lingering NCAA tourney loss to Cornell. The Owls’ particularly stingy defense was torched by the Big Red’s shooters for one of the tournament’s most memorable upsets. It’s a story Temple will be reminded of throughout the season.

Also, according to, the Owls were among the nation’s luckiest teams in 2009-10. Good coaching, or just good luck?

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.