| MESSAGE BOARD
RECORD: 21 - 9
REGION: West SEED: 11
COACH: Dawn Staley CONFERENCE: American
Road to the Final Four ...................................................................................
||L 70 - 57
|PLAYER TO WATCH|
The 6-foot-2 sophomore forward/center started all 30 games for the Owls this season, scoring at least 20 points in five contests, including a season-high 29-point outing against fellow NCAA Tournament participant Penn in the fourth game of the season on Dec. 9. Dupree's rebounding is her best asset. In the A-10 tournament final, for example, she was held to just six points but grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. During the season, Dupree tallied six double-doubles, but pulled down at least nine rebounds in 14 games. The A-10 tournament MVP, whose hasn't attempted one 3-pointer in 313 shots this season, has blocked 59 shots, but struggles at the line, hitting just 51.9 percent (67-for-129).
ANALYSIS BY ESPN'S STACEY DALES-SCHUMAN
While Dawn Staley has accomplished virtually everything a player can do in a career, she's on track to achieve similar success in just her third year as a head coach. The 2003-04 A-10 Coach of the Year, Staley has led Temple to its second NCAA Tournament appearance in three years. It's no surprise that this composed point guard has brushed a little bit of her winning dust onto her players, though this is a young squad.
Spearheading the group is 6-foot sophomore forward Candice Dupree. She guides the team with 13.9 points, 7.5 boards and a dynamite 55.9 percent accuracy from the field. After starting off her freshman campaign with a bang only to suffer a foot injury later, Dupree has been a mainstay this season for the Owls.
Besides Dupree, junior point guard Cynthia Jordan has been solid in the backcourt to average 9.7 points and 3.7 assists. Dupree always has her head up and she always demands the ball -- somewhat reminiscent of Staley during her playing days.
Although not graced with lofty size, Temple features quick, speedy players who together like to disrupt defensively. A scrappy team, you'll notice that they like to change defenses and extend their pressure in order to take opponents out of their comfort zone. All Temple foes should be prepared to play sloppy ball.
Additionally, the Owls always look to initiate a presence on the boards through relentless pursuit and sheer will. Due to the youth and inexperience, the Temple perimeters must protect the ball and be aware that tourney teams will press and trap to try to exploit that youth.