It's not to EARLY too look ahead to Temple...

By Michael Weber

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Update:  LINK to The Owl's Nest

There are some amazing fans out there.  I'm not just talking about Duquesne fans, but fans who honestly bleed the colors of their favorite teams.  These fans take things to new levels every single day and it absolutely amazes me.  I recently met a young Temple fan named, believe it or not, Owlified.  He runs this amazing blog about all things Temple athletics.  I encourage you all to check it out HERE.  Since we have a blog going on here about Duquesne, I thought it would be a great idea to get Owlified to answer some questions for us about the Temple Owls. 
It's real simple actually.  I sent him 5 questions to answer and he sent me 5 to answer as well.  After he posts my answers, I will post a link.  Additionally, he asked me to participate in his weekly top 25 bloggers poll.  Apparently he has a few bloggers who will fill out a top 25 ballot weekly.  He will then add up the votes to determine the overall top 25.  My picks need to be in Sunday night.  As a courtesy to you all, I will post my top 25 ballot on this blog each Sunday night.  So for our first edition of the Q/A:

WEB:  I know the Owls have a potentially serious injury on their hands if Juan Fernandez cannot suit it up for the Duquesne game.  How does his absence from the lineup(or playing at less than 100%) hurt the Owls in a game against Duquesne who figures to try and race up and down the floor? And who figures to see the most additional time on the floor as a result of this injury?

OWLIFIED:  Fernandez is listed as day to day after banging his knee up earlier this week. He did not play on Sunday against Fordham, and may or may not play tonight against St. Bonaventure. His absence/injury definitely has an impact on how well our team plays. He is the main ball handler and sees the floor better than anyone else out there. It's sad to say, but really this team doesn't have any true point guards this season. Even Fernandez has played more of a shooting guard role over his three years as an Owl. Replacing Juan are most likely Khalif Wyatt and TJ DiLeo. Wyatt is known more for his offensive play, while DiLeo is the opposite. I think that he'll (Fernandez) have enough time between his previous game and against Duquense to be ready to go.

WEB:  As you well know, Duquesne starts a pair of freshmen in their backcourt, Mike Talley and TJ McConnell.  What do you think the Owls will do to rattle these guys as they will only have had 2 conference games in under their belts playing St. Joe's and Saint Louis, 2 of the worst teams in the league thus far?

OWLIFIED:  Temple has already had a great amount of experience playing against some of the top backcourts in the country. I think that Talley and McConnell are going to have to step up against this veteran defense and make things happen for the Dukes. Temple does a nice job locking down the opposition at times, which means this game could go one of two ways for the Dukes: the guards are unable to be defended and have a field day, or the lockdown defense will not allow much production. This will be both the Duquesne's and the two guards' first challenging opponent in-conference to date, so it'll definitely be an interesting one to watch.

WEB:  Why is it that Lavoy Allen is averaging almost 4RPG less than he did last year?  Is he regressing, committing himself to other aspects of the game, or is there generally just less rebounds in Temple's games this year?

OWLIFIED:  If you ask me, it's because Micheal Eric's numbers have improved. Having two big guys contribute to the effort in the paint is something that no team would pass up. The ability to play two 6'9+ big men on the floor simultaneously is something that no college basketball coach would be willing to give up because it's going to give the opposition a tough time down low. Lavoy's other problem is that he is not always as aggressive as he can be. He'd quicker dish the ball off before backing down his defender and trying to make something happen.

WEB:  Last time Temple came to Duquesne, the Dukes were coming off of emotional win against #9 Xavier and played the Owls to the wire.  Do you expect another close one this time around or just business as usual for Dunphy's crew?

OWLIFIED:  With every basketball game this team plays, you never know what you're going to get. This is a team that can shoot 57% in the first half of a ballgame and still manage to blow the game. It's a team that even with a double-digit lead can still allow the opponent to creep back in and create a nailbiter. I would EXPECT a healthy Temple team to get the W, but in the Atlantic 10 you really never know. Look how Fordham and St. Bonaventure are playing now. I would have never guessed that.

WEB:  Michael Eric, Lavoy Allen and Scootie Randall stand at 6-11, 6-9 and 6-6.  How does their size figure to be a difference in this game as they go up against the Dukes front court of Damian Saunders(6-7), Bill Clark(6-5) and BJ Monteiro(6-5)?

OWLIFIED:  The size matchups will be interesting. Like I said before, the fact that the Owls have two bigs in at the same time causes a number of problems for our opposing teams. We make it difficult for teams to rebound the ball efficiently or even come up with second chance points. Damian Saunders and Bill Clark from what I remember are two of the better players in the conference and could make this one an interesting game.

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