Philadelphia, PA – Preseason All-American Ethan Happ gave Temple all it could handle in Wisconsin’s 59-55 defeat in North Philadelphia. The 6-10 junior forward finished with 23 points and six rebounds, displaying his craftiness and nose for the ball around the rim. Had it not been for Fran Dunphy’s late game decision to go small and switch Temple senior forward Obi Enechionyia onto Happ, the Badger star might have stolen the game for Wisconsin. The 6-10 Enechionyia’s quickness bothered Happ down the stretch, with the Temple forward blocking critical back-to-back Happ shots at the end of the game.
Despite Happ’s acumen, the double digit number of NBA scouts in the building were no doubt there to see Temple’s rising-star, Quinton Rose. The 6-8 sophomore guard was one of the last cuts for USA Basketball’s U19 team this summer and has begun to climb into the NBA Draft conversation. Rose showed flashes of next-level ability against Wisconsin with several steals and impressive finishes in transition. Still, Rose is raw offensively, and while his shot mechanics have improved from his freshman year, he still has a ways to go.
In the shadow of the Rose Hype Train, Temple junior Shizz Alston Jr. carried the Owls with 22 points, four assists and several clutch free throws down the stretch. The 6-4 guard has made 52 straight free throws dating back to December of last year.
Entering Wednesday’s matchup, Wisconsin and Temple shared two of the toughest schedules in the country (12th and 6th according to KenPom.com). Following the loss, Wisconsin drops to 4-6 on the season and fails to collect the Keystone State sweep after its win over Penn State earlier in the week. Temple improves to 5-2 ahead of Saturday’s Big Five Battle against St. Joseph’s.
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