Temple Men's Basketball: The Owls 2012-2013 Midseason Report

Manny GeraldoCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 22:  Khalif Wyatt #1 of the Temple Owls celebrates with teammates Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson #32 and Scootie Randall #33 after hitting a basket against Syracuse Orange during the Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 22, 2012 in New York City. Temple Owls defeated the Syracuse Orange 83-79.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Fifteen games into the 2012-13 season and Temple is playing as good as they possibly can. The Owls began the season on a six-game winning streak, upset then No. 3 Syracuse and fought valiantly against top-10 ranked Kansas.

The Owls stand at 11-4 overall and 1-1 in Atlantic 10 play. Temple has 15 games remaining, and all but one are conference games. They face their biggest challenges  against No. 15 Butler, No. 22 VCU, Charlotte and Big 5 foe La Salle. The good news for Temple is that all of those games are at home (there is a home and away game against Charlotte) where the Owls play exceedingly well. 

To lock up a tourney bid, the Owls' magic number of wins before the A-10 conference tournament is 20. This is a very attainable number as Temple needs to win 9 of the next 15 games to reach 20. Five of those games are against teams currently under .500. The upset win over Syracuse was a great resume booster, but a win over conference foes Butler or VCU would solidify their chances greatly. 

The biggest surprise of the season has to be sophomore forward Anthony Lee, who looks poised to be one of the next great Temple big men. Lee is averaging 12.2 points and 7.3 rebounds. Lee has played very well in big games this season, scoring 21 points in the win against Syracuse and 20 in the win over Saint Louis. The Owls will need Lee to continue his great play in the second half of the season.

The final 15 games will be very exciting as the Owls finish their final season in the A-10 before departing for the Big East. Temple has the talent and coaching to win the conference, which would be a fitting capstone to their final season in the A-10.