Opponent Watch 2019-20: Temple

McKie — who played on three NCAA Tournament teams during his Temple career, including the 1992-93 Elite Eight squad — is tasked with returning the Owls to their past as a consistent tournament contender. The Owls won two NCAA Tournament games in Dunphy’s tenure and last appeared in the Elite Eight in 2001.

McKie joined Dunphy’s staff and returned to his alma mater as an assistant back in August 2014. After the 2017-18 season, Temple promoted McKie from assistant coach to associate head coach and announced he’d replace Dunphy following the 2018-19 season.

“Coaching is for me because I enjoy being around the game of basketball and sharing the game and my experiences with the guys,” McKie said before the season. “College coaching never really crossed my mind, but it was an opportunity that presented itself years ago and here I am.”

Temple’s Aaron McKie is hitting the ground running as the new head coach of the Owls. What will be their style of play? The biggest lessons he took from Fran Dunphy and John Chaney. How Allen Iverson is a recruiting tool. Challenging themselves in the non-conference scheduling. And what to expect from James Scott. Plus, Jon addresses the FBI scandal. And UNC continues to re load.

Temple’s Aaron McKie will get a jump on his first season as head basketball coach when the Owls will depart for a week-long trip to the Bahamas beginning Aug. 2.

The Owls will play against Bahamian select teams on Aug. 3, 5 and 6th.

McKie has embraced his predecessors; he sought advice from the 87-year-old Chaney and recently invited Dunphy back to give a preseason talk to the team. Dunphy found the right words, reminding the Owls to be good teammates. He also hired Temple career leading scorer Mark Macon as an assistant coach.

“I’ve got a Temple community looking over my shoulder. I’ve got a Philadelphia community that’s looking over my shoulder,” McKie said. “If I can get any advice, especially from Coach Dunph, I want them to come in and give it.”

The team may also play three transfer players, a true freshman point guard, and a freshman returning from a medical redshirt year. It’s the sum of these unknowns, and a deep conference, that likely resulted in Temple’s No. 7 ranking in the American Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll following a 23-10 season and NCAA Tournament play-in game appearance last year.

But within those unknowns is a potential that could create another tournament team.

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