Temple’s 2015 schedule is collection of tough conference and non-conference games, giving the Owls a chance to compete with some of the top programs in the country.
Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said the Owls will be playing the most competitive schedule since his arrival four years ago, in an attempt to raise their Rating Percentage Index.
“We wanted an even stronger non-conference schedule than we did last year,” Ganesharatnam said. “Hopefully it will prepare ourselves for conference play.”
The Owls open up their season with the Temple Invitational on Aug. 28 and 29. Temple will host the University of Oregon, the United States Naval Academy and St. John’s University.
Oregon finished 12th in NCAA RPI in the 2014 season, while advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
A week later, Temple travels to New Jersey to take on Seton Hall University, Hofstra University and the University of Notre Dame. Hofstra and Seton Hall both earned bids in the NCAA tournament last season.
Temple will host the Cherry and White Challenge on Sept. 11 and 12, where they will play Duquesne University, the University of Montana and Binghamton University. The following week, Temple competes in the Big 5 Tournament with LaSalle University, the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University.
Ganesharatnam said the Owls’ non-conference play will help them prepare to compete in the American Athletic Conference, which Ganesharatnam said is one of the top conferences in the country.
“The conference itself will be much tougher this year than this last year because many of the top teams got stronger this year,” Ganesharatnam said. “RPI wise, the conference is the sixth strongest conference in the country.”
Although The American was competitive in 2014, only Central Florida advanced to the NCAA tournament, losing in the first round.
Temple will host 10 of 20 conference matches. After missing an NCAA tournament bid by a slim margin, Ganesharatnam said the Owls need to make the most of their conference play,
“A lot of programs and a lot of teams are going to be after us,” Ganesharatnam said. “It is a new situation for us, so that is something.”