When the Temple Owls host the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Liacouras Center, expect the pressure of Big 5 play to reach a new peak, at least for the young players on both sides.
Villanova's young team -- featuring five freshmen in the rotation -- has started 5-3, losing to No. 10-ranked Missouri Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Wildcats are 2-0 in Big 5 play, but home wins against La Salle and Penn don't exactly compare to a road trip against the talented Temple Owls, expected to compete for the Atlantic 10 title.
"I think for the next two, they’ll get a little different taste in unfriendly environments," Wright said. "I like the way it started for them. We got two at home, now we have to go play in two crazy environments (Villanova plays at St. Joseph's next weekend). It’s good and I think they’re looking forward to it."
Temple has also relied on youth, perhaps more than coach Fran Dunphy would like. Injuries to Scootie Randall and Micheal Eric have forced freshman forward Anthony Lee and sophomore guard Aaron Brown into expanded roles.
The Owls are 5-2 after beating Toledo 77-58 on Wednesday.
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