When he was at Penn, Fran Dunphy always played a tough non-conference schedule. He wasn’t alone among Ivy League coaches, and he did it for the reason you would expect, but it was always a staple of what he did. He’s continued that at Temple, aided by the fact that the Owls did the same thing under John Chaney and would play certain teams just about every year.
Coaches talk about a non-conference schedule preparing a team for conference play all the time. This year, it has really worked for Temple, even as the Owls had growing pains during non-conference play. The most recent highlight came on Sunday, when they handed SMU their first loss of the season 89-80 in Philadelphia.