One of the fascinating matchups when Temple (25-10) hosts Louisiana Tech (27-8) in Wednesday's 9 p.m. NIT quarterfinal will be at the point guard position between the Owls Will Cummings and Tech's Kenneth "Speedy" Smith.
Smith has earned that nickname for obvious reasons. He has good size at 6-foot-3 and 180-pounds and even better speed.
The 6-2, 185 Cummings is also no slow poke. Both are different players. Smith looks to dish first. He's only averaging 6.4 points, but is third in the nation in assists, averaging 7.5 per game.
Cummings is a good passer, averaging 4.2 assists, but Temple depends on more for scoring. He leads the Owls with a 14.9 scoring average.
When Temple beat the visiting Bulldogs, 82-75 on Nov. 17, Cummings had 20 points, nine rebounds, two assists and four turnovers.
Smith's line was easy to remember – eight points, eight rebounds, eight assists, along with two turnovers. He also fouled out and played 32 minutes.
"We are going to try to really do our job on Speedy but he is really good," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said "The last time he played here I think there were at least a dozen NBA scouts watching so I think he has that kind of presence about him."
It turns out that Cummings and Smith have a history against each other. Both hail from Florida, with Cummings from Jacksonville and Smith from St. Petersburg.
Cummings says their matchups against one another go back a number of years.
"We kind of know each other," Cummings said. "He is a great point guard and it is going to be a good matchup but ultimately I am focused on doing what I have to do to get out team to win."
Not known for his long-range or even short-range shooting, Smith hit all four of his three-point attempts in Monday's 84-72 second round win at Texas A&M. For the season he has hit 33 of 91 three's (36.3 percent).
"He made three three's at end of the clock (against A&M) that were far back from the 21 foot line and if he does that, it really makes it difficult," Dunphy said.
Smith is one player who will give Cummings a challenge in the quickness department.
"I am not really worried about that," Cummings said. "We know how we will guard him and played him before and will implement the same things we did in that game."
Dunphy said there could be multiple defenders taking turns on Smith. He listed Cummings along with fellow starters Jesse Morgan and Quenton DeCosey along with reserves Josh Brown and Devin Coleman.