For Jake O'Brien, the adjustment from being a Boston University Terrier to a Temple Owl is huge.

O'Brien transferred to North Broad Street this fall from BU, where as a freshman he was America East rookie of the year.

With the 5-0 Owls, the 6-foot-9 forward is a role-playing sixth man. And that's fine with him.

"I just have to be ready for that call," said the graduate student, whose Owls face Villanova in Wednesday's Big 5 game at the Pavilion. "I have to be ready at all times."

Being ready to play was something O'Brien wasn't the last two seasons in Boston.

O'Brien was sidelined last season as a medical redshirt after undergoing his second surgery on his left foot. He originally broke his foot during the 2010-11 season. He is eligible to play immediately at Temple due to taking graduate courses not offered at BU.

"Sitting back and not being a part of things is hard," said O'Brien, who averaged career highs of 13.8 points and 6.4 rebounds as a sophomore at BU. "It's a hard pill to swallow.

"I think now that I'm healthy, you've got to kind of not take things for granted. So being a senior and having a number of games left in my college career, I'm just going to go out and give it everything I have."

O'Brien's best game at Temple came during an 80-75 victory over Delaware on Nov. 25. He made three of five three-point attempts en route to a season-high 13 points. The 23-year-old also finished with three rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot in 18 minutes.

The Owls hope he will be able to duplicate that performance against the Wildcats.

Villanova (4-3, 0-1 Big 5) has won the last six meetings with Temple at the Pavilion. Temple's last victory there was a 70-57 decision on Nov. 29, 1990.

"I've heard a lot about the Big 5 and the rivalries and what that means for each school and for the city," O'Brien said. "So I've been tutored on that."

Temple at Villanova

Wednesday at the Pavilion, 9 p.m.

TV/Radio: ESPN2; WPHT-AM (1210), WIP-AM (610)

Records: Temple, 5-0, 0-0 Big 5; Villanova, 4-3, 0-1.

Coaches: Temple, Fran Dunphy, seventh season, 139-65; Villanova, Jay Wright, 12th season, 241-133.

Series: Villanova leads, 43-41, but Temple took a 78-67 victory last season at the Liacouras Center.

Probable starters

Temple

32    Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson F 6-6 Sr. 9 ppg. 5.6 rpg.

3    Anthony Lee F 6-9 Soph. 10.4 ppg. 7.2 rpg.

33    Scootie Randall G/F 6-6 Sr. 15.8 ppg 7.2 rpg.

1    Khalif Wyatt G 6-4 Sr. 15.6 ppg. 5 apg.

2    Will Cummings G 6-2 Soph. 5.4 ppg. 1.8 apg.

Villanova

13    Mouphtaou Yarou F 6-10 Sr. 9 ppg. 5.6 rpg.

25    Maurice Sutton F/C 6-11 Sr. 5.9 ppg. 3.7 rpg.

32    James Bell G/F 6-5 Jr. 10.7 ppg. 4.7 rpg.

15    Ryan Arcidiacono G 6-3 Fr. 12.9 ppg. 3.3 rpg.

4    Darrun Hilliard G 6-6 Soph. 10.3 ppg. 2.7 rpg.

- Keith PompeyEndText

Contact Keith Pompey at kpompey@phillynews.com.