Putting Orlando Behind Us and Why There’s Moore to Come from Ramone this Season
It’s funny what two games can do.
After a head-scratching performance at the Old Spice Classic, Temple basketball fans were ready to hop off the bandwagon. Now, after impressive back-to-back wins over Maryland and No. 10 Georgetown, I’d say the Owls officially put Orlando in their rear-view mirror. Do people not understand that this squad historically gets off to slow starts.
One thing before I get into the rest of my story, let me just pose the question. Why did the students rush the floor last night? Really!?!? I realize Georgetown is ranked in the top ten, but this was a game that Temple should’ve won and did. It was not an upset.
The Georgetown game had a similar feel to last season’s Villanova contest; not from the aspect of beating a top ten team, but from a star emerging in front of our eyes. Ramone Moore broke out, similar to Juan Fernandez’s dazzling performance against the Wildcats last year. Both players took over, but in very different ways.
Fernandez had a career-high 33-points in his astounding shooting performance against Nova. The Wildcats never had an answer as three-after-three continued to split the strings. He knocked down seven from beyond the arc on the night.
Moore had career-high 30-points last night, mostly coming from transition and his silky-smooth mid-range game. He was 12-for-18 from the field.
Heading into the year, Moore was supposed to be the guy to take the scoring role from the departed Ryan Brooks. I’d say he’s starting to fill that role quite nicely.
Even after those nice two wins, the Owls still have to improve on closing out games. In the final five minutes of games, I still don’t understand why Temple gets into clock draining mode. The offense has no rhythm, and remains stagnant. At least they hit their free throws last night. Rahlir Jefferson calmly hit some critical free throws down the stretch.
Juan Fernandez and Lavoy Allen continue to struggle from the offensive end, especially Fernandez. At least Allen brings it every night on the defensive end. Fernandez is shooting just 22.2 percent from beyond the three-point line this season.
Congratulations to Fran Dunphy who won his 400th career basketball game last night! He’s the second Big Five coach to surpass that milestone. John Chaney had 516 wins in 24 seasons at Temple.
Before playing Villanova on December 30th, the Owls face three MAC opponents; Akron, Northern Illinois and a road game against Ohio. Don’t overlook that Ohio game. This is the team that upset Georgetown in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament.