Archive for the ‘ Temple Basketball ’ Category

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.

   

(Ramone Moore)

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.

Temple Must put Orlando Behind Them

Temple basketball has a long way to go to reach their desired expectations when March rolls around. The Owls went 1-2 at the Old Spice Classic including losses in the First Round to Cal 57-50 and to Texas A&M 54-51 in the 5th Place Game. Hopefully for the Owls sake it was just one of those bad weeks. The offense looked very stagnant as the Owls just continually settled for jumpshots.

It seems to me so far that Temple is missing the on-court leadership and scoring from the departed Ryan Brooks. The Owls need either Juan Fernandez or Lavoy Allen to step up and fill that leadership role. Neither is really built to lead; both are quiet guys.

(Ryan Brooks)

In five games so far this season, Temple is shooting 19/80 from three (23.8%). Juan Fernandez is just 4/23 from downtown as he’s yet to get it going. Ramone Moore is currently the only player averaging double-digits (10.8 ppg).

I’m still waiting for Lavoy Allen to step up offensively. He needs to stop being so passive. Allen can score when he wants to.

(Lavoy Allen)

Temple did have some bright spots from Orlando as two players in particular emerged; sophomore guard Khaliff Wyatt and junior forward Scootie Randall. Wyatt barely saw the floor as a freshman because of his lack of defensive intensity. During the offseason, Wyatt trimmed down and is playing the defense that Dunphy hoped for. Randall had a team-high 18-points in their win against Georgia.

(Khaliff Wyatt)

Even with the offense struggling, the defense still shows up every night. They have yet to allow 60-points in a game so far this season. They’re allowing 54.5 ppg thus far. All in all, Temple missed out on some quality win opportunities in the tournament to boost their RPI. They did get the win against Texas A&M.

Hopefully the Owls fixed some of the kinks because the schedule doesn’t get much easier. After a “should be” win against Central Michigan tonight, the Owls go on the road to play Maryland and get Georgetown at home.

Time to Spice Things Up a Bit- Your Guide to the 2010 Old Spice Classic

These early season basketball tournaments are the best way to gauge your team very early on in the year.  You play three games in four days against three different teams in three separate conferences.  Not only do you get an inkling of the strengths and weaknesses of your squad, you also get a sense of how good the conference you play in is.  It’s also a perfect way to put some nice looking wins on the resume before March rolls around.

This is the fifth installment of the Old Spice Classic.  There’s no stand-out team in this year’s field, but five out of the eight teams reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago.  Temple is currently the only team ranked in the top 25.  They’re currently ranked 20th.  The games will be played once again in the HP Field House in Orlando, Florida.

SCHEDULE

SDate

Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Nov 25 Noon Game 1: Boston College vs. Texas A & M ESPN2
  2 p.m. Game 2: Wisconsin vs. Manhattan ESPN2
  7 p.m.

Game 3: Georgia vs. Notre Dame

ESPN2
  9 p.m. Game 4: Temple vs. California ESPN2
Fri, Nov 26 Noon Game 5 ESPN
  2:30 p.m. Game 6 ESPNU
  5 p.m. Game 7 ESPN2
  7:30 p.m. Game 8 ESPNU
Sun, Nov 27 11 a.m. Game 9 ESPNU
  1 p.m. Game 10 ESPNU
  4:30 p.m. Game 11  
  7 p.m. Game 12 (Championship Game) ESPN2

THE FIELD

Boston College- Last Year- 15-16 (6-10)

  • All-time Boston College wins leader Al Skinner is out, and Steve Donahue is in.  Donahue comes over from Cornell who made three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a magical run to the Sweet 16 a year ago.  Donahue and Skinner have two different styles of play.  Skinner had a very precise flex-offense, while Donahue likes to push it a little more and shoot the three.

Projected Starters

  • F- Cortney Dunn (6-8 Sr)
  • F- Joe Trapani (6-8 Sr)
  • F- Corey Raji (6-6 Sr)
  • G- Biko Paris (6-1 Sr)
  • G- Reggie Jackson (6-3 Jr)

Bench

  • G- Danny Rubin (6-6 Fr)
  • G- Dallas Elmore (6-5 Jr)
  • G- Gabe Moton (6-2 Fr)

PLAYER TO WATCH- Reggie Jackson

  • Jackson was a guy held back a bit in Skinner’s offense last year.  Thus far this year, Reggie has been able to play more with the ball in his hands and push it.

Texas A&M- Last Year- 24-10 (11-5)

  • Billy Gillespie came over to Texas A&M in 2004 and completely changed the culture at College Station.  He got the Aggies to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1987 in the 2004-2005 season.  Mark Turgeon took over the helm when Gillespie left for Kentucky in 2007.  Turgeon has continued the success as Texas A&M has made the NCAA Tournament every year since 2005.  The Aggies have three key players missing from last year’s team in Donald Sloan, Derrick Roland and Bryan Davis.

Projected Starters

  • F- David Loubeau (6-8 Jr)
  • G/F- Khris Middleton (6-7 So)
  • G/F- Nathan Walkup (6-7 Sr)
  • G- B.J. Holmes (5-11 Sr)
  • G- Dash Harris (6-1 Jr)

Bench

  • G- Naji Hibbert (6-6 So)
  • F- Kourtney Roberson (6-9 Fr)
  • F- Ray Turner (6-8 So)

PLAYER TO WATCH- David Loubeau

The Aggies don’t have a stand out player as all five A&M starters are good, but not great.  Loubeau is the lone starter who is a back-to-the-basket player.

Wisconsin

  • No matter the roster, head coach Bo Ryan just seems to get the job done.  He gets the maximum potential out of each player on his team year after year.  Even with all the success, frustration is mounting in Madison as the Badgers have lost to a lower-seeded team in the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four years.

Projected Starters

  • F- Keaton Nankivil (6-8 Sr)
  • F- Jon Leuer (6-10 Sr)
  • F- Mike Bruesewitz (6-6 So)
  • G- Josh Gasser (6-4 Fr)
  • G- Jordan Taylor (6-1 Jr)

Bench

  • G/F- Ryan Evans (6-6 So)
  • G/F- Tim Jarmusz (6-6 Sr)
  • F/C- Jared Berggren (6-10 So)

PLAYER TO WATCH- Jordan Taylor

Jon Leuer is the best player, but Taylor may be the most important player.  With the departures of backcourt starters Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon, suddenly, Taylor becomes the guys in the backcourt.  Taylor can drive, but he needs to improve his perimeter shooting.

Manhattan

  • Manhattan and Temple are the only non-BCS teams in this tournament.  The Jaspers have yet to regain the glory since the departure of star guard Luis Flores five years ago.  Unfortunately, Manhattan is once again in rebuilding mode since last year’s MAAC leading scorer, Rico Pickett, decided to take his talents overseas.

Projected Starters

  • C- Djibril Coulibaly (6-9 Jr)
  • F- Andrew Gabriel (6-6 Sr)
  • G/F- George Beamon (6-4 So)
  • G- Kidani Brutus (6-1 Jr)
  • G- Michael Alvarado (6-2 Fr)

Bench

  • F- Rhamel Brown (6-6 Fr)
  • F- Robert Martina (6-8 Jr)
  • C- Kevin Laue (6-11 So)

PLAYER TO WATCH- George Beamon

The Jaspers are a very young team.  Andrew Gabriel is the team’s leading returning scorer, but George Beamon is currently leading the team in scoring through three games averaging 16.7 ppg.

Georgia

  • Georgia got a lot of preseason hype because of Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie.  Thompkins was named the SEC Preseason Player of the Year.  The truth is the Bulldogs have only made the NCAA Tournament once in the past five years.  This tournament should answer at least a couple questions about the legitimacy of this team.

Projected Starters

  • F- Trey Thompkins (6-10 Jr)
  • F- Jeremy Price (6-8 Sr)
  • G/F- Travis Leslie (6-4 Jr)
  • G- Gerald Robinson Jr. (6-1 Jr)
  • G- Dustin Ware (5-11 Jr)

Bench

  • F- Connor Nolte (6-7 Sr)
  • F- Chris Barnes (6-8 Sr)
  • G- Sherrard Brantley (6-2 So)

PLAYER TO WATCH- Trey Thompkins

Thompkins has missed the first three games of the season due to an ankle injury.  Head Coach Mark Fox is unsure if Thompkins will be ready to go tomorrow.

Notre Dame

  • The Irish may have lost Luke Harangody and Tory Jackson, but Notre Dame brings back a lot of experienced seniors.  In fact, the entire starting five comprosises of seniors.  When Luke Harangody went down last season with a knee injury, coach Mike Brey installed the “Burn Offense.”  Essentially, the team would slow the tempo down and hold the ball until there was about 10-15 seconds left on the shot-clock before attacking.  So far the Irish have been scoring at a high level.  We’ll see if they go back to the burn in Orlando.

Projected Starters

  • F- Tyrone Nash (6-8 Sr)
  • F- Tim Abromaitis (6-8 Sr)
  • F- Carleton Scott (6-7 Sr)
  • G- Scott Martin (6-8 Sr)
  • G- Ben Hansbrough (6-3 Sr)

Bench

  • G- Eric Atkins (6-1 Fr)
  • F- Jack Cooley (6-9 So)
  • G- Joey Brooks (6-5 So)

PLAYER TO WATCH- Ben Hansbrough

There’s a lot of good point guards in this tournament.  Hansbrough is more of a scorer than a point, although he had an excellent 2.4-1 assists to turnover ratio last season.  He’ll slide to the shooting guard spot when Eric Atkins comes into the game.

Temple

  • I did a huge Temple preview before the season began, you can check that out here.  All the lineups and bench players should be there as well.

PLAYER TO WATCH- Juan Fernandez

 

He may be the most exciting player in this tournament.

California

  • The Golden Bears lost a lot over the offseason, most notably Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher.  I don’t think anyone knows what to expect from California in this tournament.  I will say this, it looks like smarts, defense and toughness is going to be the recipe for success for Cal.  It was a staple for head coach Mike Montgomery during his early days at Stanford.

Projected Starters

  • C- Markhuri Sanders-Frison (6-7 Sr)
  • F- Harper Kamp (6-8 Jr)
  • G- Allen Crabbe (6-4 Fr)
  • G- Gary Franklin (6-2 Fr)
  • G- Jorge Gutierrez (6-3 Jr)

Bench

  • F- Bak Bak (6-9 So)
  • G- Brandon Smith (5-11 So)
  • C- Max Zhang- (7-3 Jr)

PLAYER TO WATCH- Jorge Gutierrez

Jorge Gutierrez Jorge Gutierrez #2 of the California Golden Bears shoots the ball while defended by Rakeem Buckles #4 of the Louisville Cardinals during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Jacksonville Veteran's Memorial Arena on March 19, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.

He may not be Jerome Randle or Patrick Christopher, but the guy can guard with the best of them.

PREDICTIONS

First Round

  • Texas A&M over Boston College
  • Wisconsin over Manhattan
  • Notre Dame over Georgia
  • Temple over California

Semifinals

  • Wisconsin over Texas A&M
  • Temple over Notre Dame

Championship Game

  • Temple over Wisconsin

 

 

 

  

2010-2011 Temple Basketball Preview- Going for the Four-Peat

The Temple basketball program is slowly returning to the success it had during the John Chaney days. The next step is to win an NCAA Tournament game. In 2008, the Owls lost to 5th seeded Michigan State. Temple lost to 6th seeded Arizona State in 2009, and last year they got upset by 12th seeded Cornell.

This is the first year that the Owls head into the season as the clear favorite in the Atlantic 10 in about a decade.  Will they be able to handle the pressure? 

They were supposed to take a step back last season after the departure of Dionte Christmas; but underclassmen such as Lavoy Allen and Juan Fernandez really stepped up. They really put themselves on the map after a non-conference home win against Villanova. They finished last season’s campaign ranked 12th nationally.

(Juan Fernandez)

The only question that I have is who will step up and be that shutdown defender in the backcourt. Ryan Brooks and Luis Guzman were fantastic on the ball defenders. Temple wins by shutting down the opposition. They led the A-10 in scoring defense, allowing just 56.8 points a contest. They held ten of their opponents to 50 points or less.

FRONTCOURT

  • F/C Michael Eric (6-11 225 Jr.) – 5.9 ppg 3.1 rpg .6 apg 51.6 %

Eric is solid defensively around the basket area. He doesn’t really have a lot of range on his jump shot.

  • F Lavoy Allen (6-9 225 Sr.) – 11.5 ppg 10.7 rpg 2.4 apg 53.6 %

Allen is a guy that I’ve seen grow since his high school Pennsbury days. He’s transformed from a very skinny high school kid to a mammoth. I will never forget his first half performance he had against Harry S. Truman, the school where former Niagara guard Tyrone Lewis attended. Allen blocked 10 shots in the half. He was all over the place. He’s brought his smart defensive instincts to Temple. 

(Lavoy Allen)

Allen averaged a double-double last season; the first Owl to do so since 1970-1971. He’s as good a passing big man as any big man in the country. He’s as fundamental as they come.
If there is a complaint about Lavoy, he can be a bit too unselfish. He can routinely knock down mid-range jump shots if he wants to, but he continually gives up those shots. I’d like to see him more assertive on the offensive end. Especially now as a senior.

  • G/F Rahlir Jefferson (6-6 200 So) – 3.9 ppg 2.6 rpg .6 apg 39.8%

Jefferson looks like the guy that will take over Brook’s defensive duties. He can cover both guards and forwards. The Chester grad showed some promise last year, but will he be able to fill a bigger role on the team this season?

BACKCOURT

  • G Ramone Moore (6-4 180 Jr.) – 7.6 ppg 3.1 rpg 1.5 apg 47.9%

Moore won the A-10 Sixth Man of the Year Award, but he really came on halfway through the year. While Jefferson looks to step in and be the defensive stopper that Brooks was, Moore looks to be the scorer.

(Ramone Moore)

Moore consistently gets to the tin, and when a defender plays a bit off, he can step up and knockdown an open jump shot.

  • G Juan Fernandez (6-4 180 Jr.) – 12.6 ppg 2.4 rpg 3.6 apg 45.3% 3

Temple basketball historians proclaim Fernandez to be Pepe Sanchez with a jump shot. I understand the comparisons. They’re both from Argentina, but I think they’re games are different. Sanchez was more of a pure passer, and was a very reliable defender. He didn’t shoot the jumper extremely well, but he seemed to hit it when it counted. He always played under the control and took care of the basketball. Fernandez is a bit of a liability on the defensive end. Offensively, Fernandez can do a bit of everything. Unlike Sanchez, Fernandez can create his own shot. They both have high basketball IQ’s; they’re always a step ahead of the defense.

(Pepe Sanchez)

BENCH

  • F Craig Williams (6’9 240 Sr.) 3.8 ppg 1.8 rpg .4 apg 32.6% 3

Williams is a big man that can knock it down from beyond the arc. Considering his size, he should be a better rebounder than he is.

  • F Scootie Randall (6’6 205 Jr.) 1.9 ppg 1.4 rpg .2 apg 41.9% 3

Randall is a guy, despite his size, who can get the job done inside.

  • G Aaron Brown (6’4 180 Fr.) FRESHMAN

Fran Dunphy usually doesn’t play freshman that much, but Brown can be an exception. He comes from St. Benedict’s Prep, an established program in New Jersey.

  • G T.J. Dileo (6’2 195 So.) 1.1 ppg .8 rpg .3 apg 27.8%

Dileo is a scrappy guard who hustles on every play. He’s a Luis Guzman clone.

  • F Chris Clarke (6’8 200 So.) REDSHIRT

Clarke red-shirted last year after transferring from Pensacola (FLA) Junior College.

ANALYSIS

Juan Fernandez and Lavoy Allen are Atlantic 10 Player of the Year candidates. I want to see Allen be more aggressive.

The guy that I’m going to keep my eye on is Ramone Moore. I expect him to break out and have a huge year.

I’m curious what kind of production the Owls will get off the bench. Craig Williams is the only senior off the bench. Aaron Brown has been hyped, but how many minutes will Fran Dunphy play him.

Obviously, the expectations on Broad Street are high. A sweet 16 appearance is possible, but the Owls have to win a game in the NCAA Tournament first. I think the Owls will win their fourth consecutive Atlantic 10 crown, and get a four seed in the NCAA Tournament.