With two seniors in their perimeter rotation for the 2015-16 season, Temple had some areas to target recruiting-wise in the Class of 2016. Having already received a verbal pledge from one guard in Quinton Rose, Temple landed its second commitment Sunday afternoon in the form of point guard Alani Moore. The 5-foot-10 Moore, a Washington, D.C. native who attends Friendship Collegiate Academy in Maryland, announced the news via Twitter.
Moore, rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, played for the DC Premier grassroots program this summer and also participated in the Under Armour All-American Camp. While Temple doesn’t lack for perimeter options heading into this season, they will be asking “non-traditional” options (most likely Josh Brown and Shawn Alston) to handle the responsibilities.
That approach may very well work out for Fran Dunphy and his staff, but it didn’t mask the need for a lead guard to run the show in the future. That’s where Moore’s commitment comes into play for a program looking to get back to making annual NCAA tournament appearances after missing out in each of the last two seasons. Moore’s court vision and quickness on the ball will help Temple offensively when he arrives on campus in 2016.
Temple will also lose two front court options in Jaylen Bond and Devontae Watson at the end of the 2015-16 season, so they’ll need to address this area in recruiting as well. The Owls have three scholarships available for 2016-17, so there’s definitely room to do just that.
Temple beat out Georgia Tech, Massachusetts and Seton Hall for Moore’s verbal pledge.
Less than a week after missing out on point guard Tony Carr, Temple landed its first verbal commitment in the Class of 2016.
Quinton Rose, a 6-foot-5 combo guard from Rochester, New York, verbally committed to Temple Thursday night as first reported by Scout.com. As noted above Rose, who also played for the Albany City Rocks on the Nike EYBL circuit, is Temple’s first commitment and he’s an important one given eventual personnel losses in that area.
Both Quenton DeCosey and Devin Coleman will be seniors in 2015-16, meaning that head coach Fran Dunphy and his staff needed to address this area in recruiting. Rose will help in this regard, joining current freshman Levan Alston as a perimeter option capable of playing either on or off the basketball.
In addition to DeCosey and Coleman the Owls also have to account for senior forwards Jaylen Bond and Devontae Watson, meaning that they’re far from done when it comes to recruiting the 2016 class.
Among the topics discussed by Temple head coach Fran Dunphy at last week’s American Athletic Conference media day was the status of transfer guard Jesse Morgan. Morgan enrolled at Temple in May of 2013, one month removed from being dismissed from the UMass program and four months after he’d suffered a torn ACL in his knee in a game at Saint Louis.
With the NCAA ruling that Morgan had a semester of eligibility remaining to play at Temple he had a choice to make. The options: either play in the first 19 games of the 2014-15 season for the Owls, or play in the final 21 games while also having the opportunity to play in the postseason should the Owls qualify. Wednesday evening it was reported by CBSSports.com that the decision’s been made, with Morgan choosing the latter option.
Morgan will be eligible to play in games beginning with Temple’s game at Delaware on December 18, and he’ll be an important piece for the Owls.
Prior to knee injury, Morgan averaged 13.4 points per game and was also second on the team in steals. During American Athletic Conference media day last week, Dunphy made note of Morgan’s work on the defensive end in preseason practices according to Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Daily News.
Once on the court, the Olney High product offers the Owls a long-range shooter and, more notably, another aggressive defender. When the team gathers at the end of each practice, Dunphy likes to read off stats kept from that day’s session. One is deflections, and Morgan owns that category.
“That’s what he adds,” Dunphy said. “He’s a hound on the basketball defensively.”
Morgan is one of two transfer guards who will be eligible to take the floor December 18, with former Clemson guard Devin Coleman being the other. Senior Will Cummings, who averaged 16.8 points and 4.6 assists per game last season and is on the Bob Cousy Award preseason watch list, will lead the way in the backcourt for the Owls.