Temple Owls

Kyle Wiltjer
Associated Press

Pregame Shootaround: The season is finally here!

1 Comment

GAME OF THE DAY: Pittsburgh vs. No. 9 Gonzaga, 10:00 p.m. (ESPN)

The Panthers and Bulldogs made the long trek to Okinawa for their season opener, and it should be an interesting game between the two. Pittsburgh is looking to return to the NCAA tournament after narrowly missing out last season, with point guard James Robinson and forwards Jamel Artis and Michael Young leading the way. As for Gonzaga, Mark Few has one of the top front courts in the country at his disposal featuring Kyle Wiltjer, Przemek Karnowski and Domas Sabonis (who took a hard fall in their exhibition last weekend). The question for Gonzaga: how well will a backcourt hit hard by departures perform? We’ll get your first piece of evidence Friday night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: No. 1 North Carolina vs. Temple, 7:00 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

The Tar Heels enter the season as one of the favorites to win the national title, and they’ll be without their best player for the next couple weeks. Marcus Paige is out with a broken bone in his non-shooting hand, which means other perimeter options will be needed to step forward as distributors and perimeter shooters. Joel Berry II, Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson are three of the perimeter players to keep an eye on for the Tar Heels, who face a Temple squad that has to account for the graduation of point guard Will Cummings. The Owls are hoping to reach the NCAA tournament after missing out in each of the last two seasons, and a good showing in Annapolis could help Jaylen Bond and company in that quest.

WHO’S ON UPSET ALERT: Auburn -2 (vs. UAB, 9:30 p.m. SEC Network)

While there’s heightened optimism on The Plains thanks to the arrival of a talented recruiting class, and rightfully so, this is a dangerous opener to Bruce Pearl’s second season at Auburn. UAB returns all five starters from a team that won the Conference USA tournament title and upset Iowa State in the NCAA tournament, including forward William Lee and guard Robert Brown. The question for UAB is how they’ll match up with Auburn’s rugged power forward Cinmeon Bowers, who averaged 12.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game as a junior. Look for this to be one of the better games of the day.

SIX THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. Shaka Smart makes his debut as head coach at Texas and he’ll do so in Shanghai, with the Longhorns taking on a very young Washington team. Led by guard Isaiah Taylor, Texas returns four starters and added a talented recruiting class that includes Tevin Mack and Kerwin Roach.

2. There’s a lot of optimism in Milwaukee as Marquette’s talented freshman class led by Henry Ellenson opens up regular season play. However, they better be careful with a Belmont team that has plenty of experience and is the preseason pick to win the OVC. Senior guard Craig Bradshaw leads the way for Rick Byrd’s Bruins, who are tough to slow down on the offensive end of the floor.

3. The Mountain West will be involved in some intriguing opening night match-ups Friday night. Preseason favorite San Diego State hosts a dangerous Illinois State team, with another contender in Boise State visiting one of the preseason favorites in the Big Sky in Montana. And then there’s the battle of possible league dark horses, as Fresno State hosts an experienced Pepperdine squad.

4. Steve Prohm leads No. 7 Iowa State up against Colorado in Sioux Falls in his first regular season game as head coach. The Cyclones are expected to be contenders both in the Big 12 and nationally thanks to the return of players such as Georges Niang and Monté Morris. They’ll face a Colorado team that has a lot of questions to answer, but they’re anchored by one of the better post players around in senior Josh Scott.

5. Defending national champion No. 5 Duke opens its regular season with a home game against Siena. Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils added a highly regarded freshman class to some solid returnees, including sophomore guard Grayson Allen who’s expected by many to break out this season.

6. No. 22 Baylor has a difficult season opener to deal with, as they’ll host Stephen F. Austin in Waco. Brad Underwood’s Lumberjacks have reached the NCAA tournament in each of the last two seasons, and this experienced group led by senior forward Thomas Walkup will not back down from this challenge. Baylor boasts one of the nation’s best front courts led by seniors Rico Gathers Sr. and Taurean Waller-Prince.

TOP 25 SCHEDULE

  • Colorado vs. No. 7 Iowa State, 5:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
  • Pittsburgh vs. No. 9 Gonzaga, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN)
  • North Carolina A&T at No. 23 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
  • Albany at No. 2 Kentucky, 7:00 p.m. (SEC Network)
  • No. 1 North Carolina vs. Temple, 7:00 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
  • Siena at No. 5 Duke, 7:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • Mount St. Mary’s at No. 3 Maryland, 7:00 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
  • Morgan State at No. 6 Virginia, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Northern Michigan at No. 25 Michigan, 7:00 p.m.
  • Eastern Illinois at No. 15 Indiana, 7:00 p.m.
  • Florida Atlantic at No. 13 Michigan State, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Fairleigh Dickinson at No. 11 Villanova, 7:00 p.m.
  • Maine at No. 20 Connecticut, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Saint Francis (PA) at No. 19 Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Northern Colorado at No. 4 Kansas, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Charleston Southern at No. 10 Wichita State, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Austin Peay at No. 18 Vanderbilt, 8:00 p.m. (SEC Network)
  • McNeese State at No. 21 LSU, 9:00 p.m. (SEC Network)
  • Western Illinois at No. 17 Wisconsin, 9:00 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
  • Pacific at No. 12 Arizona, 9:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
  • Stephen F. Austin at No. 22 Baylor, 9:30 p.m.
  • Southern Utah at No. 16 Utah, 10:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
  • Rice at No. 14 California, 11:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

Temple lands three-star point guard

Leave a comment

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.

Three-star 2016 point guard cuts list to four

Under Armour
1 Comment

Alani Moore II, a Class of 2016 point guard who played well this summer for the DC Premier program, announced Saturday that he’s trimmed his list down to four schools. And in the case of three of those remaining programs, adding a point guard is a clear objective in their current recruiting cycles.

Making Moore’s list are UMass, Temple, Seton Hall and Georgia Tech, with the first three currently in a position where they need a point guard for the future.

UMass adds freshman Luwane Pipkins to the program, but with Trey Davis and Jabarie Hinds both being seniors the Minutemen are in need of an addition at the position. As for Temple, not only are the Owls somewhat shorthanded at the point (Devin Coleman and Josh Brown are among the possibilities but neither is a true point) but they’ll also lose two seniors from their backcourt rotation after the 2015-16 season in Coleman and Quenton DeCosey.

Seton Hall added Kansas State transfer Jevon Thomas to the program this spring, but with him on the sidelines the Pirates will have to find another option (Khadeen Carrington? Isaiah Whitehead?) at that position this coming season. Of the four schools on Moore’s list Georgia Tech has the most options at the point in the future, with Corey Heyward being a redshirt junior and both Josh Heath and Travis Jorgensen being redshirt sophomores.

Temple lands Class of 2015 guard from Argentina

(FIBA)
1 Comment

Temple added a commitment to its Class of 2015 as Argentina native Ayan Carvalho pledged to the Owls. The 6-foot-5 shooter has played for the Argentinian national team the last few years and recently played in the FIBA U17 World Championships in 2014.

Carvalho averaged 10 points and 2.3 rebounds per game during the World Championships in Dubai. He doesn’t turn 18 until September, so he’s still very young and Temple will have plenty of time to work with the talented guard. During U17 play, Carvalho shot 44 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range. As a double-digit scorer for the U16 team in 2013 as well, Carvalho has experience as a scorer for multiple years on the international level and that should help him adjust to the AAC and playing at Temple.

Joining Carvalho in the Temple 2015 class is forward Ernest Aflakpui, guard Levan Alston and wing Trey Lowe.

Three-star combo guard Quinton Rose commits to Temple

Fran Dunphy
1 Comment

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.

Following acquittal, Rick Brunson discusses son Jalen’s recruitment to Villanova

Jalen Brunson
Leave a comment

In April 2014 Rick Brunson, the father of five-star 2015 point guard Jalen Brunson, was charged with sexual assault in regards to an incident with his then-massage therapist. The situation came at a time in which the younger Brunson had yet to choose a college, and with Temple being one of the schools in the mix the assumption in some circles was that the two could possibly be a package deal of sorts.

Late last week Rick Brunson was finally afforded the opportunity to tell his side of the story in front of a judge, and he was ultimately acquitted of all charges. With that occurring Rick spoke with the Chicago Tribune about the case, its impact on his son during his senior year of high school and whether or not the two could have gone to Temple together as some speculated.

Rick dismissed that possibility, noting that the job he discussed with Temple head coach Fran Dunphy was a non-coaching position. With that being the case, Jalen (who committed to Villanova last September) wouldn’t have been able to join the program for two seasons per NCAA rules.

“My son always wanted to go to Villanova,” Brunson said. “Nobody understands this. He never, ever wanted to go to Temple with me. I’ve never coached him at any level. Would I have wanted him to play for me at Temple? Of course. Would it have been right as a family? You’re damn right. But would it have been wrong for him? Yes.

“I have a lot of love and respect for Fran Dunphy because he understood that I couldn’t force my son to go to Temple. It was a long shot for him to go there. Jalen wanted to have a chance to play in a Final Four. Of all the schools that recruited him, he felt Villanova has the best shot of playing in a Final Four this coming season.”

Brunson played four seasons at Temple before spending eight in the NBA, with the connection to his alma mater being a factor in discussions between he and Dunphy. With this situation being resolved, it’s a weight off the shoulders of both Rick and Jalen, with the younger Brunson preparing for his first season at Villanova.