Wednesday, October 29, 2014

AAC Media Day News and Notes: NCAA Rules on Jesse Morgan's Eligibility

As we covered earlier, today was the American Athletic Conference's Men's Basketball media day in New York City. These media gatherings are largely pointless as every coach says some form of the same: "My team is really focused. Our guys worked hard in the offseason. Yadda, yadda, yadda."

The only real nugget of news to come out of today's proceedings is the fact that the NCAA has finally ruled on UMass transfer Jesse Morgan's eligibility status. He'll only be eligible for one semester BUT he gets to choose which semester that is.

I agree with the great John DiCarlo. It makes sense for the Owls to want to have Morgan eligible in the spring semester so that they're fully loaded for a conference run. Also, I don't see any college basketball player opting against the chance, however slight it is, to play in the NCAA Tournament come March.

The one other thing that caught my eye today was this quote from Dunphy:
Temple was 336 out of 351 Division I schools in points allowed at 78.1 points per game. It was easily the worst defensive team of Dunphy's tenure on North Broad. What was surprising about last year's team was the fact that it was still a top-100 offense that had the second highest per game scoring average of the Dunphy Era at 73.9 points per contest (Dunphy's 2006-07 and 2011-12 squads both averaged 75 points per game). If they can knock off five points against per game then the Owls will be able to win a few more games this season. If they can knock off 10 points against per game then they might be able to surprise some people.

If only Temple was able to retain the services of Anthony Lee. Oh, wait:
"It wasn't your typical Temple year last season," one coach said. "They will be much better. Dunph can coach, and now he's got some older guys. I think the loss of Anthony Lee won't hurt them much, if at all."
Sick burn.

Join the conversation on Twitter @jmlamb8 or @owlsblog or on Facebook. I can also be reached at johnmlamb at gmail dot com.

Temple Picked To Finish Sixth In The American; Cummings, DeCosey Honored

The American Athletic Conference is holding its Men's Basketball Media Day at the New York Athletic Club in New York City today so that means preseason awards and coaches polls.

There are no surprises at the top as UConn (6 first-place votes), SMU (5), Memphis and Cincinnati round out the first four. The next four teams are Tulsa, Temple, Houston and USF while UCF, East Carolina and Tulane bring up the rear.

Senior Will Cummings and junior Quenton DeCosey were both voted Second Team All-Conference. Joining Temple's returning leading scorers on the second team are UConn's Amida Brimah and USF's Anthony Collins and Will Perry.

Six players were voted First Team All-Conference: UConn's Ryan Boatright, Memphis' Shaw Goodwin and Austin Nichols, SMU's Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and Tulsa's James Woodward.

Boatright is your Preseason Player of the Year while UConn's Daniel Hamilton was tabbed as the Preseason Rookie of the Year.

The Owls are in no-man's land this season. They shouldn't be as bad as they were last year and they might actually end up outperforming preseason projections but will they be able to break into the top four? Eh, that seems like a stretch. Realistically I think I'd be happy with a season in which the Owls win more than they lose and end up in the NIT. With knowing what's on the way next year talent-wise, it's hard to look at this campaign as anything more than an appetizer.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Temple Basketball Recruiting: Levan Alston, Jr. Set To Announce September 30th

Levan Alston, Jr.
If the Twittersphere can be trusted, it's down to Temple, Penn State and VCU for the services of 247Sports composite four-star recruit Levan 'Shawn' Alston, Jr. of the Haverford School. His father, of course, is former Temple Owl Levan Alston, who starred locally at Simon Gratz High before ending up at Temple via transfer from the University of New Orleans

Will The Slim Reaper be taking his services to North Broad Street or will he be the latest one who got away for Fran Dunphy and his staff? The suspense is killing me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Temple Basketball Recruiting: Jalen Brunson to Villanova

via @D1Circuit

There is an old Death Cab for Cutie song called 'The Face That Launched 1,000 Shits', a play on words from a line in Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus.

Well, featured above is the picture that, for Temple fans at least, launched 1,000 shits.

I'm sure you know by now that Jalen Brunson, a five-star point guard and son of former Temple great Rick Brunson, chose to play his college ball just 18 miles away from North Broad for Villanova this afternoon.

The last post on this site, posted on June 25th entitled 'One Half of the Brunson Prophecy Has Been Fulfilled', was an optimistic one because, gosh darnit, Temple was finally going to get the difference maker we have all been looking for in the Dunphy era. Things were looking great.

Then Patrick Ewing happened.

You can search Rick Brunson's name on Google and find a litany of articles about what allegedly happened. I'm not really concerned with what may or may not have gone down that fateful day. All I know is that the elder Brunson immediately became too toxic to hire and Temple's inside track on his son was no more.

What happened next is the subject of a lot of message board hearsay. These days everybody knows somebody who has a friend who knows something. Some say that Brunson wasn't mad at Temple for pulling back the job offer. Others say he was furious that Temple decided to give 'his' job to Aaron McKie and put the kibosh on Jalen coming here immediately.

I'm not sure what I believe -- although I certainly have my theories. Without being a shill for another website, I highly recommend you pony up a few dollars are take advantage of a free preview and read this interview between's John Di Carlo and Rick Brunson that occurred last Wednesday night. If you read what Rick said and then look at how things played out there are some serious contradictions.

At the end of the day this is an 18-year-old kid who made the decision that he thought was best for him. So, good luck to Jalen Brunson. Can't wait to see him play -- and lose to -- Temple for four years starting in 2015.

Here is a hypothetical for you: assuming he doesn't end up in jail, will Rick Brunson be wearing Villanova gear behind the bench when Nova plays Temple to the Liacouras Center? Does thinking about that make your head hurt?