2008 Temple Owls Basketball Preview
In 2007- 2008, the Temple Owls (21- 13 overall, 11- 5 Atlantic 10) finished second in the league and then won the Atlantic 10 tournament, earning a NCAA berth. That was an exceptional debut for Owls’ new head coach Fran Dunphy. Temple, which was supposed to finish in the middle of their conference, certainly played beyond expectations. In the NCAA Tournament, they lost to Michigan State in the first round 72- 61.
Last year, swingman Mark Tyndale put up 15.9 PPG and grabbed 7.2 RPG. He also made 4.3 APG and had 1.6 SPG. He’s gone. What will the Owls do without their most versatile player? They’ll look to their other star, senior Dionte Christmas (37.2 MPG, 19.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 2.5 APG), to lead the frontcourt. A great player on the wing, Christmas is also a prolific three-point shooter. Seven-foot-even Sergio Olmos (22.2 MPG, 5.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.9 APG) plays determined “D” and is also able on offense. Sophomore Lavoy Allen (29.2 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.6 APG) is solid fundamentally. He hit 56% of his shots.
In the backcourt, team leader, top three-point man and point guard Chris Clark is gone. Replacing the point guard is Luis Guzman (17.3 MPG, 3.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.6 APG), who saw a good deal of time in that spot last season. Senior Semaj Inge (11.7 MPG, 3.1 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.2 APG) is expected to step up and do more. He’s a fine athlete capable of causing havoc anywhere on the court. The wing will feature junior Ryan Brooks (27.0 MPG, 8.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.3 APG); last season, he came off the bench to make big plays. A streaky shooter, the Owls will need more consistent play from him as a starter.
The Temple Owls have enough good players and Dunphy has plenty
of savvy to put in another fine season and get back to the NCAA
Tournament. But the Owls are not a national contender. There’s
a decent foundation and with another year of play a national ranking
could be possible. For this post-season, Temple will be play one
contest and be bested at the Big Dance.