1997-98 HOOPS PREVIEW
The key to how successful this season is starts in the back court, but might end in the front court. The Owls will need both sophomore point guard Juan "Pepe" Sanchez and junior two guard Rasheed Brokenborough(6-3 JR) to step their games up to the next level on offense. Brokenborough needs to be much more CONSISTENT from the outside this year. He also has to look to drive to the basket more. Rasheed has to look to be more of a scorer this year, than a shooter. He can make the front court players much better if he drives to the hoop and dishes off to them in the paint. Rasheed will find himself taking and making more shots from the line that really determines the outcome of games, the foul line, if he drives more. The Owls need at least 18 points per game from him.
Pepe Sanchez(6-4 SO) was a very exciting player last year for the Owls. He made some long three point shots, and had lots of fancy passes. He can take care of the rock. His defense was a perfect fit with the Chaney match-up zone. What he MUST do this year is be able to make a 8 to 15 foot jump shot. He also has to play better man to man defense. Sometimes he plays with his hands to much, and doesn't move his feet. It is okay to always look for the steal when you are playing off the ball, but when you are on the ball you can't always gamble. Pepe will have to make outside shots for this team to be at its best.
Temple's three newcomers to the backcourt this year are: Quincey Wadley(6-3 SO), Malik Moore(6-2 SO), and Lynn Greer(6-1 FR). It appears that Greer will not red shirt, so all three should see good minutes off the bench. Anyone of the three could become a starter as the season continues. Greer and Moore will be counted on to provide some scoring punch, while Wadley will be more of a factor on defense. Greer looks like the best ball handler of the three, and could be the back up point guard. I feel this trio will have to be VERY active on defense, and average more than 12 points a game for the Owls this year.
The front court will be the deciding factor on if this team is a contender in the A-10 or a pretender. Since the Owls lack a TRUE center it will be important for this group to get in good rebounding postion on every shot. Lynard Stewart(6-8) could hold the key to the NCAA tournament in his hands. Being the senior leader on this team, his experience and hard work will have to rub off on the youngsters. Lynard's biggest weakness in his game is his foul shooting. He also isn't a good outside shooter, but with this year's team he shouldn't end up on the perimeter. He works the boards hard, and knows the Temple defensive system. He can be a productive player near the paint, and should be able to score on bigger players off of passes from the guards if they penetrate. I look for Stew to have a big year, and possibly average a double-double in points and rebounds.
Lamont Barnes will be a NBA lottery pick after his senior season for sure! He will be a much better player next year if we can get KEVIN LYDE(6-9), but that is next year. LB does two things well that are hard to teach, REBOUND and BLOCK SHOTS. He goes strong to the offensive boards, and runs the floor well too. He has to play better in the post with his back to the basket, and put more muscle on before he becomes a force. If he stays out of foul trouble, he should dramatically improve his numbers last year of 8 ppg and 7 rpg. He looks like a 15 ppg and 10 rpg man this year, and could be the next Marcus Camby.
Julian Dunkly(6-9 SO) is suppose to be a pure shooter, but showed no signs of that last year. He is being counted on this season to hit the three, and get some boards with his long arms. He still is a step slow on defense, and that might cost him some playing time. If Julian can make his shots he will play, if he can move his feet on defense he will play more, and if he can rebound too--WATCH OUT for the Owls.
Keaton Sanders(6-5 SO) and Michael Tabb(6-9 JR) round out the front court and Temple's ten man rotation. Both will be role players, and will see some minutes if Barnes and Stewart get in foul trouble. Tabb, who is a transfer from Clemson, seems to be just another tall body. Sanders might get minutes over Tabb if he can contribute on the BOARDS.
Fundamentals will determine how many games this team wins. If they can rebound--if they can defend the post area--if they can get more turnovers than they give--if they can MAKE THEIR FOUL shots--Then they will be in postion to win. Coach Chaney won't have the "floor balance" he is used to coaching. He will have to let this team run more. He will have to let them press more. He will be forced into using a EIGHT man rotation instead of six. If Chaney can adjust, and his players can produce, Temple should be successful.
18-9 overall (regular season)
11-5 2nd place A-10 East
lose in NCAA second round
***UPDATED PREDICTION 1-5-98***
16-11 overall (regular season)
9-7 3rd place tie A-10 East
will need to win at least 2 games in the A-10 tournament, and probably have to reach the final to get a NCAA bid