Tag:Fran Dunphy
Posted on: December 8, 2011 11:40 am
Edited on: December 8, 2011 11:52 am

With Temple, we see what the A10 is/can be

By Matt Norlander

The talent in the Atlantic 10, the number of quality, tournament-worthy teams, hasn’t been much of a talking topic so far this year. It normally isn’t for that league until mid-January comes around. But I was thinking: How good is Temple? Like Syracuse with the Big East or Kansas with the Big 12, we often equate the A10’s stature each year by how strong Temple is. That’s not a fair barometer, but it is a comfortable one.

Plus, in years when the Owls are good, the league usually follows suit — at least at the top, when there are two or three clubs with the capability to steal some games in March. Temple makes the league want to be better when it is better. Xavier's been the better program for the past decade, but Temple still rules the roost. It's still older brother.

And maybe that’s why people haven’t talked that much about the league this year. Xavier's awesome but isn't being discussed as the Final Four contender is clearly is. Saint Louis still has its quiet critics. Richmond's down. Was that Dayton win over Alabama Wednesday night a fluke? A quiet Temple makes for a quiet Atlantic 10. They do seem to go hand in hand, don't you agree?

So, is this Temple team better than last year’s? Cop-out: I’m not sure. And neither are you. And, if you forced him to tell the truth, Owls coach Fran Dunphy would own up to not knowing yet either. Last year’s team went 26-8 and was a 7 seed, losing to San Diego State in its third-round (but really second-round) game. Unfortunately, the Owls no longer have Lavoy Allen, a player Dunphy says is one of the best defensive forces he’s ever coached. The Owls are 5-2, just pasted Toledo on the road Wednesday night, and now the next two games are against Villanova and Texas. They’re fairly critical. Outside of going 14-2 in the conference (hey, it did that last year!), if Temple drops both of these games, an at-large actually seems unlikely down the road. (Though they do get Duke at home in January, and what an opportunity that is.)

“We’re a little banged up right now,” Dunphy said, referring to losing Michael Eric for about six weeks due to a patella injury in his right knee. Eric is averaging 10.5 points and 11.3 rebounds. He’s 6-11. But without him, the team’s still “not sure how to play with him,” Dunphy said.

It lost Bowling Green in its first game following Eric’s injury. But the team’s rebounded since, even if it’s defensively not what it was last year. Losing Allen will do that to you. The Owls, who haven’t been ranked in either poll so far this year, are cruising along the radar, except in the Non-BCS Power Pyramid, where the faith is still being kept. What we've seen from Temple so far is a good team that's not yet hatched. The overtime win over Wichita State will be one that ages well.

They are enigmatic, though.

“We resemble that remark sometimes,” Dunphy said. “More than we should be. Part of that is we don’t have Mike.”

The team’s also had to rely heavily on Ramone Moore, who could be the conference’s second-best player — and the guy who plays more minutes than anyone in the nation this season. Moore is currently playing 95.2 percent of his team’s minutes, seventh-most in the nation. He's scoring 16.4 points per game and shooting almost 40 percent from 3. Critical play, for sure.

“I would rather that he not play as many minutes as he had, but we’ve had so many close games, we haven’t had a chance to sit him out,” Dunphy said.

Moore, Juan Fernandez and Khalif Wyatt are a triumvirate who mean more on offense than defense for Dunphy. The team is scoring better than 1.1 points per possession; it hasn't finished above that clip since 2007-08. It's been the necessary bonus for the Owls this year, since it's dipped in defensive efficiency.

“I think it’s always the same for us,” Dunphy said. “The defensive end takes precedent. Any time we can keep anyone below 40 percent shooting, that’s big for us. We also want no empty possessions. Empty possessions can lead to scoring on the other end.”

Moore and Fernandez should continue to be all league-level players. Once Eric comes back healthy in January, Temple should again be among the top six or seven non-BCS teams in the country. But they won't have him for 'Nova or Texas and probably not the Jan. 4 Duke game. If all of those are losses, it diminishes Temple's reputation, and in turn the A10's as well.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 8, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 2:42 pm

Temple's Scootie Randall expected back in Dec.

By Jeff Goodman

Temple coach Fran Dunphy is optimistic that Scootie Randall is expected to return sometime in early December.

"He's such a voice for us - especially on the defensive end," Dunphy told CBSSports.com.

Randall tore his meniscus in the summer and is in the midst of the rehab process.

"He's doing well, but the doctors are being cautious," Dunphy said. "It'll be a couple of weeks before we have him. ... He's a big part of our chemistry and is a glue guy."

The 6-foot-6 senior averaged 10.7 points per game and shot 37 percent from beyond the arc. His spot will be filled by Khalif Wyatt.

Dunhpy's concern appears to be on the defensive end to start the season - as he'll be without Randall and also graduated senior big man Lavoy Allen.

"He was so good defensively in terms of positioning," Dunphy said of Allen.

Dunphy said that 6-foot-11 veteran Micheal Eric will likely play about 28-30 minutes up front and 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman Anthony Lee should get plenty of time as well.

The team will be anchored by its backcourt of Juan Fernanez and Ramone Moore - which combined to average 26.4 points last season.

Temple doesn't open with a cupcake, either. The Owls play Dunphy's former team, Penn, in the Palestra on Nov. 14.

- Dunphy shaved off his mustache on Oct. 6 to honor ex-player Dionte Christmas - who earned his degree. Now he's growing it back as part of "Movember" - a cancer awareness fundraising campaign. "I've got it growing back," he said. "I'm a week in - and it doesn't look too sporty. I've got a face for radio, anyway."
Posted on: April 25, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 10:02 am

Temple's Moore opts not to file for NBA draft

Posted by Eric Angevine

Temple shooting guard Ramone Moore says he never intended to actually go into the NBA draft. He did, however, signal his intent to work out and gather professional evaluations as a nominal member of the Association's class of 2011. Where that temptation might have led, we may never know.

That's because, following a conference call with his parents and a mentor, Moore decided that his commitment to the Owls comes first. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer has the story:

"It was basically a family decision," Moore said in a statement about changing his mind. "We talked it over this morning and I realized that my main focus was to stay in school, earn my degree, and play my senior year at Temple."

According to a source, Moore "decided to enter his senior year at Temple without any distractions. He didn't want to make coach Fran Dunphy mad.

"He didn't want to make it seem all about him and his dream to make it in the NBA. That would have distracted from the team and the team's goal."

The logic is a bit strange, really. Testing the market is actually a pretty good idea for a talented junior. It lets him see what he needs to work on in his senior season. Dunphy himself seems completely unworried by the notion of Moore giving it a whirl. He told the Inquirer "Ramone is always a team guy. He would be a team guy if he tested the waters, and a team guy if he didn't test the waters."

U Mad, coach? No.

Moore was the team's leading scorer last season, averaging 15.4 points per game. He scored 23 in Temple's second round win over Penn State, and pitched in 17 in a double OT loss to San Diego State in the third round of the NCAA tournament in March. Last season he averaged 33 minutes per game, well above what he contributed in his first two seasons in Philly, when he averaged under 20 minutes per.

NBA Draft
With Moore set to return, Dunphy loses only 6-foot-9 Lavoy Allen from his rotation. Moore and Argentinian Juan Fernandez form a formidable senior backcourt alongside younger tourney-experienced junior guard Kahlif Wyatt and sophomore-to-be Aaron Brown. So far, Dunphy's lone recruit is Will Cummings, a true point guard from Florida. Rahlir Jefferson is a slender 6-6 wing who could concievably play beside Scootie Penn Scootie Randall (interesting cerebral flatulence there...) to form a shortish frontcourt, a situation that should be helped by the return of 6-11, 240-lb. Nigerian Micheal Eric, who missed most of conference play and all of the postseason this year due to injury. Dunphy still has his eye on local kid Jaylen Bond, a muscular 6-7 player who recently de-committed from Pitt and announced his decision to attend a year of prep school instead.

Even without a huge frontcourt, the return of Moore makes Temple an early favorite to lead the Atlantic 10 next season. Should Dunphy find another player to add beef and depth to the Eric-Randall tandem, we'll go Sharpie on that.

Photo: US Presswire
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com