Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Temple 80, Kent State 66 (1-0)

A 14 point victory over Kent State in Tuesday's Season Opener showed us a lot about this Temple team.  A mix of good and bad things were on display.  Here is what I took away from the game, along with some first impressions on each player.  We'll do it bullet style....

- First off, welcome back Scootie Randall.  After missing a full season with a knee injury Scootie came out firing.  31 points is something none of us expected.  Boy do I love his shot.  He can get that shot off on anyone.  You could tell he was tiring towards the end of the game and his five turnovers show that he is still a little rusty.  But this game will do wonders for his confidence the rest of the year.  Expectations are really high now.

- First thing I noticed when I turned on the tv is that Temple is a really big team.  Granted, Kent State is a pretty small team, but each Temple player just looked physically bigger at each position.  Even DiLeo looks bigger than 6'3".  Anthony Lee put on some weight and looks powerful underneath.  Pepper is 6'5" and can really leap.  Lots of athleticism and size for this team, that alone will carry them against these weaker teams on the non conference slate.

- Dalton Pepper looked a little lazy to me, like he wasn't aggressive on the defensive or offensive side.  I'm not saying he is a lazy player, maybe he was just a little hesitant in his first game with Temple.  I hope that isn't something that is part of his game.  Like I said earlier, he's a big guy and he plays big, he'll help on the rebounding end for sure.

- Wyatt strained a hammy and didn't get the playing time he would have received.  He still played the way we are us to seeing.  In control, smart, methodical play.  When the game is on the line, he's the guy we want with the ball.  Six assists is something we probably won't see a whole lot this year.

- 19 turnovers really irks me.  It's the first game so sloppiness is to be expected, but they kept making the same mistakes over and over.  Travel, pass without faking a pass first, dribbling into a crowd, things that shouldn't happen as the year goes on.

- Jake O'Brien impessed me today.  All the things I read said that he could rebound and play D, no one said anything about his shot.  Knocking down two threes was something I was not expecting.  If he can stretch the D and provide space for Wyatt and Randall during the year, that will be well received.

- Will Cummings didn't do anything to excite me in the opener.  He's quick, he's smart, just didn't seem like a playmaker.  That 4 on 1 that he botched was poor.  Not down on the guy, I'm still looking forward to a big year, I would just choose to forget about this game if I could.

- If there is one thing that Dunphy has to be giddy about this year, it's the defense.  Each player on the team can lock down their guy on that end.  Randall, Cummings, DiLeo, and Jefferson are top notch defensive players.  Pepper and Wyatt look really good also.  Chaney would have loved to have these guys back in the day.  I wouldn't expect great defensive numbers as far as points a game, but that's because the offense is more fast paced than in years past.  But at the end of the game when a stop is needed, I will feel good about the defense.

- Rahlir looks about the same from last year.  Great garbage player.  He gets the loose ball, rebounds, plays D, moves the ball, but still can't shoot.  Nothing wrong with that though, with the scorers Temple has, he doesn't have to be counted on to score from the outside.

- Anthony Lee had a great game.  The announcer said it best, he just knows how to get open.  If he can continue to hit his free throws and score when given the ball down low, he'll be a huge asset this year.  He needed strength, and it looks like he put a lot of time into that in the offseason.  I have high expectations for him now for the year.

- DiLeo is your glue guy that every team needs.  He hustles like crazy, plays great D, and can hit an open shot when it is there.  Pretty embarrassing at the line though, ha, he needs to fix that.

Overall I give this game a B+ for a season opener.  Good offensive output, good defensive effort, good outcome.  Ball control could use a little work, and it's not a good thing to be outrebounded by a smaller team.  Not a bad thing to blow a lead and have to dig deep and get a win. Every time they are in that position, it helps them grow as a team.  But, obviously it's not a good thing to blow that big of a lead.  So as I said, mostly good, but some bad.  Looking forward to the next one Saturday at home vs. Rice.  Should be another win in front of the home crowd. 

What did you all think of the game?  Any different observations?



  1. Nice write up. Streamed the game at work, but missed most of it. Pepper is from my home town, so I'm pulling for him. Hope he was just being a little hesitant to make a mistake in his first game with a new team and not lazy. we will see. go owls.

  2. Maybe that's just the way he plays. If so, he won't be a playmaker, but if he knocks down threes and rebounds, that will be good enough.