Meet The 2017 Temple Football Recruiting Class

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As signing day has came and went on North Broad street, Temple Football has welcomed Mike Jones of North Carolina Central, and 16 high school athletes to the team. Headlined by three 3-star talents, Geoff Collins has done what he can in his first year, in a quick turnaround recruiting process for the Temple coaching staff. Meet your new faces for the Owls:

3-Star

QB Todd Centeio [6’1” 205lbs] – West Palm Beach (FL)

Courtesy: ncaa.org

Centeio is one of two recruits who is currently enrolled at Temple and has started taking classes as a freshman. Centeio is a pro-style quarterback who threw for 2,344 yards and 31 touchdowns his senior season at William T. Dwyer under head coach Ron Jack Daniels. The poised passer was a Lou Groza award finalist, as well as a two-time Sun Sentinel Super 11 pick. Other notable offers: Miami (FL), Nebraska, NC State.

Courtesy: hudl.com

OL Griffin Sestili [6’3” 260lbs] – North Allegheny (PA) 

 

A versatile lineman on the offense, Sestili played tight end and racked up 12 catches for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns during his high school career. Earned first-team all conference honors as a senior. Other notable offers: Pitt, West Virginia, Virginia.

DL Malik Burns [6’2” 220lbs] – Lackey (MD)

Courtesy: somdnews.com

Arguably the most decorated of all 16 high school recruits signed by the Owls, Malik Burns was the 2016 All-Southern Maryland Athletic Conference most outstanding player. In addition, Burns was an all-conference selection at 2 positions (DE,RB) his senior year, and all county player of the year. Had 68 tackles senior year including 4 fumble recoveries. As a running back, rushed for the most yards in the state of Maryland in 2016 with 2,290 yards and 26 touchdowns. Shares the same high school as current Owl Cortrelle Simpson. Other notable offers: Toledo, Monmouth, East Carolina.

2-Star

WR LJ Holder [6’3″ 205lbs] – Manalapan (NJ)

Courtesy: Shore Sports Network

Played wide receiver for an 11-1, NJSIAA CJG5 championship runner up Manalapan High School Braves. Ranked #10 on the Super 60 Shore Conference recruits in the 2017 class. Compiled 644 yards and 9 touchdowns over his junior and senior seasons.

DE Arnold Ebiketie [6’4” 205lbs] – Albert Einstein (MD)

A three sport athlete at Albert Einstein high school, Arnold Ebiketie played linebacker and wide receiver, and earned co-defensive player of the year for his 21.5 sack, 36 TFL performance his senior year. Also caught 3 touchdowns for 298 yards as wide out.

TE/DE Emil Moody [6’5” 210lbs] – Neumann-Goretti (PA)

A local pick up for the Owls, Emil Moody set a school season record with 17 sacks, also led his team in receiving in both his junior and senior seasons. A player with experience on both sides of the ball, coach Geoff Collins stressed the importance of position flexibility.

Courtesy: 247 Sports

DB Dearage ‘Ty’ Mason [5’10” 170lbs] – Blake (MD) 

A national record holder in the track and field long jump at indoor nationals with a jump of 23’5, Ty Mason finished his senior year with 8 interceptions and 36 solo tackles for coach DeShawn Anderson at James Hubert Blake High School. Was selected to compete in the 2016 Maryland Crab Bowl, also chosen to the All-MOCO and All-Met football teams. Will join a deep secondary unit that led the conference in pass defense last season.

LB Audley Isaacs [6’1” 210lbs ]- Valley Forge Military Academy

Courtesy: hudl.com

(PA)

Another local pickup for the Owls, Audley Isaacs played running back and linebacker at Valley Forge Military Academy. During his senior season, selected to the all Southeastern Pa. team at linebacker. Tallied 133 tackles to go along with 1,123 rushing yards in 2016. Selected to the Blue-Gray Regional combine.

WR Jadan Blue [5’11” 175lbs] – Peddie Prep (NJ)

The third Maryland recruit on the list, Jadan Blue played wide receiver and defensive back at Peddie Prep High in Hightstown, New Jersey. Blue finished his senior season with first team honors at receiver in both his conference and the Mid-Atlantic Prep League. Blue played just 5 games and tallied 23 catches for 457 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in 2016.

DL Ifeanyi Maijeh [6’2” 260lbs] – Poly Prep (NY)

A quarterback’s terror from the Big Apple, Ifeanyi Maijeh was named defensive MVP of the Ivy League conference his senior season, as well as being named first-team all city. Led his team with 9 sacks in 2016 and 7 TFL.

DB/WR Collin Washington [6’0” 170lbs] – Central (PA)

The city’s very own, Collin Washington played wide receiver for for Temple WR Rich Drayton of Central High. Also competed in track and field, and was part of first place 4×400 relay team at the Penn Relays during the 2016 outdoor season.

Courtesy: The Hour

OL James Makszin [6’4″ 285lbs] – Norwalk (CT)

The biggest of the 2017 recruiting class, James Makslin played offense and defensive lines and was named to the Walter Camp all-state first-team for offense in 2016. Also New Haven Register all-state first-team, CHCSA all-state, and All-Connecticut Region first team for defensive line.

DB Christian Braswell [5’10” 160lbs]  – Friendship Collegiate Academy (DC)

An addition from the state capital, Christian Braswell led his team to first DCSAA Class 2A title since 2012. Played wide receiver and defensive back, earning 2016All-USA D.C honors in 2016 at DB. Also named to the 2016 Senior Under Armour elite 100 that honors the top high school players in D.C and Maryland.

WR Jeremy Jennings [5’10″ 180lbs] – Downingtown (PA)

Coach Geoff Collins noted the special presence that is Jeremy Jennings in his press conference yesterday, and the 3-year starter at receiver has a record of 34-9 at Downingtown East High under head coach Michael Matta. Hauled in 45 catches for 480 yards and 8 touchdowns his senior season.  Also a track and field athlete.

LB Casey Williams [6’3” 220lbs] – South Philadelphia (PA)

Courtesy: Philly Tribune

Another running back and linebacker duo to add to Taver Johnson’s first year defensive unit, Casey Williams was selected to play in the Philadelphia City all-star game, where he then recorded 15 tackles and 2 rushing touchdowns. Played in just 4 games during his senior season.

Temple Adds Graduate Transfer Mike Jones of North Carolina Central

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Graduate Transfer Mike Jones joins Temple Football.Just one day before the NCAA’s February 1st signing day, head coach Geoff Collins and Temple Football added a decorated cornerback and return man to the program. Mike Jones, a native of Baltimore, Maryland- has 11 career INTs and over 600 punt return yards in his 3 seasons at North Carolina Central. In 2016, the team won the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference championship, while Jones was an All-MEAC selection at defensive back.

Jones announced he was leaving NC Central via his Instagram page in December 2016.

With plenty of success in the Mid-East Atlantic Conference also came with NFL draft possibilities. Entering this past bowl season, ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay said Jones “stands out to me as the best” of a list of late round draft choices. Instead of declaring for the 2017 NFL draft- Jones chose to play for Taver Johnson’s defense under Geoff Collins.

Temple’s defense graduated starting cornerback Nate Hairston after last season, and Jones will be primed to step into a starting role. Complete the secondary with safeties Sean Chandler and Delvon Randall, an opposing cornerback slot will be open for competition in the spring and summer- likely to be last year’s starter Artrel Foster. The unit that last year led the AAC in pass defense, and ranked nationally in opposing total pass yards per game allowed (150.2) and touchdowns allowed (13).

In 2016, Jones made 30 tackles and had two interceptions and five pass break-ups. As a returner, he averaged 22.0 yards per punt return with two touchdowns.

Matt Rhule Done at Temple, Accepts Head Coach Job at Baylor

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Temple Football received a startling blow this morning.

Three days after his team beat #19 Navy and claimed the AAC Championship, news broke this morning that Head Coach Matt Rhule had accepted a head coaching job at Baylor University. He will be taking over a program riddled with controversy the team’s handling of sexual assault cases with its players. Last May, Baylor fired head coach Art Briles in wake of the sexual assault scandal.

The Baylor Bears went 6-6 this season under acting head coach Jim Grobe, but Grobe will step down after Baylor’s game against Boise State in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl in December 27th.

Rhule had a 28-23 record during his tenure and led the Owls to their first major conference title since 1967. The Owls have won 10 games in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history.

Rhule was at the helm of the program’s resurgent resurrection. The first year at the helm in 2013, Rhule’s team went 2-10, including a heartbreaking loss to Fordham on a last second heave. Rhule constantly refers to that game as one of the turning points for the program and its players. The Owls improved to 6-6 in 2014, and then made a monumental leap the next year. In 2015, Rhule led the team to a win over Penn State for the first time in 74 years, a near upset of #9 Notre Dame ABC’s primetime game of the week, and a 10-2 record and a birth in the conference title game.

This season the Owls had made some serious noise lately as they are currently riding a 7 game winning streak, which includes a AAC Championship win against then ranked #19 Navy Midshipmen. The Owls are ranked #24 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.

Matt Rhule will not be coaching the Owls in their game against Wake Forest in the Military Bowl.

Temple assistant coach Ed Foley has been named the team’s interim head coach. Foley has coached at Temple for nine seasons and has held a variety of different positions. The interim coach has been the assistant head coach, tight ends coach, special teams cooridinator, Director of Football Operations, assistant offensive line coach, and a recruiting coordinator throughout his nine seasons. Foley has now endured three coaches in his tenure- as he was hired under Al Golden, around for Steve Addazio who left to accept a job with Boston College after two seasons, and of course Matt Rhule.

The Baylor Football website posted the following quote from Rhule, “I am truly honored and humbled to join the Baylor Family,” said Rhule, “and I can’t thank President Garland and Mack Rhoades enough for this incredible opportunity. Baylor is a tremendous institution with a history of football success and I know the passion that so many have for the Bears will help bring the community together to reach even greater heights. I am excited to get started.”

Director of Athletics Patrick M. Kraft spoke in front of the media at 1:30 this afternoon.

Kraft stated that “we have not gotten to that yet.” when he was asked if Rhule’s assistants would be going with him to Texas.

As far as the new head coaching search, Kraft gave no specific timetable.

“We are going to go out and get the best person for the job to continue this momentum.” said Kraft.

The Temple Football head coaching job is a more desirable job than it was four years ago when the Owls were among the worst in the college football. Patrick Kraft seemed excited during the press conference and willing to accept the challenge of finding a new coach. He wants to find the right person for the job more importantly and noted “this is not just an X’s and O’s job” as there are many factors to consider other than football.

Owls Tame Navy Rush Attack With Ease, Win AAC Title

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Phillip Walker celebrates after winning Most Outstanding Player of the game. // Credit: CSN Philly
Phillip Walker celebrates after winning Most Outstanding Player of the game. // Credit: CSN Philly

Matt Rhule became Temple’s first coach with consecutive 10-win seasons as Temple stunned the prolific Navy rushing offense on Saturday, 34-10. The Owls hoisted the American Athletic Conference championship trophy on Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for the first time, and with selection Sunday just a day away- the team should receive a huge boost in favoribility from this convincing win.

Temple’s offense set the tone early on as the game’s most outstanding player Phillip Walker orchestrated a 12 play, 75 yard drive that knocked over 5 minutes off of the game clock on the Owls opening drive. It was the 8th straight game Navy allowed an opening drive touchdown, and Walker wasn’t done there. The senior went on to cap the Owls next two drives with touchdowns- both through the air, one to Ventell Bryant and one to Keith Kirkwood.

Just like that the Owls were leading 21-0.

With a lull in production and a scoreless 3rd quarter for the Owls, the team needed a big showing from the counterparts on the other side of the ball to stay in contention.

The Owls defense did exactly that. Phil Snow’s unit came well prepared to deal with the triple option attack of Navy averaging 342 yards a game, and they held the midshipmen to just 168 yards. Will Worth left the game for good early in the second quarter, and the Navy offense had extreme trouble moving the ball effectively. Backup QB Zach Abey rushed for 111 yards just a week ago in his first action of the year, and it was his duty to keep pace against a red hot Temple defense.

Temple's defense held the top rushing offense in the country to just 3.8 yards per carry. // Credit: Capital Gazette
Temple’s defense held the top rushing offense in the country to just 3.8 yards per carry. // Credit: Capital Gazette

A defense that played the Midshipmen like very few teams have this season, holding the unit to season-lows in points and 3rd down percentage. Navy came into the game averaging over 40 points per game, and were converting a nations best 57% of 3rd downs. With noticeable confusion for most of the team’s pivotal plays, Temple forced Navy to a 43% (6 of 14) mark on 3rd down.

Before the game, it was a projected battle of time of possession, and ultimately the edge went to Temple. In particular, Temple’s 4th quarter drive of a whopping 7:01 ended with freshman walk-on Aaron Boumerhi’s most important field goal of the season, which deflated a once jovial crowd in Annapolis and extended Temple’s lead to 27-10.

The Owls were able to keep possession through 3 turnovers from the defense, exceptional play from the duo of Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Amstead- who scored 2 touchdowns combined in addition to 136 yards.

As Rhule made history for himself at Temple University, the Owls managed to elevate their status in collegiate football. Be sure to stay with the SportsDesk for selection Sunday to be filled in on exactly where the Owls will be continuing their historic season.

All On The Line For Temple Defense In Annapolis

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The Owls will look to keep their winning streak alive on Saturday.
The Owls will look to keep their winning streak alive on Saturday.

Temple Football (9-3, 7-1) is set to go to battle against #19 Navy (9-2, 7-1) on Saturday, as they will travel just south to Annapolis, Maryland. Kickoff is set for noon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, and the action will be nationally televised on ABC.

Headlining the show on the gridiron will be Navy’s esteemed rushing attack ranked second in college football, matched with a stingy Temple defense that has shut out 3 teams in its past 10 games. A win for the Midshipmen would mark its first conference championship in its 136-year history- being that the team was independent before joining the AAC last season.

The visiting Temple Owls come into the game with a lot of program firsts on the season. Temple has won a program record 19 games in its past two seasons, and the unit is headed to consecutive bowl games for the first time. Matt Rhule will be looking to win his 10th game of the season for a second straight year- and in doing so he’ll break yet another program record, as no coach in Temple history has won 10 games in back to back seasons.

The Owls will also be riding a 6-game win streak into Saturday, and the team has done most of their damage to opposing teams this season on the defensive side of the ball. Phil Snow’s defense has held all but 2 quarterbacks they’ve faced under 200 yards passing- averaging 145.8 yards per game, which is good for 2nd in the NCAA behind only Michigan. As far as total defense, the Owls rank 3rd nationally- allowing a measly 273.4 yards of opposing offense per game.

Navy is averaging 470 yards of offense per game, and they’ve tallied over 500 yards in 5 of their last 6 games. There has simply been no stopping this offense in 2016. Navy scored 75 points last week vs. SMU, and 66 the week before that- they seem to be seriously rolling at the wrong time for Temple.

 Quarterback Will Worth has been sensational for the Midshipmen this season, tallying a total of 25 touchdowns in the team’s 11 games. Worth is the same player who spent the entirety of last season as the holder for the Midshipmen, and spent this past summer leading in to the current season taking second-team reps at QB behind fellow senior Tago Smith. That was until Navy’s Week 1 victory over Fordham, Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury which granted the reigns to Worth- the 6’1″ 210 pound former high school linebacker.

Worth has rushed for over 100 yards in 7 straight games for the Midshipmen- a U.S Naval Academy program record. In addition, he’s rushed for at least one touchdown in all 11 games he’s played in this season which is good for second best in program history. At the helm of that record is last year’s sensation at quarterback for Navy- Keenan Reynolds. Reynolds scored in 14 straight games during a two year span, something senior Worth will not have the luxury of doing.
Keenan Reynolds rushed for 88 touchdowns in his career for Navy- the most rushing touchdowns in the history of the NCAA. // Credit: FOX Sports
Keenan Reynolds rushed for 88 touchdowns in his career for Navy- the most rushing touchdowns in the history of the NCAA. //
Credit: FOX Sports

When comparing stats, both Worth and Reynolds posted very similar single-season statistics running the triple option offense. Worth has already surpassed Reynolds in the passing yard department, with 1,363 yards- including 8 touchdowns. As far as rushing, Worth ranks 4th in the AAC in yards with 1,181 and 25 touchdowns. Only 3 other quarterbacks in college football history have scored more rushing touchdowns, one of them being Reynolds.

Trying to score points for Temple to counter the scoring of the Midshipmen will be an offense led by two seniors, and former high school teammates, QB Phillip Walker and HB Jahad Thomas. Read a profile on the duo here. The two have powered a unit that has averaged 440 yards of offense per game during their 6-game win streak, and has largely gone under the radar due to the Owls stellar defense. Something to note however:

Jahad Thomas has scored 2 touchdowns in 9 of his 10 games this season, and trails only Navy's Will Worth in scoring in the AAC. // Credit: New Day Review
Jahad Thomas has scored 2 touchdowns in 9 of his 10 games this season, and trails only Navy’s Will Worth in scoring in the AAC. // Credit: New Day Review

Phillip Walker has been in a walking boot, nursing his ankle, since the team won against East Carolina on Saturday although he is still expected to play. Matt Rhule said in his press conference he didn’t know the status of sophomore RB Ryquell Armstead- which puts more opportunity in the hands of Jahad Thomas. Thomas and Amstead have combined for 31 of the Owls 47 touchdowns this season.

The offense from the visiting team should keep rolling on Saturday, as the Navy defense has not been much to boast about this season.

The Midshipmen defense is allowing just over 30 points per game, including 440 yards per game of opposing offense, which ranks 8th (of 12) in the AAC. A majority of the hurt from the unit has came in the air- as opposing quarterbacks are averaging 265 yards passing per game.

With the Navy’s offensive attack against a rolling Temple defense- expect both teams to come out looking to make a statement, with serious bowl game implications on the line.

Temple’s Defense Rolling Into Navy

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Temple Football will face Navy on Saturday and the defensive unit for the Owls has been a crucial factor in their current 6-game win streak. Highlighted by two shutouts, the unit ranks 3rd in the nation in total yards allowed per game on the season. See how seniors on the defense plan to stop a Navy offense that’s scored 141 points in its past two games.

Watch: Temple Football’s Road to the Championship

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Following Temple Football’s Week 6 conference loss to Memphis, the Owls sat at 3-3 on the season, and still had 6 more games that were must win games if they wanted any chance at an AAC Championship game. The question looming was largely, where does this team go now?

That answer never meant anything to this unit. They went on to win all 6 of those games, with an astounding +115 point differential, and they earned a spot to play on national television against Navy on Saturday in the American Athletic Championship game on Saturday. In the Owls week 12 victory East Carolina, they hoisted the AAC East division title for the second straight season on Lincoln Financial Field.

Watch the SportsDesk’s 10-minute recap of Matt Rhule’s unit and their journey they took to reach the coveted championship game in 2016.

Temple Football’s One Shot To Clinch East Division

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The Owls celebrate their East Division title one year ago

Temple Football’s 2016 season has come down to just one game, as the Owls plan to hoist the AAC East division trophy on Lincoln Financial Field for the second straight season. The Owls will welcome the East Carolina Pirates (3-8, 1-6) Saturday at 7:30pm. With the season on the line, here are match-ups to watch for in the conference showdown:

ECU Air Attack vs. Stout Temple Secondary
East Carolina will come into the game with the 5th ranked pass offense in the nation, largely due to the duo of quarterback Phillip Nelson and record setting wide receiver Zay Jones.
Credit: 247 Sports
Credit: 247 Sports
In the Pirates 66-31 loss to Navy last week, Jones caught 12 passes and set the NCAA career receptions record with 392.
Jones, a senior wideout, has “quietly put together one of the most prolific seasons by a wide receiver in college football history,” according to Michael Weinreb of Bleacher Report in a recent feature story. He has 48 more receptions than any other FBS receiver in the country, and over 300 yards more than Oklahoma’s second place Dede Westbrook. Jones is currently the front runner, and one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff award, given to the nations top wide receiver.
Trying to slow down this passing game will be the second ranked pass defense in the nation, as Temple’s 142.6 pass yards allowed per game trails only #3 Michigan.
The owls secondary unit has held 8 of 10 quarterbacks faced this year under 200 yards passing, and have allowed just 10 passing touchdowns. Only 11 FBS teams in the nation have surrendered less passing touchdowns this season. Back to back shutouts for Temple’s defense have made things especially easy for OC Glenn Thomas and his offense.
Temple Offense vs. Dismal ECU Defense
Owls halfback Jahad Thomas trails only ECU’s Zay Jones in all purpose yards per game, and has 2 touchdowns in 8 of 9 games he’s played in this season. With 35 career rushing touchdowns, it trails only Bernard Pierce and Paul Palmer in Temple’s record books. The spark provided from Thomas has propelled a resurgent Temple offense that’s averaging 466.0 yards per game in its last 5 games.
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Walker will be relying heavily on Ventell Bryant, who has broken out over the recent weeks

Quarterback Phillip Walker has also been efficient, and he’s coming off of a 337 yard, 2 touchdown performance against Tulane. Walker’s favorite target as of late has been sophomore Ventell Bryant, who set career highs in catches (9) and receiving yards (168) last week. Bryant now has 32 receptions for 595 yards and 2 TD’s in the past 6 games, and 27 of his receptions have gone for first downs.

The East Carolina defense ranks above only USF in the AAC, allowing an average of 456.3 yards of offense per game. The unit also boasts conference-worsts in touchdowns (46) and rush yards allowed per game (226.0). Despite such a prominent offensive attack, ECU has dropped 8 of its last 9 games largely due to defensive deficiencies.

Temple Basketball 2016-2017 Full Roster Breakdown

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The 2016-2017 Temple basketball season is set start off with a Big-5 matchup against the Explorers of LaSalle on Friday night. Looking ahead at the season, just 4 members of the Owls current roster are seniors, leaving plenty of work to be done by underclassmen. Three of the four members of the senior class have been named captains for the season; as Josh Brown, Mark Williams and Daniel Dingle will bear the honors.

Following an AAC regular season championship, the Owls departed key contributors in Quenton Decosey (1st-Team all AAC), Jalen Bond (2nd-Team all AAC), and Devin Coleman (team-high 64 three-pointers). With the same goal in mind, here is the team’s roster breakdown by position for the season.

(** denotes projected starter)

Guards:

#1 Josh Brown

Credit: USA Today
Credit: USA Today

The senior captain suffered an Achilles tendon injury in May and is likely to miss a bulk of games in the 2016-2017 season. The 6-3 point guard was constantly on the floor last season, leading the AAC in minutes played with 36.2 per game, and did a fantastic job running the offense and taking care of the basketball. Brown’s 3.5 assist to turnover ratio was also tops in the AAC last year and his 8.3 point per game last season ranks second among the returning Owls. If Brown can get back to full strength and provide valuable minutes for the Owls this season it will improve the team dramatically and take some pressure off of some of the younger guards that will also be running the point.

#2 Alani Moore**

Credit: City of Basketball Love
Credit: City of Basketball Love

In the wake of the injury to Josh Brown and decision to redshirt sophomore Trey Lowe, Alani Moore will play meaningful minutes from the second he steps on the floor for the Owls. Moore, a Washington D.C. native, last played for the Friendship Collegiate Academy where he averaged 20 points and 10 assists. His ability to score along with his great court vision earned him a 3-star rating for both ESPN’s and Rival’s recruiting page. The 5-10 point guard is most likely to earn the most minutes out of Temple’s highly-touted freshman due to the injury of Josh Brown, and he will be manning the backcourt alongside sophomore Shizz Alston Jr..

#3 Shizz Alston Jr.**

Credit: USA Today
Credit: USA Today

In the 2015-2016 season, Alston averaged 2 points and 1 rebound in his 10 minutes per game. Alston showed glimpses of potential as he racked up 12 points against the University of North Carolina and 11 points versus the University of Wisconsin but the 6-4 guard’s minutes decreased as the season progressed. With the injuries and departures in the Owls’ backcourt, Alston will play a much bigger role this season, likely at the 2-guard position.

#11 Trey Lowe

The sophomore will be taking a medical redshirt this season as Lowe is still not fully recovered from the car accident he suffered back in February 2016. As a freshman, Lowe averaged 4.8 points in 12 minutes per game, including a 23-point performance against eventual National Champion Villanova. Lowe will not appear in games for the Owls in the 2016-2017 campaign but will act as a mentor for the younger guards that will take his place on the court.

#13 Quinton Rose

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Credit: Rivals

Rose is another freshman guard that will play meaningful minutes for the Owls right away. The 6-6 guard from Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester, NY was rated as a 4-star recruit by ESPN scouts and had offers from schools like Florida State, Miami, Penn State, and many more. In Rose’s senior year at Bishop Kearney, he averaged 23 points and 6 rebounds which would earn 2nd team All-State honors.

#15 Isaiah Lewis

A late addition to the roster, Lewis is eligible to play this season for the Owls after spending last season at Casper College (Wyoming) where he averaged 5.5 points and 2.2 assists in a limited role. Before his time at Casper, the 6-4 guard attended Lee Junior College in Texas where he averaged 10 points, 4.7 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. There is not much known about the well-traveled junior, but with such a young backcourt, Lewis could end up spending time on the court as he plays for his third school in three years.

#20 Steve Leonard

Also a late addition to the Owls, Leonard will get his first taste of Division 1 basketball after playing the last two seasons at Ursinus College where he averaged 5.6 points over his 43 game career. The 6-6 native from Collegeville, PA is likely to have a practice squad role this season.

#22 Mike Robbins

Credit: City of Basketball Love
Credit: City of Basketball Love

Robbins walked onto the Owls in the 2014-2015 season and is one of the four seniors on this year’s squad. A Lower Merion graduate, Robbins has scored six points in 18 minutes throughout his career as a member of the Temple Men’s Basketball team. 

#32 Ayan Nunez de Carvalho

Nunez de Carvalho was the fourth member of Temple’s recruiting class of 2015, but the Argentinian guard redshirted his freshman season. The 6-6 shooting guard continues the pipeline that connect Argentina to North Philadelphia like former players Pepe Sanchez and Juan Fernandez had done in the past for the Owls. Coach Dunphy has been quoted saying that Nunez de Carvalho is made strides from last season and has largely adapted to the American style of basketball.

Forwards:

#0 Obi Enechionya**

Credit: The Empire
Credit: The Empire

Enechionya is the leading scorer for all returners with his 11 points per game last season and is one of the two returning starters from last year’s AAC regular season championship team. Enechionya had a lot of success from behind the arc last season, shooting 38.6% from 3, and became a prolific scorer down the stretch for the Owls as he posted double digits in points in 12 of the final 15 games. The 6-10 forward from Springfield, VA also is a huge shot-blocker on the defensive end. In the last two seasons Enechionya has 75 rejections and nearly averaged 1 block per game last year. With so many question still needed to be answered heading into the home opener, Enechionya can be the “go-to-guy” for the Owls’ offense and will be a serious matchup problem for opposing teams with his great size and ability to hit long-range jumpers.

#4 Daniel Dingle**

Credit: City of Basketball Love
Credit: City of Basketball Love

A redshirt senior, Dingle returns for his final season as an Owl as one of the three seniors that were elected captains. Dingle has started 25 games for the Owls over the last two seasons and will bring a veteran presence to the inexperienced Owls. As a junior, Dingle averaged 4.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game while racking up 20 minutes per contest. Throughout his tenure, the 6-7 swingman from the Bronx has struggled with being a consistent shooter. In the 2015-2016 season, Dingle had great games where he was hot from behind the arc, like his 15 point night against UCONN and 14 points in only 16 minutes against SMU, but then there were some not-so great games. Daniel Dingle will got plenty of shots this season, and he will be poised for a huge year if he can bump up his shooting percentages from all over the floor.

#10 Mark Williams

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

The senior forward, who was also elected captain, will see an increase and minutes and play a larger role compared to last season. Williams averaged 3.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in his junior year, but also only saw the court for 9.5 minutes per game, the lowest Williams has had while at Temple. When Williams sw action, he was efficient as he shot 43.8% from the floor during the 2015-2016 season. At 6-8, Williams can also space the floor as he knocked down 11 three-pointers last season at a 32.4% clip. With no Jalen Bond and Quenton Decosey, who combined averaged nearly 15 rebounds per game, Mark Williams needs to be a beast on the boards to make up for their key departures. Due to increased minutes and more touches in the offense, expect Williams to play a huge role for the Cherry and the White.

Centers:

#23 Damion Moore

Moore is the largest member of Temple’s freshman class, and at 6 foot 11 inches and 225 pounds, he will be quite a force down low in the paint. The center from Jackson, Mississippi played his senior season for Callaway High School where he averaged 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block per contest. It is likely that Moore will play behind sophomore Ernest Aflakpui but expect to see the freshman on the court for the Owls this season.

#24 Ernest Aflakpui**

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The sophomore center from Archbishop Carroll (Pa) is the largest member of the Owls at 6-10 and 240 pounds. Aflakpui saw action in 17 games last season, including 6 consecutive starts during AAC play. As a freshman, Aflakpui averaged 1.7 points and 2 boards per game. In the two games where the Ghana native played heavy minutes he was very productive. Against East Carolina, he scored 8 points and grabbed 10 boards in 25 minutes, and at Cincinnati Aflakpui posted 6 points and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes. Expect Aflakpui to play a bigger role this season and be the Owls’ rim protector and shot-blocker.

 

Defense Records First Conference Shutout, Blanks UConn 21-0

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Ventell Bryant snags one of his three catches on the night. (Courtesy: The Courant)

Temple Football (7-3, 5-1) sprinted out of the gates on Rentschler Field Friday night, and took down the Huskies of the University of Connecticut (3-7, 1-6) by a final of 21-0. This marks the 4th straight win for the Owls, and they have just 2 more must-win games on their 6-game conference stretch to win the AAC East division.

Phillip Walker became the first quarterback in Temple Football history to reach 2,000 yards passing in 4 straight seasons just over 4 minutes into game action. He drove the Owls 75-yards on the opening drive that ended in a 23-yard touchdown reception from Jahad Thomas. Walker went 3/3 on the drive, accounting for all 75 yards.

It took 170 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 8 straight completions before Walker threw his first incompletion (an interception), and he finished 12/18 with 215 yards and 2 INT’s, along with his 3 TD’s.
Temple’s 21 points on its first three drives were the only points on the evening by either team.
The first 3 drives for Temple resulted in touchdown passes from Walker; Two to Thomas, and one to senior TE Romond Deloatch.
The Owls rushing attack of Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Armstead was effective once again, totaling 216 yards on 37 carries. In all of Temple’s 7 wins this season, the offense has rushed for at least 150 yards. Jahad Thomas was also dynamic in the pass game, hauling in 4 passes for 72 yards and 2 TD’s- all in the first half. Sophomore wide receiver Ventell Bryant led the Owls in receiving for the 4th game in a row, tallying 82 yards on 4 receptions.
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The Temple defense held UConn’s top receiver, Noel Thomas, to four catches for 32 yards (Courtesy: The Courant)
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The defense was swarming all night. (Courtesy: The Courant)

Lucky for the offense, there wasn’t much urgency to score the ball as the Temple defense continued to prove why they are one of the top units in the conference. Phil Snow’s group held the Huskies to just 160 total yards. UConn came into the night averaging just over 235 yards passing and 126 yards rushing. They were held to 69 passing yards, and 90 rushing yards.

It was the first ever shutout for Temple Football against an AAC team.

The Owls are heading into their first bye week of the year next week, and will resume action November 19th in New Orleans against Tulane (3-5, 0-4).