A more confident player emerges at Temple

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Butler's Rotnei Clarke (15) is pressured by Temple's Will Cummings (2) and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (32) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Indianapolis. Butler defeated Temple 83-71. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Temple point guard Will Cummings showed a glimpse on Saturday that he might be capable of filling the giant void left by Juan Fernandez's departure.

Fernandez averaged 10.9 points and 3.6 assists in his four-year career at Temple before he signed to play professionally in Italy in April.

Replacing Fernandez was no easy task for Cummings. He averaged just 5.5 points through 28 games while struggling in his role. Reserve point guard T.J. DiLeo - not Cummings - saw most of the late-game action.

Not Saturday.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder made 6 of 7 shots to finish with a career-high 15 points in a 76-70 victory over Rhode Island. Cummings also had four steals in 33 minutes of action. He had scored just three points in each of the previous three games and averaged 18 minutes in those contests.

"I was just playing with the confidence that I know I have and not really thinking twice about doing stuff on the court," he said of Saturday's game.

Indecisive play had been Cummings' biggest problem. He didn't seem to know whether to shoot or pass. That often led to mistakes. As a result, it led to his seeing limited action.

"I was just playing with the freedom in my mind, and playing basketball how I know how to play it," Cummings said. "That was the big difference."

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