Owls have inside track to Worthem

One of Philadelphia’s top basketball talents, Jeremiah ‘Lump’ Worthem is attracting attention from the University of Pittsburgh, Maryland and Louisiana State.

But unless something drastically changes, getting the 6-foot-6 swingman will be nothing more than wishful thinking for those power-conference programs.

If he had to pick a school now, “most likely it would be Temple,” said Worthem, a sophomore at the Math, Civics & Sciences Charter School. “I went to a lot of their games.  And that’s who’s been showing me the most interest out of everybody.”

He added that his familiarity with Temple’s style of play and his relationships with several Owls players are extra bonuses.  Perhaps his tightest bond is with junior shooting guard Ramone Moore. Worthem lives at 21st and McKean in South Philly, not far from where Moore grew up.

“Ramone came to a few of my games,” Worthem said. “I’ve known him since he went to South Philly High.”

The Owls are expected to formerly offer him in the coming weeks when he takes a yet-to-be scheduled unofficial visit to campus.  Drexel, St. Joseph’s, La Salle and Rice have already offered the player who averaged 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.5 steals for the PIAA Class A state champion Mighty Elephants.

Worthem isn’t bothered that Temple is taking longer than other area schools to make an offer.

“I know that it’s coming,” he said.

Wanting to take his time, Worthem doesn't plan to make an oral commitment to a college until the summer of 2012. As a result, he will probably get recruited by more programs from the Big East, Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conferences.  

Will the lure of playing in a power conference ultimately outweigh his love for Temple, an Atlantic Ten power?

“I’m not sure yet,” said Worthem, who used to dream about playing in the Big East and ACC. “I will talk to everyone that’s around me and see what fits my game best in the best situations.”

At this particular moment, power-conference recruiters might have a tough time convincing him that Temple isn’t the best situation.

“I like the coach,” Worthem said of Fran Dunphy. “He lets the players do what they do. They play structured basketball, but he lets them have fun.”

Keith Pompey