Owls to celebrate 25th anniversary of 1987-88 team

It was 25 years ago this week when the first Big 5 team rose to No. 1 in the polls. That would be John Chaney's great 1987-88 Temple team. (AP file photo)

Temple will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its 1987-88 men’s basketball team during a halftime ceremony at Sunday’s game against 21st-ranked Virginia Commonwealth at the  Liacouras Center. Most of the former players from that team will be on hand.

The 1987-88 team finished the regular season ranked No. 1, advanced the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament and had a 32-2 record.

“This is arguably the greatest team in the history of Temple basketball,” athletic director Bill Bradshaw said in a statement. “No other team in the sixth-winningest program in NCAA history won more games and was ranked higher that the 1987-88 Owls.

“So it is with great pleasure that we honor this star-studded team and Hall of Fame coachJohn Chaney on its silver anniversary.”

The squad won its first 14 games before suffering a one-point loss at No. 8 UNLV. Temple responded by winning its next 18 games before falling to Duke in the regional final.

The Owls starting lineup at the time was freshman guard Mark Macon, senior guard Howard Evans,  senior forward Tim Perry, junior forward Mike Vreeswyk and senior center Ramon Rivas.

The other members of the team were Derrick Brantley, Duane Causwell, Jerome Dowdell, Shawn Johnson, Tom Katsikis, Darrin Pearsall, Ernest Pollard and Shoun Randolph.