Saturday, February 6, 2016

Temple's big three are all clutch performers

NEWARK, Del. – Someone asked Temple coach Fran Dunphy why did Khalif Wyatt take the crucial three-point shot against Delaware with 30 seconds left.

Temple's big three are all clutch performers

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Khalif Wyatt hit a crucial three-pointer for Temple on Friday night in their win over Delaware. (David Swanson/Staff file photo)
Khalif Wyatt hit a crucial three-pointer for Temple on Friday night in their win over Delaware. (David Swanson/Staff file photo)

NEWARK, Del. – Someone asked Temple coach Fran Dunphy why did Khalif Wyatt take the crucial three-point shot against Delaware with 30 seconds left.

Dunphy could have easily answered, ‘Why not?’

“We can almost take turns with the three of those guys,” he said of Temple’s three starting guards, Wyatt, Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore, after Friday’s 66-63 victory at the Bob Carpenter Center.

 “They all can make shots,” Dunphy added. “They all have the confidence in themselves to do good work. It doesn’t make much difference in terms of who is going to take the tough shot at the end.”

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Wyatt’s confidence was on full display against the Blue Hens (6-4).

Despite having a horrid shooting night, the 6-foot-4 junior guard didn’t think twice about firing the three-point attempt. And that was a good thing for the Owls, as Wyatt’s basket gave them a 64-63 cushion.

Afterward, he grabbed the defensive rebound on a three-point shot. He followed by making a pair of foul shots that gave Temple (9-3) a three-point cushion with 5.8 seconds to play.

The Norristown High graduate was 1 of 10 from the field before the three-pointer.

But Wyatt, who finished with seven points, completes the Atlantic Ten’s best backcourt. The three players almost always create matchups problems for other teams. And like Dunphy said, they are all capable of making game-winning shots.

As a result, opposing teams can’t focus too heavily on stopping one of them in crucial situations. If they do that, the other two players will have easy opportunities to hit game-winners.

For Temple, this is a huge blessing.  

Staff Writer
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About this blog
Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004. He took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering the Temple basketball and football for the previous three years. Pompey also previously covered the Penn and Drexel men’s basketball team and Villanova football team after initially focusing on high school sports.

Pompey is a native Philadelphian and a University of Pittsburgh graduate. Follow him on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers or reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com.

Keith Pompey Staff Writer
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