Opening our Temple basketball season at the Charleston Classic allowed our program the opportunity to play three games in three days. That is great in one sense and hard in another. It gives our team an early sense of what a tournament will be like, with three quick games. The players have to make adjustments, which will help them later on in the season. It is a great learning experience. No coach really likes playing three games in three days. As a coach, you would like to space the games out a little more. For example, we had an injury Sergio Olmos. We ended up losing him for three games due to the setting, where, in a normal three-game stretch, he misses just one game.
Overall, though, I think the Charleston trip was a positive experience for us. I think we played fairly well to start the season. We will look at the Clemson tape and learn much about ourselves that will help our program grow. We just didn’t finish some of the plays that we should have finished in two specific stretches of the game; otherwise we would have come out with a victory. But overall I think Charleston is a terrific city, it’s always nice to be involved in an ESPN-sponsored tournament, and it was a positive experience for us.
The biggest benefit we got out of it as a team was that we now know that we can count on a guy like Ramone Moore coming off the bench and providing some scoring punch, much like Ryan Brooks and Chris Clark did for us last year. We also got some valuable minutes from Mike Eric. He needs to play. That’s the biggest thing for him right now. Craig Williams actually did some good things against East Tennessee State, and also a couple things not so good against Charleston. Both players are learning. Also, T J DiLeo saw time against Clemson and Scootie Randall got a run against East Tennessee State. We need to get these kids in the game and see what they can do in pressure situations.