Monday, July 6, 2015

'We'll watch every play of the game'

Temple coach Fran Dunphy was forthright after the Owls were blown out by No. 1 Kansas, 84-52, at the Liacouras Center.

'We'll watch every play of the game'

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On any number of occasions in the past, we have seen Fran Dunphy express displeasure with his team's performance during a game.

But once the final horn sounds, Dunphy always steps to the podium and speaks with the composure of a Center City steakhouse sommelier.

(Look it up.)

Dunphy was his usual calm self again yesterday, despite the 84-52 pounding his Temple Owls took from No. 1-ranked Kansas. There was, however, one brief moment when he revealed just what was really on his mind.

I asked Dunphy whether it would be nice to have a relatively quick turnaround from this game to Wednesday's showdown with St. Joe's.

"This may be the best thing that happened to us, to play this quality of team - it lets us know how hard we have to work," Dunphy replied. "We'll watch this film, though."

And then he added, enunciating each word:

"We'll watch every... single... play of the game."

You'll see it in the video player below, and you'll hear it in the audio player. The point was pretty clear, even if the Jayhawks really were and are that good.

Does it mean that Temple isn't as good as we thought? It certainly doesn't speak well when your opponent shoots 54.5 percent from the field and you only shoot 25 percent. Nor is it good when you're 5-29 from three-point range and your opponent is 7-13.

Kansas attempted 42 two-point field goals, while Temple attempted 35. The teams were pretty even from the free throw line, with the Jayhawks taking 19 shots and the Owls taking 20.

But there were 48 rebounds to be had at the end of the floor Temple was attacking, and Kansas pulled down 35 of them. The Jayhawks also grabbed eight of the 26 boards to be had when they were on offense.

Fourteen of the 15 players Bill Self used got a rebound, with Cole Aldrich's 10 the individual high. That's pretty impressive.

Alrich also had 10 points and three blocks. Xavier Henry was the game's high scorer with 15 points, while Sherron Collins tallied 14 and Marcus Morris 13. Ryan Brooks and Juan Fernandez where Temple's leading scorers with 11 points each, and Lavoy Allen scored 10.

It should be noted that of Collins' 14, his first seven were Kansas' first seven points of the game. Collins set the tempo, and as Self said afterwards, Collins' performance was the kind of thing that "takes the lid off of it for everybody else."

"When that happens, it loosens everybody else up," Self added. "That's what you've got to do in order to get confidence on the road."

This certainly is not the end of the world for Temple. And with St. Joe's having lost at home to Princeton earlier in the day, I can't help thinking that the next few practices on Hawk Hill aren't going to be fun.

I'll ask the question anyway, though: How much do you think this game will affect Temple going forward?
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About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Jonathan Tannenwald
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