Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Don't Cry For Temple

A look at the careers of Temple's two Argentinian imports.

Don't Cry For Temple

( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )
( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer ) Daily News/Inquirer

“Juan ‘Pepe’ Sanchez with a jump shot.” — Davidson coach Bob McKillop in 2008, describing new Temple recruit Juan Fernandez

Just because they were from the same country (Argentina), stood at the same height (6-foot-4), wore the same uniform number (4) and played the same position (point guard) at the same college (Temple) does not mean that it’s fair to compare Sanchez and Fernandez ... but we’ll do it anyway.

While Fernandez (right) — who played his last game in cherry and white last March 16 — generated more points himself and shot better from the field, the arc and the foul line, Sanchez had a much more rounded game. He had higher averages in rebounds, assists and steals. (And, by the way, both finished with exactly 11 blocked shots.)

Sanchez racked up two first team All-Atlantic 10 selections, as well as a third team and an all-rookie honor. Fernandez, who didn’t join the Owls until 11 games into his freshman season, was third team twice and was honorable mention once.

Although Fernandez’s Owls finished with better records and more conference titles (two to one), both players managed to go to four NCAA Tournaments, where Sanchez’s teams fared much better (five wins to one).

Here are how they career numbers compare:


  Pepe Sanchez Juan Fernandez
Bahia Blanca,
Rio Tercero,
Height 6-4 6-4
Seasons 1996-97 to 99-00 2008-09 to 11-12
Temple's Overall W-L 92-37 (.713) 101-36 (.737)
   Atlantic 10 RS 50-14 52-12
   A10 Tournament 8-3 (1 title) 7-2 (2 titles)
   NCAA Record 5-4 1-4
Games Played 116 119
   Games DNP 23 18
Points (Avg.) 982 (8.47) 1247 (10.48)
   Field Goals (Pct.) 337-989 (34.1%) 425-1083 (39.2%)   
   3-Pt. Field Goals (Pct.)    150-508 (29.5%)    207-515 (40.2%)
   Free Throws (Pct.) 158-217 (72.8%) 190-239 (79.5%)
Rebounds (Avg.) 551 (4.75) 301 (2.53)
Assists (Avg.) 689 (5.94) 423 (3.56)
Rebounds 11 11
Steals (Avg.) 364 (3.15) 96 (0.81)
Bob Vetrone Jr.
About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

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Reach Bob at vetronb@phillynews.com.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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