Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Owls will have a deep bench this season

NEW YORK -- For years Temple’s basketball team has operated with a limited rotation but this season the Owls have something that coach Fran Dunphy isn’t used to – depth.

Owls will have a deep bench this season

NEW YORK -- For years Temple’s basketball team has operated with a limited rotation but this season the Owls have something that coach Fran Dunphy isn’t used to – depth.

“We’re deeper than I have been as a college basketball coach and I have to figure out a way to manage it and will study other teams and see how they distribute minutes,” Dunphy said during Atlantic-10 media day at the Barclays Center, home of the conference tournament.

Dunphy says the decision on how minutes are appropriated will actually be made by the players.

“In the end it figures itself out,” he said. “The best five will present themselves and hopefully I will do a good job of managing minutes.”

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It’s a pleasant problem for Dunphy, but it won’t be easy. It seems as if every player he was asked about, was somebody Dunphy said could make a big contribution.

For instance sophomore point guard Will Cummings, who averaged 6.3 minutes, could have a much bigger role.

“He has put himself in a position to be playing a lot of minutes,” Dunphy said.

What will determine his time will be how well Cummings takes care of the ball.  Dunphy said Cummings quickness could allow the Owls to push the ball up more, but that would be negated if he doesn’t pose a favorable assist-to-turnover ratio.

After averaging 17.1 points and 33 minutes, Khalif Wyatt is one player who will be on the court a lot. The same is the case for 6-6 Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, who averaged 33.9 minutes.

Player such as 6-9 sophmore Anthony Lee, who started 17 games, Cummings, and 6-6 senior Scootie Randall, who missed last season due to a  knee injury, should see their share of minutes.

Dunphy also mentioned that T.J. DiLeo, who averaged 16.5 minutes, could see extended time this year.

And we haven’t even gotten to West Virginia transfer and Pennsbury product Dalton Pepper, the 6-5 junior who Dunphy says is still getting adjusted to a new system, but labeled him a potential starter.

In addition, there are three freshmen, 6-6 Quenton DeCosey, 6-7 Daniel Dingle (preseason All-A-10 Rookie team) and 6-10 Devontae Watson, who will be vying for minutes.

No wonder the Owls received two first place votes in the preseason coaches/media poll where they were predicted to finish fourth.

“The exciting part about coaching college is putting these teams together on a yearly basis,” Dunphy said. “It’s been fun to work with these guys so far.”

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. Reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com.

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