Temple senior point guard Will Cummings won't proclaim himself 100 percent, but he's getting there, and the Owls are clearly following his lead on both ends of the court.
Not only is Cummings the floor leader, but he is also the defensive catalyst for a Temple team that will continue to make its NCAA tournament push while hosting Tulane in Saturday's noon American Athletic Conference game at the Liacouras Center.
On Jan. 7, Temple (14-7 overall, 5-3 AAC) earned a 64-56 win at Tulane (13-8, 4-5).
Cummings suffered a strained muscle in his lower left leg in a 63-56 loss to Tulsa on Jan. 10. He played hobbled the next game against SMU, then was sidelined against Cincinnati, both losses.
Cummings played 28 effective minutes in a 73-48 win over the University of South Florida, and then had 14 points and three assists and no turnovers in Wednesday's 86-62 win at Central Florida.
"Some days I feel sore and I am still not 100 percent, but when game time comes, I am ready to go," Cummings said.
According to Cummings, he is doing almost every drill in practice, but once in a while will still need a brief rest.
His presence has been the major reason for Temple winning convincingly the last two games.
"Overall, our numbers are good defensively when Will is in there," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "He has a real good feel defensively and we missed that when he was out."
In the first game against Tulane, Temple limited the Green Wave to 6-of-24 shooting from beyond the arc. Tulane also wasn't able to drive freely to the basket and much of that has to do with Cummings' on-the-ball defense.
"Will does the best job on our team of keeping his man in front of him," Dunphy said.
Cummings enjoyed Wednesday's home coming. The game was played in Orlando, about 90 minutes from his home in Jacksonville.
Cummings said about 30 friends and family attended the game.
"It was a nice experience," he said.
Better yet, he says it is even nicer to be back on the court to quarterback the offense and defense.