This is the player that Temple coach Fran Dunphy has been waiting to see. Now the only question is when Owls fans will see more of Texas transfer Jaylen Bond.
Bond, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, played his best game so far Sunday in Temple's 70-56 victory over LIU Brooklyn at the Liacouras Center, finishing with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds as Temple rallied from a sluggish start to keep the Blackbirds winless.
Bond, widely regarded as the team's starting power forward as soon as he decided to transfer here, sprained his right ankle one week before the season opener. The injury is the main factor Bond has yet to break into the starting lineup.
After the game, Dunphy said he had planned on starting Bond against the Blackbirds. However, Bond turned the ankle again on Friday, forcing Dunphy to rearrange his plans.
"It could happen at any time," Dunphy said. "Listen, if he goes for 13 rebounds off the bench, I'm not overly concerned. But he's finishing games. He may want to start, but we'll talk about it. He's a pretty mature kid. His first thought is let's be the best team we can be no matter what my role is, and I appreciate that."
A former Plymouth Whitemarsh star, Bond said his ankle is "somewhere around 90" percent. Bond said he hasn't been overly concerned about his slow start. He added that he experienced a similar injury at Texas that has helped him deal with his current situation.
"It hasn't been too frustrating," Bond said. "I'm just going to continue to focus on being aggressive and doing the things that my team needs me to do."
Quenton DeCosey led Temple (4-2) with 15 points. Will Cummings added nine points and a career-high 10 rebounds, and Josh Brown finished with 11 points. Dana Dingle pulled down a career-high eight boards.
Landon Atterberry led the Blackbirds (0-4) with 13 points.
After making just 33.0 percent of their shots - including an ugly 1-for-15 showing from behind the three-point line - the Owls trailed by 34-27 at halftime.
Temple took command in the second half, when it outscored the Blackbirds, 43-22. The Owls went ahead for good, 46-45, on DeCosey's three-pointer with 14:01 left in the game.