10. DMX at every game
Come early for introductions, you’ll get to hear DMX’s “Party up” every time. That’s what’s “up in here.”
This season the Owls will square off against national powerhouses Vanderbilt, Mississippi, Rutgers and Kentucky. The Owls will also play host to Big 5 schools Pennsylvania, Villanova, St. Joseph’s and La Salle.
8. Assistant Coach Ed Baldwin
Baldwin was brought in this year not only to fill the void left by Shawn Campbell, but also to monitor the progress of the team on and off the court. Baldwin has plenty of experience, a knack for recognizing talent, and a winning attitude that will be a perfect fit for the Owls.
7. National exposure
Besides having Dawn Staley, one of the best point guards in the world, as their head coach, the Owls also have a star point guard in Stacey Smalls, who looks to have a breakout year. The team also has the reigning Atlantic-10 Rookie of the Year in Christine Cruz who is recovering from a foot injury. The Owls have shown up in several pre-season polls, including Basketball News, which ranked the Owls 46th of the top 64 teams.
Staley stresses conditioning, claiming her team is in top shape and is already a step ahead of others. The Owls love the man-to-man straight-up-in-your-face-defense and will often press and trap full court, which will make the game exciting on its own.
5. Fast-paced Offense
Centered around the transition game, the Owls will look to push the ball up court for easy buckets. They also have a sound perimeter game with the sharp top-of-the-key shooting of seniors Athena Christoforakis and Lisa Jakubowicz. And of course there is Smalls, who will be the floor general.
Temple has several diaper dandies that could be in the rotation by mid-season. Look for 6-foot-3-inch center Heather Jones and swingwoman Ari Moore to make an impact. Both can crash the boards, and are learning how to use their bodies. Guard Cynthia Jordan and center Rachel Marcus can also provide some lift off the bench.
3. Title contenders
Maybe not the NCAA, but the A-10 championship is well in reach for the Owls, but they will have to go through defending champs Xavier and the rest of the conference, which should be a fight.
2. Dawn Staley
The list would not be complete without her. Since joining the Owls, the team has done a complete 360 with its first winning season in over a decade. Staley is a public figure and a role model not only for her players, but also with young women across the country as well.
1. Respect women’s bball
The Owls’ home attendance was at its best last season, as they drew an average of 1,279 fans. The Lady Owls work just as hard as the men do and surely wouldn’t mind a little support.