Put your tails between your legs, you naysayers of Chaney.
You fools counted Temple basketball out too soon and called its coach an old crank afraid to change his ways. You non-believers that posted on message boards that coach John Chaney should be ousted; his prehistoric coaching methods banned.
Walk into the Liacouras Center Saturday and watch as Temple continues its turnaround against UMass. Watch how the 70-year old coach you once thought was down for the count continues to amaze. Realize that Temple basketball isn’t about winning in the early stages, it’s about learning how to win when it counts.
Temple basketball is about taking butt whippings in December so that when March comes, it’s Temple whipping butt.
Remember, you Chaney-doubters, this is not just some old man walking back and forth on a basketball court, this is a Hall of Famer. He didn’t get to where he’s at by changing his defensive schemes every-other game.
But, don’t be fooled, he is capable of occasional change. Against Saint Joseph’s, Temple switched from its usual 1-3-1 matchup zone to a 1-2-2 “ball zone.” Tired of getting knocked around with 3-pointers, Chaney used a defense capable of stopping the outside shot. They stopped the shot and won the game.
“It’s not a matter of skill,” Chaney said. “You want to see that progress in the way they think.”
So what now, you sickening finger pointers? You disbelievers that say his time has past?
Temple is 10-13 and coming together as a team. Injuries have subsided and the lineup that should have been on the court at the beginning of the season is finally playing together.
Temple has won four of its last five, including last night’s 71-67 loss to LaSalle. The remaining schedule is tough, with games against UMass, Xavier, St. Bonaventure, Dayton and Saint Joseph’s. Temple will still probably have to win the Atlantic 10 tournament to make it to the NCAA’s.
But lessons have been learned from bad losses to St. Bonaventure, UMass and Richmond. The defense is again impressive. They’re coming together.