Junior guard’s play is leading to success for Temple men’s basketball

Nate Pierre-Louis leads the Owls in offensive and defensive stats after three games.

Junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis fends off freshman guard Ayinde Hikim during the Owls’ game against La Salle at the Tom Gola Arena on Nov. 16. | NICK DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Nate Pierre-Louis has been leading the charge for Temple University men’s basketball (3-0) on both sides of the court.

In three games this season, the junior guard leads the Owls with 18.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. Not only is he averaging a double-double, but he also has recorded four consecutive double-doubles dating back to last season.

“I’m just trying to do what I do well and that’s rebounding and defending every single day,” Pierre-Louis said after Temple’s win against Morgan State University (2-2) on Nov. 9.

“Scoring for me is gonna happen. I’m trying to be the best defender and rebounding guard in the country,” Pierre-Louis added. “I’m just trying my best to do that every single day.”

Pierre-Louis started the streak when he recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds in a 70-81 loss to Belmont University in the NCAA Tournament First Four in March.

He started this season with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 70-62 win over Drexel (2-3) on Nov. 5. He followed that up with 19 points and 11 rebounds in a 75-57 win against Morgan State.

Most recently, Pierre-Louis recorded 21 points and 12 rebounds in a 70-65 win over La Salle (1-2) on Saturday.

Pierre-Louis leads the team with 33 overall rebounds and 24 defensive rebounds. The second-closest player in rebounds is junior forward J.P. Moorman II, who has 19 overall rebounds and 14 defensive rebounds.

Pierre-Louis has also contributed defensively with 13 steals this season. 

His ability to create turnovers and opportunities for the Owls to score fast-break points has helped Temple get to a 3-0 start.

“[Pierre-Louis] anchors that defense for us,” said coach Aaron McKie after Temple’s win against Morgan State. “He spearheads it. Guys seem like they’re buying into it.”

In every game this season, the Owls have held an advantage in points off turnovers over their opponents, outscoring their opponents 61-32 in points off turnovers. This includes a 27-2 margin against Morgan State.

Pierre-Louis has been leading the defensive unit this season. He has 35 percent of Temple’s 37 steals this season.

Pierre-Louis is the only Temple player with double-digit steals this season. Senior guard Alani Moore II, who has seven, comes closest to Pierre-Louis in steals.

“Most teams’ identity is defense early on in the year until your offense catches up,” McKie said after Temple’s win against La Salle. “They’re learning a new system. This is completely different for them…defensively, we wanna continue getting after teams.”

Freshman guard Josh Pierre-Louis, Nate Pierre-Louis’ brother, sees similarities in their defensive games. The only difference Josh Pierre-Louis sees in their games is how his brother likes to attack the rim and get to the free-throw line, he said. 

Nate Pierre-Louis leads the team in free throws made and attempted, going 19-of-30 at the free-throw line this season.

“Nate [Pierre-Louis is] more of a deep threat,” Josh Pierre-Louis said on Oct. 29. “He can post you up and put you in the post. He likes more contact.”

Nate Pierre-Louis was named one of the three captains along with Moorman and senior guard Quinton Rose. 

Nate Pierre-Louis takes pride in being a captain and improving his play, he said.

“I’ve always wanted to be a captain since the first time I came to Temple University,” Nate Pierre-Louis said on Oct. 29. “I really take it to heart, so I just try my hardest to be the best leader and the best captain I can be every single day.”

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