The men’s senior forward and women’s junior forward excel.
Is Lavoy Allen back?
Last season, Allen became the first Temple player to average a double-double since Ollie Johnson accomplished the feat in 1972. Allen’s on-court performance earned him a spot on the USA Select team over the summer and placed him on the watch list for the Wooden Award, an honor given annually to the nation’s best player.
Against Charlotte and St. Joseph’s, Allen looked a lot like his old self. He fought hard for offensive rebounds, completed stick-backs and finally utilized some of his range along the baseline.
One of the reasons Allen has been unable to perform at his expected level, night in and night out, has been his conditioning, he said.
“I don’t think I was running the floor well,” Allen said. “I think that’s why my rebounding was down, and I wasn’t really going after offensive rebounds like I had been in the past. So just getting in better shape has allowed me to get to the backboard the last couple games.”
I’m not expecting Allen to post a double-double every night. Would that help the team’s chances the rest of the season? Of course. But it’s not likely to happen.
What I do expect from Allen, however, is for him to keep focused the rest of the season. He needs to make a deliberate effort to go after offensive rebounds in a smart manner. A solid portion of his points come from put-backs, and when Allen starts dominating the offensive glass, that can be disheartening for the opposing team.
If Allen can do that, the Owls can expect consistent production from him, something that will force opposing defenses to plan for him. Opposing coaches who spend too much time focusing on Allen instead of players, such as sophomore guard Khalif Wyatt or junior guards Ramone Moore and Juan Fernandez, will not find success as easily on the court.
I’d be doing this column an injustice if I didn’t mention how successful the women’s basketball team has been.
Since Atlantic Ten Conference play started, the Owls have been dominant. They’ve yet to lose a conference game. In their six A-10 wins, the Owls have outscored their opponents by an average of 26.6 points per game.
Junior forward Kristen McCarthy appears to be getting back into the groove of things, as she recently dropped 23 points in the team’s recent win over Richmond.
McCarthy picked up her game around this time last season when she averaged 18.3 points per game in conference play. In six A-10 games this season, McCarthy has averaged 16.2 points per game.
McCarthy, and the Owls for that matter, get better when conference play starts.
It hasn’t just been McCarthy, though. Junior guard Shey Peddy and senior guard Qwedia Wallace have also been productive for the Owls, who are now 15-6 on the year.
“We have a really good balanced attack,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “When we’re making shots like that and playing good defense. That’s fun to watch.”
Cardoza’s right, it is fun to watch. However, nobody’s going to watch. If you take away the doubleheaders the team has with the men’s squad, less than a thousand people show up for each women’s basketball home game.
That’s not acceptable. Cardoza has the Owls competing for their first conference title since 2006. They’re in the middle of an eight-game winning streak. The old cliché when it comes to Philadelphia revolves around how the city loves a winner.
McCarthy and crew are winners. Go out and support them.
Kyle Gauss can be reached at email@example.com.