As the 2007-2008 academic year winds down, let’s take a look at what the 2008-2009 campaign has in store for the football and basketball teams.
Sure, the Owls didn’t win a game three years ago, but they won four — all in the Mid-American Conference — last year and are expected to be one of the top teams going into the 2008 season.
Coach Al Golden’s squad is returning all but two seniors and his team is playing a much more winnable schedule, including non-conference games against Connecticut at home and Army and Navy on the road.
Combine that with the expected return of red-shirt senior quarterback, and team captain, Adam DiMichele, and the football team — yes, the football team — is set for what should be a competitive and entertaining season.
It will be the Dionte Christmas show.
With senior guards Mark Tyndale and Chris Clark exiting, the junior guard will undoubtedly be the go-to-guy for coach Fran Dunphy.
Freshman forward Lavoy Allen and sophomore guards Ryan Brooks and Luis Guzman will also see increased roles, with Brooks possibly entering the starting lineup.
In the fight for supporting roles, incoming freshman Michael Eric will duke it out with junior center Sergio Olmos in the frontcourt, while incoming recruits Andrew “Scootie” Randall and T.J. DiLeo and two of last year’s benchwarmers, freshman guards Martavis Kee and Ramone Moore, will compete for playing time in the backcourt.
The Owls are looking to repeat as Atlantic Ten Conference champions and return to the NCAA Tournament after missing the Big Dance the previous six seasons.
First things first, the Owls need to find a new coach.
With Dawn Staley leaving for South Carolina after eight seasons on North Broad Street, the Owls have set out to find her replacement.
Two intriguing names that have been whispered as candidates are former star Marilyn Stephens, who also graduated from Simon Gratz High School, and Ervin Monier, a former assistant for Staley. While both have ties to Temple, the list will surely expand beyond that.
On the player’s side, gone are seniors Ashley Morris and Lady Comfort, and stepping up and taking their places will be sophomore guard LaKeisha Eaddy and junior forwards Shenita Landry and Shanea Cotton.
The Owls have made the NCAA Tournament each of the last five seasons and have routinely been a top team in the A-10 during Staley’s tenure.
Todd Orodenker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.