While the men’s basketball team hasn’t played a game since March, that hasn’t spared Temple coach Fran Dunphy and his staff from a tumultuous offseason.
First and foremost, sophomore forwards Carmel Bouchman and Chris Clarke decided to leave the program. Bouchman, a 6-foot-8-inch sharpshooter from Tel Aviv, Israel, returned to his homeland and entered the military. Clarke, a 6-foot-8-inch post-player from Orchard Lake, Mich., transferred to Morehouse College in Atlanta. While Clarke redshirted last year, Bouchman saw playing time in nine games but failed to score a point.
The departure of Bouchman and Clarke opened up some scholarships, one of which Dunphy chose to use immediately. Filling one of the voids will be 6-foot-10-inch forward Jimmy McDonnell from Jackson Memorial High School in Jackson, N.J. McDonnell, who averaged 13.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in his senior season, originally committed to Division II University of Massachusetts at Lowell on a partial scholarship. Due to the nature of the scholarship, McDonnell did not sign a National Letter of Intent,which allowed him to sign with the Owls when the opportunity arose.
Dunphy plans to redshirt McDonnell in his freshman year in order to prepare him physically for Division 1 ball. McDonnell was listed at 200 pounds on UMass-Lowell’s athletics site, so adding some extra mass will be critical in order for him to develop the way the Owls want him to. Despite his height, McDonnell has decent range to his shot, something that could provide mismatches if used properly.
Over the weekend, Dunphy used another one of his scholarships when Will Cummings, a point guard from Jacksonville, verbally agreed to join the Temple program next year. Cummings, a 6-foot true point guard, accepted a scholarship offer from the Owls over offers from American University, Buffalo, Murray State and Northeastern University, among others. Boston College also reportedly has strong interest in Cummings. Since Cummings can not sign a NLOI until the middle of November, his commitment is not binding. However, in college basketball recruiting, a verbal commitment is usually a sound indication of a recruit’s intentions, more so than in college football recruiting.
The Owls are still more than two months away from their season opener. That said, Dunphy can look back at the 2010 offseason as one in which his team got a major facelift. Whether that change proves beneficial to the Owls or not remains to be seen.
Kyle Gauss can be reached at email@example.com.