Perhaps no player on the men’s basketball team receives as much criticism from the home crowd as Sergio Olmos.
The 7-0 junior center from Elda, Spain gets more than his fair share of condemnation from fans at the Liacouras Center.
But, for one night, Olmos heard more cheers than disapproval as he played a key role in the Owls, 78-59 upset of No. 20 Xavier Wednesday night at the Liacouras Center.
Olmos didn’t do much in the way of scoring – finishing with only two points on 1-of-4 shooting. But he found other ways to contribute, snaring a team-high 10 rebounds and blocking four shots in 32 minutes.
Coming into the game, Olmos was averaging 3.2 rebounds per game and 1.2 blocks per contest for the Owls (7-8, 1-1 A-10).
His effort against the Muskateers (14-4, 2-1) was praised by his teammates.
“Serg, I think he played one of his best games since Drexel,” senior guard Mark Tyndale said. Olmos scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Owls’64-51 win over Drexel in December.
Several times against Xavier, Olmos showed a tenacity that isn’t often seen in the soft-spoken big man, especially on defense. Junior guard Dionte Christmas said this change is by design.
“[In practice] we foul Serg, we grab his arms and smack him when he goes up for rebounds,” Christmas said. “I think Serg is getting tougher as a person, physically and mentally … I tip my hat to Serg. He’s come a long way.”
CHRISTMAS HITS 1,000
With his first field goal of the game, Christmas became the 44th Temple player to score 1,000 points for a career. Christmas reached the mark with 10:33 left in the first half.
This was coach Fran Dunphy’s first victory over a ranked team during his two-year tenure at Temple … The Owls last defeated a Top 25 team at the Liacouras Center when they beat No. 18 Maryland, 91-85, on Jan. 28, 2006 … This was the largest margin of victory for the Owls over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 8 Florida, 75-54, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 18, 2001.
Tyson McCloud can be reached at Tyson@temple.edu