Temple traveled to Penn State for a fall tournament where coach Bonnie Rosen got a chance to see her 10 freshmen and the rest of her team in game action on Saturday.
The Owls played four games in a row on Saturday, facing Cornell University, Lehigh University, Penn State and Syracuse University.
The tournament at Penn State supported the One Love Foundation, which works with students to end relationship violence.
“We talked to our team about the One Love Foundation,” Rosen said. “We’ve done work with them about raising awareness about relationship violence. There were a lot of PA announcements throughout the games making fans and student-athletes aware of the One Love Foundation and what they do.”
The four games were shortened to 25-minute halves with a running clock instead of the usual two 30-minute periods. Games moved quickly, testing the Owls’ fitness, stamina and focus. With an inexperienced team this year, Rosen made sure every player got significant playing time throughout the course of the tournament.
“Different players were stepping up and scoring goals or creating strong possessions,” Rosen said. “Every single person did something well and as a team this week we played more confident and cohesive on the field and looked sharper.”
The Owls are continuing to build their offense and defense as the spring season nears. Rosen is taking the fall season on a week-by-week basis, focusing on balancing the fundamentals and showing the team new concepts and schemes.
“We’re going to do some work on our draw control,” Rosen said. “Both our ability to push the ball from the center to where we want to and our scheme on how to defend the draw.”
New rule changes implemented by the NCAA for the upcoming season have also been a focal point for the Owls during fall play. One of the major rule changes is the 90-second clock that will start once a team gains possession of the ball.
“We’ve started to play with it already this fall. …The possession clock doesn’t change that much of the game,” Rosen said. “I think that 90 seconds is a substantial amount of time to possess the ball and find a scoring opportunity. By the spring, strategies are going to be implemented to work the clock and try to make it harder for teams to have as much time on the offensive end.”
At this point of the season, Rosen is more focused on evaluating the entire team, rather than determining roles for individual players. Among the skills she’ll develop in the fall are off-ball defense and clearing the ball on defense to get her players ready for the regular season in Spring 2017.
“As we build towards the spring we’ll look a little more at which each player can bring and then figure out our best game style around that,” Rosen said.
Addison Hunsicker can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @AddHunsicker11.