Nate Pierre-Louis is the most animated — and aggressive — player on the court.
After last season, former Temple University point guard Josh Brown graduated, leaving a spot open in the Owls’ (14-4, 4-1 American Athletic Conference) backcourt.
Pierre-Louis seized it.
The sophomore guard has started all 18 games and is the team’s third-leading scorer with 14.1 points per game.
During his freshman year, Pierre-Louis saw consistent minutes off the bench. He was named to The American’s 2018 All-Rookie Team and was the Owls’ third-leading scorer in conference games with 9.9 points per game.
With an uptick in minutes this season, Pierre-Louis said he wants to be a more all-around player. He emulates NBA players like Avery Bradley, who has made the All-Defensive team twice and averages 12 points per game for his career. In addition to his scoring, Pierre-Louis is second on the team with 1.9 steals per game.
“I try to play as hard as I can every single night, every possession,” Pierre-Louis said. “Even if I’m having a bad shooting game, I want to keep going, just keep going downhill, keep attacking.”
Even during his bad games, Pierre-Louis doesn’t quit. On Saturday against Penn, Pierre-Louis had four turnovers in the first half. But in the second half, he scored six straight points to cut the Owls’ deficit from 11 points down to five with less than two minutes to play in the Owls’ 77-70 loss.
Pierre-Louis’ persistence on the offensive end has paid off in Temple’s past seven games. In that span, Pierre-Louis averaged 19 points per game and scored at least 20 points four times. In the first 11 games of the season, he averaged 11 points per game.
Pierre-Louis earned league-wide and city recognition for his play during the seven-game stretch. On Jan. 14, he earned Player of the Week honors from The American and Big 5 following his performances against Houston and South Florida.
He helped Temple upset nationally ranked and previously unbeaten Houston on Jan. 9 by scoring 18 points, making 9-of-10 free-throw attempts and grabbing four rebounds. He followed that performance with 22 points, including an 8-for-8 mark from the free-throw line, against USF.
As part of being an assertive all-around player, Pierre-Louis focused on improving his rebounding. Pierre-Louis is second on the team with 105 rebounds behind senior center Ernest Aflakpui. Pierre-Louis pulled in a career-high 13 rebounds in both the season-opener against La Salle and the Owls’ win against Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 1. He has grabbed at least five boards in 10 games this season.
While his aggressive approach on offense can result in turnovers, coach Fran Dunphy said his high-energy approach makes up for his mistakes.
“[Pierre-Louis is] one of those guys who is trying to win every game,” Dunphy added. “He wants to do it himself and sometimes it’s gonna work for us, and other times it’s gonna hurt him a little bit, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world.”