The Fran Dunphy era, which begins its inaugural season Tuesday night, has taken its first steps toward building for the future.
Last week three high school players signed National Letters of Intent to play for Dunphy beginning with the 2007-08 season. Lavoy Allen, Micheal Eric and Martavis Kee give the new coach his first full incoming class.
“All of these incoming players will have a chance to compete for immediate playing time,” Dunphy said. “Especially with us losing Dion [Dacons] after this season.”
That interior void could be filled by the combination of Allen and Eric.
Allen, a 6-9 forward, averaged 12 points and nine rebounds as a junior last year at Pennsbury High in Levittown. The Morrisville native is ranked among the top 150 high school prospects by Hoop Scoop.
Allen was high on Dunphy’s list prior to his move to Temple, the coach said.
“Lavoy is a terrific guy,” Dunphy said. “He is a big man that is getting better and better from the perimeter.”
The 6-10 Eric will also be expected to have an immediate impact. Eric averaged 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks per game at The Church Farm School last season.
Dunphy said the Lagos, Nigeria native will add a dimension of size and athleticism to a squad mostly known for its athletic backcourt.
“He is more ready defensively than offensively,” Dunphy said. “He is a hard worker [and] has a big upside.”
The lone guard of the bunch, Kee, is probably the most highly touted. As a junior at Saint Thomas Aquinas High, Kee averaged 23.5 points and five assists per game. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Kee’s best game came in the 5A regional semifinals when he scored 28 points in a losing effort against Palm Beach Dwyer. He was also named an All-Broward County First Team selection.
In doing this, however, Kee has also drawn comparisons with a Temple legend.
“He reminds me of Lynn Greer,” Dunphy
said. “He’s left-handed and has a very similar skill set. He can shoot from the outside and make plays off the dribble.”
With center Wayne Marshall sitting out this season, Dunphy could essentially have four new players next season.
“Right now I’m just hoping that all the pieces can come together,” Dunphy said. “When these younger guys come in next season we all will be able to grow and learn and understand what we have together.”
Jeremy Drummond can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.