Temple men’s basketball adjusts to roster changes during offseason

The Owls will have to replace four of their five top scorers from last season.

(From left to right) Temple men's basketball players Nate Pierre-Louis, Quinton Rose, Alani Moore II, De'Vondre Perry, and Jake Forrester huddle during the Owls' game against Missouri at the Liacouras Center on Dec. 7. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University men’s basketball may have ended its season last month, but the team still has gone through many changes to its roster this offseason.

The Owls will lose five players to graduation. Among the five are guards Quinton Rose and Alani Moore II and center Damion Moore. In addition, three Owls have expressed their intent to transfer from the program, while junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.

Rose was named Second Team All-Conference for the American Athletic Conference after posting 16.4 points, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game this season. Rose led the team in all three categories. 

Rose is also the AAC’s all-time leader with 1,860 points, 231 steals and 675 field goals made.

Like Pierre-Louis, Rose also plans on declaring for the NBA Draft.

“I think [Rose] has a good chance of getting on one of those rosters,” coach Aaron McKie said on March 24. “He’s gonna have to get his body strong. He’s gonna have to continue to get his mind strong. He’s certainly passed the eye test of being an NBA player. He’s long, he’s athletic, he can run.”

Pierre-Louis was second on the team with 10.9 points per game and first with 8.5 rebounds per game. 

Even though he is declaring for the draft, Pierre-Louis will maintain his NCAA eligibility. If he does not get selected, he can come back to Temple for his final year of eligibility as long as he does not hire an agent.

Of the five players who led the Owls in scoring this season, four of them will not return next season. In addition to Rose, Pierre-Louis and Alani Moore II, redshirt-junior guard Monty Scott will also leave the program as he entered the transfer portal on April 3. Scott will become a transfer for the second time in his collegiate career. Scott came to Temple after spending two seasons at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. This season, Scott averaged 7.2 points per game in 29 games off the bench.

Of the five top-scorers, the one player who is returning to the program is sophomore forward Jake Forrester, who was fourth on the team with 7.5 points per game and made 53.3 percent of his shots from the field.

Two days after Pierre-Louis declared for the draft, his brother, freshman guard Josh Pierre-Louis, announced his intent to transfer from the program. Josh Pierre-Louis will transfer to the University of California, Santa Barbara, he announced on his Instagram page on April 10. During his only year at Temple, Josh Pierre-Louis averaged 3.8 points per game in 27 games. He also made 42.9 percent of his shots from the field while converting 37.8 percent of his three-pointers.

Junior forward Justyn Hamilton also intends to transfer. Hamilton only averaged 3.3 points and 10.4 minutes per game, despite playing in 23 games and making 15 starts. Hamilton will transfer to Kent State University, he announced on his Instagram page on Friday.

“I just wanna wish [Hamilton] well and wish him the best and all the success moving forward with that,” McKie said on March 24. “It just felt like he needed a change of scenery and that’s pretty much how I wanna sum that up.”

In addition to Forrester, junior forwards J.P. Moorman II and De’Vondre Perry are among the seven players returning next season. Moorman averaged 5.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game after serving as captain this season. Perry averaged 6.2 points per game and shot 48.2 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from the three-point line.

The Owls will also welcome back sophomore guard Tai Strickland and freshman guard Damian Dunn. Strickland redshirted this season after transferring from the University of Wisconsin. Dunn only played in one game after suffering a foot injury before the season started.

“Both of those guys are really talented,” Rose said on March 24. “Damian Dunn is really good. He knows how to use his size. Tai Strickland, he’s really shifty, can get anywhere on the floor. The most impressive thing about both of them is their work ethic.”

To replace the transfers, the Owls have added guards Jahlil White and Quincy Ademokoya and forward Nick Jourdain to its 2020 recruiting class.

The Owls have also added two transfers to its roster, guard Khalif Battle and forward Sage Tolbert. Battle is a transfer from Butler University who played in 24 games and averaged 3.0 points per game in his only season with the Bulldogs. Tolbert averaged 7.9 points per game in two seasons with Southeast Missouri State University.

While White and Ademokoya signed their National Letters of Intent last November, Temple officially announced the signings of Jourdain, Battle and Tolbert on Thursday.

“I would like to welcome Khalif, Nick and Sage to the Temple Family,” McKie said in a press release Thursday. “These three young men will fit into our program extremely well. They are well rounded basketball players as well as students. They possess tremendous work ethics and buy into our philosophy on and off the court.”

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