Keys for next season
1. Dionte Christmas – The guard must forget about his late-season slump and start the season strong. With Dustin Salisbery graduating, Christmas needs to prepare for added defensive attention.
2. Defense – The Owls had no problem scoring. Defense was another issue. The Owls played their best defense in their season-ending loss to Saint Joseph’s. A second season in Fran Dunphy’s system should fix the problem.
3. Lavoy Allen and Michael Eric – Dunphy’s
not big on playing freshmen. These two might change that. With all their talent and a lack of size elsewhere on the roster, these interior recruits will be expected to contribute immediately.
4. Point guard – Semaj Inge and Chris Clark lost their touch toward the end of the season, and Salisbery handled the offense. They’ll need to bounce back or risk losing their split duties to Martavis Kee, another incoming freshman.
5. Ryan Brooks – The freshman exploded for 15 points in the Owls’ final game. Brooks, whose playing time increased down the stretch, could possibly start or become the sixth man the Owls have lacked in recent years.
1. Dion Dacons, after Dustin Salisbery lay on the floor after missing the game-winning shot in the home opener: “If the young guys see [the seniors] with our heads down, moping around, then their heads will do the same. … We can’t have our senior, [our] top scorer, laying on the floor after the game because he missed the last-second shot. I told him to get up.”
2. Mark Zoller, on playing against his former
coach, Fran Dunphy: “It’s almost like playing against your father.”
3. Fran Dunphy, on senior night: “I hate senior night. I don’t know who made it. I don’t think we can blame this on Hallmark.”
4. Mark Tyndale, on his struggles from the free throw line on a night he put up a career-high 37 points: “Somebody told me I should shoot threes for free throws. I heard a fan in the crowd saying that. I couldn’t help but listen to him.”
5. Dionte Christmas, on Massachusetts’ James Life: “He was just saying, ‘You score a lot of points, but you don’t win.’ I told him I definitely don’t want to lose two times [to UMass]. I said, ‘I don’t care if I score two points as long as we win.’”
1. Nov. 27 – Dustin Salisbery’s three-pointer with seconds remaining missed, and the Owls dropped their home opener to Buffalo. First-year coach Fran Dunphy earned his first Temple win two nights later, against Rutgers.
2. Jan. 2 – Playing on national television, the Owls hung with No. 5 Duke for much of the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium before the Blue Devils regrouped and ran away with the game, 73-55.
3. Jan. 10 – Mark Tyndale is inserted into the starting lineup for the first time following his academic ineligibility. The Owls dropped their fifth straight game, though, as Tyndale averaged 22 points a game from that point on.
4. Jan. 24 – Dunphy returned to the Palestra for the first time since leaving Penn. The Owls jumped to a 19-point lead, only to see it disappear. Mark Zoller hit two free throws with 1.4 seconds left to lift the Quakers over the Owls, 76-74.
5. Feb. 11 – In perhaps the high-point of the season, the Owls upset first-place Massachusetts, 98-89, to even their Atlantic Ten Conference record to 5-5. But they dropped five of their final six games to finish a program-worst 6-10 in A-10 play.