99 in 99: #34 Temple Owls

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With college basketball practices underway across the country, we are quickly approaching the start of the 2010-2011 season.  The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors.  We are entering the juicy part of the rankings with the Temple Owls coming in at #34.  Click here if you missed teams #35-#99.

By: David Kay

Temple Owls (T-1st, 14-2 in A-10, 29-6 overall)

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Michael Eric (Jr)/Dutch Gaitley (Sr)/Jimmy McDonnell (Fr)
PF: Lavoy Allen (Sr)/Craig Williams (Sr)/Anthony Lee (Fr)
SF: Rahlir Jefferson (So)/Scootie Randall (Jr)
G: Ramone Moore (Jr)/ Aaron Brown (Fr)/Khalif Wyatt (So)
G: Juan Fernandez (Jr)/T.J. DiLeo (So)

Gone: G-Ryan Brooks, PG-Luis Guzman, F-Chris Clarke (transfer-Morehouse. F-Carmel Bouchman (returned to native Isreal)

2010-2011 Outlook:
The three-time defending Atlantic 10 Tournament champs are coming off their best season in a decade.  That is something to say considering how competitive the A-10 was last season.  With all but two key contributors returning, the Owls should compete with Xavier, Dayton, and Richmond for conference supremacy.

Fran Dunphy went with a three guard look last season in his starting line-up but only returns point guard Juan Fernandez from that mix.  Fernandez was the Owls second leading scorer last season and top assist man while also shooting an impressive 46.3% from three.  With Ryan Brooks and Luis Guzman gone, Fernandez must elevate his game and take on even more of a leadership role.

Replacing Brooks and Guzman in the starting five figures to be junior Ramone Moore and sophomore Rahlir Jefferson.  Both players were significant contributors off Temple’s bench last season.  They will bring more size to the starting line-up but are not dangerous threats from the outside.  Expect freshman Aaron Brown to push those two for minutes.

The interior will once again be anchored by double-double machine Lavoy Allen.  6-11 junior Michael Eric returns to join Allen in the starting line-up.  6-9 senior Craig Williams is more of a perimeter based forward and will bring some versatility to the frontcourt.  Monmouth transfer Dutch Gaitley provides some experience and muscle off the bench.

Temple has never been shy about scheduling challenging non-conference opponents and this year is no different with Seton Hall, Maryland, Georgetown, Villanova, and Duke on the schedule.  Plus, a trip to Orlando for the Old Spice Classic should give the Owls three more games against talented major conference teams.

They catch a bit of a break with their conference schedule as they only play Dayton, Xavier, and Richmond once but get to feast on conference bottom feeders La Salle, Saint Joseph’s, and Fordham twice.

Lavoy Allen Temple

Player to Watch: Lavoy Allen, PF

Allen’s resume is impressive: First Team All A-10, A-10 All-Defensive Team, Wooden Award Top 50 Finalist, played with the USA Select Team this summer, and barring injury, will likely become the school’s all-time leading rebounder sometime this season.

He is not the most talented scorer in the world, but his a non-stop motor and relentlessness on the glass fits in perfectly with Temple’s stout defensive aspirations.  Allen should find his way onto an NBA roster at this time next year, but will try to help the Owls earn their fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament before he worries about playing in the association.

Key Non-Conference Games:

11/12 vs. Seton Hall
11/25 vs. California (Old Spice Classic)
11/26 vs. Georgia/Notre Dame (Old Spice Classic)
11/28 vs. Wisconsin/Manhattan/Boston College/Texas A&M (Old Spice Classic)
12/5 at Maryland
12/9 vs. Georgetown
12/30 at Villanova
2/23 at Duke

Other 99 in 99’s:
#35 Vanderbilt
#36 Arizona
#37 Murray State
#38 Dayton
#39 Notre Dame
#40 Mississippi State
#41 Utah State
#42 Maryland
#43 Richmond
#44 UNLV
#45 Seton Hall
#46 Wichita State
#47 Washington State
#48 St. Louis
#49 Old Dominion
#50 Minnesota
#51 New Mexico
#52 UConn
#53 Northwestern
#54 UCLA
#55 Southern Mississippi
#56 St. Mary’s
#57 Texas A&M
#58 Louisville
#59 Arizona State
#60 Northern Iowa
#61 Creighton
#62 Clemson
#63 Cincinnati
#64 Texas Tech
#65 Miami, FL
#66 Charlotte
#67 UTEP
#68 Ole Miss
#69 George Mason
#70 Colorado
#71 Weber State
#72 Alabama
#73 Bradley
#74 Central Florida
#75 Wake Forest
#76 Georgia Tech
#77 USC
#78 Oklahoma State
#79 Cal
#80 Oklahoma
#81 Virginia
#82 South Carolina
#83 Indiana
#84 Stanford
#85 Oregon
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#88 Arkansas
#89 Boston College
#90 LSU
#91 Providence
#92 Michigan
#93 Oregon State
#94. Nebraska
#95. Auburn
#96. DePaul
#97. Iowa State
#98. Rutgers
#99. Iowa

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