Lack of Solid Fundamental Play Prevented Temple Owls’ Upset of Kansas Jayhawks
Breaking News: three points are better than two…okay, that’s just simple math but just because a 3-pointer is worth more than a jump shot doesn’t been the latter should be abandoned.
The Temple Owls nearly upset another ranked team in the Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday but jumpers, free-throws, boxing out and playing defense helped the Jayhawks hold on at home. Fundamental basketball, what a novel idea. At least, that’s how it seems to be in college basketball these days.
For example, the Creighton Jays and Michigan Wolverines both average about 21 3-point attempts per-game. Temple averages that through 13 games and Kansas averages 16 3papg over the same number of games.
The Owls are 242nd in the nation in field-goal percentage amd 138th in rebounding. Some teams can get away with poor shooting with a high volume of shots, which Temple has but when you don’t have good post players to pick up your guards when they’re having a bad game, problems arise.
Temple isn’t particularly tall, either so rebounding comes at a premium. The thing is, though, 6-foot-9 forward Anthony Lee is that solid rebounder for the Owls. However, free-shooting guards Khalif Wyatt and Scootie Randall account for 42-percent of the shots taken by Temple this season. Randall and Wyatt lead the team in scoring but shooting below 37-percent isn’t helping things.
Barnes was 7-for-7 at the free-throw line against Kansas and is in the midst of a streak of 26-straight makes at the charity stripe. Randall was perfect in six tries at the line as well but the duo’s free-throw luck has to run out sometime, especially for Randall, who has five games without so much as a free-throw attempt this season.
Lee was an uncharacteristic 5-of-13 from the field in a season where he’s shooting 55-percent.
The second-year player could be a huge boost to the Owls if only he played more. Temple is 6-1 when Lee plays more than 25 minutes and his 7.1 rebounds per-game is good for second on the team behind Randall.
Lee doesn’t foul or turn the ball over and he can get to the rim better than anyone on the team. The game may have changed throughout the years but being a one-dimensional team still won’t lead to championships.
If Temple doesn’t start utilizing its best post player more often, dark days are ahead in Philly.
Mike Gillmeister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @mgillmei
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