Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nothing comes easy for Temple Basketball. The owls squeaked out a win today at the Palestra in the Big 5 classic again Penn. Coach Chaney called the game “a tale of two halves…” to me it looked more like a tale of poor free throw shooting down the stretch. Temple did its best to allow Penn to stay in the game with Dion Dacons, Mardy Collins, and Mark Tyndale all missing big free throws that could have sealed the win. Penn also had a shot to tie the game but missed the front end of a one and one and the Owl’s got the rebound. Player of the game was Dustin Salisberry who remains as streaky as they come going 0-6 against Rutgers then leading the team in scoring against Penn. He also was able to convert on two big free throws and seemed to be the only Owl that didn’t want Penn to stay in the game.
24 scouts were on hand to see a mediocre performance by Mardy C. As a whole I would like to see Temple go to the basket more often but Mardy in particular seems to settle for a jump shot that has been less then spectacular this year. When you take a look at Mardy’s numbers they aren’t that impressive from a field goal % standpoint and I think that’s due largely to shot selection.

Temple was down seven at the start of the second half and rallied behind some different defensive looks and an all around active performance. Penn does a great job sending cutters through the lane and besides exposing Temple a few times for easy lay ups the Owls were getting hands up and contesting shots. No question this lead to the victory.
The announcers reported during the game that Wayne Marshall has been practicing with the team since Thanksgiving and much of the dizziness that he felt in the summer has subsided. That was some very good news because as much heart as Dion has a 6’6 center with no offensive awareness wont cut it against elite teams.

One thing worth noting about any game played during the Big 5 classic is how competitive they are. All respect to Penn but I think they play much better @ the Palestra during the tournament that puts the Philly schools out as showcase. Next up the Owls head over to Princeton to once again do battle among the ranks of the Ivy League. Who can forget last years game, one of the worst games I ever witnessed at any level, where Temple’s Dustin Salisberry had a game winning rejection that should have been called a goaltend. Glad the referee saw things differently. Anyway, after what happened at the Rack I’m not taking anyone for granted…


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