Temple enters the 2014-2015 season coming off its most disappointing season in quite some time. Despite showing plenty of offensive prowess in 2013-2014, the Owls brought little to the table defensively and had absolutely no depth. As a result, Temple stumbled to a 9-22 record, missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2006-2007 season.
Key Losses: G Dalton Pepper (17.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.4 APG); F Anthony Lee (13.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG)
The Owls lose two of their leading scorers from a year ago with the departure of Dalton Pepper and Anthony Lee.
While Pepper was lost to graduation, Lee, the team's fourth leading scorer from a year ago, utilized the graduate transfer rule to make the jump to Ohio State for his redshirt senior season. The departure of Lee is yet another significant blow to an Owls lineup that showed little depth a year ago and could be felt tremendously if others who remained with the program don't develop as expected.
Key Returning Players: G Will Cummings (16.8 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.4 RPG); G Quenton DeCosey (15.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.4 APG); G/F Daniel Dingle (6.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.9 APG)
While the Owls lose their top scorer and their fourth leading scorer from a year ago, they return their second and third leading scorers in Cummings and DeCosey.
In his second season as a starter, Cummings ran the point very well, filling the stat sheet. The Owls will look for Cummings to put up big numbers again in 2014-2015 and will rely on his leadership and steady free throw shooting to keep the team in games.
DeCosey had a breakout year as a sophomore in 2013-2014, scoring 15.4 points per game. DeCosey will be relied on heavily in the upcoming season and if he can improve his consistency from beyond the arc and the charity stripe, could be an extremely dangerous player.
Dingle averaged the fifth most points for the Owls in 2013-2014, but did so having played in just 10 games before a torn meniscus sidelined him. Dingle received a medical waiver following his injury last year, so he will be just a redshirt sophomore for the upcoming season. Dingle could find himself starting or in a sixth man role, but either way will be a key cog for the Owls in 2014-2015.
Key Additions: G Jesse Morgan (Transfer: UMass); F Jaylen Bond (Transfer: Texas); G Devin Coleman (Transfer: Clemson); F Obi Enechionyia (Fr.); Aaron McKie (Assistant Coach)
Morgan's status remains up in the air at the moment. A graduate student and former UMass standout, Morgan will need to receive an eligibility waiver in order to see a college court again. If he receives that waiver, Temple will receive a huge boost, but will the NCAA provide it?
Bond, a 6-8 forward, comes to Temple as a transfer from the University of Texas and will likely be relied on heavily by the Owls on defense. Bond will finally hit the court for the Owls after sitting out last season due to transfer rules and should be plenty hungry after watching the Owls' struggles from the bench last season.
Coleman transferred from Clemson following the fall semester of 2013 and will be eligible to get on the court after the fall semester ends this year. Coleman put up some solid numbers off the bench for Clemson in two seasons played and will be relied upon to provide the Owls lineup with something they lacked desperately last season, depth.
Enechionyia, a 6-8 forward, comes to Temple after turning down offers from the likes of Indiana. The only true freshman on the Owls roster, Enechionyia could have an opportunity to gain some valuable experience in 2014-2015.
One of the finest players in Owls history and former NBA Sixth Man of the Year, McKie returns to Temple in an assistant coach capacity. The 13-year NBA veteran is a nice addition to head coach Fran Dunphy's staff and should provide some valuable wisdom to the Owls' lineup.
Bottom Line: Temple's season will rely on quite a few "what ifs?" What if Morgan isn't cleared to play? What if the guard combo of Cummings and DeCosey cannot put up similar numbers to a year ago? What if Dingle is unable to return to previous, or as the Owls hope, improved form, after suffering a torn meniscus a year ago?
If enough of these "what ifs" go the Owls' way, Temple could see their program return to its winning ways in 2014-2015. If they do not, it could be another difficult season in the Liacouras Center.
By: Kyle Babcock
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