In its opening game of the 1998 NCAA tournament, Temple
participated in the sort of savaging that has made the Owls a
first-round opponent that other teams are happy to avoid. The
losers were harassed into 33.3% shooting from the field,
including 6 of 36 from three-point range, and their will was
snapped like dry kindling in an 82-52 runaway. Only this time,
it wasn't the Owls who inflicted the misery; it was an erratic
West Virginia squad that tattooed Temple. But take heed,
tournament teams of '99: With increased depth and firepower, the
Owls' days of one-and-done are done.
Last year scoring was a chore for Temple; witness the decline of
senior Rasheed Brokenborough, whose average dropped from 16.0
points in 1996-97 to 11.8. A 6'4" guard, he was trying to make
up for the loss of center Marc Jackson, who had made an early
exit for the pros. "I put a lot of pressure on myself,"
Brokenborough says, "but the biggest thing I learned is that I
have to be more patient." Helping him apply that lesson will be
6'5" sophomore Mark Karcher, who sat out last season as a
nonqualifier. The 1997 Maryland player of the year, Karcher has
a nose for the basket: He scored more than 3,000 points at St.
Frances Academy in Baltimore.
With that twosome and the versatile Pepe Sanchez, coach John
Chaney has the talent to make the most of his three-guard
lineup, a set that was so effective in the early 1990s with Rick
Brunson, Eddie Jones and Aaron McKie. "We've been a little out
of sync offensively the last few years because we've gotten away
from the three-guard offense," says Chaney. "In the past we've
had some good post players but we've been most successful when
we've been able to control the backcourt."
Temple's frontcourt will also get a makeover. Despite being
moved from power forward to replace Jackson last season, 6'10",
230-pound Lamont Barnes led the team in points (13.8 a game) and
rebounds (8.0). He will now shift back to his natural spot with
the arrival of freshman center Kevin Lyde, who averaged 18.0
points, 8.0 boards and 3.5 blocks for Oak Hill Academy in Mouth
of Wilson, Va.
The Owls' hallmark under Chaney has been their relentless
matchup zone defense, which denies clean looks, forces turnovers
and controls tempo. Last year the Owls were 14-0 when holding an
opponent to less than 60 points, and Sanchez was second in the
nation with 3.4 steals a game, a figure that should rise with
the peskier three-guard set.
"We cannot function without giving Rasheed some scoring help,
and I don't know if we can shoot," says Chaney. "But if we can
control the defensive part of the game, the offense will
eventually catch up." Expect the Owls to do just that. And when
Temple enters the NCAA tournament for the 10th straight year in
March, expect its opponents to be suitably afraid.
POS. HT. CLASS KEY STAT
SF Mark Karcher 6'5" So. 28.8 ppg*
PF [**]Lamont Barnes 6'10" Jr. 8.0 rpg
C Kevin Lyde 6'9" Fr. 18.0 ppg*
SG [**]R. Brokenborough 6'4" Sr. 11.8 ppg
PG [**]Pepe Sanchez 6'4" Jr. 4.9 apg
'97-98 record: 21-9 Final rank (coaches' poll): unranked
[**]Returning starter *ppg as high school senior ('96-97 for