The NCAA has crowned a national champion and it is now time to move forward and look to next season.
The Temple basketball team looks to put the entire 2013-14 season behind them and move on. With only losing senior guard Dalton Pepper to graduation and red-shirt senior forward Anthony Lee to Ohio State, the Owls are set to contend in the conference next season.
A big reason for that will be Texas transfer Jaylen Bond, who had to sit out the 2013-14 season due to NCAA rules.
Bond is a local kid, and that seems to bode well for Temple athletes. Fan favorites like Khalif Wyatt, Lavoy Allen, and Dionte Christmas all grew up in the Greater Philadelphia Area, just as Bond did. The Texas transfer went to Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, just minutes outside of Philadelphia.
Averaging a double double in high school with 19 points and 11.2 boards per game, Bond is second on the all-time scoring list at Plymouth Whitemarsh with 1,608 career points. He is one of the best players to ever come out of PW. There’s no question that the local kid could not help the Owls out next season.
Anthony Lee’s surprising transfer out of Temple would have scared Owls fans a lot more had it not been for Jaylen Bond waiting on the bench. Anthony Lee was great with grabbing rebounds, he ranked first in the conference, but people did not think he was physical enough down low. That likely won’t be an issue for Bond.
The PW grad is 6-foot-7 225 pounds, and is extremely athletic. Here is a clip of him throwing one down in his high school days.
His athleticism is something Temple fans are really looking forward to seeing. Too often they saw Anthony Lee struggle to grab a rebound or get pushed around down low. It will be refreshing to see someone be able to throw their weight around down low and make plays in the back court.
Defense was a major issue for the Owls all season long in 2013-14. They ranked in the bottom of the American Athletic Conference in defensive field goal percentage and scoring defense per game. It seemed like teams could score at will against the Owls, and Bond’s presence in the paint will likely stop that. He is a player who can stand his ground down low against bigger guys, as well as pull down crucial rebounds.
The Norristown, PA native didn’t get much of a chance to shine at Texas, the school he went to out of high school. In two years with the Longhorns he averaged under 14 minutes and just 2.7 shots per game. However, he did shoot over 50% from the field, hitting 73 of 144 total shots.
There’s no question Bond has the potential to turn Temple into a conference contender next season, especially with Louisville leaving the American. Temple fans may look at Jaylen Bond as the anti-Anthony Lee, especially when it comes to a strong presence under the basket. Lee’s transfer really won’t look so bad if Bond plays to his utmost potential.