Temple basketball: Previewing the point guard position

temple bballThe point guard position was not Temple’s main issue last season, and it looks to be better for 2014-15.

Temple’s starting point guard last year and this year is and will be Will Cummings. He is a clear leader on the court, he works hard, and he looks to be even better as his senior season approaches.

His shooting is something that can either propel the Owls, or haunt them. In games where Cummings shot over 55% from the field, the Owls were 4-2. That is something to look at especially because the team had just nine wins. On the other side, the Owls were 1-10 in games where Cummings shot under 41% from the field.

Cummings was sixth in the conference in shooting with 16.5 points per game. He shot 43.6% from the field in the season, which is better than Shabazz Napier and Sean Kilpatrick who were two of the premier point guards in the country last season.

The Jacksonville native also takes care of the ball well, a key attribute for any point guard. His 2.0 assist to turnover ratio was good enough for fourth in the American last season.

His key issue is lack of talent around him. Guards like Napier, Kilpatrick, and Russ Smith had big name big men around them to make some defenders play more in the post. Anthony Lee was a good big man, but he wasn’t as physical as DeAndre Daniels and Justin Jackson, which made him easier to guard. Having a bigger, physical, and hopefully more athletic presence down low next season in Jaylen Bond should give Will more space to make plays.

Related article: http://isportsweb.com/2014/04/18/temple-basketball-top-impact-newcomer-2014-15-season/

Behind Cummings on the depth chart is sophomore Josh Brown. He is still young, and with only one season (where he was a backup all year) he does not nearly have the stats to back up his play that Cummings does.

He does however struggle offensively. Brown is not much of a scoring point guard, and his 31% shot percentage showcased that. He also shot 60% from the line, which was one of the worst on the team.

Fans didn’t look at Brown as a big reason for the teams struggles this year, but he did average the fifth most minutes on a team with a very short bench. His freshman status should not be an excuse for his lack of execution offensively, considering there were freshman all over the country being huge parts of their teams. Brown, being such a young player, lacks leadership and hopefully he can learn from veterans like Will Cummings how to be a better leader on the court.

As much as I bash Brown offensively, his defense is, in my opinion, the best on the team. He locks down other point guards and controls the top of the key well. He will be one of the best defensive players in the conference by the time he graduates. If he can get his offensive productivity and leadership to be on par with his defensive ability, he could be a top player in the conference.

Looking at the incoming class, there are two point guards who have received offers and could potentially join the Owls next season. Conrad Chambers is one of them, a local kid who went to Chester High School (anyone who knows anything about Chester basketball knows this kid has some postseason experience). ESPN called Chambers a three star recruit, and the 45th best point guard in his class.

He is an athletic guard with a ton of talent and ball handling. ESPN says he is ” totally ambidextrous playing off the dribble and is capable of scoring at the rim or with floaters.” He seems like just the scoring point guard Temple could use to create a disturbance in transition.

He is also being looked at by Iowa State, Rutgers, Drexel, Seton Hall, and others according to verbalcommits.com

For more on Temple basketball, go to isportsweb.com/temple-basketball