Temple basketball: Previewing the forwards

This is where it gets interesting for the Owls next season.

My past two articles have talked about Temple’s guards and really only highlights two players at both the 1 and the 2. When it comes to forwards, the Owls are pretty deep, something that could not be said about any position halfway into last season.

Depth is the biggest attribute to the group of talented forwards that Temple possesses. The Owls struggled mightily late in games last season due to men getting into foul trouble and lack of suitable replacements for fatigued starters. Temple’s new forward depth may really contribute to potential success next season.

Not only is Temple deep at forward, but they are young too. They only senior forwards are Jimmy McDonnell, who saw some good playing time last season, and Nick Pendergast who only comes in very late in a game that is out of reach. Daniel Dingle received an extra year of eligibility after going down with a knee injury early last season, so he is in his third year of eligibility.

Jaylen Bond is in his junior year. Mark Williams is just a sophomore and Obi Enechionyia is entering his first season with high expectations from Temple fans.

I have written a lot on Bond and anyone who’s read any of my articles know how excited I am about what he can bring to this team next season (see: http://isportsweb.com/2014/04/18/temple-basketball-top-impact-newcomer-2014-15-season/).

He was second highest scorer to ever go through Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, which has become a fairly elite program in the area. His size and pure athletic ability gives him the chance to be one of the top forwards in the entire conference.

Enechionyia is another player likely to have an immediate impact. At 6’10, Obi will often be the biggest man on the floor, and his length gives him the ability to grab tough rebounds that now-Ohio State Buckeye Anthony Lee struggled to do last season.

This past season at Saint James High School Obi averaged 14.4 points per game along with 11.2 boards and three blocks per game. No one for the Owls last season averaged a double-double or averaged more than 1.1 blocks per game (and that was Dingle, who only played in 10 games). Obi clearly has a chance to be a star down low.

Speaking of Dingle, he looks to do a complete 180 this season after what happened last year. Only playing 10 games, the Bronx, NY native averaged just over 20 minutes per game and only 6.7 points and 2.3 boards per game. At 6’7 225 lbs. Dingle and his supporters know he has much more to bring than just those numbers.

He is a very good sixth man and can be a key contributor off the bench next season late in games. Mark Williams is another player off the bench that could be crucial to the Owls success in 2014-15.

Williams can post up down low like a forward, and can bounce outside and shoot like a guard. Like Dingle, Williams had a very disappointing season last year. As a freshman, averaged under five points in 18.8 minutes per game. He averaged a double double in high school and coach Fran Dunphy likely expects that kind of execution from the young forward.

As for potential incomers, there is just one player who may be wearing cherry and white next season. His name is Tariq Owens and he is a three star recruit out of Laurel, Maryland. Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) reported on Twitter that Owens’ final decision is down to UT Martin, Tennessee, and Temple.

Owens is 6’10 205 lbs. with real explosiveness. He has the ability to get to the rim quickly, which Temple really struggled with last season. Owens would surely add to the already talented group of forwards on the Owls.

The depth at forward should really help the Owls become a more successful team in a very competitive conference next season. It will also help fill the void left by Anthony Lee leaving.

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

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