By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Temple Owls are enjoying some rest this week after earning the top seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The 24-6 Owls don’t get back on the court until Friday at noon when they take on the winner of Tuesday’s UMass/Duquesne game in the quarterfinals of the tournament down in Atlantic City.
Temple wrapped up the regular season Saturday with a win over Fordham, so they have five full days off between games and head coach Fran Dunphy tells KYW Newsradio that he feels the time off is most important for a team, at this point of the season, from a mental standpoint.
“You’re resting your body, physically, but I think clearly the mental aspect, these seasons are very long for these guys, and anytime you can get a day or two where you can just shut down a little bit, that’s what you are hoping to do.”
Dunphy says the next couple of days at practice will be focused mostly on working on what they do, but he says they will be able to look ahead a little bit, even without knowing their specific opponent in the quarterfinals.
“There are some similarities that UMass and Duquesne have that we will work on over the next couple of days, and then certainly tomorrow night we will know who it is we are playing and will have two full days to prepare for our opponent. But we will work on our own stuff. We certainly need to be a better defensive team and we need to probably shore up our offensive decision making. So both of those areas could use some work.”
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Fran Dunphy:
More good news for the Owls today, as Senior guard Ramone Moore was named a first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection. Junior guard Khalif Wyatt earned second team honors and senior guard Juan Fernandez was chosen for the third-team.
In addition, Dunphy was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year – but he was quick to deflect the credit for that award.
“Obviously when your players are good and your assistant coaches cover for you like mine do, then some of these kinds of things can come your way. Very appreciative, grateful, that my fellow coaches thought I was deserving of this.”