Fran Dunphy on Realignment, Team Defense and Scootie Randall

Fran Dunphy on Realignment, Team Defense and Scootie Randall

Yahoo!'s Tim Brando has an interview up with Temple coach Fran Dunphy. Dunph has been making the media rounds recently in an effort to get the word out about his team and their tip-off against UPENN on Nov. 14.

As Brando and Dunphy both remarked, it's great just to be talking basketball in light of fatiguing mess that has become college football. That sentiment would nonetheless prove unable to distract the two from discussing Temple's place in the landscape moving forward.

Frankly, for all the tight-lipped responses that have accompanied any suggestion of a transfer, it's refreshing to hear Dunphy speak so candidly about what great candidate Temple is for any number of conferences and how football has hijacked the whole of college athletics. Yes, Temple does take pride in both the MAC and A10, but as Dunphy put it, "When those BCS conferences come calling, you have to listen."

The coach also reveals last year's A10 Sixth Man of the Year Khalif Wyatt is currently projected to fill the vacant starting spot left by the injured Scootie Randall. Dunphy believes Scootie is working hard to recover from his knee injury, but sounds rather anxious to get him back, both for his leadership and his defense.

Indeed, for a coach who places such a priority on the defensive end, Dunphy sounds a bit concerned about his team's play on their own side of the timeline. That said, the Owls are without their best defender from the last four years in Lavoy Allen, their best current defender in Randall, and their starting point guard in Juan Fernandez, who has been away from the team while participating in the Pan-Am games.

Click the link below to hear the full interview. 13 more days until Big 5 tip-off. Get hype.

>>Fran Dunphy—Can't Allow Conference Realignment to Distract College Basketball [Yahoo!]

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).