Hawkward: Temple Throttles St. Joe's; Rollouts, Notes and Audio Below

Hawkward: Temple Throttles St. Joe's; Rollouts, Notes and Audio Below

As Phil Martelli put it after the game, the 78-60 final doesn't even begin to do justice to the Temple Owls' "domination" of the St. Joseph's Hawks on Saturday afternoon. Indeed, Temple was up by as much as 28 with just under four minutes remaining in the game; they had secured the victory long before that.

Only three Temple players -- Ramone Moore, Juan Fernandez, and Michael Eric -- would score in the first half, with Fernandez and Moore responsible for 32 of the Owls' 38 points in the opening twenty. Temple took a 14 point lead into the locker room and never looked back.

Assorted notes, quotes, post-game audio and a full rollout recap after the jump:

Temple Notes
-- Moore and Fernandez finished the game with 21 points and 17 points, respectively, after finishing the first with 17 and 15. The two combined to shoot 15 for 24 from the field.

-- As a team, Temple -- who came into the game with the second best three point percentage in the conference at 39.4% -- shot exactly 60% from the floor (30-50) and 53.5% from three.

-- Though junior guard Khalif Wyatt did not go off for at least 20 points for what would have been the sixth time in the last eight games, he did do an impressive job setting up his teammates early. As Fernandez and Moore opened hot, it was Wyatt who was most often getting them the ball. Khalif finished the first half with six assists and set a new career-high with eight total.

-- Four Owls scorers -- Moore, Fernandez, Wyatt and Eric -- finished in double figures.

-- Speaking of Eric, he was on the floor for 17 minutes (just as he was at Charlotte), but showed signs that he could have gone longer had the game been closer. A post-up, spin move, dunk sequence in the second half made it look as if the Nigerian Nightmare has put his patella injury behind him.
-- The win moves Temple to 15-5 overall and 4-2 in the A-10.

St. Joe's Notes
-- Junior guard and SJU leading scorer Carl Jones finished the game with just five points on 1 for 5 shooting. Martelli commented after the game that he did not believe Jones' recent ankle injury was still a factor in the guard's recent slump. "Tay" is just 12 of 46 from the floor in his last five games.

-- Sophomore Langston Galloway was also held in check by the Temple perimeter defense, finishing with just seven points on 3 for 9 shooting. It was Galloway who was the primary cover on Moore in the first half.

-- With his 17 points, SJU power forward Ronald Roberts was the only Hawk to finish in double figures. Temple has had consistent problems this year guarding opposing bigs with Roberts' skill set. Today was no different, as the 6-8 sophomore grabbed 10 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season.

-- As for total rebounds, Joe's topped the Owls 34-27, pulling down 15 offensive boards. Temple coach Fran Dunphy immediately pointed to that statistic and SJU's 18 second chance points as the elements of the box score with which he was the most displeased.
-- The loss drops St. Joseph's to 13-9 and 3-4 in the A10.

Odds and Ends
-- As for specifics odds and ends, Temple obviously covered it's 6.5-point spread. The two teams' combined score of 138 fell under the 141.5 O/U.

-- The win is Temple's 10th straight over SJU, dating back to Feb. 2008. It is the fifth double-digit win streak in the 153 games played between the schools. No team has won more than eleven straight, a record Temple will have the opportunity to tie when they travel to the St. Joseph's Fieldhouse later this season.

-- The announced attendance of 10,203 was the second largest crowd in Liacouras Center history. It was the 13th basketball sellout in the building's history and the second this season. The Temple media notes state that the team has sold out four home games -- St. Joe's, Villanova, Duke, Maryland -- at three different venues -- Apollo, Wells Fargo, Palestra -- this season (though last weekend's Maryland game was alleged to have been a "neutral site contest"). The only larger crowd to watch a basketball game at the Liacouras Center came in 2004 when the Owls hosted Jameer Nelson, Delonte West and the undefeated St. Joseph's Hawks.

Rollout RecapTemple's Cherry Crusade
(1) "The last time you beat us, our freshmen were freshmen...in high school."
(2) "La Salle is more relevant than you."
(3) "Only Tebow can save the Hawk."
(4) "Only ITT Tech accepts more than SJU."
(5) "So who's NOT transferring this year?"
(6) "Free O'Brien."
(7) "Who wears short-shorts?" (See here:[embed]http://yhoo.it/zJLUU7)
(8) "Things Delonte West got into: SJU, LeBron's Mom, White House."
(9) "This is our ciTy."

St. Joseph's Student Section
(1) "More gangsta: TU Holloway or TU students?"
(2) "Not Ready for Hagan."
(3) "The Hawk Will Never Die."

Quotes
-- Phil Martelli on the outcome: "What the final score, actually what that final score doesn't even indiciate, is how we were domianted. But they dominated"..."That was not really much of a contest. And it wasn't individual. I just said that to the players. We got waxed, not an individual guy lost his matchup. And when you play Dunph's teams that's what you're really playing. You're playing a team concept and not an individual."

-- Juan Fernandez on Temple winning 10 in a row over the Hawks: "That's one of the tough things about playing St. Joe's, especially now. You always want to keep (the streak alive). But we know that they know what the streak has been lately and we expect them to take pride and try to reverse that. Later on, we're going to have to go to their place and it's going to be tough. We keep that in mind and we try to stay focused. It's always good to beat them, obviously. It's good to beat any city team. We just have to stay focused and play our game if we want to keep that streak going."

-- Fran Dunphy on Phil Martelli's Relationship with the Coaches versus Cancer cause: "We've been doing [Coaches versus Cancer] since 1996, and it means a lot. There is nobody, including people in this room, who are not effected by this disease"..."I will tell you flat out that nobody is better than Martelli in this cause. No one. No one here in Philadelphia, certainly. No one throughout the country. The man never says 'no,' is everywhere he can be, and I'm very proud that he has done what he has done for this cause."

-- Dunphy on the atmosphere: "It was great. Any time we can get that student representation, especially, that would be terrific for us. So now the next issue is, we play here on Wednesday. We'd like to get an equal representation on Wednesday. That will be important for us. I want to get the message out to the students that that's how important they are to what it is we do. It's of critical importance. Temple is a very supportive place in so many different ways. We need the support of that student body and I really appreciate what they did today."

-- Dunphy on having to play at the Hagan Arena later this season: "We've got to go back there in a couple weeks. They (St. Joe's) will be more than ready."

Downloadable Post-Game Audio
Phil Martelli

Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore

Fran Dunphy

Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford learning to fight through failure

Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford learning to fight through failure

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Plastered on a wall outside the press box in Coca-Cola Park is a sign — "Pigs to the Bigs" — surrounded by dozens of stars.

Each has upon it the name of a player who has made the leap from the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs to the parent Phillies since Lehigh Valley began operations in 2008 — everyone from outfielder Chris Snelling (April 30, 2008) to pitcher Nick Pivetta (April 29, 2017), the latter of whom has since returned to the IronPigs.

It is a study in the star-crossed, of guys who bounced up and down (Pete Orr, July 8, 2011), guys who flamed out (Domonic Brown, July 28, 2010), guys whose fate is yet to be determined (Maikel Franco, Sept. 3, 2014).

The point being that the path to major-league stardom seldom follows a straight line.

That has been demonstrated once again by the Phillies' top prospect, shortstop J.P. Crawford, who spent weeks in bounce-back mode earlier this season.

And now finds himself there again.

His 0-for-4 night in Thursday's 8-4 loss to Indianapolis left him hitless in his last 16 at-bats, his slash line for the season at .175/.291/.221.

Recall that Crawford, the 16th overall pick in the 2013 draft, had exactly four hits in 48 at-bats over his first 14 games of the season, an average of .083.

Never before had the 22-year-old experienced anything like it, and he took a methodical approach to remedying the problem. He did some video work. He tinkered with his stance. He consulted with hitting coach Sal Rende and roving minor-league hitting instructor Andy Tracy. And slowly but surely, he began coming around.

The thinking at that point was that his slump might serve as a valuable lesson, a blessing in disguise.

As Crawford put it hours before Thursday's first pitch, "I'd rather struggle here than if I ever make it to the big leagues, God willing. I'd much rather have it [happen] down here than up there."

Though it will happen there, too. Baseball, everyone always says, is a game of failure. It's just a matter of how each player deals with it, works through it, minimizes it.

Lehigh Valley manager Dusty Wathan has said repeatedly that he was impressed by Crawford's approach to his scuffling start, that he thought the youngster treated it as "a growing opportunity" that can only help him down the line.

It was all Wathan could have hoped for, for Crawford or anybody else.

"I think it's a good thing to be able to have some experience to look back on, later on," he said. "Now, when they're going through it they probably don't think of it that way, but those of us who have been around baseball and been in situations like that personally, too, know that it's going to get better."

Wathan, seated at his office desk in a T-shirt and shorts before Thursday's game, has been around the block. He previously managed Crawford at Double A Reading, and believes those 14 games in April represent a blip.

"We know that J.P.'s a great player," Wathan said. "I think [such struggles] can actually end up being a good thing for these guys."

If Crawford, a native Californian, had few previous failures to draw upon — "He hasn't really had any," Wathan said — he at least had a ready roster of big-time athletes in his family with whom he could commiserate. His dad, Larry, was a CFL defensive back from 1981-89. His cousin, Carl, was a major-league outfielder for 15 years, ending last season. His older sister, Eliza, played softball at Cal State-Fullerton.

Certainly it appears they have kept him grounded, because he is singularly unimpressed by his draft status or ranking with various scouting services.

"I [couldn't] care less about that," he said. "All that doesn't really matter. Once you get on the field, everyone's the same. Everyone's the same player."

Though he was somewhat less than that early on. He was admittedly frustrated, but far from defeated.

"You've got to stay on the positive [side] on everything," he said. "You can't get too down on yourself, or else you're just going to do worse."

Had it been a major-league situation instead of a player-development situation, it is entirely possible that Wathan would have held him out of the lineup a day or two, just to let him clear his head.

"Or maybe not, because he contributes every night, somehow," the manager said.

And as Crawford said, "You're not going to get better sitting. You've got to go out there and play."

He admitted earlier this month that while he had once been reluctant about video study, he found great benefit in it when he was looking for answers in late April.

He decided to raise his hands while at the plate, and the hits began to come. He batted at a .253 clip over 24 games, including a six-game hitting streak, bringing his average to a season-best .196 on May 20.

Now it's back to the drawing board. It is, after all, a game of failure. It's just a matter of dealing with it, working through it, minimizing it.

He has become well-acquainted with the concept.

The case for Kansas' Josh Jackson to the Sixers at No. 3

The case for Kansas' Josh Jackson to the Sixers at No. 3

Over the weeks leading up to the 2017 NBA draft, we'll be making cases for the Sixers to draft several prospects. Our series will kick off with options at No. 3 (or trade downs) followed by second-round possibilities. The 2017 NBA draft will take place on June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Josh Jackson

Position: SF
School: Kansas
Height: 6-8
Weight: 203
Wingspan: 6-9¾

Jackson enjoyed an excellent season in his one year with the Jayhawks. Regarded as one of the top high school recruits in the country, Jackson didn't disappoint. The super athletic swingman averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and three assists per game.

Jackson is without a doubt the best two-way player in this draft. He can guard positions one through four. He averaged an impressive 2.2 steals and 1.4 blocks per 40 minutes, using his length and athleticism to disrupt passing lanes. He's also strong and physical, with the ability to body up ball handlers and cutters, and redirect them.

He's a bit underrated offensively. He struggled with his shot early on, but improved as the season went on. In his last 17 games, he shot 48 percent from three on over three attempts per game. As his three assists a night indicates, he's a good and willing passer. He's also a better ball handler than he gets credit for, with the ability to get to the rim using his left or his right. Oh, and he can finish.

The case for Jackson
He fits the Sixers as an elite wing defender who plays well off the ball. If his shot continues to improve, he could be a great complement to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. 

No, he's not an obvious fit, but he's way too talented at a position they really don't have. And talented wings aren't easy to find. Robert Covington has been a find for the Sixers and should definitely be given a contract extension, but Jackson simply brings more to the table on both ends of the court. The shot is a concern, but we've seen almost every player improve their shot with head coach Brett Brown and the Sixers' staff.

The case against Jackson
You can't just overlook the fact that he shot an abysmal 57 percent from the free throw line. That simply won't get it done. Free throw shooting can also be an indicator of whether a player can improve his stroke from the field. If the Sixers take Jackson, you have to hope that 57 percent is an aberration. 

Jackson also had some trouble off the court. There were two separate incidents. Both cases were recently resolved, but they both show a lack of maturity and, quite frankly, stupidity. 

One case involved Jackson backing up his car into another and then leaving the scene. He was given probation and forced to pay a $250 fine. In a more troubling incident, Jackson kicked the driver's side door and kicked out a tail light of a member of Kansas' women's basketball team after an argument. He reached a diversion agreement that requires him to attend anger management classes, write a letter of apology and refrain from using alcohol or recreational drugs for a year.

The Sixers will have to vet Jackson long and hard to determine if these incidents were out of a character or part of a troubling pattern.

Analysis
Washington guard Markelle Fultz is the No. 1 player on the board and will likely be picked by the Celtics. The consensus seems to be that the Lakers will take UCLA guard Lonzo Ball. With those two players off the board, Jackson is the clear-cut pick at No. 3.

At worst, you have an elite wing defender that can help slow down the likes of LeBron James, Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the Eastern Conference. He's also going to be a nightmare in the open court running the floor with Simmons. I'd bank on him having at least a modest improvement on his shot.

The off-the-court stuff is definitely a concern, but it's possible they're just dumb decisions by a young kid. He's so talented, you better be certain that there's an issue if you decide to pass on him at No. 3. If he stays out of trouble, he's absolutely worthy of the No. 3 pick.