Big 5 Opener: Penn Hosts Temple at the Palestra, Owls' Wyatt to Sit

Big 5 Opener: Penn Hosts Temple at the Palestra, Owls' Wyatt to Sit

Your Penn-Temple preview on the way just as soon as I can wrap my head around being able to watch something on replay at the Palestra...

The University of Pennsylvania Quakers are off to a 1-0 start after a 59-45 victory over the UMBC Retrievers on Friday night. Tonight's match up will be the Quakers' 2011-2012 home opener and the Owls' first game of the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m and can be heard 1210 AM.

Matchups:
As discussed in our Big 5 preview from last week, Penn is led by the veteran back court of seniors Zack Rosen and Tyler Bernadini. Spearheading the effort against UMBC, Rosen finished with a game-high 26 points, going 10-16 from the field, 4-5 from three, and chipping in 4 boards, 3 helpers and 3 takeaways. Bernadini, on the other hand, struggled to find his shot. He would finish just 3-10 shooting and 1-6 from behind the arc.

Standing opposed are the Temple University Owls, led by an equally experienced tandem of guards in Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore. With Scootie Randall still recovering from a torn meniscus, the starting five figures to feature Fernandez, Moore, Aaron Brown, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and Michael Eric. Junior guard Khalif Wyatt tweeted earlier this afternoon that he will not be not be playing tonight. An Owlscoop.com source has since confirmed the tweet, breaking the news that Khalif is serving a one-game suspension for a "minor internal matter."

With Wyatt out of the mix and the rest of the guards getting after each other at both ends, look for Temple to try involve center Michael Eric in the offense. Penn doesn't have anyone who can match his height or physical presence, meaning the 6-10 Eric should have a good opportunity to show off all the work he's put in to his offensive game. The same goes for the 6-9 Anthony Lee, who will be playing his first game in a Temple uniform.

Notes:
As an aside, if any of you noticed an irregularity in the Temple starting line-up, junior forward Rahlir Jefferson is, as it reads, no longer Rahlir Jefferson. Instead, he has added his mother's last name to his own, opting to go with the hyphenated approach as a tribute and thank you for all that she has done for him. I remember Rahlir's first game as a Temple Owl in the team's  season opener on the road at Delaware in 2009. When her son came off the bench for his very first taste of college basketball, I had not to that point in my life heard any woman scream that loud for any reason. It's a nice story and a nice touch.

One other change for the Owls, Ramone Moore will no longer be wearing his trademark No. 23. He will now be wearing No. 10 as tribute of his own. Unfortunately, the motivation for the change is a much sadder story. Moore lost his 10-year-old cousin Zaire to a car accident this past Summer. For more on Ramone's relationship to his late, and all-too-young, family member click here.

Players to Watch Tonight:
For Penn, sophomore Miles Cartwright started in 19 games for the Quakers last season as a true freshman. He finished fourth in scoring behind Rosen, Bernadini and the now graduated Jack Eggleston. Along with fellow sophomore and Archbishop Wood product Fran Dougherty, the two figure to be the immediate future of the program once Bernadini and Rosen (finally) finish up their eligibility at year's end.

For Temple, red-shirt freshman Anthony Lee could prove critical to the Owls' success this season. Undersized and inexperienced in the front court, Temple will need the power forward to help fill the void left by Lavoy Allen. Lee figures to split time at the four this season with the 6-6 Jefferson. Their contributions will be key in Temple's quest to win its fourth A10 title in the past five seasons and to move on to the Sweet 16 after breaking through with the program's first NCAA tournament win in ten years last March.

Relevant History:
All-time Series: Temple leads 44-22
At Penn: Temple leads 27-6
Streak: Temple has won last four in a row
Last Meeting: The Owls defeated the Quakers by a final score 73-56 (1/19/11, Liacouras Center). Temple's Khalif Wyatt came off the bench to score a career-high 27 points in the Owls' victory.

See you post-game.

Scoreboard photo courtesy The Pheisty Fans from the Battle of I-95

NHL Notes: Islanders fire head coach Jack Capuano

NHL Notes: Islanders fire head coach Jack Capuano

The struggling New York Islanders fired coach Jack Capuano on Tuesday, ending his tenure in the middle of its seventh season.

General manager Garth Snow named assistant GM/coach Doug Weight as Capuano's interim replacement. Snow told reporters Tuesday that the Islanders weren't where they wanted to be in the standings and that everyone's disappointed in their performance his season.

"At the end of the day organizationally I don't think Jack was probably going to be a coach that we were going to bring back," Snow said, adding that the team will begin a full-time coaching search now.

Snow said the halfway point of the season played a role in the timing of firing Capuano a day after beating the Boston Bruins 4-0. The Islanders were 17-17-8 and are in last place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points (see full story).

Predators: Hunt claimed, Fiala sent to AHL
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nashville Predators have claimed defenseman Brad Hunt off waivers from the St. Louis Blues.

In other moves announced Tuesday, the Predators assigned forward Kevin Fiala to their American Hockey League affiliate in Milwaukee and have placed defenseman Petter Granberg on injured reserve.

Hunt had one goal and four assists in nine games for St. Louis this season. He has appeared in a total of 30 NHL games over parts of four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and St. Louis. He has two career goals and six assists.

Fiala has six goals and three assists in 32 games for Nashville this season.

Granberg has played in 10 games for the Predators and has 10 penalty minutes.

NFL Notes: Tomlin says Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for live stream

NFL Notes: Tomlin says Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for live stream

PITTSBURGH — The father in Mike Tomlin regrets the language he used to describe the New England Patriots during the postgame speech Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown's opted to livestream on social media after a taut playoff victory over Kansas City.

The coach in Tomlin has just as big an issue with one of his team's biggest stars forcing the Steelers to talk about something other than trying to find a way to finally beat Tom Brady when it counts.

A characteristically blunt Tomlin called Brown's decision to broadcast more than 17 minutes of Pittsburgh's giddy locker room to the world -- a move that caught Tomlin using a handful of profanities -- over Kansas City "foolish," "selfish" and "inconsiderate."

"Not only is it a violation of our policy, it's a violation of league policy, both of which he knows," Tomlin said Tuesday.

"So there are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective. We will punish him. We won't punish us."

Tomlin took responsibility for his choice of words, though he was unaware of being filmed as he spoke.

During Tomlin's brief remarks he attached an expletive to the Patriots, who earned a full day's head start on the Steelers by virtue of beating Houston on Saturday night, 24 hours before Pittsburgh outlasted Kansas City 18-16.

"The responsibility associated with being in this thing, just from a role model standpoint, it's something that I personally embrace," Tomlin said.

"It's something that we as a team and organization embrace. So that's why the language, specifically, in terms of the content, is regrettable," (see full story).

- The Associated Press

Report: Former Eagles DL Clyde Simmons joining Browns' staff
The Sporting News' Alex Marvez reported that the Browns are hiring Clyde Simmons to coach their defensive line.

Since 2012, Simmons has worked as the assistant defensive line coach for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams under head coach Jeff Fisher and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Fisher was fired by the Rams with three games left in the 2016 season and Williams left Los Angeles for Cleveland, where he will also be the defensive coordinator.

Filling out his staff in Cleveland, Williams appears to be bringing Simmons with him from the Rams. Cleveland.com reported that Williams is also hiring his son, Blake, as the linebackers coach and Jerod Kruse as the defensive backs coach. 

Simmons spent the first eight seasons of his 15-year NFL career in Philadelphia, starting 108 of the 124 games he appeared in. Simmons recorded 76 of his 121.5 career sacks with the Eagles and also forced 12 fumbles, recovering 10, and scoring two touchdowns with the Birds.

- CSNPhilly.com

Broncos: Joe Woods promoted to defensive coordinator
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos coach Vance Joseph has promoted secondary coach Joe Woods to defensive coordinator, replacing Wade Phillips, who left for the Los Angeles Rams.

Woods, 46, was in charge of the Broncos' "No Fly Zone" secondary that led the league in pass defense each of the last two years behind All-Pro cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr., safeties T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart and nickel back Bradley Roby.

Woods has a quarter-century of experience coaching defensive backs including the last 13 seasons in Denver (2015-16), Oakland (2014), Minnesota (2006-13) and Tampa Bay (2004-05).

Joseph said Woods "is ready for this opportunity" and "no one will outwork Joe."

Harris said, "If we had to lose Wade at least we get to keep Joe," (see full story).

- The Associated Press