Can Temple beat another Top 10 team in Kansas?


Can Temple beat another Top 10 team in Kansas?

The last time Temple took on Kansas, the No. 18 Owls were hammered by Sherron Collins, Xavier Henry, Cole Aldrich and the No. 1 Jayhawks in a 32-point loss at the Liacouras Center on Jan. 2, 2010.

That game, now three seasons ago, doesn't serve as much motivation for Temple's leading scorer Khalif Wyatt, but he does remember it.

"Oh yeah, I thought about it. They came in here and they beat us pretty bad," said Wyatt, who was then just a freshman and who entered the game for only four minutes. "I wasn't a big part of that team, but I know I was there. I watched it.

"I played a little bit," he continued, before breaking out in laughter, "by default."

So that game didn't go so well.

But the Temple Owls have upset five Top 10 teams in the last five seasons. They've done it three times at the Liacouras Center (Tennessee, Villanova, and Georgetown) and twice on neutral courts (Duke, Syracuse). They just haven't done it in someone else's home gym.

Sunday at 4:30 p.m., the Owls have that opportunity when Temple (10-2) faces No. 6 Kansas (11-1) at Fogg Allen Fieldhouse.

One problem: Kansas is riding a 29-game home winning streak -- second-longest in the country behind only Syracuse, who Temple defeated at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 22 -- and hasn't lost to a non-conference opponent on its own floor in 62 games.

"I think it's a wonderful environment to bring your team into," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "I hope we're ready to be on that stage. It's a great opportunity. It (Fogg Allen) is unique. It's 16,000 people that are sort of right on top of you, and it's loud and it's aggressive, but it's what you want your kids to go through."

The team that plays in the atmosphere starts four seniors -- Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, and Kevin Young -- and one freshman -- guard Ben McLemore, who leads the Jayhawks with 15.8 points per game.

"They have a similar team to the team they had in 2010." Wyatt said. "They have some pretty talented guys. And now we're going into there place. So it's going to be a challenge, but I think we're up for it."

Wyatt usually is. In Temple's last two wins over Top 10 opponents, he was the games' leading scorer. He finished with 22 points against Duke last season on 8-for-12 shooting, and then dropped a career-high 33 points on Syracuse, going 8 of 17 from the floor.

"You try to prepare for these games, you try to treat them like they're just another game, even though you know they're not," Wyatt said. "I know there's a lot of history in that building, and they play really good in there.

"It's a great opportunity to play with your teammates in a hostile environment. I think it's natural at the beginning just to have jitters, especially going on the road, but only the ball gets thrown up, you get to run up and down the court and it just starts to feel like another game. You just gotta go out there and make shots and play basketball."

Making shots could prove difficult. Kansas is second in the nation, trailing only Texas, in defensive field goal percentage, allowing opponents to shoot just 34.7 percent this season. At the other end of the floor, the Jayhawks are ninth in the country, shooting 50.4 percent from the field.

"The fact that they shoot the ball at such a high percentage, and defend it at such a low percentage, that's a big gap. I don't know that we've faced anybody with that kind of gap (15.7 percent) this year," Dunphy said. "I'd like to check Duke and what their numbers are and Syracuse and what their numbers are."

Actually, it isn't close. Duke's opponents are shooting 38.2 percent, while Duke itself is shooting 48.2 percent. And while Syracuse is fourth in the country with a 35.1 defensive percentage, its only making 46.8 percent of its own looks. Those are gaps of 10 percent and 11.7 percent, not 15.7.

Kansas makes you miss, rebounds the basketball with the 7-foot Withey (7.9 rpg) and 6-foot-8 Young (6.7 rpg in 19.6 mpg) and converts a high volume of its attempts at the other end.

Consequently, Dunphy and Wyatt both emphasized responsibility, with specific regard to shot selection. Temple has fallen at times a little too in love with the three-point shot this year, and long shots make for longer rebounds.

"Kansas is an extraordinary team who can go on these runs," Dunphy said. "I think we're really going to have to manage our offensive game in order to prevent those runs from happening."

If anything is (maybe) working in the Owls' favor, of the four times Temple has defeated two Top 10 teams in the same season, it's knocked off Kansas twice. Temple downed No. 3 Kansas and No. 5 Louisville during the 1993-94 season, and did the same to No. 2 Villanova and No. 1 Kansas in the span of 10 days during the 1995-96 season.

The last time Temple beat two Top 10 opponents in the same campaign was back in the 2002-03 season, with wins over No. 10 Indiana and No. 10 Xavier.

Following its win over Bowling Green last Monday, Temple became just the sixth program in Division I college basketball history to reach 1,800 wins, joining Kentucky, Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina and Kansas.

In the annals of college basketball, Temple, despite having never won a national championship, has put itself in that kind of elite company. Now the 2012-13 Owls have to see if they can hang with the Jayhawks.

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Baylor to fire football coach Briles, re-assign president

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Baylor to fire football coach Briles, re-assign president

WACO, Texas -- Baylor University's board of regents said Thursday that it will fire football coach Art Briles and re-assign university President Kenneth Starr amid questions over the school's handling of sexual assault complaints against players.

The nation's largest Baptist university said in a statement Thursday that it had suspended Briles "with intent to terminate." Starr will leave the position of president on May 31, but the school says he will serve as chancellor.

The university also placed athletic director Ian McCaw on probation.

Baylor asked a law firm last year to conduct a review of its handling of sexual assault cases following allegations that the football program mishandled several cases of players attacking women.

The university's statement said the review revealed "a fundamental failure."

Baylor has faced increasing criticism in recent months for its handling of reports of rape and other violent incidents involving football players and students. One victim has sued the university, saying it was deliberately indifferent to her allegations against a former player who was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting her.

Starr ordered an investigation last year but has been mostly silent amid mounting criticism over the school's handling of the complaints, which erupted under his leadership. He took over as the university's president in 2010, about a decade after the former prosecutor investigated former President Clinton's sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewisnky.

The football team, whose players were at the center of the upheaval, enjoyed unprecedented success under Briles' tenure, including two Big 12 championships in the last three years. That success brought a financial windfall, and in 2014, Baylor opened a new, $250-million on-campus football stadium. But Briles' program has also been criticized for recruiting or accepting transfer players without regard to the harm they might cause fellow students.

Starr rode the waves of the program's success, and often ran on the football field with Baylor students in pregame ceremonies. But as investigations began into the school's handling of sexual assault allegations against players, Starr provided only brief comments, even as criticism of the school mounted.

In a February statement issued by university, Starr said "our hearts break for those whose lives are impacted by execrable acts of sexual violence." And at a prayer breakfast last month, Starr told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "I am in favor of transparency. Stand up, take your medicine if you made a mistake."

Baylor's Board of Regents was recently briefed by a law firm hired to investigate how the school responded to assault incidents, and the school on Thursday released a summary of its findings. Starr initiated the review in 2015, after former football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting a female soccer player.

Ukwuachu, who was convicted in 2015, transferred to Baylor after he was dismissed from Boise State. Ukwuachu's former girlfriend testified during his rape trial in Texas that he had struck and choked her when he attended Boise State.

Ukwuachu's former coach, Chris Peterson, now the coach at Washington, said he "thoroughly apprised" Briles about the circumstances of Ukuwachu's dismissal. Briles disputed that account, saying he talked with Peterson and there was no mention of the incident.

The school is also facing a federal lawsuit from a former student claiming the school was "deliberately indifferent" to rape allegations levied at a former football player Tevin Elliott, who was convicted in 2014 of sexually assaulting the woman.

The uproar following Ukwuachu's conviction caused Baylor to initiate the review by the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, and to announce a $5 million effort to improve efforts on how it responds to sexual assault, including adding another investigator and more staff.

But the Ukwuachu case was just the start of months of revelations of football players being involved in violent incidents with little or no repercussions. At least seven other woman have publicly come forward to say the school ignored their sexual assault allegations.

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Josh Hart discusses NBA draft process, returning to Villanova


Josh Hart discusses NBA draft process, returning to Villanova

Josh Hart said the decision wasn’t easy.

But he’s happy with it.

After withdrawing his name from the NBA draft to return to school (see story), Hart is excited to focus on Villanova, graduation and then the NBA dream.

“I love the school, I love the teachers, the student body, the support, my teammates that we have coming back,” the 6-foot-5 guard said Wednesday on Comcast SportsNet’s Philly Sports Talk. “So it was a tough one and I just thought at the end of the day, I think going back for my senior year would be in the best interest of my parents and myself.”

As a junior, Hart helped Villanova win its second national championship in program history by leading the Wildcats in scoring with 15.5 points per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field.

Hart received plenty of feedback from NBA teams. He said shooting and ball handling are what he hopes to improve.

As far as his draft stock …

“There were teams interested maybe in the first [round], and then there were teams that said they would take me in the second,” Hart said. “But there’s a whole month before the draft, a lot of teams didn’t know exactly what they were doing with their picks — whether they were trying to trade up for a pick, trying to trade down, trying to trade a pick for a player. Several teams said that they would take me.”

For more from Hart on the draft and Villanova, watch the video above.

Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

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Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

Delaware has its new head basketball coach in Martin Ingelsby.

Ingelsby, a native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, comes from Notre Dame, where he played from 1997-2001 and coached for 13 seasons, seven as an assistant.

Ingelsby played his high school ball at Archbishop Carroll and is the son of Tom Ingelsby, who played for Villanova from 1970-73.

Delaware is coming off a 7-23 season and 2-16 mark in CAA play, which led to the firing of head coach Monte Ross.

The Blue Hens, who announced the hire Tuesday, will formally introduce Ingelsby in a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Bob Carpenter Center Auditorium.