Thursday, June 2, 2011
Posted: 3:12 p.m. Updated: 5:12 p.m.
By Ryan Feldman
Dalton Pepper is officially a Temple Owl.
Pepper has signed his scholarship agreement and transferred from West Virginia to Temple.
Dalton is a fine young man from a wonderful family," Temple head coach Fran Dunphy said in a statement released by school. "He is a tremendous addition to our basketball program and we are looking forward to great things from him during his Temple career.
Pepper also confirmed the news via text message.
Pepper started his career at West Virginia, where he played the last two seasons. He averaged 3.9 points per game this season as a sophomore. It was well known that Pepper had been considering transferring from West Virginia to Temple throughout the season and after the season.
Although Pepper likely would have started for the Mountaineers next season, he decided to transfer to be closer to home, where his father is currently battling a sickness. Peppers father initially suffered from a simple tooth infection that later spread to his heart, and he had to have a valve replaced.
According to NCAA transfer rules, Pepper will have to sit out the 2011-12 season and wont be eligible until the 2012-13 season, when he will have two years of eligibility remaining. In the past, players that transferred to be closer to a sick parent have been able to petition the NCAA to be immediate eligible. However, Pepper said that he will not petition the NCAA and will indeed sit out next season.
Pepper will follow in the footsteps of his former Pennsbury High School teammate Lavoy Allen, who just graduated from Temple as the Owls all-time leading rebounder. Pepper was a sophomore at Pennsbury when Allen was a senior.
Pepper was ranked in the Rivals.com top 150 coming out of high school. He initially chose to play for West Virginia, but Temple was his second choice.
Temple was 26-8 overall (14-2 in the Atlantic 10) this season and won an NCAA tournament game for the first time during Fran Dunphys tenure. The Owls defeated Penn State 66-64 before losing to San Diego State in double-overtime.
Temple will be loaded in the backcourt next season with Juan Fernandez, Ramone Moore, Scootie Randall, Khalif Wyatt, Aaron Brown, TJ DiLeo and incoming freshman Will Cummings. They also will have Micheal Eric, Anthony Lee and Rahlir Jefferson in the frontcourt. But Fernandez, Moore, Randall and Eric are all seniors next year. That will leave a big hole for the Owls, where Pepper will come in and immediately become one of their go-to players as a junior in 2012-13.
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