Their House: SJU Claims Share of Big 5 Championship with Win over Temple

Their House: SJU Claims Share of Big 5 Championship with Win over Temple

The SJU athletic department made a specific point to play more of the university's basketball games at the Hagan Arena this season. They dragged both Temple and Villanova to the Fieldhouse. That decision appears to have paid off.

With their 82-72 win over the Temple Owls on Saturday night, Saint Joseph's walked off the floor in its final home game of the season with a share of the 2012 Big 5 Title. They will share that championship with the Owls.

The SJU victory snaps two Temple streaks. First, Temple's 11 game win streak in 2012 has come to an end. Second, the Owls' 10 consecutive wins over SJU is now but a 10-1 record in the teams' last 11 meetings. It is the first Saint Joseph's win over Temple since Jan. 26, 2008.

Saint Joseph's win moves the team to 19-11 overall and 9-6 in the Atlantic 10. Temple's loss, meanwhile, drops the Owls to 22-6 and 11-3.

Our (becoming trademark) college basketball assorted notes wrap featuring game notes, postseason scenarios and student rollouts after the jump...

Game Notes
-- Saint Joseph's Langston Galloway led all scorers with 22 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the field and 4 for 6 shooting from three. He offered the SJU home crowd at the Hagan Arena an exaggerated fist pump after his first made jumper of the game. He was locked in from that point on and made dagger after dagger to either stretch his team's lead or keep the Owls at bay.

-- Just as in their first meeting earlier this season, the Temple Owls had absolutely no answer for SJU power forward Ronald Roberts. Coming off the bench, Roberts scored 12 points in 14 minutes in the first half and finished with 18 points and 7 assists. He was absolutely frightening every time he attacked the basket. Roberts is by no means the best player in the city, but he might very well be the single most entertaining, especially against a Temple team who apparently has zero answer for how to guard him.

-- Similarly, Halil Kanacevic, who we expected to be much more of a factor Game 1 at the Apollo, finished with a 14 and 12 double-double. He spent the final five minutes of the game unleashing primal screams in the direction of the SJU student section. He got every meaningful rebound down the stretch and iced the game for all intents and purposes with 3:50 remaining. With SJU up 73-65, Roberts missed two foul shots that could have swung some momentum Temple's way had it not been for Kanacevic grabbing the rebound, getting fouled and making both attempts. After a C.J. Aiken block on one of Temple's signature weak drives to the basket in the final 10 minutes, Kanacevic was there to tip-in a Carl Jones miss and put the Hawks up 10. He back-pedaled down the court (again) screaming at the fans. It was over.

-- In the end, Kanacevic and Roberts on the block were important than Galloway's shooting.

-- Also, Chris Wilson banged a three with 9:42 remaining. That should have been a sign.

-- For Temple, it was all about the fouls. Five Owls -- Juan Fernandez, Khalif Wyatt, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, Micheal Eric, Anthony Lee -- finished with four personals. The team tied its season-high for infractions. Fernandez picked up his fourth with more than five minutes remaining that necessitated a prolonged, ineffective offense-defense sub package. The freshman Lee had an especially difficult night, channeling Moses Malone in the worst way possible. He finished with 4 points and 4 fouls in 4 minutes.

-- While we're on the subject, though the officiating didn't cost Temple the game nor hand SJU the win, it did hurt the flow. The contest was physical and it was intended to be from the opening tip. Fouls were inevitable, but it makes little sense to choose to call the ticky-tack hand checks when the guys mauling each other under the basket will force the officials to blow their whistles. Make it two consecutive Big 5 games where the referees tried to assert themselves early, lost control of the game, and spent the remainder of their time mucking up what was left. Again, they didn't hand or cost anyone anything, but they had an impact. That, in and of itself, is bad enough.

-- On the score sheet, Hollis-Jefferson tied Moore for a team-high 15 points. Temple's bigs -- with the exception of the (through no fault of his own) overwhelmed Lee -- came to play, while the guards simply failed to perform at the level they needed to. See, the beauty of Temple's three-headed monster in the backcourt is that if one of them underperforms, another will pick up the slack. Really, since losing Dionte Christmas three seasons ago, that's been Temple's M.O. They don't have "one guy." They have "a number of guys." Unfortunately for the Owls, they always run into a few games a year where that balance actually works against them to the point where everyone slumps. That happened tonight. Wyatt shot 3 for 8 and Fernandez 1 of 7.

-- Juan Fernandez had not taken (by our eye) one his trademark ill-advised one-handed-scoop drives to the basket in probably five or six games. He did it on Temple's first possession Saturday. Like Wilson's three, this should have been a sign.

-- Getting back to the Temple bigs fighting like hell, Micheal Eric posted his fifth double-double of the season with 14 and 14. He appeared as upset with the Hagan Arena's rims as Mr. Roberts. Despite the loss, Hollis-Jefferson and Eric should be commended for their efforts in both assaulting Aiken on the block and for banging bodies with Roberts and Kanacevic under the glass.

Postseason Scenarios
-- With a win over St. Bonaventure this coming Wednesday, SJU will clinch a first-round bye and an automatic trip to Atlantic City.

-- With a win over Massachusetts this coming Wednesday, Temple will clinch the A-10 regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. 

The Environment / Your Mandatory Rollout Recap

Temple Rollouts
1. This is Hawk BasketbaLLLLLLLLLLL?
2. SJU students, enjoying your assigned seats?
3. I Thought they taught penmanship at catholic schools.
4. CJ, transfer to Nova: All you can do is block

SJU Rollouts

1. 54th Airborne Pops the Cherry Crusade
2. SJU taxes subsidize TU football
3. Sugar Daddies pay ][uition (ed note: If you don't get it, click here)
4. Temple's Dance Team: Discounted on SeekingArrangement.com
5. Juan, you know we don't speak Spanish
6. The Hawk Will Never Die

Amusing SJU Cheers
1. Musically: "You walked, you traveled, you took many steps"
2. To Owls at the line after missed free throws: "You let the whole team down"
3. Some guy sitting two rows behind Tony DiLeo screamed "WHO'S YOUR DADDY!?" to T.J. DiLeo while he was at the line. It was highly amusing.

While traffic (both in and around the building) is an absolute nightmare, the SJU Fieldhouse is a special place. The Hawks would be well served to keep playing in the Hagan Arena. 

It's tiny. It's congested. There's too many people. There's not enough room. 

In other words, it's everything too many big conference schools will never experience. In other other words, it's awesome. These thoughts extend to the Gola. The Temple kids can chant "high school gym" all they want. I, frankly, never saw any problem with high school gyms.

Joel Embiid not named All-Star starter, can still make it as reserve

Joel Embiid not named All-Star starter, can still make it as reserve

Joel Embiid will have to hope NBA coaches trust the process.

Embiid on Thursday was not named a starter in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jimmy Butler locked in the three Eastern Conference frontcourt spots. Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan rounded out the backcourt.

James (25.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 8.1 assists) and Antetokounmpo (23.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists) were locks as starters. That left Butler, Kevin Love and Embiid as the next in contention. Butler is a two-time All-Star averaging 24.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 36.8 minutes for the 21-22 Bulls. Love is posting 20.7 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 31.6 minutes per game on the Eastern Conference-leading, 29-11 Cavaliers.

The Western Conference starting spots went to Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis. 

The voting was made up of fan votes (50 percent), player votes (25 percent) and media votes (25 percent). Embiid has a chance to be voted in by the NBA coaches, whose reserve selections will be announced on Jan. 26. 

Embiid would have been named a starter had the results been based on fan voting (50 percent). He finished third ahead of Love and Butler.

Embiid was in the running for a starting role during a breakout rookie season. He is averaging 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game. Even though his playing time is capped at 28 minutes, he ranks seventh among all players in scoring per 48 minutes. He is eighth overall in free throw attempts per game (7.9) and 10th in those made (6.2).

Embiid had obstacles, though, when it came to the voting: rookie status, 28-minute restriction, limited games played (29) because of his allocated workload, and the Sixers’ record.

Even though the All-Star Game highlights individual achievements, team record is often taken into consideration. The Sixers have won seven of their last nine games (see story), but still stand well below .500 at 14-26.

When it came to the players’ vote, it is hard for a rookie who hasn’t even competed against every team in the league to make a strong enough impression for another player to influence their perception of the top talent. Embiid finished outside of the top five in the players' vote, behind James, Antetokounmpo, Butler, Paul George and Kristaps Porzingis. Meanwhile, the Sixers' big man finished fifth in the media vote.

Embiid and the Sixers were very active in pushing for the fan votes. Embiid received the social media support of celebrities including Triple H, Kevin Hart and MLB MVP Mike Trout, among others. The Sixers promoted Embiid through a Shirley Temple campaign based on his favorite drink.

Embiid picked up major steam in the last week of voting. He had trailed Love by 16,028 fan votes in the second returns on Jan. 12.

He took to Twitter to express his gratitude.

Chip Kelly still jobless after swinging and missing with Jaguars

Chip Kelly still jobless after swinging and missing with Jaguars

Chip Kelly's job search continues.

The beloved (sarcasm) former Eagles head coach reportedly interviewed for the Jaguars' offensive coordinator opening. However, on Wednesday night, Jacksonville announced it was retaining Nathaniel Hackett as its OC.

“We are excited to announce Nathaniel Hackett as our offensive coordinator and he will immediately be tasked with installing and implementing our offense this offseason,” Jaguars new head coach Doug Marrone said in a statement from the team. “I have had the pleasure of working with Nathaniel for seven consecutive seasons and know firsthand how knowledgeable and passionate he is about winning.”

So, Kelly swung and miss twice on the Jaguars, as he reportedly interviewed for Jacksonville's head coaching job, as well.

"I’m not going to close the door on any opportunity, but I have to be very smart in what I do next,” Kelly said, via CSNBayArea.com, two days after his firing as 49ers head coach. “I don’t have to take anything, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. I need to make sure that I’m in the right situation.

“I don’t know what the future holds. I’ll do my due diligence. I’m not going to coach just to coach.”

Kelly's decline is staggering, even if you saw it coming.

Look at this NFL coaching history ...

With Eagles in 2013: 10-6, wild-card playoff berth
With Eagles in 2014: 10-6, missed playoffs
With Eagles in 2015: 6-9, fired before final regular-season game
With 49ers in 2016: 2-14, fired after regular season

Who knows what's next for the Chipper?