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.

Source: Phillies have gotten trade 'nibbles' on Carlos Ruiz

Source: Phillies have gotten trade 'nibbles' on Carlos Ruiz

CHICAGO — Another trade deadline arrives next Wednesday.

Could a Phillies veteran such as Ryan Howard or Carlos Ruiz, the lone holdovers from the 2008 World Series championship team, be on the move?

ESPN reports that both players have cleared waivers, which would make them eligible to be dealt. Players traded after Aug. 1 must first clear waivers. They have to be on a new team’s roster by Sept. 1 to gain postseason eligibility. Players traded after Sept. 1 are not eligible for the postseason.

Howard has been available for a trade for a couple of seasons, but there has been no interest. Even now, with him hitting .339 with seven homers, 16 RBIs and a .742 slugging percentage since the All-Star break (entering Wednesday), there remains little interest, according to sources. Howard is still owed about $16 million in the form of salary and a $10 million contract buyout for 2017, but that would not be an impediment to a deal as the Phils would eat that. Still, it’s unlikely he will be traded because most of the American League contenders are set at designated hitter, which would be his optimal role.

So, Howard, 36, is likely to play out the final year of his contract with the Phils, take his well-earned bows and exit either to retirement or a new team next season. He says he wants to keep playing.

Ruiz, 37, is also in the final year of his contract. Like Howard, he has swung the bat well recently, hitting .298 with a .433 on-base percentage in his last 26 games. He’s a backup catcher at this stage of his career, but that could appeal to a team like Cleveland or Boston, contenders who could be in the market for catching depth.

A baseball source said the Phillies have received some recent “nibbles” on Ruiz. It’s unclear if a deal will reach the finish line.

As players with 10 seasons in the majors and five consecutive with the same team, Howard and Ruiz both have the power to block a trade. It’s doubtful that either would because both have stated that their goal is to play in the postseason again.

“I’m still happy here,” Ruiz said. “We’ll see what happens. If that happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I'm going to play.”

Howard has taken the same attitude.

“Those are situations where I guess you’ve got to see what presents itself,” he said. “You know me. The last 12 years I’ve just been focused on playing ball. If it presents itself, it presents itself. You handle that situation. Otherwise, I just try to stay in the moment, stay in the now and prepare for the game.”

Trace McSorley named Penn State's starting quarterback

Trace McSorley named Penn State's starting quarterback

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Trace McSorley will start at quarterback for Penn State when the Nittany Lions open against Kent State on Sept 3.

Coach James Franklin settled on the sophomore after McSorley battled redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens for the job through the spring and summer.

"We're excited what he brings to our offense," Franklin said Wednesday. "I think the biggest thing is he's been the backup quarterback for two years. He has game experience and there's value in that. You've been able to see it already, you're not projecting as much."

McSorley will make his first career start at home against Kent State.

"It's a lot of weight off my shoulders," McSorley said. "Over the whole offseason, Tommy and I were pushing each other. This team will be better because of how this competition went with us pushing each other."

Both quarterbacks are strong runners, but McSorley's experience gave him the edge.

His shiftiness was utilized in practice throughout his tenure as Christian Hackenberg's backup. He usually led the scout team against the top defense, offering a similar look to the opposing running quarterbacks Penn State would play.

Although he's played sparingly on Saturdays in that time, McSorley saw meaningful snaps in Penn State's bowl game in relief of an injured Hackenberg. Then, McSorley completed 14 of 17 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns, ran seven times for 31 yards and nearly led a comeback against Georgia.

Now, McSorley will try and turn around a unit that's ranked 105th and 114th in total offense the last two seasons. He'll do so in a spread-based offense designed for a mobile quarterback and led by new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead.

"I think the best thing about the way he runs the ball is he's savvy," linebacker Jason Cabinda said. "He sets up his cuts. You play a guy who's a statue in the pocket and you cover well, he gets sacked. Now we have another element. Not only do you have to worry about covering guys, but when that four or five seconds is up there's that option of scrambling, another aspect of the play you have to worry about."

NBA Notes: City officials declare Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles

NBA Notes: City officials declare Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- Lakers fans packed Los Angeles City Hall chambers to witness the mayor and other officials declare Kobe Bryant Day in honor of the retired NBA superstar.

Councilman Jose Huizar said Wednesday's declaration is the city's way of thanking Bryant for his excellence on the court and philanthropic efforts across Los Angeles.

Bryant attended with his pregnant wife and their two daughters. He called the experience "surreal" and jokingly said someone would have to explain to his unborn daughter why "daddy has a day named for him."

Fans cheered and chanted Bryant's name as he was presented a framed proclamation by Mayor Eric Garcetti and council President Herb Wesson.

Bryant played his entire 20-season career with the Lakers, leading them to five NBA championships.

Lakers: No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram, vet Yi Jianlian signed
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers have signed top draft pick Brandon Ingram and Chinese NBA veteran Yi Jianlian and re-signed center Tarik Black.

Ingram was the No. 2 overall pick in this summer's draft. The Duke product's rookie contract is expected to be worth more than $23 million over four years.

The 28-year-old Yi hasn't played in the NBA since 2011-12 with Dallas. The former No. 6 overall draft pick by Milwaukee spent five seasons in the NBA, averaging a career-best 12.0 points and 7.2 rebounds for New Jersey in 2009-10.

Yi spent the past four seasons with the Chinese Basketball Association's Guangdong Southern Tigers. He is an eight-time MVP of the CBA, winning four championships.

The 6-foot-11 Yi averaged 20.4 points per game for China at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Black has averaged 5.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in two seasons with the Lakers.

Timberwolves: Towns chosen as face of 2K mobile app
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has been tabbed to be the face of 2K's mobile companion application to NBA 2K17 video game, which is set to launch on Sept. 8.

The reigning rookie of the year will be the icon cover athlete for MyNBA2K17, the latest in a series of high-profile endorsements for Towns. The NBA 2K franchise has been the No. 1 selling NBA video game for the last eight years.

"I've been a dedicated NBA 2K fan since I was young, and being selected as the face of MyNBA2K17 is an incredible milestone this early in my career," Towns said on Wednesday. "Playing MyNBA2K and NBA2K is an essential part of my offseason and keeps me grounded during the season with all my travel. I love that I will have the opportunity to connect further with my fans through MyNBA2K17."

The free app connects players to the NBA 2K17 console game and includes facial scanning technology. That allows fans to design players for the game on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 using their own facial features. The app also allows users to watch 2KTV on their mobile devices and play quick games and season tournaments against users around the world.

Towns also has deals with Nike and Samsung among others and made a guest appearance on the Disney television show "Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything" this summer.

On the court, he is teaming with Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio and Kris Dunn to try to end the Timberwolves' 12-year playoff drought.