Sixers Stay Local, Add Temple's Allen in Second Round

Sixers Stay Local, Add Temple's Allen in Second Round

Following in the footsteps of the Philadelphia Eagles less than two months ago, the Philadelphia 76ers have drafted a Temple Owl. With the 50th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Sixers have selected 6'9 power forward Lavoy Allen. This is the first Owl selected by the 76ers since Mark Karcher was chosen 48th overall in 2000.

Allen completed his senior season in March as the all-time leading rebounder in Temple history and one of the greatest Owls in recent memory. LA is a talented rebounder with massive hands and special sense for how and where the ball comes off the rim. Moreover, Allen's stalwart presence under the basket made Temple one of the most consistently solid defensive squads in the country. As coach Fran Dunphy was quoted on NBA.com:

"He's really a good player. I don't know what the NBA guys are thinking of him. Can he be an NBA player? Absolutely. He's the best defensive player position-wise and in terms of understanding of the game I've ever been associated with. I believe he could have a 12-year career in the NBA. He may never start. He's never going to be a drop-dead scorer. But he'll be a solid player."

That all said, the kid obviously isn't perfect and shortcomings do remain. Though he's billed at 225 pounds, Lavoy lacks the clear cut "look" of an NBA player. At 6'9, he certainly has the height and wingspan to compete, but would do himself well to put on some extra muscle in the weight room. On offense, Lavoy has been criticized for being less than assertive in attacking the basket and suffered at times from an inability to convert from the post position. Gaining weight, working on his post moves and finding a tougher mental edge will all benefit Lavoy in the future and hopefully make him a valid candidate for this roster.  

Given the above, while Lavoy's place as a Sixer is far from guaranteed, this is a nonetheless special moment for Big 5 and Owls fans alike.

As someone still trying to get over the fact that the Sixers passed on Dionte Christmas out of training camp two years ago, this is more than a little surprising for yours truly. Having watched Lavoy Allen for the last four years at Temple and even remembering him from his high school days at Pennsbury High School, I can tell you Lavoy has come a long, long way.

Regardless of whether or not he makes this roster, I have been and will remain proud of Lavoy Allen. Congratulations, my man. You made it.

Nick Menta is a Temple University Alum

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.