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Previewing the American: Temple University

Temple arrived from the Atlantic 10 conference to find tougher opponents than those they left behind.


There's good news and bad news for the Temple Owls. The good news is that they were not picked to finish last in The American conference this year. The bad news is they were picked ninth. Say what you will about the importance of pre-season rankings (not very), there's not much expected from the Owls in the 2013-14 season. They did not perform particularly well in their final season the Atlantic 10 and the competition is probably going to get even stiffer in the AAC.

Their incoming recruiting class includes two 6-4 centers but none of the three freshman stand out much from the pack. Temple will be battling to get towards the middle of the pack this year and will hope to surprise a couple of teams along the way.

2012-13 Record: 14-18 (5-9 Conference)

2012-13 Conference: Atlantic-10

2013-14 Season Opener: 11/08 at La Salle

Who's back:

  • Erica Coville: Played in 17 games as a true freshman before being sidelined with an injury. Coville averaged four points and four rebounds in 18 minutes a game.
  • Rateska Brown: She was named to the All-Atlantic 10 Championship Team and played in 34 games for the Owls last season. She posted a true shooting percentage of 48 percent buoyed by her 34 percent 3-point percentage. Brown started 12 games and averaged 27.5 minutes per.
  • Jacquilyn Jackson: Came off the bench in 23 games for the Owls. Jackson grabbed more rebounds than she scored points last year! I'm not sure if that's impressive or dubious, but it happened! Basketball!
  • Meghan Roxas: Played in 30 games as a true freshman and is one of five sophomores (including a redshirt sophomore) on this yaer's squad. Roxas started the last 10 games of the season but only averaged 14.8 minutes a game.
  • Tyonna Williams: One of just two juniors on the team (Rateska Brown is the other), Williams started all 32 games she played in last year and led the team with five assists a game. She had a 1.25 A/TO ratio which is a good thing because Williams posted a true shooting percentage of 42 percent (ew).
  • May Dayan: Played in 30 games as a freshman and averaged a point and a rebound a game in 11 minutes on the floor. The guard turned the ball over 46 times while dishing 19 assists. That's not a great ratio, but, y'know, freshman.
  • Monaye Merritt: After suffering an injury prior to last season, Merritt redshirted and returns as a sophomore. In her freshman season she played in 23 games and shot 31.8 percent from the floor.
  • Natasha Thames: The redshirt senior started all 31 games last season and was second on the teaming in rebounding with eight boards a game. Thames averaged seven points a game with 47 percent shooting from the field. She is not a good free throw shooter and made just 57 percent of her attempts last year.

Who's new:

  • Shi-Heria Shipp: After deciding that obtaining a four-year degree at George Washington University wasn't enough, Shipp has transferred to Temple as a graduate student. Because of an injury in her junior season, she was granted a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA (so sweet of them, really). She was the third highest scorer on her team last year.
  • Feyonda Fitzgerald: A 5-7 guard out of Norfolk, Virginia. She broke a state record in high school that was previously held by Kara Lawson.
  • Safiya Martin: A 6-4 center out of Georgia, Martin is now the tallest member on the team.
  • Taylor Robinson: Okay, except for Taylor Robinson. The Owls have an incoming class with TWO 6-4 centers. Huh.
Full Roster:

1 Erica Covile So. G 6-1 Canton, Mich. John Glenn H.S.
2 Feyonda Fitzgerald Fr. G 5-7 Norfolk, Va. Lake Taylor H.S.
3 Rateska Brown Jr. G 5-6 Alvin, S.C. Timberland H.S.
10 Shi-Heria Shipp Gr. G 5-10 Salisbury, N.C. George Washington
12 Jacquilyn Jackson So. F 6-0 Gaithersburg, Md. Gaithersburg H.S.
20 Meghan Roxas So. G 5-8 Ridgewood, N.J. Ridgewood H.S.
23 Tyonna Williams Jr. G 5-6 Fort Washington, Md. Riverdale Baptist H.S.
24 May Dayan So. G 5-7 Ashdod, Israel Makif Tet H.S.
30 Monaye Merritt R-So. G 5-6 Philadelphia, Pa. Friends' Central H.S.
32 Natasha Thames R-Sr. F 6-0 Port Huron, Mich. Academy of Holy Cross
35 Safiya Martin Fr. C 6-4 Fayetteville, Ga. Sandy Creek H.S.
42 Taylor Robinson Fr. C 6-4 St. Louis, Mo. Ladue Horton Watkins H.S.