Temple Owls

Temple's Dion Dawkins drafted by Bills in 2nd round as versatility pays off

Temple's Dion Dawkins drafted by Bills in 2nd round as versatility pays off

The Buffalo Bills selected Dion Dawkins in the second round of the NFL draft with the 63rd overall pick on Friday.

Joining teammate Haason Reddick (see story), Dawkins is the second Temple player to be selected this draft.

Dawkins started at left tackle for three years at Temple, but in the Senior Bowl in January he moved to guard and was named the top offensive line performer by Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage.

"At the end of the day, I'm a football player," Dawkins said at Temple's pro day last March. "I can be listed as a center, a guard or a tackle because teams need offensive linemen with versatility."

The Bills traded their third-round pick (75th overall) and two fifth-round picks (149th overall and 156th overall) for the Atlanta Falcons' second-round pick, where they nabbed the Temple product. Dawkins becomes the first offensive lineman drafted by the Bills since they selected John Miller in the third round of the 2015 draft.

Dawkins could be a Day 1 starter at the next level and block in front of former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, who finished sixth in rushing yards last season with 1,267 on 5.4 yards per carry.

Before Dawkins was drafted, he faced some adversity entering Temple like Reddick. 

Dawkins didn't have many options coming out of Rahway High School in New Jersey. He was committed to Cincinnati but pulled his commitment after it didn't offer him a full scholarship. 

Dawkins played at the Hargrave Military Academy in 2012 and then joined Temple for the 2013 season. He was one of four true freshmen to start at left tackle in the NCAA in 2013, including Laremy Tunsil, the 13th overall pick in the 2016 draft. Dawkins played in five games and started in two that season until breaking his foot.

But, Dawkins rebounded and went on to protect Phillip Walker's blindside for the next three seasons to finish out his career at Temple.

"With doing both positions, it's a better chance for teams to have guys they fall back on," Dawkins said. "If a tackle goes down, and I'm the starting left guard, then they can move me to left tackle or right. And I plan on learning every position so I can remain in the NFL for as long as possible and be a great player."

Temple put back on its heels in AAC tourney ouster

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Temple put back on its heels in AAC tourney ouster


ORLANDO, Fla. -- No. 11 Wichita State has advanced to the semifinals of American Athletic Conference tournament.


Landry Shamet scored 24 points, Rashard Kelly had 16 and the Shockers held off pesky Temple for an 89-81 victory on Friday night.

Wichita State (25-6) also got a strong performance from its reserves, including 13 points from Austin Reaves. Next up is the winner of the Houston-Central Florida game.

The Shockers won two of three against the Owls this season, and the outcome was in doubt every time.

"We certainly do bring out the best in them," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. "The bottom line is that they make a lot of shots against us, but we usually do get great contributions from our bench. We go 10 or 11 deep and that's a good thing."

Wichita State led 78-75 with 2:23 left and closed it out with 11 foul shots.

Temple stayed close with its perimeter shooting. The Owls went 11 of 24 from 3-pointg range and shot 50.9 percent from the field overall.

Quinton Rose led Temple (17-15) with 25 points. Shizz Alston and Josh Brown each had 15 points for the Owls, who didn't have enough depth to keep pace with Wichita State in the final minutes.

"I loved our fight, I loved how we were hanging with them each and every moment," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "I think late we just needed another basket, another stop, but they're a really good basketball team. They made some veteran plays at the right time."

The Shockers were clinging to a 63-61 lead with eight minutes to play when Reaves, fellow reserve Markis McDuffie and Kelly powered a key 13-3 run. The three combined for 11 points in the surge and helped cool off Rose while leading Wichita State to a 76-64 advantage with just over four minutes remaining.

Shaquille Morris made two foul shots to put the Shockers up 55-45 early in the second half, but the Owls rallied behind Rose. The sophomore guard scored 12 of his team's next 14 points to cut the deficit to 61-59 with 9:10 left.

"Quinton did a great job in that stretch and got us where we needed to be," Dunphy said. "But again, we needed a little better effort at the defensive end and just be a little smarter."

Big picture
Temple: The Owls had some nice early season wins -- Wisconsin, Clemson, Auburn, South Carolina -- but need to take the next step in the conference season. The Owls were only 8-10 in AAC play.

Wichita State: The Shockers are aching for a rematch with top-seeded Cincinnati, but first they'll have to get past the winner of the Houston-UCF game and they've struggled with both. Houston handed Wichita State its worst loss of the season, and UCF took the Shockers to overtime before losing in the second-to-last game of the regular season. Wichita State will need another good night from its reserves to reach the finals.

Temple narrowly avoids disaster

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Temple narrowly avoids disaster


ORLANDO, Fla. -- Shizz Alston Jr. hit three free throws in the final minute and Temple avoided being upset by a lower seed in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament for the second year in a row, holding off Tulane 82-77 Thursday night.

Temple, the No. 7 seed, advances to face second-seeded Wichita State on Friday in the tourney quarterfinals.

Last year the eighth-seeded Owls were upset by No. 9 seed ECU.

Nate Pierre-Louis made a free throw with 1:01 left to give Temple a 77-71 lead, but the 10th-seeded Green Wave roared back behind two Cameron Reynolds 3-pointers sandwiched around an Alston free throw to make it 78-77 with :37 remaining. Alston was fouled with :16 left and hit both free throws to make it 80-77, and Caleb Daniels missed a 3 with :05 left that would have tied the game. Josh Brown added two free throws with a second left to set the final score.

Obi Enechionyia led the Owls (17-14) with 19 points. Alston added 17 points and dished eight assists and Brown added 15 points, six boards, three assists and two steals.

Reynolds hit 3 of 7 from distance and paced Tulane (14-17) with 22 points. Melvin Frazier added 15 points and Samir Sehic and Ray Ona Embo added 11 and 10 points, respectively.