NCAA

Instant Replay: No. 25 SMU 66, Temple 50

Instant Replay: No. 25 SMU 66, Temple 50

BOX SCORE

Shizz Alston Jr. stole a pass from Sterling Brown on the wing and found a trailing Quinton Rose at the other end of the court for an emphatic alley-oop dunk.

The play brought Temple within 11 points of No. 25 SMU on Thursday night, providing a much-needed offensive spark for the Owls early in the second half.

However, it wasn't nearly enough to ignite Temple, which threatened the nationally-ranked Mustangs only twice before falling, 66-50, at the Liacouras Center.

Temple climbed as close as six points with 7:54 remaining, but Semi Ojeleye, who had a game-high 30 points to go with 10 rebounds, hit the next two shots to restore order for the Mustangs. Ojeleye's second basket gave SMU a 57-48 lead with 4:56 left and the Owls never came within single digits again.

Conference struggles 
Temple dropped another conference game, making it 4-8 against AAC opponents this season and 13-12 overall. The Mustangs, on the other hand, have not had trouble in league play, improving to 11-1 in the AAC and 21-4 overall.

The Owls started off conference competition losing six of their first seven games. Last season, they were regular-season AAC champions, finishing with a 21-12 record. But this season, they sit in eighth place in the conference.

Dunphy's squads at Temple have finished worse than third place in the conference only two times since he became the head coach in 2006.

Top 25 opponents
With the loss to SMU, the Owls fell to 2-4 against AP Top 25 opponents this season. After beating Florida State and West Virginia in the NIT Season Tip-Off, they've gone 0-4.

Temple has lost to Villanova and Cincinnati twice.

Technical foul
Rose was called for one — which was his fourth foul of the game — midway through the second half after he was apparently mouthing off to Brown.

Inside the box score
• Ojeleye dominated the Owls from all over the court. The redshirt junior and Duke transfer shot 8 of 16 (50 percent) from the field, including 4 of 8 from three-point range. He also had two assists, a block and a steal.

• Rose provided the spark the Owls needed off the bench. The freshman recorded 12 points on 5 of 11 shooting. He also had a couple emphatic dunks on the night.

• Alston, the Owls' leading scorer, had 13 points, three assists and three steals. He was also 3 of 10 from beyond the arc.

• Temple turned the ball over 16 times, leading to 17 points for the Mustangs. Daniel Dingle had six of the miscues.

• SMU entered shooting the three ball at 40 percent. But on Thursday, it shot 23.5 percent from three. Temple was slightly better at 26.7 percent.

• After scoring 20 points in five of the first seven games, Obi Enechionyia's struggles continued for the Owls. He posted eight points on 3 of 11 shooting.

First half
SMU started a 16-3 run with 12:14 to go in the first half off a Brown jumper to take a 28-18 lead at the break.

Ojeleye led all scorers in the opening 20 minutes with 13 points on 3 of 6 shooting.

Temple couldn't get in a rhythm offensively, shooting 24 percent from the field. The Owls had two stretches in which they didn't score a bucket in over five minutes. 

SMU's full-court press also caused problems for Temple's young guards. The Owls turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, leading to 11 points for the Mustangs.

Rose led the Owls in scoring with seven points off the bench.

Whats's next
Temple will travel to play Memphis for a 2 p.m. game on Sunday at FedExForum. The Owls beat the Tigers, 77-66, on Jan. 25 at the Liacouras Center.

NCAA adopts college basketball reforms for NBA draft, agents, more

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AP Images

NCAA adopts college basketball reforms for NBA draft, agents, more

INDIANAPOLIS — College basketball players who participate in the NBA combine and go undrafted will be allowed to return to school and play as part of sweeping NCAA reforms in the wake of a corruption scandal.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that its Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors have adopted numerous proposals, including changes to the enforcement process for rules violations and allowing NCAA-certified agents to work with college basketball players who test the waters in declaring for the NBA draft. 

Agents will have at least a limited place within the NCAA structure when it comes to college basketball.

The NCAA's rule changes include allowing players to work with an agent while declaring for the NBA draft. College players would have to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee on their draft prospects. The rules would also allow elite high school players to work with an agent if the NBA removes its one-and-done rule.

The agent would have to be certified by the NCAA no later than August 2020. Until then, agents certified by the NBA players' union would qualify.

Agents would be allowed to cover minimal expenses such as meals and transportation tied to meetings or workouts with pro teams. The agent's work would stop if the player enrolls in or returns to college.

The changes reflect the recommendations made in April by the Rice Commission.

The Rice Commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was formed in response to an FBI investigation into payments from shoe companies to coaches for steering players to certain schools.

The NCAA is also adopting changes it hopes will improve its enforcement process when handling cases of rules violations.

The policies adopted by the NCAA's Board of Governors and Division I Council include the appointment of independent groups to handle and resolve complex cases. That was one of the recommendations from the Rice Commission appointed in the wake of an FBI investigation into corruption within college basketball.

The changes also allow the NCAA to accept during investigations outside information that has been "established by another administrative body or a commission authorized by a school." The NCAA says that will save time since investigators would no longer have to independently confirm information outlined by other agencies or outside investigations.

In addition, school presidents and athletics staff will be required to commit "contractually" to cooperate fully with investigations.

The process to adopt recommendations for NCAA reforms from the Rice Commission was a swift one by the governing body's standards.

In a teleconference with reporters Wednesday, Georgia Tech president and Board of Governors chairman Bud Peterson said those changes would "normally take us about two years through the governance process."

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

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USA Today Images

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

Fresh off a second national championship in three years, this was bound to happen. Jay Wright is a hot name. 

And according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks plan on reaching out to Wright about their vacant head coaching job. 

Just don’t expect Wright to be interested. 

The 56-year-old coach has been determined to build Villanova into a powerhouse since he took the head coaching gig way back in 2001 and he’s finally done that. On the surface, maybe some think that would be enough to make him want to take his coaching to the top league in the world. Not so fast. 

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Wright said pretty flatly that he’s staying at Villanova because he loves it there. 

“The NBA does intrigue me,” Wright said. “That challenge is appealing but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys. The whole thing is, to take a new challenge you have to give up what you have. I don’t want to give up what I have. Would I like to coach in the NBA? Yes. But I have to give this up in order to do that, and I don’t see that happening.”

In that interview, Wright talked about his time at Hofstra and quoted Jim Valvano, who once said, ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ That was true at Hofstra until the Villanova job came around, so maybe there’s a chance the Knicks could blow him away. It just doesn’t seem likely. 

The Knicks just fired head coach Jeff Hornacek after a 29-53 record in 2017. The Knicks haven’t had a winning record since 2012-13. 

The New York Daily News cites a source, who said the Knicks believe Wright would be a “perfect candidate for a rebuilding club.” The Knicks might be right, but don’t bet on them getting Wright.