Temple Owls

Temple football introduces Rod Carey as new coach

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Temple football introduces Rod Carey as new coach

Temple University athletic director Patrick Kraft smiled and let out a little laugh when he took the podium to introduce the school's newest head coach, Rod Carey.

"I feel like Bill Murray in `Groundhog Day,' " Kraft said Friday.

It was just 29 days ago that Kraft and the university were welcoming Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz as the replacement for Geoff Collins, who left for Georgia Tech after two years at Temple. But that changed quickly after Hurricanes coach Mark Richt unexpectedly retired on Dec. 30. Some 12 hours later, Diaz had a five-year deal with Miami, and the Temple job was vacant again.

"We got punched a little," Kraft said. "You were like, `Whoa.' And then you get back at it."

Temple started a new search that officially ended Friday with the hiring of Carey, who was at Northern Illinois. Kraft said the parameters of the search didn't necessarily change, but a wider net was cast than the previous search, and being a head coach was a little more important this time around.

"Every search has its own personality," Kraft said. "No matter if it was 17, 18, 20, 30 days before, you have to re-evaluate yourself. You have to look at what's the right person for this time in this program. We took our time to find our coach. We wanted someone who truly understood North Philadelphia and truly understood who we were. Someone who wanted to be here. Someone who saw who we are and who we can be.

"We were looking for a proven winner. Someone who has a track record of winning and winning the right way."

Carey coached in parts of seven seasons at Northern Illinois, leading the Huskies to six bowl games (all losses) and compiling a 52-30 record. He was the 2013 Mid-American Conference coach of the year and won two MAC championships, including a 30-29 win over Buffalo in this year's title game.

In terms of finding someone who "wanted to be here," Carey appears to fit Temple's need.

"This is exactly where I want to be," the new coach said. "I told Dr. Kraft as we were going through this whole thing, I said, `Put whatever buyout you want on it. I don't care.' That's not important to me. What's important to me is I want to be here. I've said no other times. This is the right time and the right place."

Carey, who took over at NIU before the Orange Bowl at the end of the 2012 season, said it wasn't awkward being the second head coach hired in less than a month.

"They always made me feel like I was the guy they wanted," he said. "I've been this guy before. I was the third head coach in three years at NIU. Yes, I was the offensive coordinator for two of those years, but the guys on defense didn't know me."

The 47-year-old Carey started his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Minnesota in 1998. He said he's in the process of making decisions on the rest of his coaching staff.

Turnovers, poor 3-point shooting hurt Temple in loss to Missouri

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Turnovers, poor 3-point shooting hurt Temple in loss to Missouri

BOX SCORE 

PHILADELPHIA — For Dru Smith and Missouri, it’s been hard not to dwell on a stunning home loss to Charleston Southern earlier this week.

Only thing to do was take it out on the next team on the schedule.

Javon Pickett scored a season-high 16 points off the bench and Missouri snapped a three-game losing streak, beating Temple 64-54 on Saturday night.

Smith added 12 points and six rebounds for the visiting Tigers (5-4), whose loss to Charleston Southern on Tuesday was one of the worst of coach Cuonzo Martin’s tenure.

“Obviously it’s been on our minds,” Smith said. “It’s something we had to learn from. We had to move on. There’s a lot of season left in front of us. I think we did a good job today using that as fuel and coming out and playing much better.”

Quinton Rose led the way for Temple (6-2) with 16 points, 10 of which came in the first half. The Owls committed a season-high 19 turnovers, including an overthrown pass in transition with a minute to go to dash any comeback hopes. They also shot 2 for 21 from 3-point range.

“They didn’t really pressure us; we were just careless with the ball,” Rose said. “Maybe it is a lack of focus. We’ll figure it out.”

Trailing by six early in the second half, the Owls reeled off the next 12 points to take their first lead since they were up 4-2. The run began with a Monty Scott 3-pointer and included a Jake Forrester dunk that electrified a previously frustrated Liacouras Center crowd.

Forrester, an Indiana transfer who had to sit out the first four games until getting cleared to play by the NCAA, finished with 11 points in his first home game for the Owls.

Pickett helped Missouri fight back to tie the game at 47-47 with eight minutes remaining, and the Tigers took the lead 53-52 on a Jeremiah Tillman transition dunk with four minutes to go. Mark Smith’s 3-pointer put the Tigers ahead 57-52 with 2:53 left, and Xavier Pinson helped close out the win with a driving layup in the final minute.

The Tigers outscored the Owls 15-2 over the final six-and-a-half minutes.

“I think we’re as good as any team in the SEC,” Martin said. “But you have to do it on the floor every night. It’s one thing for me to believe it. They have to understand and believe it. And this was a great win for us against a very talented team.”

Temple had more turnovers (11) than made field goals (eight) in the first half to fall behind 33-27 at halftime. No one on the Owls besides Rose scored until Forrester hit a free throw more than eight minutes into the contest.

Can't open the Pickett fence 

Martin credited Pickett for putting the defensive clamps on Rose, Temple’s top scorer, in the second half.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if he spends 10 years in the NBA,” the Missouri coach said of Rose. “And I thought Javon really embraced that challenge. He’s not an easy guy to defend.”

Martin also praised the energy Pickett brings off the bench, which is a role the sophomore says has helped him.

“I feel more relaxed,” said Pickett, who started 31 games as a freshman last season. “Coach all the time is telling me to be myself. I feel like I’m starting to be myself more.”

Big picture

Missouri: The Tigers avoided the slow starts that had been plaguing them, leading for most of the first half before staging their winning rally midway through the second half. They also scored a measure of revenge on an Owls squad that beat them in a thriller last year at Mizzou Arena, 79-77.

Temple: Despite Saturday’s setback, the Owls are showing promise under first-year coach Aaron McKie, who replaced Fran Dunphy. Their only losses have come to power conference teams, No. 3 Maryland and now Missouri, while they’ve beaten another Southeastern Conference squad, Texas A&M, and also Southern California on the road.

Up next 

Missouri: The Tigers return home to face Southern Illinois on Dec. 15.

Temple: The Owls host Saint Joseph’s on Tuesday in one of Philadelphia’s most intense rivalry games.

Temple takes 5th place in Orlando Invitational with win over Davidson

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Temple takes 5th place in Orlando Invitational with win over Davidson

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Nate Pierre-Louis scored 15 points and Quinton Rose added 14 as Temple beat Davidson 66-53 in the fifth-place game Sunday at the Orlando Invitational.

Jake Forrester, who received an NCAA waiver Tuesday that made him eligible to play this season, had eight of his season-high 10 points during the second half for the Owls (6-1).

Forrester, who played 13 games as a freshman last season for Indiana, appeared in all three contests in the tournament.

Davidson (3-5) got 16 points from Luka Brajkovic and Carter Collins had 12. Kellan Grady, who averaged 21.5 points in the Wildcats' first two games of the tourney, was held to 11.

Hyunjung Lee hit a 3 at the buzzer as Davidson took a 33-30 halftime lead.

Temple was beaten by No. 5 and tournament champion Maryland 76-69 before downing Texas A&M 65-42 in its first two invitational games.

Davidson lost 73-63 to runner-up Marquette and beat Fairfield 67-56.