Temple Owls

Temple's Obi Enechionyia withdrawing from NBA draft, will return for senior year

Temple's Obi Enechionyia withdrawing from NBA draft, will return for senior year

It's only May, but it sounds like Fran Dunphy's Temple Owls just got a big boost for next season.

Star forward Obi Enechionyia will pull his name out of the upcoming NBA draft and will return to North Broad Street for his senior season.

CBSSports' Jon Rothstein first broke word of Enechionyia's decision Monday morning.

The 6-foot-10 Enechionyia was the Owls' leading rebounder last season with 5.8 boards per game. He was also second on the team in scoring with an average of 13.1 points per game. He dropped a season-high 26 points on rival St. Joe's during a 78-72 win on Hawk Hill in November.

Enechionyia can be a matchup problem for opponents with his length and his ability to stretch the floor. He shot 41 percent from field last season and 39 percent from three-point range. He will undoubtedly be the Owls' top frontcourt option this coming year.

But his mentorship and experience will be a big factor this season for the Owls, who will have to lean on underclassmen such as guards Shizz Alston, Alani Moore and Quinton Rose to pick up more of the scoring slack. Enechionyia, guard Josh Brown and role player Mike Robbins are the only remaining Owls who played in the 2016 NCAA Tournament first-round loss to Iowa. The 16-16 Owls did not advance to a postseason tournament last season.

Enechionyia declared for the draft in late March, but did not hire an agent, leaving him eligible to withdraw from the draft. He did not receive an invite to the recent NBA combine, but did have a private workout with the Boston Celtics in recent days.

The deadline for players without agents to withdraw from the draft is this Wednesday.

Temple keeps rolling with OT win over South Florida

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USA Today Images

Temple keeps rolling with OT win over South Florida

BOX SCORE

Nate Pierre-Louis scored 22 points, Shizz Alston Jr. had 20 points and nine assists and Temple beat South Florida 82-80 in overtime on Saturday despite LaQuincy Rideau's triple-double for the Bulls.

Rideau had 18 points, 10 assists and 10 steals to become the sixth Division I player in the last 20 seasons with a points-assists-steals triple-double. It was the second triple-double of the season in the American Athletic Conference, joining SMU's Jimmy Whitt Jr, and the first-ever at Liacouras Center.

Quinton Rose added 16 points for Temple (13-3, 3-1 American Athletic Conference), which won its eighth straight home game. J.P. Moorman II had 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Alexis Yetna had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls (12-4, 2-2). David Collins added 16 points. The Bulls have had two other players record triple-doubles, with Adrian Hillman getting one against FAU in 1996 and McHugh Mattis versus Winston-Salem State in 2006.

South Florida was just 10 of 25 from the free-throw line, but had 17 steals and made 10 3-pointers.

Temple football introduces Rod Carey as new coach

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AP Images

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.