BROOKLYN– The late, great Christopher Wallace, known by most as The Notorious B.I.G. once said in his hit song “Juicy”, “Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way.”
Hanging right next to a banner commemorating Wallace’s friend, Jay-Z‘s eight sold out shows at the Barclays Center, an arena that was birthed thanks to his idea to bring the then-New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn as part-owner, Wallace’s words hang in the rafters as a way of celebrating one of Brooklyn’s own.
Maybe Temple took those words to heart, maybe they didn’t, but their play on the court indicated that they spread the love on the offensive side of the ball as they cruised to victory over Cal 76-59 in the consolation game of the Legends Classic.
Temple ended up scoring 24 of their 31 baskets off of assists.
“Our ball movement was good,” Temple head coach Fran Dunphy said. “I thought even against the zone we got into the middle of the zone and made some good passes out of there and had some good scoring opportunities that way so it wasn’t like we were shooting jumpers against the zone.”
Shizz Alston Jr had 10 of the 24 team assists.
“Last night I felt like I could’ve been more of a facilitator,” Alston said. “I should’ve gotten my teammates involved more so today I just wanted to make a concerted effort to get everybody involved and try to make up for my performance last night.”
In their previous game against VCU, the Owls fell behind badly 19-2. But the Owls kept fighting and fighting but ultimately fell to the Rams 57-51. It was even a tougher night for Alston and Owls guard Quinton Rose as the two Temple stars combined for 14 points on 6-29 shooting.
In their game against Cal, both guys had nice bounce back performances. Along with the 10 assists from Alston, he also added 15 points and Rose dropped a game-high 23 points.
“I don’t think him and I would have those type of games at the same time,” Alston said. “It was tough for us to go through that but today we bounced back and got the victory.”
“I just went through a cold spell yesterday and I don’t think that’ll happen too many more times,” Rose said. “But it’s good to get a win coming home.”
Though it was only the consolation game of the Legends Classic, a win is still a win and it’s a win against a power 6 conference team.
“I think anytime you lose that first game and we talked about it in the locker room before the game today about how important this game is because it’s a bounce-back game,” Dunphy said. “You want to play your best basketball always and I thought we did some really good things tonight.”
The win moves the Owls to 5-1 after a heavy flurry of games in the first two weeks. They don’t play a game until Tuesday at Missouri which will be the first of three straight true road games for Temple.
“We’re going to be on the road for three straight true road games against three really good teams and then we’ll have another week off,” Dunphy said. “We’ll rest for a few days and then work like crazy and know the details that Missouri’s going to present to us, St. Joe’s is going to present to us, Villanova is going to present to us and so on, so it’s just learning more about ourselves and getting into as good as shape as we can be in.”