After a frustrating 14-17 season for the Temple men’s basketball team, it was evident that changes were on the horizon. So far this offseason, McKie and his staff have landed targets with size and shooting ability that Temple will need after losing several players with key roles.
The Owls lost three heavy contributors to graduation and three more to the transfer portal. Temple added four players from the class of 2020 and two players through the transfer portal.
Here’s a breakdown of the key departures and additions for a Temple team that will look vastly different next season.
Quinton Rose, 6-foot-8, 195-pound wing, 16.4 points per game
Temple’s leading scorer and the all-time scoring leader in the American Athletic Conference (1,860 total points) also led the Owls with 62 steals. Rose was named First Team All-Big 5 and will have the best chance of any Temple player to hear his name called in the NBA Draft.
Alani Moore, 5-foot-10, 185-pound point guard, 8.4 points per game
Moore was named the most improved player in the Big 5. After averaging less than five points per game off the bench in his sophomore and junior seasons, Moore improved his scoring and ball distributing, earning him a start every game in his senior season while averaging 32 minutes.
Damion Moore, 6-foot-11, 225-pound center, 2.8 points per game
Moore only appeared in 17 games and averaged just 2.7 rebounds per game, but did start in each of Temple’s final four games. Temple will have to account for a lack of depth at center next season.
Justyn Hamilton, Senior, 6-foot-10, 220-pound forward, 3.3 points per game
Hamilton’s length was an asset but he had trouble competing in the paint, both offensively and defensively. After starting the first 10 games, he saw his playing time diminish when transfer Jake Forrester became eligible and began taking minutes. Hamilton could find his footing and more playing time at Kent State.
Josh Pierre-Louis, Sophomore, 6-foot-3, 185-pound point guard, 3.8 points per game
The crafty, talented point guard contributed off the bench regularly and showed both athleticism and shooting ability that Temple otherwise lacked. But after playing fewer than 10 minutes in his final six games, it seemed likely that personal fit at Temple was more of an issue than ability. Pierre-Louis had originally committed to UNLV before a coaching change altered his decision. He will shift to the Big West Conference and play for UC Santa Barbara. He did not respond to an interview request.
Monty Scott, Redshirt-senior, 6-foot-5, 185-pound guard, 7.2 points per game
In what was likely the most surprising development, the athletic guard who just sat out a year following a transfer from Kennesaw State told the Inquirer he planned to transfer on April 3. Scott was an important piece late in the season, scoring 22 points in a comeback win against SMU on Feb. 8 and 25 points against UConn on Feb. 20. Scott, who was a potential starter next season for Temple, selected Portland State for his transfer school.
Nate Pierre-Louis, Senior, 6-foot-4, 205-pound guard, 10.9 points per game
Pierre-Louis started every game for the Owls and finished second in scoring while leading in rebounding (8.5 rebounds per game). The second team All-Big 5 selection announced he will test the NBA Draft waters by declaring without an agent. He signed with an agent and graduated in three years, making him ineligible to come back.
Class of 2020
Jahlil White, 6-foot-7, 195-pound point guard, Wildwood Catholic, N.J.
Temple’s first commitment with McKie as head coach averaged 17 points and three rebounds per game in his senior season at Wildwood Catholic. He scored a season-high 37 points against St. Joseph (N.J.) on Jan. 15 in a 101-82 victory. He brings size and shooting ability in a position of need.
Quincy Ademokoya, 6-foot-9, 190-pound shooting guard, Norcross High School, GA.
McKie’s second recruit chose Temple over offers including DePaul and Ohio while receiving interest from schools such as Georgia, Illinois, and Xavier. Ademokoya averaged 13.7 points per game and shot 43.3% from three-point range as he led Norcross to a 24-2 record. With shooting being a need for Temple, he could contribute immediately.
Nick Jourdain, 6-foot-8, 205-pound forward, Covenant College Prep, N.J.
Jourdain announced his decision in March after picking up offers from La Salle, Iona, Rider and Quinnipiac. He averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds per game in his prep year at Covenant College after scoring 11.7 points per game at Immaculate Conception High School.
Jeremiah Williams, 6-foot-5, 185-pound guard, Chicago Simeon High School
Williams was the final 2020 commitment and signed his letter-of-intent on April 22, choosing the Owls from a dozen offers that included one from conference rival Wichita State. He averaged 16.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists for Simeon and earned second-team All-City honors.
Khalif Battle, 6-foot-5, 175-pound guard, Butler University
Arguably the biggest splash in Temple’s offseason, Battle was ranked 82nd overall in the ESPN 100 coming out of Trenton Catholic in the class of 2019. He chose Butler over offers from Miami and Syracuse, where his brother Tyus Battle played. He saw action in 24 games for a nationally ranked Butler team, averaging 3 points per game and scoring in double figures twice. He has three years of eligibility remaining but needs an NCAA waiver to play next year.
Sage Tolbert, 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward, Southeastern Missouri State
Temple beat out conference rival Wichita State to land Tolbert, who averaged 7 points per game at SEMO while shooting 49.5% from the field. His ability to defend and stretch the floor can bolster Temple’s front court. He has two years of eligibility remaining but will need a waiver from the NCAA in order to play next season.