Two games, two wins, 47 combined points and a 77-52 drubbing of tenth-ranked Kansas (9-2) – it’s been a phenomenal week for Temple (8-4) transfers Jesse Morgan and Devin Coleman, who were made eligible by the NCAA to play in the Owls’ 82-62 win at Delaware last week.
Morgan starred Monday in Temple’s upset of the Jayhawks, notching 17 points which included a series of three-straight three-point plays midway through the second half to put Kansas away. Morgan expressed how it felt to pull off the upset.
“It’s a great feeling, which will ignite this team moving into conference play,” said Morgan. “You just have to build on it and stay humble and focused in preparing for the next team. I was just going with the momentum and trying to make my imprint on the game and do as much as I could to make plays for this team.”
Morgan averaged 13.4 points and 2.6 three-pointers per game on 35.6 percent shooting from the outside for UMass when he last played in 2012-13. He’s averaging 16.5 points and 3.5 three-pointers per game on 43.8 percent shooting from the outside in two games with the Owls.
Coleman averaged 5.4 points per game on 46.3 percent shooting with Clemson last season. He’s averaging 7.0 points per game on 55.6 percent shooting so far with the Owls.
Temple guard Will Cummings talked about how their impact on the team makes his job as a point guard much easier.
“It helps our team a lot [having them in the lineup],” said Temple guard Will Cummings. “[Jesse and Devin] are great scorers. You can put the ball in their hands and trust them, which takes a lot off my shoulders. It’s great knowing you have guys next to you who’re going to get it done and play as hard as you on the court.”
The Owls face Delaware State (5-7) on Sunday before beginning conference play New Years Eve against UConn (5-4) on the road. Coach Fran Dunphy expressed his excitement for topping Kansas, but is weathering his team’s expectations for now.
“It’s a good win against a terrific university and a great team with a great coach,” said Dunphy. “We’re thrilled to have it, but come Friday when we get together as a team again we’re going to prepare for Delaware State who had gone down and beat Wake Forest and then get into our league. … I hope it’s a starting point for us to appreciate the team that we can be.”
Cummings, a senior who has seen a lot as an Owl, has been holding onto a 69-62 loss against Kansas, then-ranked No. 6, at Allen Field House back in 2012-13. He committed a crucial turnover late in the game and had been thinking about the game ever since.
“This was a big game for me mentally,” said Cummings. “You can say you have your demons and I had a big turnover with I think two minutes left against Kansas at Allen Field House that’s been on my mind since that game. It was great thing to come out here and have my guys ready to go out there and get a win.”