The Top 5 in 25 is a series that will run through next week chronicling the top five players since the 1987-1988 season. We will be releasing all six schools in the next few days.
Click here to read Drexel’s Top 5 in 25 by Kevin Rossi.
Click here to read Penn’s Top 5 in 25 by Teddy Bailey.
Last month the Temple University Men’s basketball program was inked in at #18 according to ESPN’s best programs in the past 50 years. At the conclusion of the 2011-2012, Temple has logged the sixth most wins in college basketball history with combined record of 1790-982 (.646 winning percentage) sitting behind the likes of historic programs such as Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke and Syracuse.
Not too shabby for a program that has never been apart of a “power conference.”
Many great players have rocked the cherry and white throughout the programs tenure on North Broad Street, and with that we are releasing the top five players of each Temple team since the 1987-1988 season.
That said, here is Temple’s Top Five in 25:
Guard – Pepe Sanchez. (1996-2000)
Running the point guard position is number four, Pepe Sanchez. The Argentinian born facilitator arrived at Temple University during the 1996-1997 season and played four years under Hall of Fame coach, John Chaney.
Sanchez manned the point guard position for 38.2 minutes per game as a freshman, a trend that continued for the next three years as Sanchez ended his career averaging 35 MPG. Sanchez’ all around play was vital to the Owls success, and was nationally known as one of the best prototypical point guards in the country. Sanchez ended his career averaging 8.5 points per game, dished out 5.9 assists per game, hauling in 4.8 rebounds, while coming up with a remarkable 3.1 steals on the defensive side of the ball.
Sanchez guided the Owls to a 24-11 record during his junior year (1998-99), making it all the way to the Elite 8, where Temple eventually lost to NCAA finalist Duke.
Despite averaging just 5.6 points per contest as a senior, Sanchez was named as a Third Team All-American by the Associated press, Atlantic 10 conference player of the year in 2000, and left Temple #2 on the NCAA all-time steals list.
Sanchez went undrafted following his senior season, but had stints in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors. He has also played professionally for teams in Greece, Spain and Argentina.
Guard – Mark Macon. (1988-1991)
Arguably the best player that has ever thrown on a Temple uniform, Mark Macon was drafted 8th overall in the 1991 NBA draft and spent six seasons in the league with the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons, averaging 6.7 PPG during his professional career.
While at Temple, Macon was one of the countries best guards and played on the greatest Temple team of all-time in 1987-88. A squad that became the first ever A-10 team to be ranked number one in the country, going 32-2, remained undefeated within the conference (18-0) and advanced to the Elite 8, which resulted in a 10-point loss to Duke in the East Regional Final under Coach of the year, John Chaney.
The 6-foot-5 guard earned freshman of the year honors, second team All-America by the associated press, was one of 11 finalists for the John Wooden award, and at the time was just the third freshman to ever be nominated for the prestigious honor
Macon averaged 20.6 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 1.8 SPG, during his freshman campaign, starting every contest and reached double figures in scoring every game but one.
Macon proved to be a durable player throughout his collegiate career, playing in at least thirty games in each of his four seasons, averaging 37.5 mpg, and shot shy 40% from the field just once in his career. (.389 FG% in 1989-90.)
Macon also manned the floor along side future NBA players Aaron McKie and Eddie Jones.
Macon finished his four-year illustrious career with a deadly stat line that looked like this: 126 games played, 20.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.8 assists.
Philadelphia born and raised, McKie took his talents right up the road to Temple University in 1991 after graduating from Simon Gratz High School. After redshirting his freshman year, McKie’s career flourished as an Owl for three straight seasons before being drafted number 17 overall in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Forward – Aaron McKie (1991-1994)
Aaron McKie finished his career tied for sixth on Temple’s all time scoring list with 1,650 points. Teaming up with fellow guard and future NBA All Star Eddie Jones, the two formed a lethal one-two punch, presenting matchup problems for whoever was on the opposite side of the floor.
As a junior, McKie dropped 20.6 PPG and was named the A-10 player of the year, and duplicated that impressive season as a senior when he was named first-team All-Atlantic 10, along with being named to the A-10 all-tournament team.
McKie seemed to always be in the right place at the right time, and is one of the most important, vital all-around players that ever went through Temples historic basketball program.
Before his departure to the league, McKie finished his famed career as an Owl averaging 17.9 PPg, 6.4 RPG, and 3.3 APG.
McKie went on to have a successful tenure in the NBA, spanning thirteen seasons with the Trail Blazers, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, including eight seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, when he was chosen as the NBA’s sixth man of the year in 2001 for the Eastern Conference champions.
Forward – Eddie Jones. (1991-1994)
Jones was recruited to play at Temple in 1991 by John Chaney, spending three seasons under the watchful eyes of the Cherry Crusade, and heard his name called 10th overall in the 1994 NBA draft after his junior year by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jerry West was quoted as saying Jones was the best pure athlete available when the Lakers drafted him.
Jones spent 15 seasons in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks, putting together a career full of highlights appearing in three All-Star Games (1997-98, 2000) All-NBA Third team (2000) and was named to the All-NBA Defensive Second Team on three separate occasions. Jones ended his NBA career
Before all the stardom, Jones was named the A-10 Conference player of the year in 1994, and after his freshman season in which he averaged 11 PPG, Jones averaged 17 PPG during his sophomore year, and 19.2 PPG during his junior year.
Jones proved to be one of the best all-around players in college basketball. Aside from tearing it up on the offensive end, Jones averaged 6.1 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 1.2 blocks per game.
A glaring statistic that stands out is how Jones shot the ball, as he had a shooting range from anywhere on the hardwood, ending his Temple career shooting a miraculous .458% from the field.
Center – Lavoy Allen. (2007-2011)
The most recent Temple University graduate to be named to the top five in twenty five team is local Pennsbury high school product, Lavoy Allen.
Standing 6-foot-9, Allen was a highly touted prospect coming out of High School and committed to Temple under current head coach, Fran Dunphy.
During the four years Allen was enrolled at Temple, the Owls were a mainstay in the NCAA tournament, making it to the big dance every year. The 2007 season broke a six-year NCAA tournament drought in which Allen played a big role . Allen was also apart of three consecutive A-10 conference tournament titles.
Allen, who appeared in 135 games during his career for the Owls, provided coach Dunphy and the Owls with a solid post presence on both sides of the rock, being named to the All A-10 Defensive Team three times, and was also a two time All A-10 first team honoree. He holds the record for most rebounds in the programs history. (1,1147)
During his senior season, Allen became the first Temple player to average double-double figures in over forty years with 11.5 PPG and 10.7 RPG. That season, he was named the Philadelphia Big Five Player of the Year.
Over a four-year span, Allen was able to produce time and time again for the Owls, averaging 10.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG while blocking 1.6 shots per game.
Allen’s 1,146 rebounds and 1,421 points are good for 24th in Temple history.
At the conclusion of his senior season, Allen was selected in the 2011 NBA draft, chosen as the 50th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers. In the past season, he was seeing steady minutes at the four and five position (15 MPG) and averaged 4.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG during the regular season. During the Sixers playoff run, Allen averaged 6.3 PPG and just under five rebounds per contest.
In July, Allen and the Sixers agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract extension. He should play a significant role in the paint alongside center, Andrew Bynum.
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