Ramone Moore steps in and up for Temple

Ramone Moore
Ramone Moore
Posted: February 26, 2010

Ramone Moore entered the season as a top reserve for the Temple basketball team. But when starting guard Juan Fernandez's playing time became limited because of concussion-like symptoms he experienced after taking a blow to the head at Fordham on Jan. 23, Owls coach Fran Dunphy elevated the 6-foot-4 sophomore.

"Being out there, getting a lot of minutes, you get in a groove," Moore said.

Moore has led Temple in scoring in six of the Owls' last seven games. Smooth and economical with the ball, Moore has started the last five Temple outings and has averaged about 16 points since moving into the lineup.

After scoring a career-high 18 points at St. Bonaventure on Feb. 17, Moore raised the bar for himself three days later when he finished with 24 points in an overtime defeat of St. Joseph's. His fullcourt dash against the host Hawks resulted in a layup that tied the score with 1.5 seconds left in regulation.

Moore was named Big Five player of the week.

"He's really a talented scorer, and he's coming to realize that the defensive end is important as offense," Dunphy said.

Moore agreed. "My confidence has been building," he said. " My teammates have confidence in me to give me the ball. But it all starts on the defensive end, and I think I've been doing a good job at that."

Temple, ranked 20th, has a 23-5 record and is tied for first place in the Atlantic Ten at 11-2. The Owls visit injury-wracked La Salle (11-16, 3-10) on Sunday for a contest will also count in the Big Five standings.

Like teammates Ryan Brooks and Eric Micheal, Moore came to Temple without the fanfare that accompanies some high school stars. Moore led the Public League in scoring as a senior at Southern High in 2006-07 with 25.1 points per game and was named the league's most valuable player.

Like Brooks, Moore was thinking about attending prep school before Temple came calling. He redshirted his freshman year before suiting up last season.

"I really liked Temple the first time I stepped on campus," said Moore, fourth among the Owls with 7.9 points per game. "As a kid, I was watching Temple basketball, and once I got the chance to be recruited by them, I thought it was a good opportunity to come here and play in front of my family and friends."

Fernandez to regain spot. Dunphy said that Fernandez would be back in the starting lineup soon, and it could happen when the Owls visit La Salle.

"As I think about it, there's really no reason why Juan should lose his starting assignment," Dunphy said. "I wanted to be sure one more game. I probably will change it. But does it matter to anybody? I'll tell you right now, it doesn't matter to me. They're all going to get minutes played, and when you're out there, do your job. I'm not overly concerned about who starts. I'm overly concerned about who finishes."

Moore said it doesn't matter to him, either.

"My job is to help the team out," he said. "If that means coming off the bench and playing 20 minutes or starting and playing 30-plus minutes, I'm able to do that. I'm not here crying about minutes."

Temple going for Big Five title. A win over La Salle would give Temple its first 4-0 finish in the City Series since 1987-88. The Owls have already clinched a share of their record 26th Big Five title.

Temple in a tight race atop A-10

Though Temple is 11-2 and tied with Richmond and Xavier atop the Atlantic Ten standings, the 20th-ranked Owls are still not assured of being one of four teams with a first-round bye in next month's league tournament in Atlantic City.

Neither is Richmond or Xavier. Charlotte and St. Louis, both 9-4, remain in the hunt for a place among the top seeds. St. Louis is one of Temple's three remaining regular-season opponents. The Owls will visit the Billikens on Wednesday.

On Sunday, La Salle (3-10) will host Temple, and after a March 6 home game against George Washington (5-8), the Owls head to the A-10 tournament.

Richmond, which would claim a tie-breaker over Temple as a result of its win over the visiting Owls on Feb. 6, still must play at Xavier and at Charlotte.

Xavier, which would lose a tie-breaker to Temple because of its Jan. 20 loss on the Owls' home court on Jan. 20, will play Fordham (0-14) and St. Bonaventure (5-8) to end the regular season.

"We have three Atlantic Ten games left, and we need to win all three of them, and that's the only thing we're thinking about," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said after the Owls defeated Dayton, 49-41, on Wednesday. "Before we get to the other two, we have to worry about La Salle."

The first-round A-10 tournament games will played March 9 on the higher seed's home court. The event moves to Boardwalk Hall on March 12. The title game will be played on March 14.

Battling for Byes in Atlantic Ten

The top four teams get automatic byes into the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Ten men's basketball tournament in Atlantic City, which runs from March 12-14. Here are the remaining games for teams involved in the battle for the byes.

Sunday at La Salle, 2 p.m.

March 3 at Saint Louis, 8 p.m.

March 6 vs. Geo. Washington, 2 p.m.

Sunday at Xavier, 1 p.m.

March 4 vs. Dayton, 7 p.m.

March 6 at Charlotte, 2 p.m.

Sunday vs. Richmond, 1 p.m.

March 3 at Fordham, 7 p.m.

March 6 vs. St. Bonaventure, 4 p.m.

Tomorrow at Geo. Washington, 6 p.m.

March 3 at Rhode Island, 7 p.m.

March 6 vs. Richmond, 2 p.m.


Tomorrow vs. Duquesne, 8 p.m.

March 3 vs. Temple, 8 p.m.

March 6 at Dayton, 7 p.m.


Tomorrow at St. Bonaventure, 2 p.m.

March 3 vs. Charlotte, 7 p.m.

March 6 at Massachusetts, 4 p.m.


Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at 215-854-2583 or ktatum@phillynews.com.

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