Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

The Guru Postgame Scout: Dissecting Temple

Guru note: Launching a new feature. At special games, sometimes revealed, other times not, former veteran coaches now on the sidelines but still close to the game have agreed to exchange a seat on press row to do an analysis of one team or both after a key game. 

Special to Womhoops Guru

PHILADELPHIA - Temple’s strength is in the Owls’ strong perimeter play.  

Their interchangeable parts make them difficult to defend. 

  Harvard started the game in a match up zone to try to counter Temple’s balance attack and to keep the Crimson center Boehm in the middle.   Harvard did play a switching man to man, Temple took full advantage of any mismatch. 

Neither defense had much time to set up as Temple got down the court so quickly.  When in the half court Temple relied on strong side shots mostly 3s.    The ball needs to be pressured in the half court to make them move the ball and not get such quick shots off.


Davis, Berger and Atkinson can create shots for themselves in the open court.

 By dominating the boards Temple was able to play offense all 94 feet creating lots of room for their scorers.   But what makes coach Cardoza’s team so tough on offense is that the team looks for and finds Atkinson. 

Their offense passes through Atkinson’s hands and she delivers with points and assists. This may be how they are coping with the absence of Butts and the presence of freshmen in the starting line up.


Temple’s tough perimeter defense puts tons of pressure on the ball and the receivers.  

This prevented Harvard from getting good looks into the post.  

When the ball did get into the post, Temple had to double or triple team the ball.  

The Owls may struggle against a team with strong post presence and penetrating guards.  Temple will lose some of their effectiveness on the boards, if they are forced to consistently rotate or double the post.


Their running game must be slowed down. Temple’s defense has to rotate or they will dominate.  

Thus, the ball cannot stay on the perimeter and has to go inside either with a pass or a dribble. The ball has to be passed ordribbled inside and kicked back out.  

And there has to be more than one drive/penetration on each possession.  Just punch the ball in and kick it out. Don’t over penetrate or you won’t get the ball back out.


Lastly, if Temple gets on a run, a token press can slow them down.  I would not trap, just show and get back.


Temple has many weapons and they know their roles. It will be interesting to see how they adjust when they are slowed down.