#28 Temple Women's Basketball Preview

Temple Owls
Overall rank: #28
Conference rank: Atlantic 10 #1
Temple Women's Basketball Preview

Temple Team Page

All roads in the Atlantic-10 Conference women’s basketball race apparently will go through Philadelphia this winter. Apparently, the City of Brotherly Love has plenty of love reserved for sisters as well. The Temple women’s basketball program, under the leadership of Dawn Staley and Tonya Cardoza, has made a trip to the previous nine NCAA tournaments and has gone 91-41 the past four seasons. With 24 victories last year, the Owls were favored to win the Atlantic 10 tournament, but they lost to Dayton 75-67 in the tournament semifinals. This season promises to be just as exciting, as the Owls are favored in the conference and should be back in the NCAA tournament come March.

2010-11: 24-9, 13-1
2010-11 Postseason: NCAA tournament (lost to Notre Dame in second round, 77-64)
Coach: Tonya Cardoza, 70-28 overall

Who’s Out:
Guard Qwedia Wallace is one of three seniors from last year who have graduated. Wallace, a third-team selection in the Atlantic-10, finished her career with 1,190 points, good for 12th on the all-time scoring list, and she is the career leader with 162 3-pointers. Forward Danielle Brinkley played in 18 games her senior season and provided limited scoring (0.8 per game), and forward Marli Bennett was an all-academic selection in the Big 5 and averaged 5.2 points and 4.7 rebounds on the court. Wallace is the biggest scorer the team will miss. Guard Satoria Bell, who was a junior last year, did not return to the team and her 8.2 scoring average is gone, and freshman Ryia Newsome is also not on the current roster.

Who’s In:
Four freshmen will make their first appearance in a Temple uniform this year. Rateska Brown, a 5-6 guard from South Carolina, was a three-time MVP at Timberland High School in her hometown of Alvin; she finished with 2,038 career points. Shaniqua Reese, a 5-9 guard, played high school ball in Brooklyn. Guard Tyonna Williams is a native of Fort Washington, Md., and guard Monaye Merritt grew up in Philadelphia and played ball for Friends Central High School.

Who to Watch:
The two top players scoring-wise will be Shey Peddy, a 5-7 senior guard who averaged 14.1 points a game and led the team in steals with 104; and Kristen McCarthy, a 6-0 senior guard who had 13.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last season. Keep an eye on 6-0 junior forward Natasha Thames, who contributed just 6.3 points a game but had 5.5 rebounds as well.

Final Projection:
Wallace, who averaged 13.5 points a game and had 89 assists a year ago, is the only real scoring threat the team will miss. Otherwise, Temple figures to be really good against an Atlantic-10 slate that also includes Xavier, Charlotte and Dayton, among others.
Temple will need Peddy, McCarthy and Thames to step in as needed and make significant contributions. If any one of these three falters, it could be a long season in Philly.

A tough non-conference slate that includes games against Texas A&M, Rutgers, UCLA and Duke should help set the table for the Atlantic-10 season, which begins Jan. 7 with a game against Richmond. Temple’s games against Xavier, Dayton and Charlotte are all in January, so February could be an easier month for the Owls.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Shey Peddy, Guard, Senior, team’s leading scorer
Kristen McCarthy, Guard, Senior, 13.2 points per game
Natasha Thames, Forward, Junior, 6.3 points per game
Rateska Brown, Guard, Freshman, DNP last season
Victoria Macaulay, Center, Senior, played in all 33 games last year

Madness 2012 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#36 Shea Peddy