Category Archives: Temple

Welcome Back, Marv

There are precious few occasions in a person’s life where they can distinctly recall the exact details of a particular moment.

For college basketball fans it’s a half court shot, game winning jumper or an untimely time out.

In this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, those moments will become legendary simply because of the man making the calls.

Welcome back to the NCAA Mr. Marv Albert.

Albert will be calling the play-by-play for the 2011 NCAA Tournament for Turner Sports alongside former Chicago Bulls Champion and NCAA tournament participant Steve Kerr.

After decades of covering the greatest basketball players in the world in the NBA how does a veteran like Albert make the adjustment to the college level?

He does what all the kids are doing.

“I’m so proud I can actually watch the games on my iPhone,” laughed Albert. “I actually had to ask Steve (Kerr) how it works.”

His veteran status also helps his cause, especially in the laid back college atmosphere.

“The great advantage over the NBA is being able to go to practice,” said Albert. “To me it was always very, very helpful to sit through the practice in terms of recognition of who the players are. To be able to sit down and talk to people, that’s critical.”

There’s no doubt with Albert calling names like BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, UConn,’s Kemba Walker and Temple‘s own Juan Fernandez up until this years Sweet 16, players will be getting a little more recognition than usual.

But this isn’t the first time Albert has brought to light the stars of the future.

“Of course I called Michael Jordan back during the ’84 season,” recalls Albert. Fittingly enough, Albert would be the voice for Jordan’s biggest moments throughout his miraculous career.

After Albert went full time broadcasting in the NBA, he couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to continue to define, like only he can do, the biggest moments on the tournament stage.

“To me, it would be the Grant Hill pass to Christian Laettner,” Albert said with a pause. “I mean…wow. There’s others but not on the stage of Laettner.”

Laettner’s buzzer-beater to shock Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA East Regional Finals at the Philadelphia Spectrum is probably one of those rare moments, at least to Duke fans.

Imagine if Albert made that call. Wow is right.

“The Spectrum is a great place. It’s sad to see it go. So much history there. The new place, whatever it’s called now, not so much.”

He noted there’s only one place that might just be the Spectrum’s match.

“I remember calling games at the Palestra and it was great how we were right there. The crowd was right on top of us. The players, the coaches, everything is right there and we were in the middle of it all.”

If you’ve ever been to the Palestra on the University of Penn’s campus you know the feeling. Essentially, it’s and over crowded, fire hazardous, high-schoolish gym.

“Philadelphia is a great basketball city especially in the Chaney days,” said Albert. “Even now, Temple has a great program with all that Fran Dunphy has done. And with Jay (Wright) at Villanova, everyone — media and fans — seems to love him.”

Most Americans may not know bracketology 101 but know this, Marv Albert knows his basketball and he knows it well.

So who or what will Albert deem the spine-tingling worthy moment in this year’s NCAA tourney?

Only his voice will tell.


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Owls Looking to Swoop Out of a Not-So Happy Valley

It’s no surprise that heading into Saturday’s Penn State(23) and Temple showdown at Beaver Stadium, that one university comes in undefeated.

Which university may come as a shock.

Penn States’ powerhouse program isn’t that team.

Seriously, it’s the Owls.

Who’da guess?

The Owls will head to Happy Valley a perfect 3-0, the first time the program was at that mark since 1979.

However, the Owls will be tested on their first away game of the season by a team that has outscored them 154 to 9 over the past four seasons.

In fact, the 3-35-1record for the Owls against head coach Al Golden’s alma mater appears to be a joke.

Temple hasn’t beaten the Nittany Lions(2-1) since October 18, 1941.

That was before Pearl Harbour.

But nearly 60 years after their last win, the Owls are hoping to stop Penn State’s kamikaze attack once and for all.

This time the Owls are bringing their own attack. Made in America and made for football sophomore running back Bernard Pierce.

His Heisman Campaign is no joke in Philadelphia.

It’s no joke at all.

After ripping UConn for 170 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and another score via air, Pierce is piggy backing off an incredible freshman campaign that brought him to the national forefront.

On the back of Pierce, the Owls’ 30-16 victory over UConn in week 3 was the school’s first win over a BCS team since Golden took over in 2006.

Right now the Owls are riding in unknown territory and that road has led them to the 23rd ranked team in the nation.

Despite the 2-1 record Penn State is still Penn State and the pride and joy of the Keystone state.

However while Temple quarterback Chester Stewart (510 yards passing, two touchdowns, 132.06 efficiency rating) is having a breakout season, legendary coach Joe Paterno had a dilemma in his own quarterback situation.

He’s starting a true freshman.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that but the big stage demands a big arm and Rob Bolden, who completed 50 of 85 passes for 600 yards and four touchdowns, hasn’t let the team down.

This will be Temple’s biggest win in school history, considering the history of the rivalry, should they pull off the upset.

Don’t count the Owls out and don’t expect a lot of points in this one.

While the Owls will take to the ground, the Nittany Lions who haven’t rushed over 40 yards in a game this season, will take to the air.

Both defences are good, real good.

The key to the game for the Owls who scored in all of their red zone appearances last week against UConn- limit the penalties.

The Owls have a tendency of killing big drives with big penalties.

If Golden’s boys can do this they will be golden in a not so Happy Valley.

But if your wearing the cherry and white don’t try telling that to the 100,000 plus crowd of white and blue football freaks at Beaver Stadium.

You might not get out alive.

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