- For the third of four times this season, Temple basketball will honor some of its all-time greats with induction into the Ring of Honor when the Owls host East Carolina on Saturday, Jan. 7 at noon (TCN / 1210 AM WPHT). John Baum and Jim Williams, both members of the Philadelphia Big 5 and Temple Athletics Hall of Fames, will be honored in a halftime ceremony and will have their names permanently displayed in the Temple Basketball Ring of Honor that adorns the walls above the upper bowl of the Liacouras Center.
Williams starred for Temple from 1963-64 through 1965-66 and has the distinction of being the only Owl ever to lead his team in scoring and rebounding for three straight seasons. One of only five Temple players to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds in a career, the 6-8 forward eclipsed fellow Ring of Honor member Jay Norman for the school rebounding mark with 1,031 and his 13.4 career rebound average is still a school mark. He also scored 1,306 points and his 17.0 scoring average still ranks ninth all-time at Temple. A two-time all-district honoree, the Norristown High product earned first team all-Big 5 honors during his sophomore and senior seasons. He helped lead the Owls to the 1964 NCAA Tournament and a trip to the 1966 NIT. After pulling down an incredible 421 rebounds for a 15.0 average, both second all-time marks at Temple, he was selected in the 4th round of the NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. He opted to play professionally in Europe with his six-year career highlighted by earning MVP honors for his Italian Team that won the European title.
A three-time all-Philadelphia Big 5 selection, Baum, like Jim Williams, is one of only five Temple players to score over 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds. He tallied 1,544 points, currently 14th on the school's all-time list, with his 17.9 scoring average ranking sixth. His 1,042 rebounds eclipsed Williams' mark and stood as the school record for 42 years until Lavoy Allen topped it while playing four seasons. Baum saved his best for his senior season when he averaged career highs of 19.3 points and 13.3 rebounds while serving as the team captain for the Owls that won the 1969 NIT. The Hall of Fame forward scored 30 points in the championship game to lead Owls to an 89-76 victory over Boston College. Drafted in the second round by the Chicago Bulls, he played in the NBA for three seasons with the Bulls before competing in the ABA for three years with the New Jersey Nets and the Indiana Pacers. The Philadelphia native and West Philadelphia High product returned to Temple in 1985 to work with first the University and then the Athletics administration prior to retiring in 2012. He is currently in his 19th season as Temple Basketball's color analyst for radio broadcasts.
Temple comes into Saturday's game looking for its first win in the American Athletic Conference after three straight losses to open its league slate. The Owls have struggled in the first half in each of their last two games and were unable to overcome the deficits in the second half of both. Temple whittled a 21-point margin down to nine in the final minutes at SMU on Jan. 4, but could come no closer. Obi Enechionyia
and Shizz Alston, Jr.
led the Owls with 16 points apiece, while Quinton Rose
came off the bench for 14 points including 12 in the second half. Enechionyia leads TU with 14.8 points per game overall, while Alston is close behind at 12.9 ppg.
East Carolina has lost five of its last seven, including two straight to conference opponents SMU (75-44) and UCF (48-45). The Pirates got a win in their league opener vs. USF, 60-49. They've played just one ranked team this season, losing 76-53 at No. 14 Virginia in early December.
Three players average in the low double figures for ECU, led by junior guard B.J. Tyson at 12.3 ppg. Graduate center Andre Washington is the team's leader on the glass with 7.5 rpg along with 45 blocks to lead The American. East Carolina went 12-20 last season with a 4-14 mark in conference play to tie for ninth, and returned just two starters from that squad.
Temple and East Carolina are meeting for the fifth time after beginning the all-time series in 2014-15. The Owls won three straight against ECU before falling in the most recent contest, 64-61 in Greenville on Jan. 27, 2016. Temple won last year's meeting at home, 78-60 on Jan. 9.