Temple Men’s and Women’s Basketball Hosts Annual Cherry and White Night

Written by: Jake Gabel

Photo by: Brian Mermelstein

Philadelphia, Pa – Temple fans got their first look at this year’s Men’s and Women’s basketball teams at the Cherry and White Night held at the Liacouras Center. The event featured games that lucky Owl fans got to compete in with the players such as, knockout, basketball musical chairs, and a half-court shot to win $15,000. 

This was the first time new Women’s head coach Diane Richardson made an appearance in front of Temple fans at the Liacouras Center. Richardson had a clear message she wanted to make to fans, along with some killer dance moves that got the fans on their feet. 

“We want to see you here, we’ve got an exciting brand of basketball. We are going to be playing some tough, tough teams, but we’re a pretty tough team ourselves,” Richardson said. “I want you to be here and join in it. We are probably the fastest team in the league, it’s exciting getting up and down, we score pretty quickly, and if they put the ball on the floor we are going to steal it and try to go score again.” 

For the first time in school history, the Women’s team will be playing all of their home games in the Liacouras Center. The team is taking on a new identity this season with a new coach, a new place to call home, and some new players as well. 

Some of those new players on the Women’s team were the winners of Tuesday night’s contests. Senior Aleah Nelson teamed up with Men’s Sophomore Nick Jourdain as the winners of the three-point contest. Nelson transferred to Temple from Towson, where Richardson coached last season. Nelson was the leading scorer for Towson with 16.6 points per game. 

Another newcomer to the Women’s team, Sophomore Ines Piper, won basketball musical chairs. Piper, a native of France, transferred in from Northwest Florida State College, where she led the team in blocks her freshman season. 

“I’m just excited to show how talented my team is.” Piper said. “I love all my teammates, I think we can do something special this year.” 

As for the Men’s team, they enter their fourth year under head coach Aaron McKie. Last season McKie’s squad took a huge jump, going from ninth in the AAC two seasons ago, all the way to finishing fourth in the American last year. 

Last year the Men’s team was one of the youngest in the nation, and Sophomore Hysier Miller says the biggest difference between last year’s team and this year’s team is the added maturity. 

“I’m extremely excited, our expectations are very high,” Miller said. “Just from the work we’ve put in over the summer to now. I expect us to have a very successful season.” 

Miller was one of two true freshmen to play heavy minutes last season, the other being Forward Zach Hicks. Miller says that his player to watch out for this season is Hicks. 

Both teams will start their seasons’ on Monday, Nov. 7. The Women’s team will be away, to take on Princeton, while the Men will be at home in the Liacouras Center to take on Wagner.

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