Temple primed for a new look come next season

Written by: Owen Boyle

Photo by: Sam Cohn

Pierre-Louis is a name that Temple Basketball has become very familiar with in recent years. Unfortunately for Temple fans, there’s a chance they won’t be hearing that name at the Liacouras Center next season. 

Nate Piere-Louis and Josh Piere-Louis were the first ever set of brothers in Temple Basketball history. In the span of two days, the Plainfield, New Jersey natives both made decisions that could see them playing hoops elsewhere. Josh has made the decision to transfer while Nate has declared for this year’s NBA Draft. 

There is a possibility that Nate will return to the cherry and white next season maintaining his NCAA eligibility. 

On Monday, Nate announced that he would be declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft. He made the announcement on his various social media accounts. Throughout the process Nate will maintain NCAA eligibility. This means that Nate Pierre-Louis could be back on North Broad for his senior season if he goes undrafted.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Josh Pierre-Louis would be entering the transfer portal. This all but confirms his departure from Temple University and the basketball program. The unofficial announcement was made by the Verbal Commits Twitter account, which Josh retweeted. 

Nate Pierre-Louis joined Temple after graduating from Roselle Catholic High School. Nate had a stellar freshman season and was named to the American Athletic Conference All-Rookie Team. He was the Owls third-leading scorer, averaging 9.9 points per game in 27 games played. 

In his sophomore season, Nate was named co-Most Improved in the AAC and Most Improved in the Philadelphia Big 5. Pierre-Louis became a top-20 scorer in the conference, averaging 13.3 points per game. He also stepped up his defensive game, averaging 1.6 steals per game, best for fifth in the conference, and 5.7 rebounds per game. Nate was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for a second year in a row and helped Temple clinch an NCAA Tournament berth. 

In his junior campaign, Nate Pierre-Louis continued to impress on the defensive side of the ball. Nate Averaged 8.5 rebounds per game, adding 55 steals and 17 total blocks. While Pierre-Louis only averaged 10.9 points per game, he achieved his career high in free throw percentage at 68.5. Nate’s junior season was cut short when the AAC cancelled the conference tournament due to safety concerns.

In his message to the public, Nate said, “These past 3 years have been an honor to wear the Temple “T” across my chest.”

Josh Pierre-Louis followed a similar path to college as his brother Nate. Josh was a graduate of Roselle Catholic where he was a nationwide standout for their basketball program. Originally, Josh committed to his dream school of UNLV. When UNLV’s head coach left the program, Josh de-commited and ended up in North Philadelphia with his brother, Nate.

In Josh’s first and only season with the Owls, he primarily featured off the bench. Josh appeared in 27 games and started just one, the same number of games played and started as Nate Pierre-Louis had in his freshman year. Josh averaged 3.8 points per game and shot 42.9 percent from the field. Josh played a career high 26 minutes in an overtime win against SMU. Pierre-Louis notched his career high points during an Orlando Invitational win vs USC, he finished with 15 points. Josh showed promise throughout the season, but his time in cherry and white is now over.

With the potential departures of both Pierre-Louis brothers along with junior Justyn Hamilton, the future of Temple Basketball is somewhat unknown. With these departures, more scholarship spots for graduate transfers and freshman recruits become available. 

Sophomore Tai Strickland was unable to get his transfer waiver from Wisconsin cleared and freshman Damian Dunn missed all but one game due to a foot injury but both are expected to play next season for head coach Aaron McKie in his second season at the helm. 

Stricklan, Dunn, and redshirt junior Monty Scott will have the opportunity to fill the voids that have been left in Temple’s backcourt. Scott, a transfer from Kennesaw State, averaged 7.2 points per game and was a spark off the bench for the Owls. 

Temple will welcome three new recruits, as part of the 2020 class. Quincy Ademokoya is a 6-foot-5 small forward out of Norcross High School in Georgia. Jahlil White is a 6-6 guard out of Wildwood Catholic High School in nearby Wildwood, New Jersey. The most recent recruit is Nick Jourdain out of Covenant College Prep in Wayne, New Jersey. Jourdain is listed at 6-8 and plays forward. The door is not yet closed for Temple, they are still awaiting decisions from other top recruits. 

With the departures of Justyn Hamilton, one Pierre-Louis brother and potentially a second, along with the seniors like Quinton Rose and Alani Moore, it is safe to say that there will be a new look Temple Basketball program come next season. 

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