Brown to transfer, says others will follow

Junior guard Rateska Brown confirmed last week that she plans to transfer ahead of the 2014-15 season to spend her final year of eligibility elsewhere.

Brown said that, including dismissed sophomore forward Jacquilyn Jackson, three other Owls will be transferring this offseason. Brown said that two of the players do not want their identities revealed yet.

“Yes, I’m transferring,” Brown said. “We always have meetings [with coach Tonya Cardoza] after the season is over about next year or how we had done in the past season, and there wasn’t even the option of coming back next year. It was suggested that I transfer.”

In an interview prior to the 2014 American Athletic Conference tournament, Brown spoke about her displeasure toward her reserve role for the Owls, and she later confirmed that the disagreement on the situation with Cardoza was one of her reasons for leaving Temple.

“I just thought it was going to be a fair season next year where everyone gets to work hard,” Brown said, referring to what she perceives as preferential treatment and favoritism by the Owls coaching staff.  “Whoever is the best at it gets to start, but I had doubts about next year. I had doubts that I was even going to come back, which I’m not.”

Prior to the 2013-14 season, Brown and Jackson were suspended from the team for a violation of team rules. Jackson was dismissed, but Brown returned as the Owls’ main weapon from the bench – averaging 7.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game – and was rewarded with The American’s Sixth Player of the Year award.

During the past two seasons, Jackson, May Dayan, Sally Kabengano and Leah Horton left the team.

Pickett, Janneh highlight Fred Harvey Invitational

Sophomore Jamila Janneh and senior Gabe Pickett were among the top finishers in the Fred Hardy Invitational in Richmond, Va., this weekend. Janneh broke a 28-year-old school record in the triple jump on Friday, while Pickett placed first among 30 competitors in the long jump on Saturday.

Coach Eric Mobley credited assistant coach Shameka Marshall for the jumping squad’s strong performances.

“It was wonderful,” Janneh said. “It was awesome. At first I didn’t know I broke the school record, I just knew I got the PR. I came over to high jump and Mobley was like, ‘You just broke the school record.'”

Pickett returned from injury last week, after sitting out for the entire indoor season.

“It’s great for him to be back competing,” Mobley said. “He placed very well as well and jumped really far. It’s good to see him back in stride and get him closer to where he left off.”

Looking toward the rest of the season, Mobley said he wants to see his teams perform better in the outdoor conference tournament than they did in the indoor tournament. This is the program’s first year in the American Athletic Conference.

“We want to have a better showing, we’re motivated not to have that feeling that we had during our indoor season,” Mobley said. “Our training has been stepping up. Our individual athletes have been getting after it in practice, and that’s where it starts.”

Men’s tennis tops UConn

The men’s tennis team opened its conference schedule on Saturday with a 5-1 victory against Connecticut.

Scheduling was complicated for coach Steve Mauro with the team’s move into the American Athletic Conference.  As a result, the UConn match was the only conference match Temple will play in the regular season.

“I thought we played extremely well in singles and everyone just fought hard,” Mauro said.

With the conference tournament less than three weeks from now, set to begin on April 17th in Memphis, Tenn., Mauro said he hopes the win will serve as a first step in propelling his team toward the postseason.

“We wanted to get a good start in the conference,” Mauro said.

“We were just able to get one conference match before the tournament but we were happy we played it,” Mauro added. “It really validates all the hard work that we’ve done to beat a conference opponent.”

Temple’s record now sits at 7-10 on the season.  Sunday’s match against Quinnipiac was canceled so Temple will next be in action on Thursday against city rival La Salle.

Sacramento State, San Diego State join AAC

Beginning in 2014-2015 season, Sacramento State and San Diego State women’s rowing programs will join the American Athletic Conference.

Temple’s women’s rowing coach Rebecca Grzybowski said it only benefits the conference with both teams coming into The American.  The conference currently has five rowing programs – Central Florida, Southern Methodist, Tulsa, Connecticut and Temple. Now by adding two more programs to The American, Grzybowski said by winning the conference championship, a team will automatically qualify for the NCAA. This  could only be granted to a conference with a minimum of six teams.

Sacramento State will come into the conference with the most success, winning two Dad Vail varsity 8 titles in 2004 and 2010. As a result, Grzybowski said the level of competitiveness and urgency will increase, as Temple will rarely race against the two teams until the conference championship since they are on the west coast.

Sacramento State and San Diego State are currently members of Conference USA.

Baseball wins conference opener

The baseball team beat Memphis on Sunday 4-3, winning its first conference series of the 2014 season.

Entering their first year in the American Athletic Conference, the Owls now have a 7-10 overall record. This is the team’s final season before the university’s athletic cuts will take effect in July.

The baseball team will begin playing at Campbell’s Field in Camden, N.J., on April 4 against Cincinnati.

Rowing to open season on the Schuylkill

The women’s rowing team is set to kick off its spring season Saturday on the Schuylkill.

Temple will race against Drexel, Delaware and Lehigh. Beginning at 2 p.m., the women’s novice eight “B” will go head to head against Delaware “B.” Drexel and Delaware’s women’s novice eight “A” will square off against the Owls 12 minutes later. The varsity four “B” will compete with Delaware and Drexel followed by the varsity four “A” slated for 2:36 p.m. versus Lehigh, Delaware and Drexel. The race will conclude with both varsity eights competing against Drexel, Lehigh and Delaware starting at 2:48 p.m.

The men’s crew team will scrimmage against Rutgers at 7 a.m.

Lee to transfer for final year of eligibility

Redshirt-junior forward Anthony Lee has decided to transfer from Temple.

The news was first reported by Keith Pompey of The Inquirer. Lee reportedly told coach Fran Dunphy of his decision yesterday. Lee has acknowledged his decision to depart on Twitter.

Lee is due to graduate in May with a degree in communications. He can transfer to any university and be eligible to play immediately since he will have already earned his undergraduate degree. He cannot enroll in a graduate program that is also offered at Temple.

He averaged 13.6 points on 49.5 percent shooting and 8.6 rebounds per game in 2013-14. He led the American Athletic Conference in rebounds per game and was tenth in the conference in field goal percentage.

Fitzgerald earns final weekly honors

On March 4., freshman guard Feyonda Fitzgerald earned weekly honors from the American Athletic Conference and the Philadelphia Big 5.

For the fifth time this season, Fitzgerald was named The American Freshman of the Week, while she also earned Big 5 weekly honor roll honors for the fourth time this year

In two consecutive conference road games against Rutgers and Central Florida, Fitzgerald averaged 13.5 points per game, while shooting 8-for-10 from the free throw line. The freshman guard also tied a team-high in points in the Owls’ regular season finale against Houston, scoring 16.

Fitzgerald ended the regular season as Temple’s leading scorer, averaging 12.6 points and four assists.

Owls clinch first-round bye

Yesterday, after a delayed Southern Methodist-Central Florida game ended in a Mustangs victory, Temple was officially announced as the No. 6 seed in this weekend’s American Athletic Conference tournament.

With all the conference’s seedings finalized, Temple (14-15,8-10) will play in a quarterfinal contest against No. 3 South Florida (18-11,13-5) at 8pm on Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. The game will appear on ESPN3.

The Owls have lost both matchups against the Bulls this season. Most recently, Temple lost in the final seconds at the Liacouras Center on Feb. 22. In that game, Bulls’ sophomore guard Courtney Williams recorded a career-high 35 points, and was honored as the conference’s player of week in the following days.

Leading up to the tournament, Temple has won two consecutive games by 10 points or more, while USF is rolling with a five-game winning streak, including its most recent upset against a nationally ranked Rutgers team.

Rowers hold ‘Champ Week’



From wrestling to “Cear Bare” costumes, the women’s rowing team recently celebrated its second annual Champ Week.

The team of close to 60 women was separated into groups throughout the week for intersquad competitions, but before the competition started, each group wore matching costumes.

“When we were explaining to them we said bonus points for costumes, half jokingly expecting one day they would all wear matching red shirts, something simply, but they took it to the complete extreme and it was awesome,” coach Rebecca Grzybowski said.

There were unicorns, “Temple Maids,” and a team of Steve ‘Erg’- el all prancing around the erg room this past week to culminate a month of brutal indoor training. The team looks to get on the water this week as their season is less than three weeks away.

Champ Week was started a year ago by an assistant graduate. More photos can be seen here.