American releases conference pairings

The American Athletic Conference announced its conference pairings today, determining the Owls’ conference slate for the upcoming 2014-15 season.

The announcement also introduced new members East Carolina University, Tulane University and the University of Tulsa. Despite the added teams, The American will maintain its 18-game conference schedule, concluding that instead of expanding the schedule, each team will instead face eight of its 10 conference foes twice and the remaining two teams once.

This decision led to the determination that Temple will face Houston and Memphis once and the remaining eight twice, as they did last year.  The Owls will host Houston and play in Memphis.

The Owls lost leading scorer Dalton Pepper to graduation as well as leading rebounder and defensive anchor Anthony Lee to Ohio State. Temple will instead look to other options, such as a bona fide starter in junior guard Will Cummings and a proven sixth man in junior guard Quenton DeCosey to help improve their 4-14 conference record last year.

Cummings, a junior who averaged 34.4 minutes per game, will be the team’s leading returning scorer, averaging 16.8 points per game on 45 percent shooting.

The conference championship tournament will be held May 12 through May 15 at The XL Central in Hartford, CT.

American commissioner Mike Aresco said the decision to hold the tournament on a weekend would help with traveling fans and ESPN coverage, which could potentially improve TV ratings and generate more revenue for the conference.

-EJ Smith

American Athletic Conference reveals logo

The American Athletic Conference, Temple’s new conference, has revealed its official logo.

It was officially released on Thursday morning. Temple, along with nine other schools, will officially join the new conference on July 1.

“The elegant, athletic and classic letter A with the unique star inside and AMERICAN underneath was unanimously chosen by every institution,” commissioner Mike Aresco said. “We believe this bold mark and our series of ancillary marks will support our conference name and the values that our name represents.”

Football to compete in Big East West in 2013

The football team and other new additions to the Big East Conference will compete in the newly established West Division of the conference next season, Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco announced Tuesday.

The 12 teams set to compete in the Big East next season will be split into two, six-team divisions, where the winner of the divisions will meet in the Big East Championship game. Temple will be in the West Division along with other conference newcomers: Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State and Southern Methodist University.

“I’m not involved with all these meetings here, but for the beginning part of this thing, we will be on the Western side,” coach Steve Addazio said in a press release. “I’m excited to do that. I think that’ll be good. We’ll still have some of our regional games in here, and I think it’s a great new beginning and I’m excited for it.”

Each Big East team will play eight conference games per season, five within its division. That means Temple will have to head out west for at least two games against Western opponents next season. Home/away breakdowns will be announced after the Big East athletic directors meeting on Dec. 3.

Addazio said playing in western markets opens up new doors for recruiting.

“It’s exciting. You’re talking about some great trips and some great programs,” Addazio said. “You’re playing nationally. It’s a national perspective, and I think the kids will enjoy that. When I was at Notre Dame, we played a national schedule. I know that’s a bit of a difference scenario, but it was a cool deal – going to places you’ve never been. It can be very, very exciting. The future is really exciting. I’m thrilled that we’re a part of I,t and I’m looking forward to bringing this young team into that whole new beginning. I think it’s going to be nothing but growth.”

The conference alignment is likely to be revisited after the 2014 season when Navy will be added to the Big East, among other schools, the press release indicated.