Every year, I make a point of heading down to the Liacouras Center to check out one or two basketball games.
Not this year.
I’m just not as into basketball at Temple as I am football and never have been, but I love Temple and love the state-of-the-art arena the basketball team calls home so it’s always been an enjoyable venture the few times I could get out. The place seats 10,400 and is a spectacular modern facility as good as any on The East Coast. I can only pray the new football facility being built next to it is held in as high an esteem nationally but, for $130 million, I have my doubts.
After the basketball Owls beat Clemson, South Carolina, Auburn and Wisconsin early in the season, I thought it was going to be really enjoyable but then those wins were sandwiched around loses to George Washington and LaSalle, among others, and I said no more. Nothing in sports is more frustrating than a team capable of beating good teams losing to really bad teams so I thought I’d sit this season out completely.
Until something arrived in the email the other day: A Temple football event.
On February 7, there will be a recruiting event—called a celebration—at 5 p.m. Since the event ends at 7 and a basketball game begins then, my streak of going to at least one LC game a year since its opening will continue. The cost of the recruiting event is $20 ($25 for non-Owl Club members) and you can get a basketball ticket for as low as $12 added on, which I did. Pre-registration is encouraged so check your emails.
Call it killing two birds with one stone.
The recruiting part should be a celebration of the great job Geoff Collins did in that department this season. While he hasn’t signed any four stars, the depth of three stars is far deeper than Matt Rhule’s last full class. Of the first 25 signed commitments, 22 were three stars and above. Rhule signed only nine three stars and above in his last “full” class, the one after the Houston championship loss.
This is a consistently good class with a lot of guys who turned down Power 5 schools—offers, not just interest—to play and be educated in one of the greatest cities of the world. This is a class certainly deep and talented enough to be capable of beating the P5 teams and former traditional Eastern rivals on the schedule in the next few seasons.
Hearing Collins talk about how it came about is certainly worth the trip to town. While there, you might as well kill two birds with one stone—even though the other bird is a once vibrant now sickly Owl that certainly needs the love and attention it is not getting this winter.
Monday: The Attendance Bar