UMass Falls At Temple, 61-48
Feb. 26, 2005
By DAN GELSTON AP SPORTS WRITER
PHILADELPHIA -- John Chaney missed Temple's 61-48 win over Massachusetts on Saturday, serving the first of a three-game suspension for ordering rough play by one of his players, who subsequently broke an opponent's arm.
Chaney wasn't there to rant and rave at the officials on the sideline. His Temple players didn't hear his raspy-voiced instructions. The absence of the suspended Hall of Fame coach made for a different atmosphere at the half-empty Liacouras Center. It's one the Owls and their fans will have to get used to - at least for a little while.
"My left ear doesn't hurt, I know that," joked Dan Leibovitz, Chaney's top assistant who took over the coaching duties. "It was a lot quieter."
Leibovitz, 42 years younger than the 73-year-old Chaney, seemed uptight in the opening minutes, standing with his arms behind his back and offering occasional encouragement. He loosened up as the game went on, giving a fist pump and high-fiving his players when the Owls went up 10 early in the second half.
It could be an audition. While Chaney was noncommittal Friday about returning for another season, saying he would "take inventory of myself," he has been harshly criticized for his actions and there have been grumblings by some that he should resign.
"I haven't talked to John about anything other than the three games he won't be coaching," Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said at the game.
The suspension resulted from Chaney's actions during Tuesday's game against Saint Joseph's. Angered by what he thought were illegal screens, Chaney put in seldom-used 6-foot-8, 250 pound Nehemiah Ingram against the Hawks on Tuesday to "send a message."
Ingram, whom Chaney later referred to as a "goon," fouled Hawks forward John Bryant hard, breaking his arm. Bryant will likely miss the rest of the season.
Ingram, his black socks pulled up to his knees, had two fouls and three points in 6 minutes Saturday. In the first half, he was not introduced when he came in during a timeout. When he subbed in again in the second half, the crowd cheered, with only a few boos.
Ingram said he would like to apologize to Bryant in person. Chaney apologized to Bryant on Friday.
"The toughest part was hearing John Bryant would not be able to play for the rest of the season," Ingram said. "I just want people to know I'm a good guy at heart. I was raised in a church all my life. I'm not what everybody thinks I am. I'm a real nice guy."
Leibovitz had Ingram sit near him on the bench and wanted to play him early to show he's more than a goon.
"The kid can play basketball," Leibovitz said. "He's not someone you have to throw in the game to necessarily rough somebody up."
Leibovitz, part of Chaney's staff for the last nine seasons, set a different tone than his boss. He made it a point not to raise his voice, didn't gripe with the refs, and gave nothing but positive instructions to his team.
"I couldn't be someone who motivated from the negative," Leibovitz said.
In a statement issued Saturday, Saint Joseph's said it was encouraged by Temple's decision to suspend Chaney and by the coach's show of remorse.
On Saturday, there were no chants for the suspended coach from the crowd, and no banners of support or protest.
A banner wishing Chaney and the team luck that normally hangs over their entrance tunnel was replaced with one promoting next month's NCAA women's regional.
Bradshaw said most of the calls and e-mails he'd received from students and fans were full of outrage over Chaney's actions. Bradshaw said all decisions involving Chaney "were made in the best interest of Temple and Saint Joseph's."
The first four rows of the student section behind one of the baskets were empty and roped off after some students spit at Saint Joseph's players and cheerleaders on Tuesday night. There weren't many students in attendance on Saturday anyway.
Those that were there, however, seemed to want Chaney to return for his 24th season with the Owls.
"He's an old-time coach. That's how it was back in the day," junior Kevin Daniels said.
The only coach in trouble Saturday was UMass' Steve Lappas, whistled for a technical foul near the end of the first half.
Mardy Collins led the Owls (14-11, 10-4 Atlantic 10) with 25 points and Mark Tyndale had 10. Rashaun Freeman had 15 points for Massachusetts (15-10, 8-6).
Chaney's only other suspension came in 1994, when Temple suspended him for one game after he threatened then-Massachusetts coach John Calipari during a postgame news conference.
Chaney is 721-294 in a 33-year career that earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame.
POSTGAME NOTES Temple 61, UMass 48 * Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pa. * Feb. 26, 2005
Temple's Mardy Collins led the way for the Owls with 25 points, as Temple took hold of second place in the A-10 East with a 61-48 win at the Liacouras Center. Temple is now 14-11 overall and 10-4 in the league. UMass is 15-10 overall and 8-6 in the A-10.
Rashaun Freeman reached double-figures for the 43rd time in 54 career games and 19h time in 25 games this season with 15.
Temple started the game 1-for-9 from the floor as they trailed 14-3 with 13:51 left in the first half. In the game at UMass back on Jan. 5, Temple started the game 1-for-23 from the floor.
Temple set a record for most offensive rebounds by a UMass opponent with 29. Overall, Temple outrebounded UMass, 45-27.
Anthony Anderson, back in action on a normal playing basis after a back injury, had six points to move to a tie for 19th on the all-time scoring list with 1,211. He tied Jim Town (1,211). Anderson also added to his career marks for three-point field goals (275).
Lawrence Carrier dressed after not dressing the last game vs. Rhode Island. He has a left hamstring strain. He entered with 4:13 left in the first half.
Other Notes: Temple won the tap ...Mardy Collins had the game's first points on a shirt jumper at 18:05 ... Stephane Lasme answered with a three-point play with 17:51 left in the first ... UMass jumped out to a 14-3 lead with 13:51 scoring 14 of 15 points after Temple's opening basket ... in that run, Art Bowers had five points ... UMass had its biggest lead of the half at 22-11 (+11) on a three-point basket by Anthony Anderson with 8:05 left in the first ... Temple went on a 19-4 run to end the half to lead 29-25 at halftime.