December 11, 2007

Dunphy recruiting local, national talent

Sunday night's Big 5 game against Villanova marked an opportunity for Temple coach Fran Dunphy and his staff to host several area recruits at the Liacouras Center. That group included a familiar local member of the 2008 class, seven players from the class of 2009, and one of the city's best sophomores.

Andrew "Scootie" Randall, a 6-foot-6 senior at Communications Tech, was on hand as the Owls' comeback bid fell short in a 101-93 loss to the Wildcats. Randall, a combination forward, is one of the city's top players, and he's no stranger to the Liacouras Center. Temple has been recruiting Randall, who led Communications Tech to an 18-7 record last season, since his junior campaign. A source informed that the Owls are still very much interested in Randall and that they will continue to monitor his academic situation as he works toward meeting NCAA initial eligibility standards. Randall, a third-team Philadelphia Daily News all-star last season, is said to like Temple and LaSalle.

Dalton Pepper, Andre Gillette, Will Barrett, Carl Baptiste, Aaric Murray, Tyree Harris and Jermaine Marshall, all of whom are considered to be among the better juniors in the area, also made the trip to North Broad Street Sunday night.

Pepper, a 6-4, 200-pound guard who plays at Pennsbury High School, got the chance to watch his former teammate and good friend, Temple freshman forward Lavoy Allen. Pepper, who dropped 30 points in a recent win over Abington, is a four-star prospect ranked No. 82 overall by in the junior class. He already has offers from Villanova, West Virginia, Miami and Virginia. As he did with Allen, Dunphy has been recruiting Pepper since getting the Temple job.

Gillette, nicknamed "Scooter," is a 6-8 forward at Neumann-Goretti in South Philadelphia who played in the shadow of Rick Jackson, now at Syracuse, last season. Now that Jackson is gone, Gillette will get his chance to shine this season. As first reported over the summer, Gillette already has an offer from the Owls and visited Temple's campus earlier in the fall.

Barrett, a 6-8 forward from Central Bucks South High School, is a developing wing player with a sweet shooting stroke. Baptiste is a 6-8 center at North Hunterdon High School who, in addition to Temple, is being recruited by St. Joseph's, LaSalle and Delaware. Dunphy made a trip up to North Hunterdon, located in Northern New Jersey about 20 miles east of Easton, to watch Baptiste in a recent scrimmage.

Murray, a 6-10, 225-pound center at Glen Mills, is an intriguing prospect. He opened some eyes when he played quite well back in April at the Donofrio Classic in Conshohocken, always one of the spring's best AAU tournaments. He led Glen Mills with 16 points in a recent 70-61 loss to Strawberry Mansion, and the word on Murray is that he could become a high-major prospect as he continues to improve after flying a bit under the radar prior to this season.

Marshall is a 6-5 wing player from Red Land High School, located in the Harrisburg area. He posted a double-double, scoring 29 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, in a 59-48 loss to Mechanicsburg Monday. Red Land, 3-1 so far this season, got 23 points from Marshall in its 64-44 win over Boyertown in the season opener.

Like Gillette at Neumann-Goretti, Harris played behind a pair of blue-chip prospects last season. Part of a deep rotation at Prep Charter as a sophomore, Harris often deferred to twin post players Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris, who are now enrolled in prep school before going on to Kansas. A 6-7 wing talent, Harris will get the ball more now as a junior. He scored 12 points in an 83-61 win over Milton Hershey this past weekend for the two-time defending PIAA Class AA state champions.

Duncan is Harris' teammate at Prep Charter. The 6-8 sophomore forward is looking to become the school's next great big man. He scored five points and grabbed six rebounds in last year's state title game. Temple fans and other area hoops heads will have the opportunity to watch Harris and Duncan when Prep Charter plays Chester Dec. 27 at Widener University. has also been told that Dunphy could soon be making another trip to Durham, NC, to watch 2008 prospect Justin Watts, a 6-4, 200-pound guard at C E Jordan High School. Temple has already hosted Watts on an official visit, and this would be Dunphy's second trip to the Tar Heel state to see Watts, who scored 32 points in a Nov. 19 win over Raleigh Enloe High School. The three-star prospect reportedly has offers from George Mason, East Carolina and Fairfield, but programs like Illinois have also taken a look. Editor John Di Carlo can be reached at [email protected]

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