Forward Thinking

Scootie Randall

Scootie Randall has spent most of his five years at Temple with Ramone Moore, Michael Eric and Juan Fernandez. But the Owls' starting small forward wasn't able to play his senior season with his long-time teammates a year ago as a slow recovery from knee surgey kept him from ever feeling comfortable enough to take the court. Randall is finally healthy, ready to pick up where he left off.

Scootie Randall has spent most of his five years at Temple with Ramone Moore, Michael Eric and Juan Fernandez.

But the Owls' starting small forward wasn't able to play his senior season with his long-time teammates a year ago as a slow recovery from knee surgery kept him from ever feeling comfortable enough to take the court.

Randall is finally healthy, ready to pick up where he left off before he injured his right foot in a game against Richmond in 2010-2011. He never returned to top form that season, then was out all last year because of a slow recovery from knee surgery.

"I feel good, real good," said Randall, who averaged 10.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game as a junior and was Temple's best on-the-ball defender. "I don't pay the (knee) any mind."

Randall started last season with the idea he would rejoin the lineup after a few weeks, but as Christmas arrived and he still wasn't ready to play in games he decided to sit out the season. The tough part was not finishing his career with the other seniors who had come through the program with him.

"I knew after a while I wasn't coming back, but it was hard for me to tell those guys (I wasn't playing)," said Randall. "Meeting with Doc and not being able to put pressure on it. … was tough. I wanted to be out there, but for the most part I didn't feel I was capable of being out there at that time."

Randall did continue to practice throughout the season even as the knee continued to give him trouble. As long as he wasn't setting himself back, the 6-foot-6 forward was able to practice despite discomfort.

"I still felt pain, but I knew those guys needed me out there," said Randall. "I pushed myself to help those guys get better, even though I wasn't fully healed. It was my duty to stay positive and keep those guys going.

"I had to take responsibility and listen to what the coaches were telling us. I had to watch every aspect of the game and help those guys and help the coaches out, and I think it taught me a lot. Me being a leader, I had to take it in and give advice to those guys."

Giving advice has never been a problem for Randall, whose leadership was evident when he joined the starting lineup as a junior.

"We need his experience, you get to have an opportunity to play somebody like that, it's helping your team," said coach Fran Dunphy. "He's just got a toughness about him. He has no fear, he'll get rebounds we didn't get, be more physical on the opposition than we were at times and has jump-shooting ability we'll need."

While admitting it was a tough decision to not re-join the team last year, Randall knew it was the right one. After sitting most of his first two years as he struggled to crack the lineup, he has never played a full season with the Owls.

"It's a little different with the play-around atmosphere and the bond we all had (with last year's seniors), but those guys allowed me to say what I needed to say and took advice from me," said Randall. "Now, Coach Dunph has a lot of younger guys in this program. The leadership we have as seniors play a a role in this program, and I made the best decision for me and those guys because they needed a leader like myself."

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