Devontae Watson played just 12 minutes in six games as a freshman for the Temple men's basketball…
With five seniors graduating — including four of the Owls' top five scorers — the ascending junior and starting point guard would have a different purpose both on and off the court.
After averaging 5.8 points per game as a sophomore, Cummings is the second-leading scorer among returning players. He knows that average will have to go up dramatically this year.
"That's what I've been doing the last eight weeks since I went home, working on my overall offensive game," said Cummings, a Florida native, after a recent summer league game in the Del-Co Pro Am League. "I can play defense, that's something that naturally came with getting experience at the college level. But this past summer I've been getting different ways to score, that's what I want to work on all summer — have fun, play the game and work on different shots."
Cummings averaged 18.8 points per game as a senior in high school but deferred to his veteran teammates the last two years, opting to set up players like Khalif Wyatt and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson rather than looking for his own shot.
"I felt I always had it in me," admitted Cummings. "I was always a scorer in high school, but guys like Khalif had the majority of the shots and were leaders, carried us through the season. My job was to get those guys the ball and be an overall playmaker. This year I'll make a more conscious effort to score the ball."
Asked if he thought it would be difficult to replace the scoring void left by Wyatt and the other seniors, Cummings felt the Owls had the players to collectively make up the difference.
"I wouldn't say it's going to be tough, we're just going to get it from different areas and score in different ways, balance the floor and have different guys contribute," said Cummings. "Spread it out and have guys step up and take the lead."
As the point guard and now moving into an upperclassman role, Cummings believes he has to take more ownership of the team from a leadership standpoint.
"That's how Coach (Fran) Dunphy wants me to be, a vocal leader and leading them as a point guard and one of the older guys on the team," said Cummings. "Take it upon myself to make sure I'm vocal on the court and in the locker room, set an example."
Asked if he had any personal goals for the season, Cummings said he didn't.
"I'm just working on winning games," said Cummings. "If you're not winning games, nothing else matters."
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