The Temple men's basketball team packed for four games, but they'll be bringing home a couple days…
With the announcement Tuesday that redshirt junior Anthony Lee will seek a transfer for his fifth year of eligibility, the Owls will now be looking to replace two of their main cogs.
The departure of the under-sized center closes the door on a Temple career that certainly had its peaks and valleys.
After redshirting his first year with a back injury, Lee was forced to step in at center for injured center Michael Eric as a freshman and more than held his own until Eric returned for the stretch run. Lee's buzzer-beating basket in overtime against Buffalo for his only points in what had been a tough game for the big man was a highlight.
His best game came of his career came in the Madison Square Garden upset of No. 3 Syracuse as a sophomore when he banged inside for 21 points and nine rebounds against a solid Orange frontcourt and seemed poised to become a dominant force inside.
But Lee was plagued with foul trouble throughout his career and lost some of his playing time last year to shooter Jake O'Brien, who transferred from Boston.
Lee was better at avoiding foul trouble this season when the short-handed Owls couldn't afford to have him off the floor, but it came at the expense of guarding the opposition. Too often the lanky Lee was dominated, no more so than when former La Salle player Aaric Murray came into the Liacouras Center and dropped 48 in an upset win.
The Owls' biggest win this year over then-nationally ranked SMU as well as an overtime loss at Memphis came with Lee out with injury.
Lee led the American Athletic Conference at 8.2 per game, including grabbing more than three per contest on the offensive glass and also was 15th in the league at 13.6 points per game. But the offense more often than not went through Temple guards Pepper, Will Cummings and Quenton DeCosey this year, and Lee could be looking for a situation where he can be more of a focal point.
The Owls are actually better equipped to deal with Lee's departure than Pepper's graduation since they have Texas transfer Jalen Bond and freshman Obi Enechionya ready to step in and Daniel Dingle set to return after missing 2/3 of the season to injury.
Lee would have provided a scoring and rebounding presence and senior leadership, but after a 9-22 season changing the dynamic of the team might not be the worst thing for the Owls. The new-look frontcourt could provide more physicality and maybe the move can provide both parties more of what they're looking for.
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