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Temple Basketball Coach Fran Dunphy: Defense Still Needs Improvement

Temple coach Fran Dunphy said his team will look similar to last year's.

Less than two weeks from opening the 2011-12 season against Penn, Temple coach Fran Dunphy said his team should look familiar this season during a press conference on Tuesday.

"I think we're basically very similar to what we were last year without the aid of Lavoy Allen, who was a terrific defensive player for us," Dunphy said.

The 2010-11 Owls finished the season 26-8, beating Penn State on a last-second jumper for the school's first NCAA tournament victory in ten years. Temple has made four straight NCAA tournament appearances and won three of the past four Atlantic 10 Conference tournaments.

Still, Dunphy isn't content with the success. He knows there are areas his team needs to improve.

"We're doing okay. I don't think any coach is ever satisfied. I think we need to get better defensively. But I think we have the ability to score. Now we just have to work on those nuances defensively that will keep us where we want to be," Dunphy said.

Lavoy Allen was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 50th pick, but the Owls still return experienced talent from last year. Guards Ramone Moore and Juan Fernandez were both voted to the Atlantic 10 preseason first team, and Scootie Randall was selected to the third team.

Dunphy is confident the Owls will be able to score, but he repeatedly mentioned that Temple will also need to stop opponents.

"The defensive end is where I'm most concerned about. I think everybody is working hard as a team to get better at that," he said.

One player who could make strides this season is Mike Eric. The center broke his patella in February and missed the end of last season after averaging 7.1 points and 5.9 rebounds through 24 games. With Allen gone, the Owls will ask Eric to expand his role.

"Mike Eric is our biggest guy, 6'10" and a half. Power player inside. He's improving. I think he's going to score a lot more for us this year. We'll certainly need that," said Dunphy.

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