Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
As Temple basketball prepares for several transitions, one of its future members is preparing for his own personal one. At the Donofrio Classic, Kyle Green took the court with the Conshy Warriors–comprised mostly of his Jersey Shore Warrior AAU team–knowing that very soon many of them will be heading off to colleges across the country.
The advantage that Green has over teammates like Steve Smith (Fairfield) and Steve Vasturia (Notre Dame) is that, as a Temple signee, he’s already able to start his transition to the next level in some way.
“I’ve been watching them and I’ve been over at practices, kinda getting used to it, getting acclimated,” Green told CoBL on Tuesday. “Just trying to get over there, learn my role and prove myself in the way that Coach Dunphy wants me to play for the next few years.”
Even though he’s not practicing with the team quite yet, just the ability to be around future teammates like current sophomores Anthony Lee and Will Cummings as well as freshmen Quenton DeCosey, Dan Dingle and Devontae Watson helps.
“You kinda have to get acclimated to the new guys and learn how they are and get comfortable with them off the court,” Green said. “The more comfortable you are off the court, you get chemistry on the court, so try to build that off the court relationship.”
A 6-foot-5, 190-pound wing, Green averaged 20 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game for Camden Catholic in his senior season, earning a McDonald’s All-American nomination. He scored eight points on Tuesday night before spraining his ankle and departing about eight minutes into the second half.
Green is one of two current Temple signees along with St. Anthony’s (N.J.) point guard Josh Brown. They both signed their binding National Letters of Intent back in the early signing period last November.
“I’ve talked to Josh Brown coming in a few times, we’re getting to be good friends,” Green said. “As far as relationship-wise, I think we’re all getting along pretty well and it should be a fun year.”
The two–plus any other current high school seniors who might commit to the school at some point during the spring signing period–will join a fairly young group on campus for the 2013-14 season. The Owls were one of the oldest teams in the country this year but with five players graduating, it’s going to be quite a changing of the guard next year.
Still, Green did get something positive out of Temple’s Class of 2013, though he won’t be teammates with any of the five. Seeing the cherry and white advance in the NCAA Tournament with a win over a tough NC State squad and take Indiana to the wire has him excited about the possibilities of what the next four years could bring.
“It was amazing, Khalif (Wyatt) is an unbelievable player and it was great watching him and the rest of the team play,” Green said. “If they could have pulled off that Indiana game it would have been sweet, but they played well and it was awesome to watch them on national TV.”
In addition to that new roster, the team will be playing in a new conference, the American Athletic Conference. The American–it’s not going to be abbreviated as AAC–will consist of Temple, Connecticut, Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist, South Florida, Central Florida, East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa by the start of the 2014-15 season.
Before all that happens, though, there’s the end to his senior year, and that chance to take the court with Vasturia, Smith, La Salle-bound Amar Stukes and the rest of that Conshy team. Doing it at a tournament with as much history as Donofrio–which has seen players like Kobe Bryant take home tournament titles in its 53 years–would mean that much more.
“It’s fun to play with these guys because we’ve been doing it for three years now, so it’s a good send-off to play here,” Green said. “It’s huge, I came over here last year to play and my sophomore year I was here just to watch, first time I’d ever heard about it. It’s great, you get all the press here and a lot of people come out. It’s fun, a tight gym like this, it’s fun to play.”