North Texas Daily

New basketball transfer Temara ready to prove himself at D-I level

New basketball transfer Temara ready to prove himself at D-I level

April 28
03:51 2016

Torie Mosley | Staff Writer

@toriemosley

With North Texas men’s basketball’s graduate forward Eric Katenda, who started 18 games for the Mean Green, graduating and leaving the program, the team has a hole to fill.

North Texas may have found the perfect solution with the recent signing of sophomore JUCO transfer Shane Temara.

“We’ve been looking for someone to fill in Katenda’s spot next season, and Shane’s a nice fit for the spot,” head coach Tony Benford said. “He can shoot and defend, so we’re excited to see what he can do for us offensively and defensively.”

Temara spent his freshman year at Pasco-Hernando State College in New Port Richey, Florida, a D-II junior college, before transferring to Angelina College in Lufkin last season.

He said he’s glad his college basketball dream to play D-I NCAA basketball is finally coming true, but that it was far from easy to attain.

Originally from Syracuse, New York, Temara had trouble getting attention from NCAA scouts playing in an area not known to produce D-I talent.  The city is known nationally for Syracuse University’s basketball tradition, but outside of the university, most basketball players in the city have to leave the area to be noticed.

Shane’s father Mike played rugby on the New Zealand national team, and his mother Christine played basketball at Syracuse. Despite his family ties, Temara didn’t receive D-I NCAA offers out of high school.

“All people up there care about is Syracuse University,” Temara said. “If you don’t play there, everyone kind of doubts you saying ‘Oh you’re from Syracuse, you’re not going to go anywhere.’ It took me two years of JUCO to prove myself, and no one really noticed me until now.”

At Pasco-Hernando, Temara averaged over 15 points and nine rebounds a game while shooting 33 percent from three-point range, ranking second amongst D-II JUCO players in defensive rebounds and blocks, and 5th in rebounds per game. He then transferred to D-I JUCO Angelina College last fall and averaged 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds a game while shooting over 60 percent from the field, ranking 6th in offensive rebounds  and 7th in blocks amongst D-I JUCO players.

JUCO transfer Shane Temara will have two years of eligibility left when he arrives at North Texas. Courtesy | Mean Green Athletics

JUCO transfer Shane Temara will have two years of eligibility left when he arrives at North Texas. Courtesy | Mean Green Athletics

His game brought back memories of another forward who played in Denton in recent years, according to Benford.

“He reminds me of Colin Voss, but he shoots the three better than Colin did and has better ball skills,” Benford said. “He’s pretty athletic, so he should be able to space the floor a little more than Colin or [Katenda] did for us.”

Last season, Temara showcased his athletic ability against Satnam Singh – a 7-foot-2 center who eventually was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 52nd overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft. Temara heard Singh was a highly touted athlete and took on the 7’2 center on a fast break play. He ended up  dunking on Singh.

After the North Texas coaching staff contacted Temara in February, he chose to come to Denton instead of Lamar University, Texas State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte once he evaluated each school’s roster and where he’d fit in as a role player.

“I wanted to come here because the players are better than the others schools that wanted me,” Temara said. “Plus, the coaches told me I pretty much would be taking over Eric Katenda’s spot to be a stretch four for the team.”

Temara compares his game to the likes of Cleveland Cavaliers stretch four and NBA All-Star forward Kevin Love because of the combination of his size and ability to make mid-range and perimeter shots.

“A lot of big guys can’t shoot, so it creates a mismatch for me,” Temara said. “When guys would guard me in JUCO, I’d come up the court and shoot a three, and they’d be standing at the free throw line thinking I was like every other big guy that could only play down low.”

North Texas junior guard Deckie Johnson also played at Angelina before transferring to join the Mean Green, where he averaged 14 points per game as the team’s premiere three-point shooter last season.

Johnson, who shot over 70 threes on 33 percent shooting last season, said it’s exciting to have another three-point shooter on the squad.

“It’s good to have a forward helping defend in the paint, but even better when he can shoot, especially from three,” Johnson said. “He’s going to make it easier on me to not have to take as many as I did last season.”

Temara said he’s really excited to finally test his talent against D-I competition next season. And while nobody knows how Temara’s game will translate at the next level yet,  he said he plans to change that soon.

“I’m ready for the D-I lifestyle,” Temara said. “After being at two JUCOs, you’re pretty much located in the middle of nowhere. I can’t wait for the fans, the people [and] the team. I can’t wait to show everyone what I got.”

Featured Image: JUCO transfer Shane Temara has the ability to hit the three-point shot and will space the floor for North Texas. Courtesy | Mean Green Athletics

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