Kangaroo legend Michael Watson
, the Mid-Continent Conference's all-time leading scorer with 2,488 points, graduated and left his blue and gold uni behind last spring. So someone had to step up and provide some points this year for Missouri-Kansas City
, and it turns out that the entire backcourt did. Out of a guard corps that was rated second-worst in the league by the Blue Ribbon Yearbook at the start of the season, three came forward to contribute scoring for a team that's rattled off eight straight wins and now leads the Mid-Con with an unblemished 6-0 record (8-7 overall). One of those guards, Brandon Temple
, is our eleventh Mid-Majority Baller Of The Week.
Brandon is a 6'1", 180 lb. senior combo-G who hails from Raleigh. His primary MMBOW credential is his sparkling 25-point effort (a career high) in a home win over league rival IUPUI
last Thursday - a game in which he hit nine of 15 shots, made all four of his freebies, and grabbed four boards for good measure. Earlier in the week, he dropped 18 in a play-down against D2 South Dakota State
Brandon played his first two years of college ball at Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains, where he earned the school's all-time assist record with 332 (12 per game). He sat out the 2002-03 season to transfer to UMKC; last season, his 112 assists were the second-most in school history. With this year's arrival of Southern California
transfer Quinton Day, Temple has been freed up to play more two-guard while Day handles the bulk of the assist-work.
Now he's the second-leading scorer (with 14.6 a game) on a team whose starting five all average in double figures, and has doubled a nine points-per-game average last month to a highly respectable 18 in January. He's also emerged as the Kangaroos' primary three-point threat, nailing over 37% of his eight-or-so shots per game. Along with Day and Creighton
transfer Tim Blackwell (10.7 ppg), the Kangaroo backcourt has presented nightmares for perimeter defenses all over the Mid-Con, and opposing teams still have to worry about slashing forward Mike English (16.5 ppg) and round mounda' Carlton Aaron (12.9 ppg) down low.
He was a four-year letterman in hoops (as well as a track star) at Wake Forest-Rolesville H.S., and made first team All-North Carolina in his senior season. He'd like nothing more for his 23rd birthday on February 26 than a road win at faraway Southern Utah
; his 'Roos will probably know where they stand vis a vis
on that date, as they will have played overwhelming pre-season conference favorite Oral Roberts
twice by then. For now, UMKC is enjoying the view from the top of the Mid-Con.