Adam Fisher: John Chaney 'smiling down on us' as Temple wins

Adam Fisher Honors John Chaney’s Legacy as Temple Secures Victory: “He’s Smiling Down on Us”

In Fort Worth, Texas, the Temple Owls’ basketball team, led by Coach Adam Fisher, is on the brink of making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2019. This comes after a surprising victory against Florida Atlantic in the AAC tournament semifinals. Coach Fisher reflected on the legacy of John Chaney, the revered former coach of the Owls, feeling his presence in their triumph.

“Chaney is smiling down on us,” Fisher shared with ESPN, following the nail-biting 74-73 win over FAU, a team that reached the Final Four the previous year.

A victory against UAB on Sunday would mark a remarkable turnaround for the team, which had faced a challenging season, including a streak of 10 consecutive losses. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, with a record of 5-13 in the American conference, Temple could match Holy Cross (2016) as the only teams to enter the NCAA tournament with 13 conference losses. The win on Saturday was also noted as Temple’s second-largest upset in the last 30 years, with the team being a 14.5-point underdog.

The game’s conclusion was dramatic, with FAU’s Johnell Davis making a crucial turnover and Temple’s Hysier Miller securing the win by diving for the loose ball as the clock ran out.

This victory was a beacon of hope for a program that had struggled for most of the season, having a record of 8-17 at one point. Additionally, the school had to navigate through an investigation launched earlier in the month after a game between UAB and Temple was flagged for suspicious gambling activity.

Despite these challenges, Fisher, in his first year as head coach, kept his team focused, leading them to an 8-2 record in their last 10 games. He emphasized a balance between being detail-oriented and enjoying the moment, fostering a “loose and locked in” mentality among his players.

Fisher has been instilling the “Temple Tough” philosophy throughout the week, inviting former players to inspire the current team. He believes in honoring the program’s history and the legends who have built its legacy, ensuring his players appreciate the path laid before them.

Temple’s journey to the NCAA tournament is also notable as they become the third team since 1939 to play five conference tournament games in five days.

“It’s one of the winningest programs in all of college basketball,” Fisher remarked, acknowledging the contributions of past players and the privileges the current team enjoys, such as top-notch facilities and charter flights. He aims to connect his players with the program’s rich history, believing that learning from those who have succeeded is the best way to achieve their goals.