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Anthony Lee

Anthony Lee's production last year was typically a bonus for the Temple men's basketball team. As a redshirt freshman, Lee was forced into significant playing time when senior center Micheal Eric missed two months with an injury. The 6-9 Lee started 17 games and averaged 5.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. But this season, Lee knows his performance is expected and not a luxury.

Anthony Lee's production last year was typically a bonus for the Temple men's basketball team.

As a redshirt freshman, Lee was forced into significant playing time when senior center Micheal Eric missed two months with an injury.

The 6-9 Lee started 17 games and averaged 5.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.

But this season, Lee knows his performance is expected and not a luxury, and he's certainly taken that knowledge to heart.

Now entrenched as the starting center, Lee scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the opening win over Kent. The sophomore was even better on Saturday against Rice, scoring 16 points and grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds for his first career double-double.

"Anthony was terrific in so many ways," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "He did a very good job on the offensive end and came up with 13 rebounds. He's really starting to understand that's a great strength of his. Twenty-eight minutes, that's lot of rebounds.

"He made some pretty tough baskets too. I was happy to see those last four foul shots go down because he's going to get fouled during the course of the year and that's something he'll have to do for us."

Lee noted his mentality is to be a rebound-first player, and even though he is averaging 10.5 per game over the first two games, he feels he can do better.

"It starts with grabbing it with two (hands)," said Lee. "I thank God for my hands. He gave me two hands and I have to use them the right way. I have the talent to be down there and be that guy for this team, to roam around (and grab rebounds). It's also me not boxing out like I needed to, and that can be fixed real easy."

Lee feels he's can be an offensive force this year as well as he worked on his game this summer after going home to Iowa and feels more comfortable after catching the ball.

"I can dominate in the paint when I get the opportunity and I'm earning trust in my teammates," said Lee. "I'm more comfortable rolling to the basket and having the poise of knowing what to do with it instead of picking up charges. Last year, I was thinking too much, but the game has slowed down when I catch the ball on offense. I feel at peace, really relaxed.

"When I went back home, my dad had me in the gym a lot. I was working on my hook shots. My right-hand hook shot has yet to be shown, but it's definitely as strong as my left hand. Driving from the elbow to the cup, I have good control. And I worked on trying to read the ball on offense, because I know I need to get more offensive rebounds."

Lee is also noticeably more muscular, which is another area he emphasized in the offseason and should allow him to continue to play close to 30 minutes a game.

"He took a summer and worked out and it's starting to benefit and it's started to show, as you can see," said senior Scootie Randall. "He works hard and takes pride in what he do. He's loves to be out there and he's doing well."

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