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Meet Temple's Flashy Sophomore Point Guard Will Cummings

The next great Temple PG?

Through decades of existence, the Temple University basketball program has been nationally recognized as having some of the most talented guards in the collegiate circuit. A long list of those point guards have enjoyed successful tenures in the National Basketball Association and professional leagues overseas.

When it comes to the point position, which is arguably the most important aspect in basketball – and one of the most highly respected positions in all of sports – the all-time Temple greats bring back vivid memories to those who have had the pleasure of witnessing college hoops on North Broad Street.

Whether it was Guy Rodgers running up and down the floor as a magician, who had a vision that was unprecedented and went on to dish out 20 assists during Wilt Chamberlain’s historical 100-point game and led the NBA in assists twice; or Pepe Sanchez, who ran legendary coach John Chaney’s offense to an Elite Eight appearance in 1999, then capturing a Third-Team All-American in 2000; or a player like Lynn Greer, who owns one of the sweetest left-handed jump shots out of any point guard you’ll ever witness, point guards have made their mark on not just Temple basketball history, but the entire city that is known to adore its fix of college basketball.

Temple has a new point guard this year who could open a lot of eyes. Meet sophomore Will Cummings, who, with three years left of eligibility, is stepping into the key point guard role in hopes that he can be the next notable signal caller for the Owls offense.

Cummings and Temple open their 2012-13 season at Kent State at noon Tuesday on ESPN.

Cummings steps into a role that was filled last season by Juan Fernandez. Fernandez seemingly owned the position for his entire collegiate career, and had his moments while running a very methodical, slower-paced type offense, but he did it to near perfection.

Cummings possesses his own unique style, but was able to learn some valuable insight about the point guard position under Fernandez’s tutelage.

“I kind of learned a lot from Juan last year playing behind him in practice every day,” Cummings told Philahoops during Temple’s media day. “It’s a great experience being able to learn his ways and putting different things that he does in my game and taking stuff like that, so it’s just overall learning to be a leader and taking care of the basketball, running the offense, and getting guys involved.”

Cummings brings a different element to this team and is a truly gifted athlete. His ability to run, jump, and switch gears north to south, east to west aren’t easy to find and Cummings could be the most athletic point guard the Owls have had in quite some time.

“Will is like ultra-fast, the fastest point guard I’ve ever played with,” Owls senior guard Khalif Wyatt said. “He’s really fast and he can up the tempo, pick the tempo up in the game He can also guard little guards too, so he can help us with that.”

Cummings knows that his athleticism can benefit the Owls in 2012-13.

“I think it brings opportunities for other guys to get shots,” Cummings said. “Being able to get places on the court that normally, if you weren’t athletic you couldn’t get to. Just pushing the ball in transition because I’m quick, just being able to use my quickness to get guys open shots and running the offense.”

Cummings saw limited time last season as a freshman, averaging just 6.3 minutes per game, but will see his minutes soar, as he will be called upon to take a bigger role as the team’s point guard.

During his senior year in high school, the 6-foot-2 guard averaged just over 18 points, along with 8.1 assists and 4 steals per game.

“You’ll say to Will, ‘Alright push it up and down the floor’ and you’ll live with a turnover or two that he may commit because he’s being so aggressive but it would be foolish not to use his speed and quickness,” Owls coach Fran Dunphy said.

If you like an Allen Iverson crossover, mixed with an impressive jumping ability, great passing vision and stingy defense, you will become a big fan of Will Cummings in the years to come.

What’s the strongest aspect of Cummings’ game?

“My transition, that’s kind of what gets me going,” he said. “When I get a couple buckets in transition or finding guys in open spots in transition that really gets me going. It’s transition where I really thrive at.”

Cummings comes into this year on a team that has a ton of depth, so his role is yet to be determined and with the season opener, and Cummings and the gang are competing at a high level for their respective roles.

“That’s what we love. We love to compete in practice now. We take it off the court, we’re talking trash in the locker room, as soon as we get off the court we’re in the locker room talking trash,” Cummings said with a laugh. “That gets other guys going [and] makes you play harder.”

Only time will tell but Cummings brings a dynamic to the floor that can make the audience “ooh” and “aah.”

Temple fans have rarely seen such an athletic and versatile talent such as the one that Cummings holds at the point guard position. Keep your eyes on No. 2 as the season progresses.

Check out Cummings high school highlights below: