Scootie Randall has spent most of his five years at Temple with Ramone Moore, Michael Eric and Juan…
But it's when he stretches his arms to their full length that he really shows what a game-changer he can be. Temple's freshman center has a wing span of 94 inches, which is about nine inches longer than an average wing span for a player his height.
"It's scary," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "He just gets his hands on a lot of balls. He frustrates some of our guys sometimes. They think they're open for a layup, and all of the sudden this hand comes out of nowhere and he gets a piece and blocks the shot."
Watson said he started to notice the wing span and how effective of a weapon it could be on the defensive end early in his career at Lincoln Park Center (Pa.) High School. He scored 1,000 points, grabbed 1,000 rebounds and blocked 1,000 shots in his scholastic career.
"It definitely has helped me a lot," admitted Watson. "Somebody pump-fakes and I'm kind of late or fall for it, I can still reach out and block or change the shot. I get rebounds over people. ... I don't even have to jump.
"I've adjusted to it. It came in as I learned the game, learning how to play with my long arms and using my length to my advantage. I haven't seen any negatives about it. When I shoot, I do tend to put my elbow out, but that's repetition. I just have to work on that."
With last year's starting center Michael Eric gone, Watson could see time in the frontcourt behind senior Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and sophomore Anthony Lee, The Owls do have several small forwards that could play in a shorter lineup.
"(I'll play) as much as Coach Dunphy needs me to," said Watson. "It's been a learning experience, it's all new to me. I'm trying to take in as much as I can from other players and other coaches.
"Definitely time management is tough, putting school and basketball together, having three different study halls and practice in between and film sessions and having to be certain places at certain times. In high school, it's go to school, play basketball, go home."
Watson's teammates have already seen what kind of impact he can make on the defensive end, even if his offensive game is still raw and he might not be as far along as fellow freshmen Daniel Dingle and Quenton DeCosey.
"Coach Dunph always talks about how good he's going to be," said senior guard Khalif Wyatt. "He's really got great timing blocking shots. He had 1,000 blocks in high school, he likes playing basketball. He doesn't know the Xs and Os yet, but he just wants to go out and play defense and block shots."
Watson admitted his defensive game is far ahead of his offensive skills right now, but knows he can play a role as a true freshman while he develops into a complete player.
"I'm good defensively, I won't say great, and there's definitely things to work on offensively," said Watson. "I don't really know the rotation yet, but I'm playing as hard as I can in practice and hoping for the best.
‘I think I can really, really help this team. That's one of the reasons I came here. My mom liked it, I liked it and I felt I could contribute."
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