Temple Gibbs in some ways doesn’t look the part. He’s sturdily constructed to the point of being stocky, and at times he appears to move more like a linebacker than a point guard.
But he’s a proven basketball player who hails from a hoops family — his older brothers Ashton and Sterling both were major conference signees — and clearly has benefited from that outstanding pedigree. Temple is a powerful scorer on the drive who finishes with either hand, and he also can square up and bury long jump shots.
Meanwhile, he’s a tough defender and capable playmaker who simply needs to cultivate that aspect of his game to shift fully from a combo guard into a point.
”I want to play the point guard when I get to Notre Dame,” Gibbs said. “That’s what I’m trying to do now, make the transition. Demetrius (Jackson) will still be there, Matt (Farrell) will be there, so I can learn from two people who have been going through it and can teach me a lot.”
Gibbs should fit very well into the program, which rewards skilled players even if they don’t always play a traditional position. He’s also ahead of the curve physically and highly cerebral, another quality that always endears players to Mike Brey.
From Gibbs’ point of view, the decision to commit proved easy.
”Notre Dame started recruiting me last year during Peach Jam and really picked up during the high school season,” he said. “I was able to go down there on a visit and fell in love with it. I just felt like it was the right fit for me.”
High school players attempting to project their role in college can be daunting, but Gibbs possesses an impressive command of both his predecessors and his contemporaries in South Bend.
”I definitely fit in the same way as their other players,” he said. “I looked at their prior guards, Eric Atkins, Jerian Grant, Demetrius, and I think I fit the pattern of what they do. They’re aggressive, they can shoot, but they’re also able to get their teammates involved.”
Gibbs will continue to work diligently to expand his game prior to matriculation. He remains in regular contact with the coaching staff.
”They want me to work on my strength, pick and rolls, mid-range jump shots and just making sure I’m making the right decisions and limiting my turnovers,” he said.
Gibbs ranks No. 95 in the 2016 class and has generated solid momentum into mid-summer following his performance at NBPA.