Jaylen Bond felt after two seasons he didn't fit with the University of Texas men's basketball team.
He believes he'll have a better opportunity to showcase his skills in his last two years as a member of Temple's program.
Bond, who will sit out this season as a transfer, is playing with Owls starting point guard Will Cummings on a summer team in the Delaware County Pro-Am League. He transferred from Texas to Temple in May.
"I'm real comfortable with my decision, it was the best decision for me right now," said the 6-foot-7, 225-pound Bond. "Their style was different from what I was used to, and Temple will give me the chance to play my natural position and have more freedom. I've always liked coach (Fran) Dunphy, his style of play, what he brings to the table. He's a really good coach and I'm going to love to play for him.
"Texas has more of a slow-down offense and Temple likes to get out and run. Will's a great point guard and he likes to play similar to the way I like to play."
After going 0-for-4 in the first half Sunday against a team which included NBA veteran John Salmons and former Siena stars Kenny Hasbrouck and Ronald Moore, Bond hit 3-of-4 shots – including a three-pointer – in the second half, while pulling down five rebounds in the game.
"I think I'm more of a (small forward) than a (power forward), but I can play either way, I'm a versatile player," said Bond. "I'm working on building a better perimeter game so I can go inside and outside. It will come along."
Cummings has been impressed with what he's seen in Bond's all-around game in the little time they've had to play together this summer.
"He's good, strong body, can rebound, can put it on the post or perimeter, he's a different dimensional player," said Cummings. "It's the first time seeing him play since seeing him at Texas, and it's been a good experience getting a chance to play with him."
Bond averaged 2.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while averaging 11 minutes of action as a sophomore last season. The Plymouth-Whitemarsh product's numbers were down from his freshman year when he averaged 3.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in an average of 15.4 minutes.
When the Owls traveled to Texas two years ago, Bond had one of his better games as a Longhorn, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Bond said playing with ankle and foot injuries last year contributed to the decline.
"I felt like once I got injured it was tough to get back in playing shape," he said. "I was playing hurt all year."
When Bond decided to transfer towards the end of the season, Temple was near the top of his list of possibilities. He was recruited by the Owls out of high school and Bond said he chose them the second time around over Marquette, Penn State and Seton Hall.
While there had been speculation Bond might ask for a waiver to avoid sitting out a year, he said he never considered it.
"I think it will be good for me to take a year off," he said. "I'll become a better student of the game, better all-around player and I can work on my all-around skills. I'm trying to get my speed back up and my body back down."
While he eventually opted to leave Texas, Bond said he was happy for his two years there – just like he's pleased with the choice for his next stop.
"I'm glad I had the Texas experience, it taught me a lot about basketball, especially the mental (side)," said Bond. "I felt I played OK at times, but I was disappointed in my output. I could have played better and the playing time I wasn't happy with, but I'm going to learn from it. I'm going to become a better player and come back looking to do well."
Bond, Jaylen Bond
Owls Daily Top Stories
QB battle ongoing after Collins' first springIn a closely contested game, running back Jager Gardner starred and the QB competition remained muddled.
New WR coach fitting in nicelyA coaching veteran of over three decades, Hixon became the Owls' third wide receiver coach in three months.
Smith: "Everything Stood Out"NC State landed a big commitment from 2018 cornerback Teshaun Smith on Friday and he talked about his decision with Pack Pride.
Pack Pride2:32 PM
NC State Lands SmithNC State landed a big commitment today when Western (FL) cornerback Teshaun Smith verbally committed to the Wolfpack.
Pack Pride10:26 AM
Morgantown Trip Like Nothing Else for JonesFlorida linebacker Mikel Jones discusses his visit to West Virginia.
Mountaineers DailyYesterday at 6:22 AM