<
>

A Big (5) honor

Editor's note: Temple senior Candice Dupree is sharing a diary with ESPN.com throughout the 2005-06 season.

Dec. 15, 2005

What's up, everybody? I'm back for my second entry in my ESPN.com diary. When I left you last, we had just come back from a long West Coast trip. Since then, we've played and won our first two games in Philadelphia's most celebrated conference, The Big 5.

You might have never heard of that conference before, so let me explain. The Big 5 consists of the city's area schools: Temple, St. Joseph's, Villanova, Pennsylvania and LaSalle. Drexel is not an official member of the conference but is included, as the Dragons should be, because the school is located in Philadelphia.

There is a lot of tradition in the Big 5, especially when it comes to men's basketball, as there have been many Hall of Fame players who have come through the league. But when I was selected as one of the top-25 players in the past 25 years at the Big 5 Silver Anniversary celebration a couple of weeks ago, I understood the significance of this league to this city. I am honored to be one of the two players (Marilyn Stephens is the other) that represent Temple. To also be named as a starter to the Big 5's All-Time team was even more flattering. Here I am amongst four other individuals that have left their mark on their respective programs, and the Big 5, and I still have half of a season left in my career!

We took another road trip, this time down south to play Hampton and Maryland Eastern-Shore. We played pretty well as a team against Hampton and that allowed the starters some rest and our reserves some more playing time. One of the things I enjoyed about playing at Hampton was watching the cheerleaders perform their "nontraditional" cheers. I thought it was so funny to see them rhyming and stepping with the sassiness you will only see at an HBCU!

After the game, we headed over to Princess Anne, Md., to play Eastern-Shore. In this very small town we managed to consume Subway, Popeyes and Pizza Hut during our two-day stay. Thank goodness my metabolism is fast, because the way I eat, who knows what I would look like if it wasn't.

The game was just as fast as my metabolism because we played uncharacteristically sloppy. Eastern-Shore pushed us to the brink of an upset, but fortunately we managed to escape by a narrow margin. We headed back to Philly to prepare for our next two contests. Our mediocre play finally caught up to us and we ended up losing to Florida and Stony Brook in back-to-back games. We'll be back, though. I know we will.

It's finals time and I am so happy this semester is over. I am a kinesiology major, so you can imagine my workload. I had a class this semester that started at 7 p.m. and ended at 10 p.m.! Luckily, though, it was only once a week. Once the semester is over, I will only have basketball to concentrate on. We have three huge games coming up between now and the end of December.

We also have our annual Christmas party where everyone is a Secret Santa. I have to head out to the mall now and find gifts for everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I'll be sure to let you know what I got for Christmas on the next entry!

- Can