Ryan Brooks desperately wanted to play for Temple coach Fran Dunphy. But there was a major catch.

 

Dunphy, who was replacing the legendary John Chaney, didn’t have any scholarships left. All that was remaining was a walk-on spot. Then, a potential recruit changed his mind, allowing Brooks to accept that coveted scholarship.

 

“It has worked out better than I ever could have imagined,” Brooks said.

 

Four years later, the former Lower Merion standout has become the 45th player to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau at Temple while playing in two NCAA tournaments. After their sixth straight win — Saturday’s 62-45 win over Fordham, the Owls (17-3) are on the verge of a third straight appearance and hopefully their first NCAA tourney win since 2001.

“It’s something I think about a lot,” Brooks said. “We have to go one game at a time before getting there, though.”

Brooks is the catalyst. His defense and intangibles on and off the court are what separates him from other seniors in college basketball.

“In today’s world, you are looking at people who want instant gratification and don’t want to pay their dues,” Dunphy said. “It has worked out great for us and great for him as well. He does everything asked of him.”