Mark Macon showed what kind of player he is when his shots are falling Wednesday night.
Dominating. Scary. NBA bound.
The 6-foot-5 Temple University senior looked every bit like the All-America candidate he is in leading the 24th-ranked Owls to a 76-52 rout of St. Bonaventure.
Macon scored 25 points on 10 of 21 shooting from the field, including 4 of 6 from three-point land.
Temple would love to see those kind of numbers from Macon game-in and game-out this year.
As a highly touted freshman three years ago, he shot 45 percent from the field and was the leading scorer during Temple's 32-2 jaunt to the Final Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
The next two years, Temple was not so talented. Good, but not loaded. Macon faced double-teams, boxes-and-ones, triangles-and-twos. He could not shake himself free so easily one-on-one. He shot 40.7 percent as a sophomore and 38.9 percent last year.
This year, Macon has the horses around him. Temple is loaded again.
At center there is 7-foot mountain Donald Hodge, a junior who may be an NBA lottery pick next year. There are athletic forwards, 6-8 Mik Kilgore and 6-9 Mark Strickland. There is an impressive new point guard, Vic Carstarphen, a transfer from Cincinnati.
Should Macon be able to find the mark more often, Temple (2-1) should spend all season in the Top 25.
Temple coach John Chaney says he has no doubts about his star.
"He goes out with a workmanlike attitude and gets it done," Chaney said. "It's easier for him when the other players are contributing. . . . His shots will be easier when the other players contribute. Balance is the key."
Wednesday night, albeit against an overmatched Bona team, there was no doubting Macon.
He hit his first shot, a three-pointer 10 seconds into the game, and was dominant until his last basket, with 2:47 left. That was the play of the game, a left-handed "arm and hammer" jam (as Chaney might say) over Bona's Tobias Hauff late in the second half.
He also played his usual suffocating defense. That's one thing about Macon. His erratic shooting has not affected the rest of his game the past two years. He is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the game. That's one reason why he is regarded as a likely first-round NBA draft choice, shooting notwithstanding.
"He's gonna have some bad nights, but his attributes for our ballclub are much greater than just shooting the ball," Chaney said.
"I felt good today," Macon said. "I worked out in warmups and it was going in for me. I took the first shot in the game and it was just like warmups."
"It's called muscle memory," Chaney says. "The first shot feels like the 50 you took in warmups."
"Concentration is the big thing," Macon said. "Not worrying about missing, not trying to readjust things on your shot."
A crowd of 3,953 at the Reilly Center saw Macon and the Owls beat the Bonnies for the 16th straight time.
The loss was the fourth straight for Bona (1-4), off to its worst start since 1936-37.
Temple jumped out to a 16-5 lead and held a 35-24 halftime edge.
Bona got within 10 three minutes into the second half but four minutes later Temple had its lead back up to 17, 48-31.
Bona senior Michael Burnett scored 21 points and now has 1,007 for his career. He was the only Bonnie in double figures.
Temple, which had its way inside, outscored Bona by 22-1 from the free-throw line.
Temple's Kilgore had 16 points, 14 from the line, while Hodge added 12 points and Strickland 10.
Having just played the Atlantic 10's two toughest teams (Rutgers beat Bona Saturday), the Bonnies face more reasonable competition the rest of the month. Bona meets Morgan State at home Saturday, faces Niagara and Canisius next week and plays Central Connecticut Dec. 29.