The Temple University men’s basketball team held its annual media day today at their practice facility in Pearson Hall in North Philadelphia. Coach Dunphy and members of the 2011-12 team were on site for interviews. The Owls’ season begins Monday night where they will face Big 5 rival Penn at the Palestra. Head coach Fran Dunphy spoke about the team and where they stand going into the season.
“We’re still a work in progress. Unfortunately we don’t have a whole lot more time to figure out who we are going to be before Monday night, and of course we are playing Thursday, Friday, Sunday of next week as well,” Dunphy said.
“Well I think the same things that make us good are what people are going to look at and see we have some experience, especially at the guard spot. We have some guys that have played a lot of minutes, so I think that is what everyone is going to look at to try to shut our team down,” Dunphy said.
Dunphy, one of the all-time winningest coaches in Philadelphia Big 5 history, will travel back to the Palestra for the season opener on Monday. This game is not the normal matchup for Dunphy--he was head coach at Penn from 1986-2006. Dunphy has some emotional ties heading back to the Palestra.
“Its difficult in that it’s a Big 5 game, it’s difficult in that we are playing against a program that I spent a number of years coaching, it’s difficult because I coached their head coach for 4 years, and he meant so much to me, “ Dunphy said. ”So there’s a lot of story lines there, the bottom line is that once the ball goes up at 7 o’clock on Monday night you’re coaching your guys against a well coached team.”
Since Dunphy’s arrival at Temple in 2006 he has coached the Owls to three straight A-10 titles and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The Owls were picked to finish second in the conference behind #15 Xavier in this year’s Atlantic 10 preseason media/coaches poll.
Danielle Maslany covers college hoops for Buzz On Broad and can be followed on twitter @DanielleMaslany.