One thing I have come to really like about St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli is that he's perhaps the least cautious college coach in the city when it comes to speaking his mind.
This was on display last week after the Hawks held off a late Temple rally to hold on to a 58-56 Big 5 victory over Temple at Hagan Arena.
Martelli never answered the question he was asked – a reporter asked him what he thought about the challenges Dunphy faces in having to work in transfers Jaylen Bond, who is already playing, Devin Coleman (eligible Dec. 18) and Jesse Morgan (next semester) – but rather turned his ire on those who called for Dunphy's head following last year's 9-22 finish.
It marked just the second losing record Dunphy has had on North Broad Street since his first season (2006-07) after taking over from John Chaney.
"First of all the guy is one of the best basketball coaches in the country. What he did at Penn – extraordinary. What he did at Temple no one could do," Martelli said, "no one.
The Owls went 12-18 in Dunphy's first season. In Chaney's final season (2005-06), the Owls went 17-16. In seventeen seasons at Penn, Dunphy won 10 Ivy titles.
"He followed a legend and the first year took a hit, and we have not celebrated him enough. We celebrate him because Dunph's a good guy – and we're mistaken. He is a tremendous, tremendous basketball coach.
"They [Temple] have some deficiencies this year, but understand they are very young too.[Mark] Williams is a young kid, [Daniel] Dingle is a young kid. [Will] Cummings, he's playing 40 minutes. They are all young kids and every night he gets them and produces. So any nonsense last year that went on about he did this and he did that because of some bull (crap) recruiting thing is nonsense. That's nonsense. The guy is as good as you can be. What he's done at Temple following John Chaney is absolutely extraordinary and should be celebrated."