If you know Fran Dunphy, you are well aware that he couldn't care less about milestones. It's not why he does what he does so well. Nevertheless, he needs one more win to reach 400 for his career, which began in 1989 at Penn. Maybe that that victory will come tonight, when Temple (5-2) hosts ninth-ranked Georgetown (8-0).
So naturally, he was asked what getting to such a nice round number might mean to him.
"I've been doing it for a long time," Dunphy answered, as you pretty much figured he would.
It's never, ever been about him. Why start now?
"When all is said and done, you maybe take a step back and appreciate the people you've worked with, the coaches I learned from and the kids that played for you, all those things," said Dunphy, who is coming off his 89th win with the Owls, 64-61 over Maryland on Sunday in in Washington. "But I don't think that's your focus at this point. It's on trying to find a way to beat what's obviously a really good Georgetown team.
"If you do anything other than that, then you're cheating the profession, the guys in the locker room with you and the university that hired you and wants the best of whatever you can give. And I think that's the way any coach would answer that, not just me."
With Dunphy, it's always been about making the most of every opportunity to compete. Because, as he always stresses, you only get so many of them.
"I'm no more special or unique than anyone else in my profession," he said. "We all want the same thing. I think what we're in charge of is memories and experiences, all those great things going on around you. So when somebody might say to you, 'Why do you want to participate in the Old Spice Classic?,' well, these kids will remember for a long time that they went to Disney World and got to play against three quality basketball programs. And the camaraderie that they shared, the bonding that went on, all of that. It's what we're in charge of.
"It's how you test yourself, by going to Orlando, or going to Maryland, or going to Duke, or playing Big 5 games. That's what it's really about. That's what they'll never forget. And when you reach our age, that's all you're going to have left is the memories. That's why it's so great, to do what we do, when you can't participate anymore. You can still be a small part of what they experience."
And by the way, isn't it about time Dunphy, who was a really good player at La Salle back in the day, got into the Big 5 Hall of Fame? Just a thought.
"When you're young, you don't think like we do now," he said. "You have all your life to live. And that's a good thing. You're invincible when you're young. You don't think too much about down the line. When you reach our age, you reflect much more. You realize the value of all the people that have meant something to you. You're just a whole lot wiser, about what life has to offer.
"That's what I'm constantly trying to get our kids to grow up feeling. Value these days, the little things we do. The trips we take, the conversations we had, the relationships we developed. But sometimes, we want them to grow up way too quickly. They're kids. They don't think that way. And I'm not sure they should. That's more for us."