Memo to opposing coaches: Fran Dunphy has a weakness.
The Temple men's basketball coach doesn't like to talk about himself.
Seven minutes into a conversation, Dunpy becomes uneasy and tries to change the subject.
"If you ask me about [former Penn star turned Quakers coach] Jerome Allen or [Temple swingman] Scootie Randall or any other things, I'm happy to talk about that," Dunphy says. "Talking about me, I don't find it that exciting."
But maybe the 62-year-old should take a moment to pat himself on the back.
He will go for his 400th career victory Thursday night against No. 9 Georgetown at the Liacouras Center.
"I haven't really thought too much about [the milestone], really, to be honest with you," says Dunphy, who is 399-214 over 22 seasons at Temple and Penn. "It's not something you think too much about.
"I'm worried about Georgetown. I haven't had too much thought about anything else."
Dunphy knows his Owls (5-2) must play their best to beat the Hoyas (8-0).
Georgetown is led by Austin Freeman, the Big East Conference preseason player of the year. The 6-foot-3, 227-pound senior guard is averaging 20.1 points per game. Freeman has made 54.3 percent (24-56) of his three-point attempts.
And he's far from the Hoyas' lone option. Junior guard Jason Clark (14.9 points per game), senior guard Chris Wright (14.8 points, 6.7 assists), and senior forward Julian Vaughn (9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.3 blocks) are other options.
Georgetown averages 79.1 points and is ranked seventh nationally in three-point field-goal percentage (43.8).
"Again, we have a tremendous opportunity to play a really good basketball team on Thursday night," says Dunphy, whose Owls have the nation's 11th-ranked scoring defense (55.4 points). "Hopefully, we'll have a great crowd. That's really all I'm thinking about at this point."
Dunphy has averaged 18.7 wins a season through his first 21 campaigns as a head coach. The Drexel Hill native led Penn to 10 Ivy League championships before replacing John Chaney at Temple in 2006.
Since then, he won three consecutive Atlantic Ten titles with the Owls.
Dunphy also has led Temple and Penn to a combined 13 NCAA tournament appearances.
His coaching style, however, isn't for everyone. Mild-mannered and soft-spoken off the court, Dunphy transforms into Dr. Demanding at practice and in games.
"When I got here, it took me a while to get used to it, the way he coaches and the way he handles things," junior point Juan Fernandez said. "But he gets us to understand that's for your best and for your growth as a player and as a person, especially."
That's why some say Dunphy's high basketball IQ isn't his greatest attribute. They'll argue that it's the way he accommodates individuals, not just his players.
In 2002, Dunphy was honored as the national Coaches Vs. Cancer coach of the year for his dedication to cancer research. He is also on the board of trustees for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Philadelphia. He also teaches a class in management at Temple.
"He is truly amazing and one of the most distinguished and most decorated and humble men that we have in this society today," says Allen, who as player in the early 1990s helped Dunphy turn Penn back into an Ivy power.
"That's just hard to be able to have the amount of success that he's had and still be able to have a level head," Allen adds. "He treats - for lack of a better way of saying - small people as if they were giants."
The Dunphy File
Temple coach Fran Dunphy will go for his 400th career victory Thursday night against Georgetown. Here's a glimpse at Dunphy's season-by-season coaching record at Penn and Temple:
PENN RECORD IVY LEAGUE FINISH
1989-90 12-14 Tied-third
1990-91 9-17 Tied-third
1991-92 16-10 Second
1992-93 22-5 Ivy League champion
1993-94 25-3 Ivy League champion
1994-95 22-6 Ivy League champion
1995-96 17-10 Ivy League champion
1996-97 12-14 Fourth
1997-98 17-12 Second
1998-99 21-6 Ivy League champion
1999-00 21-8 Ivy League champion
2000-01 12-17 Tied-second
2001-02 25-7 Ivy League champion
2002-03 22-6 Ivy League champion
2003-04 17-10 Tied-second
2004-05 20-9 Ivy League champion
2005-06 20-9 Ivy League champion
*Dunphy's Penn teams were also 191-49 (.796) in Ivy League games. Since Dunphy left, the Quakers have gone 55-70 overall and 32-24 (.571) in the Ivy League.
TEMPLE RECORD ATLANTIC TEN FINISH
2006-07 12-18 Tied-10th
2007-08 21-13 Atlantic Ten champion
2008-09 22-12 Atlantic Ten champion
2009-10 29-6 Atlantic Ten champion
Penn defeated Dartmouth, 73-64,
on Feb. 17, 1995 at the Palestra.
Penn outlasted Yale, 61-51,
on Feb. 2, 2001 at the Palestra.
Penn beat La Salle, 73-65,
on Jan. 25, 2006 at the Palestra.
- Keith PompeyEndText