If Herb Magee took no more than a couple of strides out of the coaching box, he'd be stepping right on his name, since that's what the court at Philadelphia University is now called, spelled out right in front of him.

Looking over his right shoulder, Magee could spot his retired number from his playing days, flanked by banners noting this same man has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and has won 1,000 college basketball games working on Henry Avenue.

He's up to 1,052 now after three-pointers started flying in like crazy Wednesday night - 13 of 17 in the second half - and Philly U. had clinched solo first place and another 20-win season, the 34th for Magee in those 50 seasons.

Some parents of his players weren't born 50 years ago. Were you? If yes, stop for a second: What were you doing?

"I was 12, playing CYO ball in Springfield, Mass.," said Philadelphia University president Stephen Spinelli, a decade into his current job, a regular across the court from the bench, front row. Spinelli remembers going to a big New England tournament, losing to a team from southern Connecticut.

What's different over those 50 years? You still hear Magee calling out, "Score the ball! C'mon, let's go . . . Step out! Step out!"

You still hear his brother, Chaz, giving the refs a hard time. What was Chaz doing 50 years ago?  "I was a priest. Our Lady of Mercy in North Philadelphia," Chaz Magee said.

But he was here?

"No, they wouldn't let me out of the rectory," said Chaz, who eventually became a former priest and his brother's most steadfast fan.

Just before the men played, Philadelphia University's women were out there winning the 721st game of Tom Shirley's own career, clinching their own spot in the league playoffs.

What was Shirley, also Philly U.'s athletic director, doing 50 years ago?

"Seventh grade. Holy Family grade school, Manayunk, being taught by Sister Joanna," Shirley said. "I lived in Roxborough on Manayunk Avenue."

Between games, a group from West Catholic High School presented Magee with a jersey from his alma mater to commemorate the 50 seasons. Nobody in the picture, including West Catholic's AD, was close to old enough to be around 50 years ago.

In the second row behind the scorer's table, Magee's friend and 41-year agent, Jim Solano, who also teaches at the school, was in his usual spot.

What kind of client has Magee been?

"Stupid," said Solano, who used to represent half the NFL, including 18 players on the 1980 Super Bowl Eagles. "You know how much money he could have made?"

Solano was just kidding. He knows staying put worked best for Magee, for all sorts of reasons, and those banners don't go up for job-hoppers. What had Solano been doing 50 years ago?

"I was 23, in Temple's MBA program," Solano said.

Magee still works out twice a week, leg presses, squats, lunges, gets an hour in, and gets bothered when he can't get into the gym at the school.

His team will be in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference playoffs, hosting Post University at 2 p.m. Saturday. If it is close, expect him to be saying, "Wake up, wake up, wake up!" Don't expect the Rams to make seven of their first seven three-pointers after halftime like they did the other night.

Statistically, this isn't one of Magee's top shooting teams. Didn't matter against second-place Wilmington University, as Josh Bradanese, who mostly sat on the bench until a teammate got hurt, hit for 27 points, making five three-pointers. Kaison Randolph also made five, in five attempts. Seven-foot senior Malcolm Gilbert, who began his career at Pittsburgh and then transferred to Fairfield, really spaces the floor effectively.

Not a bad group, now 20-8 overall and 16-3 in the CACC.

"Come on, we shoot 13 of 17 threes," Magee said. "It's crazy."

What was this man doing 50 years ago? More relevant, what kind of coach was Magee starting out?

"I was fortunate because we had a [junior varsity]," Magee said after the game. "My first year as head coach, I'd already had four years coaching the JV team, which was a huge help. You get a feel for what you need to do at certain times of the game."

At the same time he was also an assistant on the varsity - three years under Bucky Harris and one under Jack McKinney. "That was really good for me."

Bucky Harris, Magee's college coach, was his boss for two years. Then he retired, and McKinney, a future NBA coach of the year, took over. When McKinney got the St. Joseph's job a year later, Harris came back for a season before he retired again. Magee melded the whole thing together, picking up things, he said, from both of those men. His third team won the NCAA small-college title.

The thrill remains. When Rams guard Andre Gibbs hit his fourth three-pointer to push the lead to 20 points with two minutes left, Magee turned and fist-bumped top assistant Jimmy Reilly, who has been with him for more than a decade but was a decade from being born when his boss got started, a mere 1,052 W's ago.

@jensenoffcampus