Archbishop Carroll boys' basketball coach Paul Romanczuk described Fran Dunphy as a straight shooter who demands excellence. Haverford School's Levan Alston, who committed to Dunphy last month, said the Temple coach showed him "genuine love." Temple recruit Trey Lowe lauded Dunphy for his loyalty.
Those characteristics came together over the last three months to prove that Dunphy is still one of the area's sharpest recruiters.
"I know last year was a down year, but anybody who is counting out Fran Dunphy is going to look pretty foolish soon enough," said Romanczuk, who played for Dunphy at Penn in the later 1990s.
Dunphy, entering his ninth season at Temple, put the finishing touches on his finest recruiting class on Sunday with the oral commitment of Carroll center Ernest Aflakpui. Alston, a guard, pledged two weeks ago to Temple. Lowe, also a guard, committed in August before he even took an official visit.
ESPN ranks each as a four-star recruit, making Temple the first American Athletic Conference program to land three four-star recruits in the Class of 2015.
"I hear great things about them and I think the world about Ernest," Romanczuk said. "So I think it has the makings of a great class."
Dunphy and his staff, most notably Shawn Trice, recruited Aflakpui for almost two years. He chose the Owls over Rhode Island, St. Joseph's, Virginia Commonwealth, and St. Louis.
"Ernest had five great choices and he made the best choice for him," Romanczuk said. "It's really neat. I have a special relationship with Coach Dunphy and now he is starting to have that with Ernest. The three of us together is pretty neat."
Romanczuk said Dunphy has the ability to make "everyone feel comfortable and special" in a "sincere and genuine way." Romanczuk committed to Dunphy and Penn in 1995 after leading Carroll to the Catholic League title. Dunphy told him "on pretty much the first day" that their friendship will start after Romanczuk graduates.
"And it couldn't be more true," Romanczuk said. "The friendship has grown and blossomed from there. It's a special relationship. He's recruited a couple of my guys before, but I couldn't be happier for both Ernest and Coach Dunphy. It's a good match."
Jones visits UNLV. Derrick Jones is scheduled to visit UNLV this weekend, Romanczuk said. Carroll's 6-foot-7 forward is the area's top recruit and one of the nation's best uncommitted players in the Class of 2015. ESPN ranks Jones as a four-star recruit. Romanczuk said he expects Jones to commit to a school after the high school season.
"But you never know," Romanczuk said. "You get on these campuses, you walk around, and you say 'Man, this is the place for me.' It could change in a heartbeat."