A Temple spokesperson issued the following statement following Dunphy’s comments
Coach Dunphy’s response to the question has been misinterpreted. He has nothing but respect for Coach Chambers and the Penn State program and said to me that ‘They deserve a lot of credit for how they have recruited Philadelphia.’
For all of Penn State basketball’s recruiting success in Philadelphia, and what can be considered a largely pro-Penn State sentiment in general in the city, that feeling hasn’t been shared by everyone.
Visit message boards of the likes of Villanova, Temple or any of the Big 5 schools and there are far less positive thoughts about a rising Nittany Lion program. Spend enough time around them and sooner or later somebody is going to imply that Penn State has broken a rule or three to find the success it has had in the City of Brotherly Love. In truth, chances are you can find that conversation popping up anywhere when an out of market program recruits talent away from the locals.
But for the most part those thoughts and conversations have stayed in that corner of the web, largely unnoticed by anyone who has something better to do with their time than read the musings of random basketball fans of very specific regional programs.
And then on Sunday night, longtime Temple coach and Philadelphia hoops staple Fran Dunphy offered up a few thoughts on why Penn State and Pat Chambers have been so successful recruiting the likes of Tony Carr, Shep Garner, Nazeer Bostick and Lamar Stevens out of the city.
From Owls Daily’s Shawn Pastor:
‘I don’t know that I have the answer to that, Shawn. I know that (Penn State Coach) Patrick Chambers made a special move to make that happen as best as he possibly could,” Dunphy said. “They worked hard at it. And most of the guys that he recruited, we also recruited. And I feel really good about how we recruit, and how we go about doing what we do. And nobody will be as sincere and honest and as to the point in recruiting as Temple will be.’
Dunphy wouldn’t go on to say what that ‘special move’ was or elaborate on the differences between the two coaching staff’s approach, so it’s hard to really know for certain the extent of his perceived grievances or even their legitimacy in the first place. It’s worth noting that at last update the FBI’s broad yet equally vague investigation into college basketball, agents and in part recruiting, has not named Penn State as a program of interest, let alone one in the peripheral view.
In the big picture it’s an insignificant between-the-lines shot across the bow, but in the context of people who pay attention to the occasionally disgruntled undercurrent of a certain portion of Philadelphia basketball, Dunphy’s comments were an unexpected addition to an otherwise niche corner of the faceless internet. Of course, his comments also don’t legitimatize that corner either.
Nevertheless an already intriguing NIT meeting between the two in-state schools on Wednesday added a more substantial wrinkle on Sunday night. Because if nothing else, the two coaches will have to shake hands when it’s all said and done.