Fran Dunphy Faces Biggest Test Yet With Temple

By Brent Smith
Howard Smith- USA TODAY Sports

The criticisms of Fran Dunphy and his recruiting always seemed hollow because the guy just kept getting his teams to the NCAA Tournament and playing efficient. Dunphy always found hidden gems that no one saw coming to keep his NCAA Tournament streak rolling. Now the recruiting has seemed to catch up to him as he is left with a team that has lost nearly three-quarters of their scoring from last season and have only one senior on the entire roster in Dalton Pepper who will be asked to lead even though he couldn’t even get on the court to end last season. To say there are flaws in this Temple Owls team is to understate the situation, but that doesn’t mean give up on these guys yet.

If there is one thing we have learned about Fran Dunphy it is that he knows how to coach anyone to be as good as they can be and to work in a system that values defense and gives freedom on offense. This year he will have to be more on the reigns, but don’t be surprised if the team who some are projecting to finish as bad as ninth in a 10-team American Athletic Conference shines and finds its way to winning 20 plus games and a way back into the NCAA tournament. The Owls have some flashy young players who will be asked to probably do more than they should, but these are guys who have the talent to succeed. While it is the youngest group it may be the most talented group at least on paper.

Recruiting woes, youth, inexperience all are legitimate concerns but never count out a team led by Fran Dunphy to find its way someway, somehow into the field of 65. He always finds a way.

Brent Smith is a Detroit Tigers writer for
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