The coach, who can look out and see the practice court from his corner office, gave a mini-tour of the facility just after co-teaching, with Dr. Lynne Andersson, his Tuesday morning class in Management, Theory & Practice: From the Locker Room to the Board Room. The guest speaker? Former Gov. Ed Rendell.
Rendell is a Penn fan who will never forget what Dunphy did for his alma mater. Now, the coach has been replicating all that success across town at Temple. He quickly answered the Ivy to a scholarship school questions with three consecutive A-10 championships. Next up is the A-10 to the Big East, whatever it may look by next season.
"The recruiting process is always the same whether I would have Penn or I'm at Temple or I'm in the Atlantic 10 or the Big East," Dunphy said. "You're still looking at really good kids playing basketball and hoping that you can get the best kids to come to your school.
"The reality is for us we're probably getting in more homes [or schools as home visits are not as big a part of the process as they once were]," Dunphy said. "The reality is the kids are coming to you more than they ever have in the past. You're getting kids unofficially in their junior year.
"We're attracting more attention because people are thinking we're going into the Big East. Now, the next step in the progression is we have to get some of these guys here."
They are seeing a difference. The A-10 is a very good basketball league, but it simply does not have the cachet of the Big East.
"It's not a whirlwind of it," the coach said. "But there's little bits and pieces [where a player might say], I'll give you some love because you are going into the Big East, where a kid may not have done that before, even though we've had a really good basketball program in a really good basketball league."
The new league sells. So does the facility. The tour reveals a video theater that would be the envy of an NBA team, hallways filled with reminders of Temple legends as well as videos that will bring them to life and the practice court (which was used last season by the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks) with a giant video screen on one wall.
"You can film [practice]," Dunphy said. "You can run [players] right over."
So the coach can yell at his players, telling them what they are doing wrong and, if they have any doubts, he can instantly show them.
The answer to what the facility will do for recruiting, Dunphy said is "to be determined, but I think what it does it brings us to a level of some of the really elite programs in the country. That's what everybody wants to do is have their own practice facility."
During the construction, Dunphy said, "we were sort of vagabonds there for a while. We might be in one facility one day, another the next day, another the day after that."
Now, it is all there for Owls basketball. The essence, however, never changes. The coach had Nate Blackwell and Darrin Pearsall a while back to show them around. He got them into the theater and explained to his team that they had none of the creature comforts at Temple, but "were on teams that won a whole lot of games" playing for Temple legend John Chaney.
"Let's feel really good about what we have, but this is not the be all and end of all of making us a good basketball program and value what it is that we have," Dunphy told his team.
He has really grown to like the A-10, but he also knows the move is the right one for Temple.
"There is some bittersweetness," Dunphy said. "Anytime that you are leaving the known for the unknown there is some apprehension. The Atlantic 10 has been great for Temple and I'd like to think Temple has been great for the Atlantic 10."
In fact, Temple has been the A-10's flagship program as long as the league has existed. But football money is impossible to turn down and, finally, Temple gets to share in it.
"The reality is that football is now driving the bus," Dunphy said. "And you're getting all of the sports under one umbrella."
The coach is not only selling Big East and the facility, he is selling Temple.
"They are coming on to Temple's campus and they're seeing something that never thought was here," Dunphy said.
Temple, in fact, has everything but grass.
Dunphy says to kids, "If you want a really quiet atmosphere and wide-open spaces and a bucolic setting, then this is not it. But if you want action and an alive campus all the time and plenty of things to do, then you want to take a look at us, and the city of Philadelphia is very much a part of what we are doing."
And by next basketball season, so is the Big East.
Contact Dick Jerardi at email@example.com