"We do have a lot of mature kids right now," said Dunphy, who tied a school record set during John Chaney's Hall of Fame run with his sixth straight 20-win season. "It has been an interesting dymanic for us this year."
Particularly having that trio of graduates.
"I think it's good to have guys who've been through a lot of stuff," said DiLeo, who, like O'Brien, is pursuing a master's degree in marketing, which he'll almost be able to complete by May. "You get to the point where we're low-maintenance for [Dunphy]. He trusts us. He doesn't have to worry about us too much. We know what we need to focus on, on the court and off, so he can devote more time to the younger guys. They need it, just like we did when we first got here . . .
"It's almost easier now [than it was as an undergrad]. You have more free time, you're on your own more, as opposed to it being so regimented. You've already shown you can do it in the classroom, so you've kind of got more freedom. The workload's more spread out, because they know you can handle it."
All three grads had to overcome physical setbacks. DiLeo, whose father Tony is the Sixers' general manager, redshirted after injuring an ankle early in his freshman season (although the time off might actually have helped him graduate in only 3 1/2 years). The last two seasons, he has been the first guard off the bench. Randall sat out last season with knee issues, after winning the A-10's Most Improved Player as a junior. He struggled through much of the first two-thirds of the season, but has been coming on and still leads the team in minutes. This semester, he's taking some more undergrad courses after earning a bachelor of arts in sociology. O'Brien also redshirted in 2011-12 after undergoing a second foot surgery, following a junior season in which he played in only 14 games. The perimeter forward, who, like DiLeo, gets about 19 minutes a game, is fourth on the team in scoring.
So how do you put a value on all that, tangibly or otherwise?
"They're different, in that they listen to what's said and don't take it personally," explained Dunphy, whose team visits Fordham Wednesday night and hosts VCU on Sunday afternoon in the regular-season finale. "They let it filter through their mind and get it out the other ear and move on. When you're younger, they don't understand that criticism is called coaching in our world.
"If you're just given everything and expect to be given everything, then that's not life. They've had to deal with maybe not playing as much as they want, to being hurt, to, in Scootie's case, really having to work really hard to take care of the academic piece of this. They've all grown and learned. That's college. And, as much as anything, they understand what it takes to be a good teammate."
Randall is the second person in his family to walk down the aisle in a cap and gown.
"Coming in, that wasn't really something I focused on," said the former Philadelphia Public League MVP from Communications Tech. "I had to [focus] down the line. But what I wanted to do was basketball.
"I had to learn how to stay on top of things. It wears on you a little. I know coach and I battled back and forth. But you've got to deal with it. It's a different mindset. I had to figure that out. You don't want to hear that, but, at some point, basketball's going to stop.
"We know what coach wants. That plays a big part. We've been around. We know what it takes to win. And the younger guys can see that. They're going to be seniors someday, too."
O'Brien's situation is obviously different, yet his transition has been seamless. A lot of that falls on who he is and what he brought with him.
"I've had the opportunity to play for two programs that really stressed the student-athlete," he said. "I think you have to take care of business academically before you can get better as a player. Ten years from now, looking back, I'll be really happy with the big picture.
"I knew there was going to be an adjustment, but my experience [at BU] prepared me well."
Not only as players, but also as representatives of a program and a university. They're role models. So what do they think outsiders view them as more?
"That's something we don't think about," O'Brien said. "We are somewhat public figures. That's a good feeling. It's a place where probably a lot of younger guys want to be. Hopefully, we're being looked at for the right reasons."
Added Randall: "It goes hand in hand. I really like who I've become here. But I've still got a long way to go.
"It's kind of a relief that people are maybe looking at us for more than just basketball. Coach always has us doing a lot of community service work. We go to schools, talk to kids. Just knowing you can look up to somebody and count on them means a lot. A lot of that's just being who you are. Some people tell you what you want to hear. A lot of people like to see me have a degree, but in all reality they think of me as a basketball player first. As long as I'm happy, I really don't care. Years from now, I'm going to be happy I got a degree."