Fran Dunphy was in an appreciative kind of mood during the Atlantic 10 teleconference Monday morning.
Not only did the Temple head basketball coach express gratitude that his team was able to capture the programs first outright Atlantic 10 regular-season title in 22 years, he also thanked the other coaches for the awards heaped upon his squad Monday.
For the second time in three years, Dunphy was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, while senior Ramone Moore, junior Khalif Wyatt and senior Juan Fernandez were named first, second and third team all-conference, respectively. (Check out the full list of winners).
Its meaningful stuff for the kids, Dunphy said. Its terrific and were appreciative because of how tough the league is.
As far as my own situation, Im appreciative of the vote of confidence by my fellow coaches. They certainly did not have to do that. It was a stroke of good luck. Its never the head coach; its the players and assistants that do all the work and we take the lead. You certainly cant do anything without good people around you.
Moore, who ranks second in the league in scoring with an average of 17.8 points per game, was joined on the first team by Chaz Williams of UMass, St. Bonaventures Andrew Nicholson, Brian Conklin of Saint Louis and Xaviers Tu Holloway.
Many people thought Moore would have a chance to earn A-10 Player of the Year honors but he lost out to Nicholson.
I cant sit here and say Im disappointed, Dunphy said. Could Ramone have been the player of the year? Absolutely. But I feel Andrew Nicholson is a great basketball player and a great representative of our league.
The other Philly schools did well for themselves, too. Saint Josephs, especially, had a impressive showing, with C.J. Aiken named the defensive player of the year, Ronald Roberts sixth man of the year, Langston Galloway second team all-conference and Carl Jones and Halil Kanacevic honorable mention.
That puts a lot of pressure on the coach because now you have to answer the question, How does that guy lose seven conference games? St. Joes coach Phil Martelli said. I will rest a lot easier because all of those guys are back next season. So the future is bright. But for us right now, the future is Tuesday night.
St. Joes opens play in the A-10 tournament by hosting Charlotte in Tuesdays first round. La Salle, which hosts Richmond the same night, also reeled in some honors with senior Earl Pettis being named the leagues most improved player, Ramon Galloway joining Langston Galloway and Wyatt on the second team and Jerrell Wright earning a spot on the all-rookie team.
Im usually not a huge guy on individual honors, La Salle coach John Giannini said. I dont talk about it a whole lot but I really challenged our players to make the all-defensive team this year. That would have been a huge deal. But Im obviously very pleased.
Email Dave Zeitlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.