Philadelphia, PA – Just four days before their first round matchup against 7th seeded Iowa, Temple Owls head coach Fran Dunphy addressed his team after their practice Monday night and offered them several words about the upcoming NCAA tournament.
However, after several minutes it became quite obvious that Dunphy had taken 99% of the speech from the 1986 movie “Hoosiers” starring Gene Hackman.
“There’s a tradition in tournament play to not talk about the next step until you’ve climbed the one in front of you. I’m sure going to the finals is beyond your wildest dreams, so let’s just keep it right there,” Dunphy said.
Several players in the locker room exchanged quizzical glances with one another as Dunphy continued his speech.
“Forget about the crowds, the size of the school, their fancy uniforms, and remember what got you here. Focus on the fundamentals that we’ve gone over time and time again,” he said, his voice rising to a rich timber.
Jaylen Bond, a senior forward, said the speech sounded familiar at the start, but when Dunphy told his team to not get “caught up in winning or losing” he knew his coach had most likely watched “Hoosiers” the night before.
“It sounded so familiar. Maybe coach didn’t think any of us had seen Hoosiers because it came out before we were born? I don’t know. I didn’t really mind it though, I love that movie and when they play it on the JumboTron during Sixers games. Really gets me pumped up,” Bond said.
According to several sources, Dunphy attempted to have his young charges clap along as he concluded his speech.
“If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we’re gonna be winners! Okay?! Lets Go! Lets Go! Let me hear it!” Dunphy yelled, before concluding practice.
At press time, Dunphy was planning on having the team measure the height of the baskets at the Barclay’s Center before launching into his “Game of Inches” speech as one last motivational tool.