These next two games are a little more personal for me, as they involve travelling to two schools that are near and dear to my heart. La Salle, which we open our Atlantic 10 Conference schedule with on Sunday night (8 p.m.), is where I played and also served as an assistant coach. Penn, the following game (Jan. 14), is where I coached for 17 seasons before taking the job at Temple.
The La Salle situation is a little different in that we never played on campus while I was as a student-athlete. We also really never played on campus while I was an assistant coach there. We were always at the Palestra. So the
Palestra is a little different than going back to La Salle, although so many of those people who were associated with La Salle when I was there are still there, and I am very grateful for what La Salle gave me, first as a player so many years ago, and then as a coach there.
As far as Penn is concerned, I am going back to the Palestra. There are still some kids on the Penn team that I recruited or coached. It was a tough task the first time going back as coach at Temple (in 2007). I think it will be a little bit easier now, but still those pangs of familiarity will be there. The locker rooms, the court itself or the people watching the game. It is not an easy thing. But when the ball goes up, all those thoughts go away. Then it is all business. You concentrate on the game itself and your guys adjusting to circumstances that present themselves during the course of the game.