What do you do when the national coach of the year does a better coaching job the next season? Well, you don’t make him coach of the year, that we know. It’s just not possible. But there are certain honors one can receive that exceed what any group of sportswriters can bestow. One of those is being the recipient of a John Chaney temper tantrum.
After cruising to a 63-56 win at Temple’s Liacouras Center, Saint Joseph’s sports a lofty 12-1 record in conference play. The Hawks are in position to make a run at a dance bid by winning what could be a winner-take-all A-10 Tournament. Not bad for a team that started 3-6. (Memo to coaches who avoid scheduling challenging games in November and December to "build confidence": Apparently it is possible to suffer non-conference losses without killing one’s confidence.)
So how has Martelli done it this season? Ask Temple coach John Chaney, and it’s the mastery of illegal screens. Chaney lost his composure last night (story) over what he viewed as shady play by the Hawks. It wasn’t quite to the level of threatening to kill his coaching counterpart as he did to John Calipari 11 years ago, but it was close.
The Temple coach inserted benchwarmer Nehemiah Ingram into the game in the second half to rough up some of the Hawks for their dirty tactics – Ingram fouled out in four minutes and nearly incited a riot. Later, Chaney berated the conference commissioner and requested to never see Final Four official Jim Burr again.
It’s probably the best honor Martelli will get this season.
[Update…Chaney has suspended himself for the Owls next game against UMass]