school to college have their challenges.
Practice times, road games and classes all can pull a player’s attention and time in a different direction.
But with a player signing to become a men’s basketball player at Temple came the pressure of playing under Hall of Fame coach John Chaney.
Yet one of the unmentioned pressures that freshmen must adapt to is heightened media.
Oddly enough, Chaney had a remedy to relieve his freshmen ballers of the proverbial sound bite.
New players in Chaney’s system were not permitted to speak to the media. Not after practices, following games or even in media sessions.
This rule ultimately left fans and journalists without an idea of what it was like adapting to Chaney’s heavy expectations.
Seniors Dustin Salisbery and Dion Dacons
vividly remember their first years under
Chaney and some of the comments they would have made if given the opportunity.
“It was hard playing for coach Chaney as a freshman because of all the yelling,” Salisburym said. “When you’re that young, you really just look at the yelling and you don’t look at the message. So I as a freshman I would have said that coach Chaney was hard, but I learned a lot from him.”
Salisbery’s relationship with Chaney during
his freshman season was well documented, as Chaney often voiced his displeasure with Salisbery’s performance to the media. This came despite the fact that Salisbery ranked third on the team in scoring, averaging seven points per game.
Dacons has similar memories.
“Obviously, when you first meet a person
there are some things you wish you could change,” Dacons said. “But as far as basketball is concerned, I think I wouldn’t have changed anything.
“I would have told the media that I didn’t think we had the leadership we [needed] during my freshman year.”
Dacons also saw a fair amount of game action his freshman year.
In his final season he plans on filling the void that was empty early in his career.
Jeremy Drummond can be reached at email@example.com.