Tuesday, November 11, 2008

4th Place - LaSalle Explorers

Head Coach: Dr. John Giannini
Record at LSU: 53-66 (4)

Homecourt: Tom Gola Arena (4,000)

0 Darryl Partin So G 6-4 180
1 Vernon Goodridge Jr F 6-9 230
2 Kyle Griffin So G 6-3 185
5 Kimmani Barrett Jr F 6-6 190
10 Rodney Green Jr G 6-5 190
12 Yves Mekongo Mbala Jr F 6-7 210
14 Devon White Fr F 6-8 230
20 Jerrell Williams So F 6-8 210
21 Terrell Williams So F 6-8 210
31 Paul Johnson Sr F 6-6 195
34 Ruben Guillandeaux Jr G 6-5 195

First 5:
1- R. Green (forced to play the point because the Explorers have nobody else to do it effectively. he improved his three point shooting last season and needs to continue to do so to build off rest of his solid game.)
2- K. Barrett (is a solid overall player (7.8 ppg & 3.9 rpg) that helps out defensively on the perimeter with his good length. very talented player.)
3- Y. Mekongo Mbala (cerebral player is all academic A10. he improved his free throw shooting from 55% to 70% between years one and two and that is good because he will get plenty of chances this season. another piece to the explorers' talented junior class.)
4- J. Williams (he recorded six double doubles before February last season and then hit the freshmen wall. he played sparingly in the A10 conference loss to Temple. i think he will show expected improvement this season and be a load for A10 teams to handle this go round.)
5- V. Goodridge (he was a ballyhooed recruit for Mississippi State out of Brooklyn, NY a few years back. he never put it all together there but dominated LaSalle in practice last season. he is my reason for placing them so high because he mirrors the athleticism and skill the rest of the Explorer position players have. he is as strong and athletic as anybody else in the A10.)

Second 5:
1- K. Griffin (sophomore will get back up minutes at point if his surgically repaired knee can hold up.)
2- D. Partin (a pleasant suprise to most Explorer followers last season. can play the point in a pinch if necessary.)
3- R. Guillendeaux (another talented junior who could play point also. i see him as the team's sixth man and he will average 20+ minutes a night.)
4- P. Johnson ('glue guy' is the teams only senior and one of the best defenders they have. he will be the first option for down low substitutions.)
5- T. Williams (not as talented as his twin Jerrell. if he doesn't quit turning the ball over at a high rate freshmen White will assume his spot in the rotation.)

IF the Explorers can improve their last rated defense from a year ago they will be the 'sleeper' team in the A10. They have a very talented coach who has assembled some nice talent in the often 'forgotten' Philly program. He will continue to add talent with the '09 class as well with top 50 overall center Aaric Murray and Philly point guard Nurideen Lindsey joining the Explorers next season. This season look for LaSalle to exploit their athleticism and good length to finish strong in the nonconference portion of their schedule and carry that momentum into the A10.

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