Recon: La Salle

Recon: La Salle
Feb 11, 2015; Richmond, VA, USA; La Salle Explorers guard Jordan Price (21) shoots the ball as Virginia Commonwealth Rams guard Jordan Burgess (20) defends in the second half at Stuart Siegel Center. The Explorers won 74-69 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I am experiencing a feeling that I’ve never felt as a Dayton basketball fan: serenity. With Dayton rolling and the Atlantic Ten imploding, the smart money has UD making an easy jaunt to the NCAA Tournament this season. No sweating out the selection show, no outrage at (mistakenly) being the last team selected. This year feels completely different.  

This isn’t to say a few unforeseen losses wouldn’t completely alter this sentiment. Dayton is always a bed-shitter or two away from completely losing the plot. There are sixteen league games remaining on UD’s schedule. For the first time since Keith Waleskowski was a junior, I am wondering how high this team can go, not when the bottom will eventually drop out.

This is as much a testament to the culture Archie has built as I can think of — I don’t see the Flyers fucking things up. 

Overview

La Salle may very well be the worst team in the Atlantic Ten right now. Coming off a loss at Fordham earlier in the week, the Explorers are now 4-8 on the season, 0-2 in the conference (Dr. John’s squad took an L against UMass to start league play). La Salle has lost seven consecutive games, its last win coming on November 28th against Rowan. The Explorers are extremely inexperienced with arguably the nation’s least productive bench (depending on the circumstances, La Salle may dress just seven scholarship players against UD). It’s a recipe for complete embarrassment.  

There are similarities between La Salle and UD’s previous opponent, UMass, as the Explorer frontcourt has been decimated by departures and a lack of depth. As a result, La Salle has shifted away from an offense that flowed through its frontcourt, employing a four-guard attack on the offensive end. Unfortunately, the Explorer backcourt is horrendous on that end of the floor.

B9318182452Z_1_20150722224827_000_GLCBE3KRO_1-0La Salle gets around 35% of its points from behind the arc – 41% of their shot attempts come from three-point land. The Explorers rarely get to the foul-line and continue to be one of the worst teams in the league as far as turnovers are concerned. La Salle used to butter its bread on the defensive end, but even that facet of the game has suffered mightily this season. Giannini’s club allows 1.08 points per possession and give up a lot of easy buckets around the rim.  

Of all the teams we’ve previewed this season, fifteen in total, the Explorers are the one team I can’t seem to find anything positive about. It’s an abysmal team, a program that has slipped decidedly since reaching the Sweet 16 in 2013. Dayton does have a history of underperforming playing at Gola Arena, but I don’t foresee too much resistance from our hosts this time around. A loss to La Salle should result in Archie Miller’s caning.  

Dr. John is already looking ahead to next season, as La Salle will lose only one major contributor from this year’s disaster and add three transfers from high-major schools. It is already being heralded as the most talented team since Giannini took over the program. But, until then, let the bleeding commence.

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Jordan Price is currently twelfth in the nation in scoring, second to only Jack Gibbs (23.8 ppg) in the Atlantic Ten. The transfer from Auburn is essentially La Salle’s catalyst on offense; he is the focal point of 31.7% of La Salle’s possessions and takes 32.9% of La Salle’s shots. He will shoot early and often against UD. Cleon (awesome name) Roberts is a big guard who can get hot quickly, one of the Explorers’ better perimeter shooters and defenders. If Price isn’t shooting, Roberts will be.

Johnnie Shuler and Amar Stukes are La Salle’s pure guards. Shuler is a durable guard, presently leading the A10 in minutes per game (37.6).  He is La Salle’s primary distributor of the ball, which is nice, but he lacks the shooting touch to keep defenses honest. Stukes is 1-of-16 from behind the arc this year, shooting 24.6% on two-point attempts and 56% from the charity stripe. You can do better than this, Dr. John.

Dec 6, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; La Salle Explorers guard Jordan Price (21) dribbles the ball upcourt during the first half of the game against the Temple Owls at the Palestra. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Center Tony Washington barely left the bench last season but, due to a substantial exodus in the Explorer frontcourt, has been tasked with major minutes this season. Washington is one of the A10’s best shot-blockers and is a solid rebounder. His offensive game is unrefined, but he is athletic enough to cause issues for slower foes (like Big Steve McElvene).

Rohan Brown and Yevgen Sakhniuk are La Salle’s two main men off the pine. Unfortunately, neither player may dress out against UD tomorrow afternoon. Brown is out with a knee injury and Sakhniuk has been battling typhoid fever for the past two weeks and hasn’t played since La Salle’s game against Miami on December 22nd.  As a result, Giannini is basically stricken with a one man bench, that man is freshman guard Karl Harris. Harris is what we call a liability. Godspeed, Dr. John.

Nate’s Numbers

ef3139420f58cd3d_2353-w500-h400-b0-p0--modern-home-gymThe Explorers are about as terrible as it gets in the A10. They’re currently projected to go 3-15 in conference by Ken Pom. This team isn’t even average in any material category while being similarly terrible at pretty much everything on offense and defense. The only thing they do at a slightly above average level is create steals and turnovers. 

They’re 44th in the country in defensive steal percentage creating a steal on 10% of opponent’s possessions. They’re 107th in turnover percentage forcing a turnover on 1 of every 5 possessions. While this may be a bit of a concern given the Flyers turnover woes from time to time, La Salle is ranked 200th or worse in pretty much every other quantifiable category. Combine this with their lack of depth, as the Explorers are ranked almost dead last in bench minutes, and the Flyers shouldn’t struggle too much on Saturday. 

Prediction

As stated previously, Dayton has a history of underachievement playing at La Salle. After spending the previous one thousand words detailing how disgusted the Explorers make me, it’s rather obvious that I feel an easy win may be in the cards for the Flyers. UD wins, 79-67, improves to 3-0 in A10 play and remains ranked this Monday.

 

Have your say!

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Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.

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18 Comments on "Recon: La Salle"

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porshe'
Guest

As long as the flyers make it safe to the arena on the team bus, should be money.

The Kman
Guest

Let’s talk about this UD arena study to research upgrades. Outside the obvious concourse issues, how about a lower camera platform so I’m not watch flyer games as if I’m sitting in the Goodyear blimp.

Isaac Twist
Guest

Our angles make our overlords’ arena look like a high school gym… we actually have one of the better camera views of anyone in the country (and we actually have cameras!)

Could it be better?

Yes, but I’d rather spend that money on hookers to recruit better rapists and thieves that will win us a national championship!

John Deere
Guest

Chief will once again teach lessons in the paint. The Fliers will be give many lessons tomorrow. Chip gets some road burn. Sam and X get road burn. Crosby gets burn. Joey gets burn tomorrow. Dyshawn takes out some Title IX frustrations on these bitches. Not bitches of the female variety. Bitches being Dr. G’s crew. Jordan Price scores 35 or so, but Archie totally bitch slaps Dr. G and the Explorers. Priders will flock to The Holy Land of Hoops proclaiming the Cagers right of jus primae noctis.

Isaac Twist
Guest

Your first three paragraphs are refreshing, yet somehow highly disturbing…

When was the last time the Fliers of Daytona were ranked, and actually moved up?

What is our longest winning streak with a ranking? 2 games?

If we stay ranked for longer than two weeks i will make a sacrifice to our new god Donald Trump, bronze a mexican (in actual metal) and stick him on the front of my yacht…

P.s.

Can we have a homage video of all the scooch dabbin highlights? #sleep #staysleep #scooch #balls

Makor shayok
Guest

Who has a PhD & coaches mid-major hoops? Dr. John giannini, that’s who…or whom! Only other one I can remember is Dr Tim davis, stalking the sidelines at Iowa. Maybe LaSalle saves money on a sports psychologist this way?

porshe\\\'
Guest

Tom.

Kid Vegas
Guest

New theory…. Blackburn is actually Swampy. It’s a gay lifetime drama for the ages. A pathetic media guy pretends to be a semi-interesting media guy from a younger generation and ultimately passes on AIDS to the team through blow jobs from bloody gums.

Gil
Guest

I have thought about the possiblility of this many times.. Like the second part, not being blackburn being swampy

John Deere
Guest

Semi-interesting media guy??? The real media guys might take offense.

Gil
Guest

I expect the red scare to burn archies home and the AD to hand archie and his family a mega bus ticket back to shitsburgh if the flyers leave the GALA arena with an L. But for real tho.. Archie has fo sho done blow off Morgans ass. Guaranteed

Gil
Guest

WHAT THE FUQ BRUHHH.. LAST TWO CRUCIAL POSSESSIONS ARE THREES BY KD AND CROSBY????? FUCKING AWFUL

Ctime
Guest

POWWWWWWWWWWWW

I think Blackburn needs to do an article on UD’s hottest fan to make everyone feel better after this disaster.

Buster
Guest

Mm mm….. Shit sandwich served with cheeze whiz.

Bee-la-ma Smash
Guest

That game made by ass hurt.

Isaac Twist
Guest

Way to shit your bitches bed

the kid from Lowes
Guest

That loss was sponsored by Brian & Yvette Gregory

wpDiscuz

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