La Salle’s 2014-15 season can be described in one word – streaky. Led by the stellar play of potent-scoring junior guard, Jordan Price, the Explorers stayed competitive all season and showed flashes of being a team capable of making the NCAA Tournament.
Their signature win came in a double-overtime thriller against 20th ranked VCU, downing the Rams 74-69. They nearly knocked off 24th ranked Davidson in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, narrowly falling 67-66.
Overall they finished with a 17-16 (8-10) record that ultimately lacked consistency. They’ll need to find it if they want to sniff March Madness talk in 2015-16.
Success will start with Price, who averaged 17.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game last season for the Explorers. Price ranked second in both the Atlantic 10 and Big Five in scoring and was named to the First Team All-Philadelphia Big 5 as well as the Second Team All-Atlantic 10 for his play.
In Saturday’s buzzer-beating 79-78 exhibition loss to Division-II Philly U, Price notched 18 points while four other Explorers scored in double-figures. Despite the narrow loss, coach John Giannini thinks this was the best thing that could’ve happened for this young Explorers team.
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“No matter what a coach says about defense and rebounding and toughness, it does not match the experience of losing because you gave up 50 points in a half,” Giannini said. “It does not match the experience of giving up 18 offensive rebounds and getting out rebounded by 11. Our players learned so much today about how to win a basketball game. Frankly, if we would have won by one, the message would not be as profound.”
The team will have to look at the positives from an early 25-point first-half lead over the Rams, before their season opener against Towson Saturday. The game takes place in Tom Gola Arena at 3 p.m.
La Salle games to watch:
La Salle at No. 11 Villanova (Pavilion) – December 13, 5 p.m. Fox Sports 1
Miami at La Salle (Palestra) – December 22, 5 p.m. CBS Sports Network
Temple at La Salle (Palestra) – January 20, 7 p.m. CBS Sports Network
St. Joe’s at La Salle (Tom Gola Arena) – January 23, 4 p.m. American Sports Network
VCU at La Salle (Tom Gola Arena) – February 3, 7 p.m.