La Salle v Ole Miss

Visiting the birthplace of Tyrone Garland’s “Southwest Philly Floater”

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By now, everyone’s seen La Salle’s last-second win over Ole Miss in the NCAA Tournament second round, thanks to Tyrone Garland’s shot in the lane with just seconds remaining.

Afterward, Garland gave Craig Sager the name of the shot, introducing the world to the “Southwest Philly Floater”.

Well, went back to find out where the roots of the shot were planted. It turns out it goes back to the playground courts of southwest Philadelphia, where Garland is from.

And his cousin, Bernard Tyler, was the one who showed him the way of the floater, including how to get the shot up over taller defenders.

“Just get it over the big man and leave it in God’s hands,” Tyler told by phone Monday afternoon with a laugh. “Being a guard, playing in Southwest Philly, I always told him he would need that in his game. Just having fun with him, I said, ‘that’s the Southwest Philly Floater.’

It worked, getting it over 6-9 Reginald Buckner of the Rebels with three seconds left and propelling the Explorers into the Sweet 16 with a 76-74 win on Sunday.

Garland’s path through college basketball started when he went to Virginia Tech after finishing in the Top 10 in Philadelphia Public League history with 2,198 points. He eventually transferred to La Salle after averaging less than five points per game in a season-and-a-half with the Hokies. He’s flourished back in Philadelphia, averaging 13 points per game after becoming eligible at the end of the first semester.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.