La Salle v Ole Miss

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

1 Comment

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

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.