After leading the La Salle basketball program to its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1955, head coach Dr. John Giannini was in line to receive a reward from the school in the form of a contract extension.
On Thursday the school announced that an agreement has been reached on a multi-year extension. Since receiving his first extension in 2010, Dr. Giannini has led La Salle to a record of 60-31 with the program tallying consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since 1990-91.
“This past season was an outstanding one for our men’s basketball team, reaching the Sweet 16 and ending the season with a national ranking,” athletic director Dr. Tom Brennan said in a statement released by the school. “More importantly, Dr. John has built a program on and off the court that gives everyone associated with La Salle great pride.
“John is a proponent of the student-athlete experience, which is very important at La Salle. We are proud to have him leading our program and look forward to his continued success.”
La Salle won 24 games in 2012-13, the program’s highest win total since the 1989-90 season, and Dr. Giannini was named Big 5 Coach of the Year. The Explorers, who lost to Final Four participant Wichita State in the West region semifinals, finished the season ranked 24th in the AP poll.
La Salle loses a very important piece in the form of leading scorer Ramon Galloway. But with guards Tyreek Duren and Ty Garland and forwards Jerrell Wright and Steve Zack all expected to return, the Explorers should be one of the better teams in the Atlantic 10 next season.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.