While their 99-90 double overtime loss to Manhattan on Saturday afternoon qualified as one of the best games of the opening weekend, the way in which the defeat occurred revealed a big issue for the La Salle Explorers. That issue was rebounding, with the Jaspers out-rebounding La Salle 51-33 and finishing the game with a staggering offensive rebounding percentage of 55.8%.
So entering their game on Tuesday morning against Quinnipiac, which has been one of the nation’s best rebounding teams in each of the last two seasons, it was clear that Dr. John Giannini’s team would need a better performance on the glass in order to avoid an 0-2 start. The Explorers were by no means dominant on the glass against the Bobcats but they held their own, breaking even (43-43) on their way to the 73-67 victory.
Tyreek Duren led four Explorers in double figures with 17 points, but shot selection is another area in which La Salle will need to improve as they inch closer to the start of Atlantic 10 play. To be fair that issue’s to be expected at this stage, with La Salle beginning the (in-game) process of adjusting to life without leading scorer Ramon Galloway.
Galloway, who averaged 17.2 points per game last season, factored into nearly 29% of La Salle’s possessions and posted a shot percentage of 28.9% per kenpom.com. Even with key contributors such as Duren, Tyrone Garland and Jerrell Wright back, that’s a significant personnel loss and it will take this group some time to adjust.
As for Quinnipiac, which moved from the NEC to the MAAC during the summer, rebounding will continue to be a strength for them with senior forward Ike Azotam (17 points, seven rebounds) leading the way. And in freshman Kasim Chandler (team-high 19 points), the Bobcats have a guard fans will certainly enjoy watching develop. But on Tuesday it was La Salle’s improved rebounding effort that carried the day, resulting in both teams moving to 1-1 on the season.
Kansas landed their second big man in the Class of 2018 on Sunday, as David McCormack, a top 50 prospect, announced that he will be a Jayhawk when he plays his college ball.
The 6-foot-10 center picked Kansas over Xavier, NC State, Oklahoma State and Duke.
A product of the famed Oak Hill Academy, McCormack averaged 15 points and 10 boards on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit this spring. He joins fellow four-star big man Silvio de Sousa in the 2018 class for Bill Self, although the Jayhawks will get three players eligible after they sit out the 2017-18 season as transfers: Dedric and K.J. Lawson, who transferred in from Memphis, as well as Charlie Moore, a point guard from California.
After capturing a national championship earlier this year, the North Carolina men’s basketball team will not be visiting the White House, a North Carolina spokesman said to Andrew Carter of the The Charlotte Observer.
Although the Tar Heels were invited to go to the White House from the staff of President Donald Trump, the team couldn’t figure out a date that worked.
“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” North Carolina team spokesman Steve Kirschner said to Carter. “We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so – we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”
According to Carter’s report, Kirschner also said that North Carolina players, “were fine with going.”
With Trump’s recent comments towards NFL players and the national anthem and his Saturday morning tweet at Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the President with regards to athletes over the past 24 hours.
Although the timing of this may seem like North Carolina is making some sort of political statement, the school is downplaying any sort of politics by focusing on the bad timing.
Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer from the program to move closer to home, according to a release from the school.
The 6-foot-7 Ridder hails from Springfield, Missouri as he was regarded as a top-150 prospect by Rivals in the Class of 2017.
“After much consideration and talking with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to move home,” Ridder said in the release.
“Jared has indicated to the coaching staff that he has a desire to be closer to home,” Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. “While we are disappointed, we all want Jared to be happy moving forward. We wish him nothing but the best.”
A potent scorer and noted perimeter shooter at the high school level, Ridder helped MoKan win the Nike Peach Jam during the summer of 2016 playing alongside talented players like Missouri’s Michael and Jontay Porter and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. With a desire to move closer to home, could Ridder potentially land at a spot where one of his talented former teammates is playing?
Ridder averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season of high school ball at Kickapoo as he was a first-team, All-State selection in Missouri.
Creighton took a big hit to its recruiting efforts late this week as Class of 2018 forward Ian Steere is decommitting from the Bluejays, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Steere’s decommitment was first reported by Julius Kim of Elevate Hoops.
The 6-foot-8 Steere is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals as he is coming off of a very solid spring and summer playing with Team Charlotte in the Under Armour Association. A plus athlete who isn’t afraid to bang on the interior, Steere showing an improving skill level throughout the spring and summer as he could see his recruiting soar after opening things up.
According to a report from Jon Nyatawa of the World-Herald, one of the reasons that Steere is opening up his recruitment is his desire to be closer to his native North Carolina. With so many top programs looking for quality help on the interior, it’ll be interesting to see which programs jump in and try to recruit Steere the second time around.
John Wall was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night as he delivered an emotional speech while talking to his mother.
The first inductee into the Hall of Fame to play for current Wildcat head coach John Calipari, Wall only spent the 2009-10 season in Lexington but he became the first national player of the year to play at Kentucky before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Thanking his mother, Calipari, his family, friends and Big Blue Nation, the Washington Wizards guard gave a very moving speech, including an emotional part directed to his mother at around 4:35.