With two of their top scorers from last season’s team in Tyreek Duren and Tyrone Garland having moved on, La Salle entered the 2014-15 season needing perimeter scoring options to emerge in advance of Atlantic 10 play. And while their 7-5 start (including losses to Virginia, Villanova and Temple) isn’t what Dr. John Giannini and his players were hoping for, the Explorers have won their last two games with Auburn transfer guard Jordan Price serving as the catalyst.
Price, who averaged 5.4 points in just under 15 minutes per game as a freshman at Auburn in 2012-13, is currently averaging 18.8 points, 3.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-5 guard from Georgia has reached double figures in ten of La Salle’s 12 games, including his current run of 26 points or more in three consecutive games. During this stretch Price has shot 54.3% from the field, averaging 28.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.
In a story written by Dave Zeitlin of CSNPhilly.com, Price discussed both the need to get out of his comfort zone and how smooth the process of adjusting to the La Salle program has gone.
“I had been home all my life,” he said. “In order for me to grow as a person, as a player, I needed to get away. When I was at Auburn, it was a two-hour drive home and I was going home every weekend. Here, I can’t go home.”
Besides, Philadelphia has started to feel like home for him — well, a new home anyway. That’s one reason he’s off to such a flying start in his debut season for La Salle and has the Explorers thinking big in 2014-15. He’s never felt more comfortable on the basketball court.
“The coaches feel like father figures to me, and it felt that way when I first came to visit,” he said. “And the players are like brothers. It’s basically a home away from home. When you have that feeling, you don’t need to go anywhere else.”
Price is one of two double-digit scorers for La Salle with their final non-conference game scheduled for Tuesday against Big 5 rival Penn, with forward Jerrell Wright (11.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg) being the other. While Price will be asked to do continue to produce offensively, he’s going to need help if the Explorers are to factor into what should be a competitive conference race.
Preseason favorite VCU and George Washington, which won the Diamond Head Classic this week, have posted some solid non-conference results and Dayton should remain formidable despite the loss of their two biggest players to off-court issues. The hope for La Salle is that with Price leading the way, they can become a more consistent team offensively and work their way in the mix.