The Black Women in Sport Foundation’s 2012 Next Step Women of Color Mini-Forum, hosted at Temple University by the Department of Athletics and the College of Education and supported in part by the NCAA, will be held on April 18 at Ritter Hall, Room 211, located at 1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The mini-forum is a professional development and preparation program to increase the portion of women of color collegiate head coaches and athletic administrators at 4-year NCAA institutions. The mini-forum is an interactive and networking opportunity to discuss and explore strategies to recruit, inspire, educate and retain women of color in the intercollegiate coaching and athletic administration positions with practicing professionals.
The moderator will be Nikki Franke, Temple’s head fencing coach. The panelists will be Marilyn Stephens, Cheyney University, head women’s basketball coach; Margaret Ottley, West Chester University, associate professor of sport psychology; Amanda Janney, Temple head women’s field hockey coach; Lynsey Grace, Community College of Philadelphia athletic coordinator and Kari-Lei Maddox, Delaware State University assistant lacrosse coach.
Philadelphia 2012 Unsigned Senior Basketball Shootout
There will be an opportunity for all high school senior basketball players who haven’t signed a letter of intent to showcase their talent at the Philadelphia 2012 Unsigned Senior Basketball Shootout. The games will be played at Imhotep Charter, 21st and Godfrey Avenue, on Sunday, April 15. The games will take place at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. For more information on this event, go to runhouse.net.
Phoenix Club announces college players of the year
The Phoenix Club of Philadelphia will recognize the college player of the year, presented to Philadelphia area basketball players (male and female) who have excelled in college during the year. The male award will be given in the name of Wali Jones and the female award will be given in the name of Marilyn Stephens. Both players are products of the Public League. Jones was a great player at Overbrook High and Villanova. Stephens was a star at Simon Gratz and Temple.
This year’s winners are Ramone Moore, Temple, and Gloria Brown (University of Texas – El Paso). The Phoenix Award presentation will be held in June at the Union League of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Big 5 awards
The Philadelphia Big 5 head coaches and media have announced their college basketball awards.
Player of the Year – Zack Rosen, Penn
Most Improved Player – Earl Pettis, La Salle
Rookie of the Year – Jerrell Wright, La Salle
Coach of the Year – Fran Dunphy, Temple
Scholar-Athlete – Zack Rosen, Penn
Team of the Year – Temple
Best Free Throw Percentage – Maalik Wayns, Villanova
Leading Scorer – Zack Rosen, Penn
First team: Zack Rosen, Penn; Ramone Moore, Temple; Maalik Wayns, Villanova; Khalif Wyatt, Temple; Langston Galloway, Saint Joseph’s.
Second team: Tyreek Duren, La Salle; Earl Pettis, La Salle; Carl Jones, Saint Joseph’s; Ramone Galloway, La Salle; C.J. Aiken, Saint Joseph’s, Juan Fernandez, Temple.
Shey Peddy Big 5 women’s basketball player of the year
For a second consecutive year, Temple basketball standout Shey Peddy has earned Big 5 Player of the Year honors. Peddy will receive this honor at the annual Big 5 Women’s Basketball banquet on April 25 at Drexelbrook in Drexel Hill.
Tauheed N. Browning, 9, of West Philadelphia, who has been playing tennis at Legacy Youth Tennis and Education (formerly known as Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education) since he was 5 ½ years old, won two championships, singles and doubles, in the 10-and-under competition at the American Tennis Association (ATA) National Tournament this month in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
In singles, Browning defeated No. 2 seed Mikeal Carpenter, of Suitland, Md., 6-4, 6-1. Browning teamed with Donovan Spigner, of New York, N.Y., to win the 10-and-under doubles title.
Browning is a member of the Future Stars Program at Legacy and is coached by his father, Tauheed R. Browning, a Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Tennis professional who also participated in the program. Tauheed’s sister, Nadiyah, 14, of Wynnefield, is also a student-athlete at Legacy and plays in the Maximum Performance Program.
Basketball referee school announcement
Classes to become a Philadelphia basketball referee will begin on Sept. 5. The school is sponsored by the PIAA Central Philadelphia Basketball Officials chapter and is intended for new officials and anyone interested in successfully taking the Oct. 1 PIAA basketball official certification exam. For more information, go to www.phillyref.com, or call (609) 933-4338.
Sixers to host ‘Boardwalk Classic’ preseason game in Atlantic City
The Philadelphia 76ers will face the Brooklyn Nets in a historic “Boardwalk Classic” contest at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Oct. 13. This game will give the local fans a chance to see all-star center Andrew Bynum in a preseason matchup.
Raphael Chillious named assistant basketball coach at Villanova
Raphael Chillious, University of Washington assistant coach, has joined the Villanova Wildcats’ basketball staff in a similar capacity. The move brings Chillious back to the northeast after a successful three-year stint working alongside head coach Lorenzo Romar in Seattle. There he was part of a staff that guided the Huskies to consecutive Pac-10 Conference tournament championships and an appearance in the 2010 NCAA tournament Sweet 16.
La Salle announces 2012–13 non-conference men’s basketball schedule
La Salle had an impressive 21-win season and a NIT appearance last season. The Explorers will begin their 2012–13 season by hosting Delaware on Nov. 10 as a part of the school’s homecoming celebration. After the game with the Blue Hens, La Salle will complete its series with Central Connecticut State on Nov. 18 at Tom Gola Arena before heading to Hartford on Nov. 20.
Big 5 rival Villanova travels to Tom Gola Arena on Nov. 25 before the Explorers make a short trip to Rider on Nov. 29.
On Dec. 5 La Salle will play Penn State at the Palestra. Then, the Explorers have road trips to Northeastern (Dec. 8) and Bucknell, which won 25 games and advanced to the NIT second round on Dec. 15. The month will conclude by hosting NCAA qualifier Iona (Dec. 20) and Sacred Heart (Dec. 22) before traveling to Siena on Dec. 29.
In the new year, La Salle will visit NIT qualifier Miami, which won 21 games last season, on Jan. 2 before hosting Big 5 rival Penn (20-13, CBI) on Jan. 5 at Gola Arena.
In the Atlantic 10, the Explorers will play a home and home series with George Washington and will host Butler, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, Massachusetts, Richmond and Saint Joseph’s. Road A-10 games include Charlotte, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, Temple, VCU and Xavier.
La Salle returns four of five starters from last year’s 21-13 team including second-team All-Atlantic 10 selection Ramon Galloway, NABC All-District pick Tyreek Duren, Atlantic 10 All-Rookie selection Jerrell Wright and double figure scorer Sam Mills.
The Explorers will add Virginia Tech transfer and former Bartram High star Tyrone Garland, redshirt Rohan Brown and fall signee Jermaine Davis.
The Atlantic 10 championship will begin on March 14 at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
When Tyreek Duren came to La Salle a year ago from Neumann-Goretti, the Explorers immediately put the ball in his hands. That was a good move. Two years ago, Duren, a 6-foot, 180-pounder, led the Saints to a Catholic League and a PIAA Class AAA state championship with an impressive 30-1 record.
He came to La Salle with great ballhandling and leadership skills. He displayed those talents right away. As a freshman, he averaged 9.8 points, 4.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds a game. He set a school record for steals by a freshman with 62. He had the second most assists (146) by a freshman and most by a La Salle player since Julian Blanks’ 164 assists in the 2001-02 season.
Duren has raised the level of his play this season. He’s averaging 13.5 points, 4.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds a game. As a result, the Explorers are on a six-game winning streak heading into tomorrow’s Atlantic 10 Conference matchup with Dayton on the road. Duren, a sophomore point guard, was ready to lead the Explorers when he arrived on campus.
“I knew things were going to work out from Day One,” Duren said. “G [Dr. John Giannini] sat me down and said I’m going to give you the ball. He said, ‘what you do with it is up to you.’ He had a talk with me now. He said, ‘I told you it was your time to have the ball. It’s your time to shine now. You have to bring me these wins.’ And that’s what I’m trying to do for him.”
Giannini knows Duren is a key player on the La Salle’s very talented 13-4 team. He has a great appreciation of his play as the team’s point guard.
“We have a lot of good players,” Giannini said. “In life we can all be replaced. Tyreek would be the most difficult guy on our team to replace because he has those very special point guard sets. He does things you can’t teach. He does things that put a team at ease. When the ball is in his hands, everybody feels better and plays better. He’s a much-improved defender. He wants to win. He wants to get better. So, I think the sky’s the limit for him.”
It looks as if La Salle has made some huge in-roads in terms of getting the top high school players in the city. Duren is a good example of that. The Explorers have another outstanding player in Jerrell Wright from Dobbins. Wright was the top player in the Public League last year. The 6-foot-8, 230-pounder, is one of the best freshmen in the Big 5. He is averaging 8.2 points and 6.6 rebounds a game.
“I talked to Jerrell a lot,” Duren said. “I told him freshman year is a learning experience. As the games go on, you’re going to learn from each situation. He’s been playing real well for us.”
Wright and Duren give the Explorers two terrific local players, but they also have Devon White (Strawberry Mansion), Ramon Galloway (Freire Charter) and Earl Pettis (Neumann-Goretti) from Philly. Next year, they will have Tyrone Garland (Bartram), who transferred to La Salle from Virginia Tech.
The Explorers opened a lot of eyes with their big victory against Xavier a week ago at Tom Gola Arena. After La Salle plays Dayton on Saturday, the Explorers will head to the Liacouras Center on Wednesday, January 18 for a big game with Temple. The Explorers seem to be building a solid program.
“It’s all defense,” Duren said. “We know we’re going to score. As long as we play good defense, everything is going to come together.”
It’s been a big year for La Salle basketball. Jerrell Wright, a former Dobbins basketball star, has been a solid contributor to the Explorers’ success. Wright’s scoring, rebounding and defense has La Salle in fourth place in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
The Explorers seem to be in good shape as the team moves toward the end of the season heading into the conference tournament with a possible NCAA tournament bid on the line. La Salle (17-6 overall, 7-3 A-10) will face Big 5 and A-10 rival Saint Joseph’s (14-9 overall, 5-5 A-10) on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Palestra. The tipoff is at 1 p.m. Wright isn’t looking too far down the road with a lot of basketball left to play.
“We’re taking it one game at a time,” Wright said. “We’re trying to go game-by-game to reach our goals at the beginning of the year and that’s to go to the NCAA tournament.”
La Salle caught the nation’s attention with big wins this season over Butler and VCU. Those victories help to legitimize the Explorers as a team to watch in the A-10. However, Wright believes the team’s surge into prominence began last year with its trip to the NIT.
“Butler win did do it,” Wright said. “After that, we beat VCU. We didn’t want everybody to think that was a fluke. Both of those teams have been to the NCAA tournament. I’ve been watching them since high school. They’re both good caliber teams.
“I think a lot of people now are looking at us because of our season last year. We have the same team from last year and winning games. We’re getting the crowd excited. We’re beating ranked teams. I think a lot of people are noticing that now.”
Ramon Galloway has been a major player for La Salle. Galloway, ex-Freire Charter standout, is the team’s leading scorer averaging 17.3 points a game. Tyrone Garland, a former Bartram High star, comes off the bench for the Explorers. Garland is averaging 12.8 points a game.
Tyreek Duren has been a steady ballhandler for La Salle. Duren, a Neumann-Goretti product, is averaging 13.9 points, 3.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds a game. Then, Wright chips in with his contributions. He averages 10.0 points and 6.4 rebounds a game.
“Tyrone is doing real well,” said Wright, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound sophomore forward. “I always knew he could score from high school. He’s a fast paced guard. Tyreek is more like a pass first guard. He looks to get everybody involved in the game. That’s one thing that keeps our team going. We got guards that can score. We have a guard who is a pass first guard that can actually help the team out. Somebody who can get the ball down low, find guys when they get open and where they need the ball. That’s a big part of us winning right now.”
In 2011, Wright was named first team All Public League. He was selected as the Public League Player of the Year. He led Dobbins to the league playoffs. He averaged 19.9 points, 14.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks a game. He finished his career with 1,303 points, third all-time at Dobbins behind Bo Kimble and La Salle assistant coach Horace Owens. Wright, a highly recruited player, made a great decision to play for the Explorers.
“It feels good that every game in Philly I have a huge fan base supporting me throughout the whole game and the whole year,” Wright said. “I try to go to Dobbins whenever I can to watch a few games. I keep in touch with Coach [William] Johnson.
“Whenever I go there, they usually show me a lot of love. I still know most of the students. I was just there two years ago. They still know me. I go back and talk to the teachers. I’ve known Horace [Owens] since I was growing up. We went to all of the same schools. We came from the same neighborhood. He’s helped me a lot.”
Dr. John Giannini, La Salle head coach, has made a big impact on his game. Wright has developed nicely under his tutelage.
“He makes sure the bigs [forwards and centers] are working out every day,” said Wright, who was the Big 5 Rookie of the Year last season. “He prepares us real well for each game that we play.”
The Explorers have been well prepared all season long. La Salle is coming off a 69-66 overtime win over St. Bonaventure. Wright had six points and six rebounds in that contest.
When Lionel Simmons heard La Salle’s name called on Selection Sunday, needless to say Simmons was really excited to see the Explorers landed a spot in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1992. Simmons was the 1990 consensus college basketball player of the year. He played from 1986-87 to 1989-90 at La Salle.
He played for the Explorers during the years when they were going to the big dance on a regular basis. Those were the glory years. Simmons, a former Southern High standout, played with Doug Overton, Bobby Johnson and Randy Woods. In fact, Woods, a Ben Franklin High product, played on the Explorers 1992 team that lost to Seton Hall in the first round of the tournament.
Nevertheless, Simmons knows this is a watershed moment for La Salle (21-9) a No. 13 seed in the West Region, as it faces No. 13 Boise State (21-10) on Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio. This game will be carried on truTV at 9:10 p.m.
“This is really good for the program,” Simmons said. “I’m really happy for La Salle. They put in a lot of hard work to get back to the NCAA tournament. I know a lot of people are excited.
“I had gone down to a few of the games. The team has really improved over the last few years. They played some good basketball this year. They beat some good teams (Butler and VCU). It’s great to see them back in the tournament.”
Simmons had a magnificent career with the Explorers. The first team All-American finished his career at La Salle with 3,217 points and 1,429 rebounds. The 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward, guided the 1989-90 Explorers to a single-season record with 30 victories and whose 32-2 record was the best in Division I.
This year’s Explorers team has a good crop of players such as 6-foot-2 senior guard Ramon Galloway (17.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg), 6-foot junior guard Tyreek Duren (15.0 ppg), 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Jerrell Wright (10.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and 6-foot-1 junior guard Tyrone Garland (12.7 ppg).
“I really don’t know anything about Boise State,” said Simmons, who was a first round pick of the Sacramento Kings and played seven NBA seasons. “I like the way La Salle has played this year. Tyreek Duren is a good ballhandler. Ramon Galloway is a great scorer. Jerrell Wright has really improved his game. He’s doing a good job around the basket. Tyrone Garland can really shoot the basketball. I think Coach [John] Giannini [head coach] and his staff have done a great job. I’m looking forward to watching them play in the tournament.”
Bernard Hopkins, light heavyweight world champion, celebrated his 47th birthday with the unveiling of the new Bernard Hopkins wax figure, which was created by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Hopkins became the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a world title in May 2011.
Alvin named CIAA Player, Newcomer of the Week
Malik Alvin, former Simon Gratz star who plays for Shaw University, has been named the CIAA Player and Newcomer of the Week. Alvin has averaged 22 points a game in Shaw University’s three victories. Alvin scored 28 points for the Bears in a 103-89 victory over Chowan. He also had six assists in that game. He has scored 28 points four times this season.
Baseball Hall of Fame internship program
For any college student who are interested in landing an once-in-a-lifetime summer experience in the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2012 internship program, can apply for the 2012 Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development. The internship program provides students the chance to join the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum team in a 10-week summer internship, offering meaningful, hands-on training in numerous professional career fields.
The Baseball Hall of Fame is located in Cooperstown, New York. For full details on the program, go to www.baseballhall.org/intern. January 31 is the deadline for all applications. You have to apply online.
Cheyney University’s Simone Carter sets new mark
Simone Carter, Cheyney University track and field star, set a new school record in the 60 meter dash covering the distance in 7.60 to win the event last Saturday night at the Armory in New York. It was the fourth fastest time in Division II this season. In addition, Carter finished fourth in the 200 meters with a time of 25.10 that night, which is also a school record.
Evan Rodriguez to play in East-West Shrine Game
Evan Rodriguez, Temple tight end, has been selected to play in the 87th East–West Shrine Game on Saturday, January 21 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The game will be televised on the NFL Network, kicking off at 4 p.m. from Tropicana Field. Rodriguez joins Owl teammate offensive lineman Derek Dennis on the East roster, coached by former Army coach Bobby Ross.
Kee-ayre Griffin to play in Astro Turf NFLPA Bowl
Kee-ayre Griffin, Temple defensive back, has been selected to play in the inaugural Astro Turf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday, January 21, the NFL Players Association recently announced. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. on NBC Sports. The defensive back will be one of 100 draft-eligible players competing at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California.
La Salle’s Duren named Big 5 Player of the Week
Tyreek Duren, La Salle sophomore guard, has been named the Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Week. Duren averaged 17.0 points and 4.5 assists while making 11 of his 14 attempts in a week which the Explorers defeated city rival Penn and dropped a close contest at Dayton.
Drexel’s Damion Lee named CAA Rookie of the Week
Damion Lee, Drexel freshman guard, has been named Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week. It was the second time this season that he has earned this honor. Lee averaged 17.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in Drexel’s two victories this week. He tied a career-high when he scored 21 points in Drexel’s 60-53 win over George Mason.
Tim Green, Lincoln University’s sensational defensive lineman, was selected to the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) All-American team. Green is the first-ever Lincoln University football player to receive the NCAA Division II honor.
Green led the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) with 17 sacks for a loss of 119 yards. He ranked tops in Division II in sacks with a 1.50 average a game. He was No. 2 in the nation in tackles for loss tallying 2.30 a game. He also had 56 total and 42 solo tackles along with a team-high 23 tackles for a loss of 136 yards.
Saint Joseph’s will host two teams from the MEAC
Saint Joseph’s, the hottest team in the Big 5 right now, will host Coppin State and Morgan State from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in the coming days. The Hawks (8-3 overall, 1-0 Big 5) are coming off an impressive 74-58 victory over Villanova in a Big 5 matchup last Saturday night at Hagan Arena. Langston Galloway, Hawks sophomore guard, scored 20 points and had six assists.
Saint Joseph’s will play Coppin State on December 21 at 7 p.m. at Hagan Arena. Legendary head coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell, who is close to winning his 400th career game, leads the Eagles. Mitchell is in his 25th season at Coppin State. He is well known in the Philadelphia area. He was a tremendous junior college basketball coach at Gloucester County in New Jersey. In 1995, he brought Coppin State to Hawk Hill where they upset Saint Joseph’s, 75-68 in overtime in the NIT. Stephen Stewart, former Parkway star, tallied 19 points in that big win for the Eagles.
Saint Joseph’s will entertain Morgan State on December 28 at 7 p.m. The Bears are picked to win the MEAC championship. Morgan State has made trips to the NCAA and NIT over the last five years. Todd Bozeman, Morgan State head coach, has two Public League players on his team. The Bears have Ameer Ali (Simon Gratz) and Shaquille Duncan (Frankford).
Langston Galloway receives A-10 and Big 5 recognition
Langston Galloway, Saint Joseph’s 6-foot-2 sophomore guard, was named Big 5 Player of the Week. Galloway was also chosen co-Atlantic 10 Player of the Week with St. Bonaventure’s junior forward Demitrius Conger.
Brittany Hrynko chosen Big East freshman of the week
Brittany Hrynko, former Engineering and Science basketball star, who now plays for DePaul, was named the Big East Conference freshman of the week. Hrynko led DePaul in scoring last week, including a career-high 25 points in the Blue Demons’ victory over Arizona State.
La Salle’s Tyreek Duren named candidate for Bob Cousy Award
La Salle sophomore guard Tyreek Duren from Neumann-Goretti has been named a candidate for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Monday. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in college basketball. Nearly 60 candidates have been nominated for the award.
Duren is averaging 12.9 points and 4.4 assists a game for the Explorers. He ranks sixth in the Atlantic 10 Conference in assists and eighth in steals (1.9 spg).
LeSean McCoy lands in the Eagles record books
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles running back, tied a career-high with three rushing touchdowns, surpassing legendary running back Steve Van Buren for the franchise record for most touchdowns in a season (20) and most rushing TDs (17). McCoy’s 20 TDs this season lead the NFL and are tied for the 20th best single-season total in league history, according to Stats Inc.
He became the third player in team history to have three straight multi-TD outings, joining Brian Westbrook (2004) and Ricky Watters (1995). McCoy also posted his sixth 100-yard effort of the season, which is tied for the third-most in team history. His 1,274 rushing yards on the season ranks fifth all time in Eagles history and his 3,001 career rushing yards are the most ever by an Eagle in his first three seasons. McCoy has scored a touchdown in 13 of 14 games this season. He snapped a streak of 490 regular-season touches without a fumble. His last fumble came on October 10 at San Francisco, and the last fumble he lost was on October 3, 2010 against the Washington Redskins.
NHL to create Fan Festival in celebration of 2012 Winter Classic
The National Hockey League in conjunction with City of Philadelphia will extend the celebration of the January 2 outdoor game between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers with its official NHL Winter Classic Spectator Plaza, a free, three-day fan festival just outside the gates of Citizens Bank Park.
From Saturday, Dec. 31 through Monday, Jan. 2, Citizens Bank Way, between Phillies Drive and Pattison Avenue will transform into an outdoor hockey and entertainment festival for fans of all ages with live musical performances, interactive hockey-themed attractions, prizes and giveaways, food, beverage, and merchandise tents with officially licenses Rangers and Flyers NHL Winter Classic merchandise.
Weather permitting, Spectator Plaza will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 31 and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on January 1. On game day, Spectator Plaza will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., just before the start of the classic.
Peggy Davis named new interim commissioner for the CIAA
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and its chairman — Dr. Mickey Burnim recently announced the appointment of Peggy Davis as interim commissioner for the conference. Davis has been a part of the CIAA family since 1997 where she held the titles of head women’s basketball coach, associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Virginia State.
Davis’s accomplishments are vast. She is a two-time Hall of Fame recipient (at VSU and Howard Payne), Davis has been named Athletic Director of the Year of the CIAA four of the last five years 2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10 and again 2010–11. Davis was also recognized this year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as the 2010–11 SE Region for Division II Athletics Director of the Year. She was also honored with the Jannette A. Lee Administration Achievement Award in 2005 and 2010.
The NCAA tournament has produced a lot of great stories. But there’s none bigger than the La Salle Explorers, who have brought national attention to the school’s basketball program with their play in the tourney.
La Salle, seeded No. 13, nipped No. 12 Mississippi, 76-74, before 18,498 fans at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. This victory has catapulted the Explorers into the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 1955.
La Salle (24-9) will face Wichita State (28-8) on Thursday, March 28 in Los Angeles. The tipoff for this contest is at 10:17 p.m. on TBS. The Shockers are coming off a 76-70 win over Gonzaga to advance to the Sweet 16.
La Salle got there on Tyrone Garland’s layup down the middle of the lane with two seconds left on Sunday. Garland, former Bartram High star, came off the bench to score 17 points for the Explorers, including the game-winning shot. He was asked about the shot after the game, which he has dubbed “The Southwest Philly Floater.”
“It’s actually the Southwest Floater, not South Floater,” Garland said. “They call it on the playground, when you see a big defender, just lay the ball up and they call it a Southwest Floater. I was just hearing that as I was growing up playing in the playgrounds.”
It wasn’t any easy shot. Garland had to go down the lane and lay it up over Reginald Buckner, the Rebels’ 6-foot-9 center, who was a force around the basket.
“Before that play, we were in a timeout,” Garland said. “I asked Tyreek (Duren), ‘Is the drive from the left wing open?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ When the time was running down, it was flat. I had a feeling I could make the drive, so I told Ramon (Galloway), ‘Switch.’
“It wasn’t even in the plans, I just told him to switch. And when Tyreek drove, like coach (Dr. John Giannini) always said, ‘Cut behind him.’ I saw the opening, I laid the ball in.”
This has been a storybook run for the Explorers. La Salle has won three consecutive games against Boise State (80-71), Kansas State (63-61) and Ole Miss respectively. Although Garland hit the winning shot, he got a lot of help from his teammates like Galloway, Duren and Jerrell Wright. Galloway had 24 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field and 6-for-10 from three-point range. Duren had 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field. Wright contributed eight points and four rebounds.
The Explorers are a true Philadelphia basketball team – Big 5 and City 6. Wright played for Dobbins where he was the Public League Player of the year. Garland was a big time player in the Public League as well. Galloway starred for Friere Charter. Duren played on all those great Neumann-Goretti teams that won the Catholic League championships.
Giannini has an outstanding assistant coach on his staff in Horace Owens who was a magnificent player at Dobbins and Rhode Island. Owens played in the Sonny Hill League and the Baker League. He knows all the top players in the city. It’s no surprise that La Salle has been able to attract some of Philly’s best players over the last few years. La Salle has something really special going on at 19th and Olney Avenue. Galloway knows it.
“As far as the game, us winning, I don’t know how to feel because I’ve never been here. I can say it’s the greatest feeling, but I don’t know right now. I’m happy. As far as family, I’m glad I can do this. I’m glad I had teammates like Ty that can win a game and Tyreek that can lead us.
“It’s just wonderful. It’s a wonderful story. It’s just great to play for La Salle, uplift the La Salle community again.”
This is La Salle’s first trip to the big dance since 1992. Twenty-one years is a long time. This tournament run has put the Explorers back on the college basketball map. If people didn’t know much about La Salle before, they do now.
“What I told them, all the clichés that coaches talk about, about toughness, getting stops, sharing the ball the way Tyreek hit Tyrone on that play, sticking together, staying positive,” Giannini said. “Those things are all true. A lot of teams do them, a lot of teams don’t. But this team has great intangibles. They are tough, they are together. Frankly, that’s why we’re here.”
Ron “Fang” Mitchell, Coppin State head basketball coach, recently notched his 400th career victory with the Eagles during the holiday season. Coppin State beat Nebraska Omaha, 93-83, to give Mitchell his milestone win in the Elgin Baylor Classic.
Mitchell is in his 26th season at Coppin State. He had a big homecoming when his team played Saint Joseph’s on December 21 at Hagan Arena. The Hawks topped the Eagles, 81-72, in front of a number of Philly fans who came out to see Mitchell, who coached many years at Gloucester County College in Gloucester, New Jersey.
“Saint Joseph’s has a great team,” Mitchell said. “It was nice coming down here. I saw a lot of people in Philly. I saw a lot of friends that I haven’t seen in a while.”
Mitchell learned a lot about the game from Hall of Fame coach John Chaney. He regularly attends a number of Sonny Hill League games during the summer, where he’s recruited a number of players to Coppin State, including Larry Stewart, Stephen Stewart, Tywain McKee, Antoine Brockington and Reggie Isaac.
Mitchell has been known for beating a lot of tough non-conference teams over the years such as Maryland, South Carolina and Creighton. Ironically, one of his biggest wins was over Saint Joseph’s on Hawk Hill in the 1994 NIT. That didn’t bother Phil Martelli, Hawks head coach, who talked to Mitchell about coming back to Saint Joseph’s for a game.
“He’s a real guy,” Martelli said. “I made one phone call to go over the situation in the summer. I can remember being on vacation late in the summer. We didn’t have a game. I found out he needed one. We had one conversation. Would I go down there? We will next year, December 4; I will go down there and he will come here.”
That was it. Saint Joseph’s will make the trip to Coppin State, in Baltimore. The Hawks will have a great team with 6-foot-2 sophomore Langston Galloway, 6-foot-9 sophomore C.J. Aiken and 5-foot-11 junior Carl Jones. The Eagles will be pretty good as well. Coppin State will have three starters, returning — 6-foot-8 Brandon St. Louis, 5-foot-9 Taariq Cephas and 6-foot-5 Michael Murray.
Mitchell has three NCAA tournament appearances, two NITs, six 20-win seasons and shared nine Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships in the 1990s. His last NCAA tournament appearance was 2008.
At Gloucester County, he posted a 227-45 record from 1978 to 1986. GCC won four regional junior college crowns and 10 Garden State Conference championships. Mitchell was inducted into the Gloucester County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
Coppin State has a 5-8 record overall and is 1-0 in the MEAC this season. The team got its first league win against Howard, 83-77. Now, Mitchell has 401 career victories. The Eagles have one of the best teams in the MEAC along with Morgan State and Norfolk State.
Lee shares A-10 Rookie of the Week award
Anthony Lee, Temple freshman forward, was named the Atlantic 10 Conference co-Rookie of the Week. It is the second honor of the season for Lee, who is the first Temple rookie to be named A-10 Rookie of the Week since Mark Tyndale earned the honor three times during the 2004–05 season, the last on February 5, 2005. He shares the honor with Rhode Island freshman Mike Powell. The 6-foot-9 Columbia, Md. native averaged 8.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a 2-0 week.
Lee played a major role in Temple’s 78-73 upset win over Duke (ranked No. 5 in the country by Associated Press. He had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Owls.
Duren scores Big 5 honor
Tyreek Duren, a Neumann-Goretti product, was honored as the Big 5 Player of the Week. Duren averaged 21 points, four rebounds and three assists a game in a 2-0 week for the Explorers. He shot 16-for-26 from the floor and 6-for-11 from beyond the arc in the two games. Against Boston University, he had 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists before tallying 19 points in a win over Hartford.
Duren also had 10 points and seven assists in La Salle’s 80-70 victory over Xavier at Tom Gola Arena.
Free lacrosse clinic offered
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Mike McCall Jr. scored 16 points and Kwamain Mitchell had 15 to lead Saint Louis to a 78-71 win over La Salle on Friday night to advance to the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament semifinals.
Brian Conklin scored 14 points and Jordair Jett had 13 for the No. 2-seed Billikens (25-6), who have won nine of their last 10 games and are the highest remaining seed left in the tournament. Top-seeded Temple was eliminated by Massachusetts earlier.
Earl Pettis scored 18 points, Ramon Galloway had 14 and Tyreek Duren 13 for the Explorers (21-12).
Saint Louis raced to a 12-point first-half lead and appeared to have the game under control until La Salle got hot late. Pettis hit a pull-up jumper to pull La Salle within two and Jerrell Wright's dunk made it 57-56. That was as close as they would get.
McCall's 3-pointer made it 65-58, helping Saint Louis advance. -- (AP)