La Salle Men’s Basketball Week In Review 1/24/23

Sports

Nicholas Signoretta, Editor

Courtesy of lasallembb

Society’s favorite La Sallian newspaper, may have taken the past month off to enjoy the winter holiday and delightfully dreary weather that plagues the northeastern United States, but the ever-middling La Salle Explorers men’s basketball squad was not afforded the same opportunity.  While the average resident of 20th & Olney was bumming around all break, Coach Fran Dunphy and the boys were hard at work on the hardwood battlefield.  As always, a new calendar year ushers in good ol’ conference basketball play, and with that, the realization that over eighty percent of the teams in NCAA Division 1 are not making the tourney and will be deeply irrelevant come mid-March.  La Salle, for twenty-nine of the past thirty years, has fallen into this irrelevant grouping.  Hopefully, the Explorers buck the trend this year (they were picked to finish bottom three in the league in most publications).

Courtesy of shotbyscornely

Since the last publication of my Men’s Basketball Review, La Salle has unfortunately settled into the dreaded swing of mediocrity.  A steaming record of 8-11 has been complemented with a sterling mark of 2-4 in conference play.  Highlights of the winter break include a 77-75 OT win over the Rhode Island Rams, a 78-77 upset win at the UMass Minutemen, and covering the spread at Saint Louis (very rare).  While this start might not be ideal, there is a silver-lining somewhere in there.  While our beloved Explorers might be average at best, the Atlantic 10 as a whole this year is frankly a steaming pile of disappointment.  A league that began the year with a ranked Dayton team has fallen off in the whooping three months since the season tipped off.  The conference is hellbent on the path to having just one team dancing come March, and that squad seems poised to fall to an average Big 12 in their opening tournament matchup.  So the silver-lining is that La Salle is not the only “bleh” team in the A-10 this year.  Everyone seems to be on their way for a forgettable 2022-2023 season.

This upcoming week, the Explorers get a home date against the Davidson Wildcats (9-10, 2-5) on Tuesday, Jan. 24, as well as a trip to Kingston, Rhode Island, to face the Rhode Island Rams (6-13, 2-5) on Saturday, Jan. 28.  I pray they win these contests as they would make next week’s article exciting to write (but equally as painful).

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