It was an amazing shot that Tyrone Garland hit which was over 6’9″ Reginald Buckner and sent LaSalle to the next round of the NCAA tournament. In Philadelphia, it’s a shot that’s seen commonly on the playgrounds of the city of Brotherly Love.
“I’m not scared of anyone. . . . They call it a Southwest Philly floater in the playground,” Garland said to reporters following the game. “When you see a defender, lay it up.”
You can’t say enough about LaSalle’s toughness, both mentally and defensively with the game on the line. They don’t back down from any challenge. The Explorers forced the Rebels into taking bad shots down the stretch, as well as pressuring them into a key clock shot violation. The tough man-to-man defense, which they demonstrated is something which Philadelphia basketball is known for and it was displayed by all the Philly teams in the tournament, LaSalle, Temple and Villanova.
I thought the Explorers also won the game at the free throw line. They were 13 for 18 from the stripe, while Ole Miss was 10 for 21. They made three more free throws, even though they shot three less.
The NCAA tournament field is finding out that the quickness of the Explorers is very tough to deal with because it’s not one or two players, it’s even more players on the team who have the ability to both hit three’s or put the ball on the floor and take it to the hoop.
You can’t say enough about Ramon Galloway, who kept the Explorers in the game in the first half with 19 points. Galloway finished with 24 points for the game and has 64 points in the three tournament wins. Tyreek Duren scored 19 points and Garland added 17 with those final two making the difference in the game.
Now the Explorers will play 9th seeded Wichita State in a Sweet Sixteen battle in Los Angeles on Thursday at about 10:15pn eastern time. You can be sure that for the rest of the week they own the city of Philadelphia.
My next door neighbors are the parents of LaSalle assistant coach Harris Adler and as you could imagine, they are very happy about the success of the Explorers right now.