Zack got into foul trouble early, but managed to finish with 8 points and 6 rebounds. Peterson had 3 points, but looked good on defense and also grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 4 assists in his 29 minutes of play.
The Explorers have a young nucleus off the bench, led today by freshman guard Amar Stukes, who had a team high 10 points and 1 steal. Freshman guard Johnnie Shuler only played 8 minutes, but scored 5 points and looked comfortable out there. Expect his minutes to increase by the time A-10 play comes around.
Auburn transfer Jordan Price had 8 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in his Explorer debut, and redshirt junior guard Khalid Lewis scored 9 himself. This team can go 8 or 9 deep, so depth should not be an issue for the Explorers this season.
With his 3 blocks today, Steve Zack is only 7 blocks away from passing Rasual Butler for third all time in blocks in school history. Butler finished his collegiate career with 120 blocks. In fact, Zack looked terrific on defense, recording 4 BLASTs (blocks and steals) on the game (BLAST is a new stat I just made up. You take the Bl from block, the St from steal, and the A just means and. It sounds cool and I am going to use it going forward. Pretty impressive right? Just admit that you're jealous that you didn't think of it first.) The Explorers had 12 BLASTs on the game.
La Salle, in general, looked good for their first game. They were anxious early on, but settled in and got the win. One thing I noticed is that they rely on too much isolation or on-ball screens to get their looks on offense, recording only 12 assists all game. The off-ball players have to move around more. They can look to their opponent today on what to do. Colgate, who had 15 assists, got a lot of their open looks on cuts from off-ball players. They didn't finish well around the hoop, but the open looks were there.
The Explorers also won the turnover battle today. La Salle had 8 turnovers to Colgate's 13. Just like in any sport that goes back and forth, managing turnovers is one of the most important things a team can do to improve it's chances at winning.
The rebound battle was very close, however, as Colgate managed to out-rebound the Explorers by just one board (36-35). Moving without the ball, managing turnovers, and grabbing more rebounds than the opposition is what La Salle needs to keep focusing on throughout this season.
By: Dan Goggin
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