Following a disappointing season during which they finished eighth in the Atlantic 10 with a 9-9 conference record (19-19 overall), the Explorers are tipped to struggle again. The losses of Jordan Price and Demetrius Henry will be tough to cope with but the Explorers do have interesting options on the team.
This has led to the Explorers being tipped to finish ninth in the Atlantic 10 coach's poll. The Explorers are slated to finish behind Richmond and ahead of George Mason.
The offense will be centered around B.J. Johnson who put up 17.6 points per game and averaged 6.3 rebounds per game last season before declaring for the NBA Draft to test the waters. While Johnson ultimately returned to school, his declaration for the draft is an important step for his development as a player.
“B.J. received great feedback from exploring his NBA potential,” Giannini said. “He is extremely focused and motivated to improve himself and our team to reach his highest goals. He had interest to workout for several teams. However, he has some minor health issues from last season that would be best to take care of now to maximize his preparations for next season. He has decided to take that route and it bodes well for him and our team.”
He'll be ready to lead this team and his hand will be healthy all year which will be a boon for what was already a good offense. Johnson won't be alone providing the offensive fireworks as the electric Pookie Powell will be ready to take a step forward for the Explorers.
While the offense should be good, defence will and the thing that holds these Explorers back. Much of their issues were with size last season but with Tony Washington, Cian Sullivan, and Johnson in the middle, the Explorers will have better size than they have had in years.
Coupled with quick gaurds to stay in front of you, this could be an intriguing team. I feel like I say this every year but La Salle could suprise a few teams in the conference but until they show more performances like their shocker at URI last season, their low preseason ranking is justified.