Posted on: August 11, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 10:49 am

Trippin': La Salle grows up in Canada

By Jeff Borzello

La Salle went into its game against the Carleton Alumni team slightly confused. After all, this was supposed to be a team filled with European pros and former stars.

Then the Explorers actually saw their opponent.

“They actually threw us off a little bit,” head coach Dr. John Giannini said. “There were pros in their 30s, and they had put on a few pounds. So the players looked at them, and thought it would be easier.”

La Salle shouldn’t have underestimated the Alumni team, though. Two-time national player of the year Osvaldo Jeanty scored 34 points as Carleton Alumni knocked off the Explorers, 80-77.

Giannini didn’t seem too upset about the loss, especially since La Salle bounced back and beat seven-time national champion Carleton to finish 2-1 on the trip.

“Some people think you don’t learn as much when you lose,” he said. “But losses stick with kids a little bit.”

What he learned: “We may not be able to pressure the ball against drive-and-kick teams as much as we like to. We really emphasized defense and pressuring the ball in practice. But 3-point shooting teams with good guards are able to beat pressure since they draw help and kick out for threes. In a game against Carelton, they had 12 3-point shots and only eight two-pointers. We learned we have to adjust against 3-point shooting teams. Jeanty taught us you better be ready to cover ball screens.”

What impressed him: Team chemistry and mental toughness – “I think the fact that they really enjoy each other’s company. They’re very cohesive. I like the way they lived with each other for 14 days. Also, I like the way they handled things from a mental point of view. They let us push them, they took criticism. It’s realistic experience – there’s no substitute for handling the ball against pressure when you have the lead late with the game on the lane.”

What concerned him: Lack of frontcourt experience – “We’re very young, that’s why we took this trip. Our guards are pretty good and pretty experienced, but our bigs are very young. Devon White has played for us, but not at the level we need him at. We need Devon to step up and our young big guys to step up.”

- 6-foot-2 sophomore Sam Mills (pictured) is expected to take the next step. “He had a tremendous trip,” Giannini said. “He’s going to have a good jump. He was very good for us as a freshman, but he’ll be a good Atlantic 10 combo guard this season.”

- Giannini is excited about the newcomers. Jerrell Wright shot 11-for-12 in the final two games of the trip, and D.J. Peterson played excellent defense. Matt Lopez and Steve Zack are two 7-footers that also showed flashes. “We love our young players,” Giannini said.

- Giannini prefers tripping to Canada as opposed to Europe. “With the traveling, along with the proper amount of rest, Europe is a minimum of 10 days,” he said. “This was real convenient.”

- La Salle suffered no injuries on the trip. “Thank goodness nothing like that happened,” Giannini said. “Two years ago, we lost more points per game to injury than anyone in the country. At the end of the year, we were missing three 1,000-point scorers.”

- Former Rutgers transfer Earl Pettis played well, as did South Carolina transfer Ramon Galloway, who was recently cleared by the NCAA to play immediately. Sophomore Tyreek Duren has spent the summer working on his strength and conditioning, so he played very little five-on-five before the trip.

CBSSports.com's list of teams taking preseason trips

Photo: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 9, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:09 am

Trippin': Murray State back from Canada

By Jeff Goodman

Steve Prohm caught himself.

``I thought about it the whole time,” said the new Murray State head coach, who took over after Billy Kennedy left for Texas A&M. ``I would have been chasing the guys as an assistant.”

Instead, Prohm ran things for the first time – and the trail run came in Canada over the last few days as the Racers won all three of their games north of the border.

``It was great,” Prohm said. ``Great for me – and even better for our guys.”

What he learned: ``Come January and February, I think we’ll have a chance to be a very good team. I was impressed with the maturity and leadership of our older guys. They did the right thing – and for me, that made me feel good – like things are going to be just like normal.”

What impressed him: Brandon Garrett - ``The biggest thing I worried about was frontcourt depth. Brandon did some really good things for us. He’s 6-9, is long and thin – but did a nice job scoring around the basket and was physical. That was a real bright spot for us.”

What concerned him: Being fundamentally sound. ``I know we’ve only had 10 practices, but if you talk to anyone who knows our program, the one thing they’ll say is that we’ve been fundamentally sound over the last few years. We’re not there yet, but it’s still early.”

- Prohm said that it’s difficult to adjust to the 24-second shot clock and the trapezoid lane. ``The game is so different over there,” he said. ``It’s far more physical.”

- The players had a bowling tournament and were also split into three teams for an Amazing Race – one in which the players had to take pictures of certain things and a stranger had to be in each photo. For instance, the kids had to find someone with a Toronto Blue Jays or Toronto Argonauts jersey and get a picture with that person. ``They loved it,” Prohm said. ``They really bought into it.”

- UMKC transfer Latreze Mushatt, a combo forward, played well on the trip. The 6-foot-5 Mushatt, as a sophomore, was second in scoring (11.3) and also second in rebounding (5.6) at UMKC.

- Everyone went on the trip except for freshman Tyler Rambo, who hasn’t yet been through the NCAA Clearinghouse.

- Look for freshman point guard Zay Jackson to be a significant contributor. ``He’s athletic and can really push the ball in transition. We’re hoping he’ll be an impact freshman for us. He can do some things in transition that we didn’t do last year.”

CBSSports.com list of teams taking preseason trips

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 9, 2011 3:23 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:33 am

Foreign/Preseason trip rundown

By Jeff Goodman

This is the time of year when college basketball teams take trips – whether to Canada or overseas.

Some rave about the bonding between the players and coaches, others speak about the 10 practices prior to the trip – and a few even talk about the cultural experiences gained.

We’ve put together a pretty solid list of the teams who have taken, are in the midst of – and are set to embark on one of these trips.

Feel free to send me an e-mail at jeff.goodman@cbsinteractive.com if I’ve missed anyone:

BCS-affiliated teams
School Location Dates
LSU Italy May 17-27
Mississippi State Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris Aug. 5-15
Villanova France, Netherlands Aug. 7-16
West Virginia Italy Aug. 8-21
Texas A&M Switzerland, France Aug. 8-17
Iowa State Italy Aug. 9-19
Illinois Italy Aug. 10-20
Louisville Bahamas Aug. 10-14
Baylor Toronto Aug. 11-16
DePaul France Aug. 11-21
California Sweden, Norway, Denmark Aug. 12-22
USC Brazil Aug. 12-21
Georgetown China Aug. 13-24
Duke China, Dubai Aug. 14-26
Virginia Tech Canada Aug. 16-18
Oregon Italy Aug. 22-Sept. 2
Stanford Spain Sept. 3-14
Non-BCS-affiliated teams
Northern Iowa Brazil Aug. 1-9
Murray State Canada Aug. 4-9
North Florida Canada Aug. 4-10
La Salle Canada Aug. 6-9
Hawaii China, Japan Aug. 6-21
Wichita State Brazil Aug. 7-18
Ball State Canada Aug. 8-16
Dayton Amsterdam, Paris Aug. 8-18
Illinois State Canada Aug. 8-13
Presbyterian Italy Aug. 8-16
Liberty France, Belgium Aug. 9-17
UTSA Australia Aug. 9-19
Akron Canada Aug. 10-17
Drake Australia, New Zealand Aug. 10-20
Wright State Italy Aug. 10-20
Central Florida Canada Aug. 10-15
Creighton Bahamas Aug. 11-17
Stony Brook Ireland, England, France Aug. 11-22
UMKC Italy Aug. 11-20
Duquesne Canada Aug. 12-15
Elon Germany, Italy Aug. 12-22
Gardner Webb Bahamas Aug. 12-16
Oakland Canada Aug. 13-15
Belmont Italy Aug. 14-23
American Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary Aug. 15-24
BYU Greece Aug. 15-27
Cal Poly Costa Rica Aug. 15-22
Fairfield Italy Aug. 15-25
Middle Tennessee Canada Aug. 15-19
Bowling Green Canada Aug. 16-20
Lamar Canada Aug. 16-19
UNC-Wilmington Bahamas Aug. 16-20
UT-Arlington Vancouver Aug. 16-23
North Dakota State Canada Aug. 17-21
Albany Canada Aug. 19-25
Saint Louis Canada Aug. 19-29
New Hampshire Canada Aug. 24-28
Niagara Canada Aug. 30-Sept. 3
UC Santa Barbara Canada Sept. 3-12
Santa Clara Vancouver Sept. 5-10
Category: NCAAB
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