Grading A10 Non-Conference Performances: La Salle
The La Salle Explorers finished the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 4-6 record after losing their last 5 games. The Explorers’ most recent loss came on the road to Florida Gulf Coast where the Eagles cruised to a 86-77 victory. La Salle sits at the bottom of the Atlantic 10 with just 4 wins and looks like it may struggle to compete in the conference this year. Finishing in the top half would be a victory.
La Salle didn’t face very many tough opponents and was therefore unable to get a good win. The Explorers played two teams in the RPI Top 100 and lost to both of them: Miami (FL), Villanova. Those two teams are very good teams, but the rest of La Salle’s schedule wasn’t too difficult.
The Explorers’ best win probably came at the beginning of the season when they took down Towson 78-76. The Tigers are now 10-4 and are in first place in the CAA. Other than that, the Explorers have two wins against sub-.500 teams in bad conferences. They also had a 30 point victory over a Division 3 school.
A game that La Salle definitely should’ve won was a home matchup against Drexel back in December. The Dragons held the Explorers to just 37% shooting from the floor and La Salle hit only 56% of their free throw attempts. In addition, a home loss to Hofstra certainly does not look good. La Salle allowed its opponent to score 84 points on 52% shooting.
The rest of La Salle’s losses are understandable. As already mentioned, the Explorers faced Miami (FL) and Villanova and got taken down easily. Those are both top 25 teams that pack a lot of power. In addition, road losses to Penn and Florida Gulf Coast aren’t too surprising. The Explorers just didn’t have what it took to win tough road games in the non-conference.
La Salle: C-
To be honest, I really don’t think we’ve seen enough of La Salle to make a really good call. The Explorers have only played 10 games and haven’t played too many opponents that are right in their ballpark in terms of skill. I’d like to see how they play against teams like Saint Louis and George Mason before completely dismissing their chances. La Salle will likely struggled in the Atlantic 10, but this team may have what it takes to pull out some key victories here and there.