Wednesday August 11th, 2021 – The La Salle University Men’s Basketball program announced their non-conference schedule today. The schedule includes seven home games and three away games. However, the most interesting part of the new schedule is that the home game against Villanova University will be played at the legendary Palestra arena. Along with a scheduled game at the Palestra, La Salle has a good balance of teams that they will face off against.
The full schedule for the La Salle Explorer’s can be seen below:
|vs. Sacred Heart||11/9/2021|
|vs. Villanova (Palestra)||11/28/2021|
|vs. Holy Cross||12/4/20201|
|vs. Fairleigh Dickinson||12/7/2021|
This non-conference schedule is perfect for La Salle. It has a nice of balance in opponents, ranging from teams that La Salle should have confidence in beating to one of the best programs in college basketball. There is no doubt that being in the Big 5 helps out La Salle. It gumtrees a matchup against Villanova, Temple, and Penn; all programs that most A10 schools would love to include in their non-conference schedules. However, La Salle made sure to include plenty of programs that are at their level in order to balance out their schedule strength.
Sacred Heart, Albany, Delaware, Holy Cross, Bucknell, and Drexel are all games that La Salle should expect to win. Especially with their non-conference schedule being predominantly home games. This schedule sets the explorers up nicely to have experience against the best, while also accumulating both wins and momentum as they move toward A10 play.
Playing at the Palestra
The balance in the schedule is the first thing I noticed when I saw the it. However, the item that caught my attention was the game against Villanova at the Palestra. The reason this is significant is because all Big 5 games used to be played at the palestra. Each game was thus a neutral court game for all teams in the Big 5. However, that all changed when in 90’s when the matches were switched from neutral court to traditional home and away series. Each team switching the home and away status every other year.
Because of this, whenever I see a Big 5 game between two teams game who are not Penn I get a little of excitement. The Palestra is the best place to watch college basketball, and it was wrong for that tradition to end. I am glad that La Salle took the advice I gave the Gola Standard a year ago, and moved their most important game to a venue that Alumni would jump through hoops to get to.
With all that said, La Salle fans should be happy with this schedule. They can expect to see their team go into their conference schedule with a winning record. In addition, they will get to see their Explorer’s take on the Villanova Wildcats in the arena that represents everything great about Philly Hoops.