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Know the opponent, round 1 edition.

Cats face La Salle (pronounced La Sal) in the first round. TB answered questions from Philahoops and Philahoops answered questions from the intern.


Joe Fedorowicz writes for and initiated an exchange with BOTC regarding the game today. Thanks Joe!

TB'S Answers are here.

Intern: What is the school known for?

JF: La Salle is a small, liberal arts Catholic school in North Philadelphia that began as La Salle College. The basketball team was the 1953 NIT champion and 1954 NCAA champion. They returned to the Championship game in 1955. Tom Gola, one of the top 50 basketball players of all time, was the Player of the Year that season.

Gola is one of three players at La Salle to have held that honor, second only to Duke. Michael Brooks and Lionel Simmons also won the award.

Intern: From the reports La Salle's tallest player is 6' 6" Can they play against teams that use a 2 guard, 3 forward line up? What if a team can switch between big line ups and small line ups?

JF: La Salle's tallest player is Steve Zack, but Zack has missed the last few games with a sprained ligament in his foot. Jerrell Wright is a 6-foot-8 power forward that plays taller. La Salle will mostly run four guards and if the game starts to get out of hand, they will go to five.

Intern: What offense does La Salle run? And which players should we keep our eyes on?

JF: La Salle primarily runs a dribble-penetration offense and sometimes throws a high-ball screen in there. They will spread teams out and try to shoot over them, something that they were very successful doing. Ramon Galloway, Tyrone Garland and Tyreek Duren are the best guard set you've never heard of, but these guys can play. All three of them can shoot the three and finish at the rim.

Intern: On defense, does La Salle have a player (or players) that we should watch?

Sam Mills is the defensive threat (and is a sharpshooter recently). Mills will likely cover McGruder and will present an in-your-face approach. Look for him to force the guard into corner.

Intern: Do you consider this a good season, or a great season for La Salle?

This is a great season for La Salle. They won 20+ games for the second consecutive year and made the NCAA tournament for the first time in 21 years.