Recruiting picture getting clearer

With three early signings in the bag, La Salle coach John Giannini has evaluated his team as well as potential recruits and it now looks like he and his staff have settled on a list of potential recruits to pursue.

What is obvious about their spring recruiting list is that point guard is a definite target for the staff. Four players are high on the Explorers list led by three Philadelphia area players. Ray Sims, aka "Doodles", played high school basketball at Roman Catholic for Dennis Seddon and is now prepping at Boys to Men Academy in Chicago. Sims averaged 10.6 points per game for Roman Catholic and eventually led them to the Philadelphia Catholic League finals before bowing to Neumann-Goretti. At 5"9 Sims does not fit the prototypical John Giannini guard. He does look to pass first and has the speed needed to guard smaller guards in the Atlantic 10, which the La Salle staff is desperately searching for. Sims, as described by one recruiting guru, has great court vision and the heart of a lion. Here is receiving attention from a lot of schools in the Colonial conference.

Another Philly guard on the wish list is 6"0 point guard Kechan Meyers from Arkansas-Fort Smith junior college. Myers played originally for Engineering & Science averaging 21.5 pts/gm his senior year. After failing to qualify, Myers attended Panola Junior College before landing at Arkansas-Fort Smith. He is currently averaging 13.3 pts/gm while shooting 36% from the field and 60% from the stripe. He also leads the team in assists handing out 3.7 per game. However, Myers is a physical defensive minded guard who locks down opposing top scorers. The issue with Myers is that he needs to gets his degree to be eligible to transfer to a Division I school. Myers was recently named the 26th best JUCO sophomore in the country according to one publication.

Back on the Explorers radar is 6"6 Terrence Roderick, now at Rise Academy in Philadelphia. Roderick, originally from Allentown, has always had high major skills. A big guard who can shoot, handle, play defense, rebound, and get his teammates involved is always a wanted player. Allen's problem has always been the ability to get eligible, if Roderick is eligible expect La Salle, Providence, and Xavier to be at the forefront of his recruiting. Roderick was recruited by La Salle last year but needed prep school to become Division I eligible.

Despite an article two weeks ago that did not list La Salle as one of his suitors, Northfield Mt. Hermon point guard and Atlanta native Gary Correia is a major target for La Salle. A teammate, of La Salle signees Terrell Williams and Jerrell Williams, Correia has excelled against the country's top prep competition; originally he committed to Drexel but has since opened up his recruiting. He has a very good handle, can shoot from distance, and is very quick. When EHR watched the Blair Academy in December Correia was the second best player on the floor that night after Jerrell Williams. He would be a great get for La Salle if Giannini got him. Providence, VCU, and Georgia State are the hardest pursuers along with La Salle.

In the frontcourt, the lack of a skilled available big man has the staff focused on the best available player. As EHR reported last week, the staff has turned up the heat on the best Philly basketball prospect available, Northeast High School forward Sean Evans. Also a high Division I football player Evans must choose soon between the two sports and recent indications are that basketball will be his choice. Football players will a sign binding LOI on February 7th. If Evans does not sign we will know which sport he intends to play. Sources indicated that Evans was watched by La Salle assistant coach Walt Fuller and Evans played very well. However, when head coach John Giannini saw him the next week Evans gave one of his worst performances of the season. The question is whether Giannini has cooled due to Evans' performance. La Salle could be in the driver's seat in his recruitment if they push hard for him.

The Explorers still are involved with 6"6 Darrion Pellum from Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia according to his coach Richard Moore. Pellum visited La Salle in December and still want him according to Moore. However, sources close to the program indicated that if Pellum did not commit relatively soon after his visit he would most likely go elsewhere. Providence, VCU, Miami, and to a lesser extent North Carolina State are actively recruiting Pellum.

La Salle has also extended a scholarship offer to American Christian wing Marcus Relphorde. The 6"6 Chicago native appears to be a long shot after revealing he would like to return home to play college basketball. Fellow Atlantic 10 member St. Louis has been mentioned as a possible destination.

Who La Salle gets to fill the remaining two scholarships in the spring is still up in the air. However, one can guess a point guard will be one followed by a front -court player. Who shakes out of the tree for the last one most likely will be the best skilled player Giannini can find.

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