Surveying the La Salle recruiting landscape

Coach John Giannini has two scholarships to give this spring. However, some of the possible targets for those scholarships may mean a possible wait for the La Salle coaching staff and fans. With just a week and a half to go until the signing period starts are the Explorers any closer to finding out who the next future Explorers will be?

With Jerrell Williams, Terrell Williams, and Kyle Griffin already in the fold, Coach John Giannini has been beating the bushes trying to land the next crop of future Explorers. While some high school prospects have been targeted, they have decided to go elsewhere or are long shots to join the Explorers at this time. Therefore the staff looks to be going the JUCO and/or transfer route for help. It appears a pure point guard is one area the staff has focused their attention on and while some look to be out of reach at this point, plenty of options still remain.

Gone is Gary Correia who verballed to Massachusetts a few weeks ago. Correia was a teammate of the Williams twins at Northfield Mt. Hermon School. While he was not a pure point guard he played a high level of competition as a point guard and is a terrific shooter which is something La Salle needs. La Salle looks to be out of the picture with Dematha Catholic High School guard Jeff Peterson. He seems enamored with Iowa but that situation is shaky due to the recent departure of former Hawkeye coach Steve Alford. Peterson recently indicated he is willing to wait until a new coach is hired to see if Iowa's new coach has interest in him. If that is not the case, fellow A-10 school St. Louis may get his commitment. Peterson is originally from Missouri and that may give the Billikens an edge over everyone except Iowa. Peterson is not planning on taking any more trips which does not bode well for La Salle getting involved further with him.

With high school point guards becoming less of a possibility Giannini continues to turn up the heat on JUCO players. Kechan Myers has been eyed by La Salle since January. Indications were that Myers may opt to join his former JUCO coach Scott Monarch who is an assistant at the University of New Orleans. However, as of today that has not come to fruition and La Salle remains a possible destination for Myers. Giannini has recently gotten involved with 5"8 mighty-mite Omar Johnson from Barton Community College. Johnson played for Simon Gratz in high school and originally signed with Tennessee-Chattanooga but decided to go JUCO and was named to the All Jayhawk Conference First Team as well as first team All Region IV. During his sophomore year he averaged over 17 points per game as well as 6 assists. In addition to La Salle, Rhode Island, Texas A&M Corpus-Christi and Cleveland State are recruiting Johnson. Giannini continues to keep in touch with ex-Roman Catholic guard Ray "Doodles" Sims who is prepping this year at Boys to Men Academy in Chicago. Sims, if offered, most likely would jump at the scholarship. The fact that this hasn't happened yet may be an indication that other recruits are ahead of Sims for the point guard scholarship.

Giannini is looking outside the area for possible big-man help. He flew to Milwaukee two weeks ago to meet with 6"10 rising center Montrell Scott from King/Pius 11 high School. Clark visited Iowa State in the fall and has a bunch of Midwest mid-major schools pursuing him. However, Clark does expect to qualify this year and would come to La Salle most likely as a Prop 48 if does commit to the Explorers. He is described as a long-armed athletic big man who could dominate at the schools currently recruiting him. In addition to Clark, La Salle has interest in 6"8 JUCO power forward Ejike Hart from Hillsboro Community College in Florida. Hart averaged 10 points and 10 rebound per game this past season and was first team all-conference. He is from the city and country as former Explorer James Jordan in Liberia. He originally committed to Houston before de-committing and verbal ling to South Florida. He is re-opening his recruitment due to the coaching change at South Florida. Hart is described as a freakish athlete.

Now we get to the possibility of a transfer. Many transfers have not even been announced yet and will not be until the end of the spring semesters. If La Salle has a scholarship available in March it may be a safe bet that Giannini has something up his sleeve. I do not believe he will hold a scholarship unless he cannot fill a spot. This team still has too many needs.

Due to the fact the La Salle is involved with so many JUCO's and possible transfers Explorer fans may have to wait a little for a commitment. Both take some time to finalize with regard to admissions and getting releases. Any early commitments in the next couple of weeks most likely will come from a high school or prep player.

ExplorerHoopReport will keep you updated as recruiting news breaks.