Recruiting picture expected to clear soon

With at least two scholarships to give out, the La Salle coaching staff has been very active this spring identifying and evaluating potential targets. With a month to go in the spring signing period Explorer recruiting targets will be making decision soon. Who are the main targets and what are La Salle chances for landing them?

Since mid-season Explorer's head coach John Giannini has been upfront and honest about the program's need to find a small guard to defend and play against the conference's smaller guards. For much of the 2006-2007 season La Salle was hurt repeatedly by small and quick guards who were able to penetrate the basketball at will against La Salle's defensive sets.

Help may be on the way. The Explorers are actively looking at two JUCO point guards to fill one of their open scholarships. 6"0 Norristown, PA native Willis Gardner is one of those recruiting targets. Gardner was the California Coast Conference's Player of the Year while playing his sophomore year at Ohlone Junior College. He averaged 10.2 pts/game and led Ohlone to a 28-4 record, their best ever. Gardner is currently visiting Wright State and also has interest from Fresno State and Long Beach State. This race may come down to Wright State and La Salle where the Raiders can offer a potential starting spot and the Explorers a chance to come home and play. Gardner's game has really blossomed since high school. He is considered a pass first point guard.

The Explorers are also recruiting 5"10 North Carolina native DiJuan Harris. Harris was a qualifier out of high school and just completed his freshman year and Hillsboro Community College in Florida where he averaged 9.5 pts/game and over 6 assists per game. He also grabbed an impressive 2.3 steals per game. Harris verballed to Charlotte back in March but they did not have a scholarship to offer him so he apparently has re-opened his recruitment and is now considering James Madison, Houston, and Appalachian State along with La Salle. James Madison recently took a commitment from Nevada point guard Heiden Ratner which may indicate they are out of the running for Harris.

The frontcourt could be filled this spring with a transfer, a high school player, or a JUCO. The recruiting situation in the frontcourt appears to be much more fluid. As many La Salle fans know, Giannini likes to use transfers to upgrade the roster. Source indicate a transfer is very possible but it may not happen until August after college summer sessions are over.

In the mix remains Milwaukee high school product Montrell Clark. He is considered among the best available post players in the country but may not qualify. La Salle apparently may be willing to take him as a prop if he chooses to go to college next year. He visited Iowa State in the fall but his recruiting remains in question due to the possibility of not qualifying. If he does commit to La Salle he would not see the floor until 2008-2009. This spring 6"8 power forward Nedeljko Golubovic from Findlay Prep in Nevada has La Salle on his short list along with Idaho and New Hampshire. While it appeared that La Salle's interest in him had somewhat cooled, he is a guy that might spur interest from La Salle again with the speculation and rumors that Brian Grimes may not return to La Salle He is described as a bigger version of Mike St. John. He may be an easy commitment given the recent coaching change at Idaho. If La Salle would offer he may accept fairly quickly. .

Giannini was recently at a junior college showcase for unsigned junior college players so he is obviously scouring every possible corner to improve the talent and fill needs within the program. At one time he had interest in 6"8 power forward Ejike Hart from Hillsboro CC and a teammate of current target Harris. However, indications are that Hart will choose from Central Michigan or New Mexico next week. There has been no indication that he was offered by La Salle. Also, 6"10 Dusko Stojnic from Des Moines Area Community College who commited to Wyoming in the fall has been realeased from his LOI due to the coaching change there. La Salle had interest in him prior to his commitment. With his release it will be interesting to see if the Explorers get back involved with him.

While the guard position looks to play itself out in the next couple of weeks, the frontcourt may take till the end of the signing period or even into the end of the summer to finalize itself. ExplorerHoopReport will keep you posted and report on any possible commitments or breaking news as soon as they happen.

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