Griffin adds stability

There has been little to smile about for Explorer fans during the first five games of this season. You can point to Jerrell Williams as one of the bright spots early in the season and maybe a couple of more but the buzz around the fans of the program is Kyle Griffin.

When Kyle Griffin first signed with La Salle the word was how good of a shooter he is and how those skills will help the program starved for shooters. While Griffin has showed the ability to drop long range bombs on teams in both his prep school days and early in his college career, it has been his ability to run the point guard position and stabilize a team which is obviously starved for point guard skills as well. With the injury to last year's starting point guard Ruben Guillandeaux, Rodney Green has tried to fill that role the best that he can. Despite his best efforts, it is painfully obvious that Green is not ready to run the point guard position at this level.

Enter Kyle Griffin who played just 27 minutes in his first three games, and at times showed the butterflies expected of a freshman playing in his first collegiate experience. Since the first three games where he played just spot duty, Griffin has averaged 22 minutes in the last two games, both La Salle victories, and has dished out 9 assists to just one turnover in those games. Even more impressive has been his demeanor on the court, steadying a rocky ship and providing leadership for a team starving for someone to be a leader. Griffin is among the vocal leaders on the team always urging his teammates from the bench when not on the floor and always directing when on the floor. His key basket on a driving left handed lay-up where he switched hands as the defender approached against Central Connecticut gave La Salle much needed breathing room. Then his two free throws sealed the game and La Salle walked away with its third win and second consecutive win of the season.

This experience and confidence will serve Griffin and the Explorers well as they head into the more demanding portion of their out of conference schedule before returning home in January. With the expected return of Ruben Guillandeaux as early as tomorrow, how much Griffin plays remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, he has shown that he deserves playing time and a lot of it and is a player that will give the Explorers smart and heady play when he is on the floor and has gone from a freshman bench player to a critical part in the success of the La Salle basketball team this season.

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