Ruben Guillandeaux Returns

For many one of the keys to the Explorers' season was the continued development of Ruben Guillandeaux. Many thought this would be his breakout year. After 11 games it was far from that as the junior guard has struggled with consistency and confidence issues. Yesterday, Guillandeaux gave everyone a taste of his talent.

Coming off an erratic performance against Mount St. Mary's two days before Christmas, the Explorers needed a better performance against the Manhattan Jaspers. With only a couple of games to go before the start of Atlantic 10 play, La Salle needs to play crisper and less mistake-prone basketball. They need players to step up and become go-to scorers and defenders. They need a leader, and they need other players to step up their game and take some of the pressure off of Rodney Green and Kimmani Barrett. Yesterday in front of a sparse New Year's Eve crowd. They got one to step up and deliver. Enter junior guard Ruben Guillandeaux. Plagued by inconsistency and confidence problems all year Guillandeaux was terrific collecting 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists to just 2 turnovers as he carved up the Jasper defense with a sweet-shooting stroke and got the ball to his teammates in positions to easily score the basketball. In one word, Ruben was fantastic.

Playing without frontcourt contributors Jerrell Williams (back) and Paul Johnson (concussion) La Salle relied on their guards to score the basketball while head coach John Giannini gave deep frontcourt sub Terrell Williams increased playing time with the absence of Johnson and Terrell's twin brother. All Williams did was turn in his strongest performance of the year with 14 points on perfect shooting. In addition walk-on 6"8 junior Steve Weingarten got in on the action playing the most minutes of the year. In 12 minutes of action Weingarten collected three rebounds and played solid defense while showing a decent handle. Big man Vernon Goodridge continued his fine play dominating the smallish Manhattan frontcourt with 15 points and 6 boards in just 23 minutes of action.

After their sloppy play against the Mount, La Salle committed just 12 turnovers to 20 assists against Manhattan and also received strong play from Rodney Green who sliced through the Jaspers for easy transition buckets and flights to the rim on his way to 18 points. In all 5 different Explorers reached double figures but the star was Guillandeaux. His outside shot opened up the middle for La Salle and he also took over many of the point guard responsibilities and ran the ship to almost perfection. With A-10 play just around the corner, and an opening date with Temple, La Salle will need Guillandeaux if it is to make some noise in conference play. The Explorers are too easy to defend without his contributions but if La Salle can get from big Ruben what it got yesterday, there just may be some hope for some of the noise to be heard from 20th & Olney.

Mount St. Mary's Players of the Game :
Third Star: Vernon Goodridge
Second Star: Kimmani Barrett
First Star: Rodney Green

Manhattan Players of the Game :
Third Star: Vernon Goodridge
Second Star: Rodney Green
First Star: Ruben Guillandeaux

ExplorerHoopReport Most Valuable Player Award Standings for the Season

Kimmani Barrett – 21 points
Rodney Green – 20 points
Vernon Goodridge – 11 points
Yves Mekongo Mbala – 8 points
Ruben Guillandeaux – 5 points
Jerrell Williams – 5 points
Paul Johnson – 2 points

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