Delaware (0-0) at La Salle (0-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 10, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tom Gola Arena (4,000) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Delaware 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Away Record: Delaware 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Neutral Record: Delaware 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Conference Record: Delaware 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Series Record: La Salle leads, 19-4.
GAME NOTES: The La Salle Explorers are set to begin their 2012-2013 season as they welcome the Delaware Blue Hens to Tom Gola Arena for a season-opening non-conference bout.
Delaware is projected to be one of the top teams in the Colonial Athletic Association this season as it returns the core of last year's 18-win team. The Blue Hens have back 87 percent of their scoring and 81.9 percent of the rebounding from the squad that finished 12-6 in CAA action. The only starter lost from last season is Khalid Lewis, who ironically transferred to La Salle during the offseason. Coach Monte Ross has never won a season-opener in any of his previous six seasons at the helm of Delaware's program.
La Salle has a whole lot to build on after finishing with 20 wins and a winning percentage above .600 for the first time in 20 years last season. It was the best performance by the school since it entered the Atlantic 10 Conference in 1995. Coach Dr. John Giannini has a 119-128 record in seven seasons at La Salle and a career record of 412-227, which includes stints at Rowan and Maine.
The Blue Hens have a dangerous one-two punch in Devon Saddler (18.8 ppg) and Jamelle Hagins (12.4 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 95 blocks). Saddler is a lethal scoring guard with the ability to put the ball in the basket from anywhere on the court. Hagins is a beast on the boards which led to his double-double average. Both were Preseason All-CAA First Team selections. Jarvis Threatt was named honorable mention. Threatt is going to need to be a steady floor general in his sophomore season after showing promise with 70 assists as a freshman. The duo of three-point shooting sophomore Kyle Anderson and bruising senior forward Josh Brinkley round out Delaware's starting five.
Ramon Galloway (14.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.5 apg) is the top returning scorer but provides much more than that with strong rebounding and ball movement from the wing. The former USC Trojan really improved his outside shooting last season and posted 28 points in the team's win over Carleton in the preseason. Tyreek Duran (13.2 pg, 3.4 rpg, 4.0 apg) is another Explorer with great versatility. Sam Mills (10.6 ppg) is a sniper from beyond the arc, as it D.J. Peterson, who drained 48.0 percent shooting percentage from beyond the arc in 2012-2013.
The Explorers struggled in their preseason game against a weak opponent, but they hopefully worked the kinks out during their come from behind victory. Delaware is going to be a very difficult opponent with Hagins and Saddler causing mismatch problems. Galloway needs to deliver a tremendous game for La Salle to begin the season on the right note.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Delaware 73, La Salle 70
11/10 10:32:43 ET