By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The La Salle Explorers will look to start the season with a 2-0 mark on Sunday as they host Central Connecticut State.
The Explorers haven’t played since beating Delaware to open the season last Saturday (November 10th). Head coach Dr. John Giannini talks about having more than a week off between games one and two.
“That time could actually help us,” Giannini tells KYW Newsradio. “We have a pretty focused group, they tend to practice pretty well. Hopefully the week off allowed us to work on some things and get a little healthier.”
Listen To Podcast With Coach Dr. John Giannini:
In that win over Delaware, the Explorers were paced by a breakout performance from sophomore center Steve Zack who finished with career highs of 19 points and 8 rebounds in 38 minutes. He averaged just 1.4 points and 2.3 rebounds a game last season as a freshman.
“His development has been terrific,” Giannini says. “Steve is just in much better shape, he’s much stronger and he’s much more knowledgeable about college basketball and how we want to play than when he came here straight out of high school. He’s just much better. He’s worked hard, he’s highly motivated, he’s a great kid, he has a lot of potential.”
Central Connecticut State is 1-2 on the season. They picked up that one win on Thursday night when they beat Brown 86-71.
“They are almost always good in their conference (NEC),” Giannini says. “They have a coach, Howie Dickenman, who I think is one of the better coaches, and tougher coaches around. If you look at their consistency year-to-year, they are definitely one of the better teams in their conference all the time.
“They’re really dangerous. They pride themselves on defense and toughness. They are all strong, tough athletic kids.”
La Salle and Central Connecticut State tip-off at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.