La Salle basketball: Explorers not starting practice early

La Salle Basketball

La Salle head coach John Giannini is sticking to his original practice plan this fall (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Many teams started practice this week after the NCAA made a new rule allowing all basketball teams to practice 42 days before their first regular season game; the La Salle basketball team is not one of those teams.

“I’m a supporter of the new rule, but not for us,” said Coach Dr. John Giannini.

Giannini’s reasoning for not utilizing the extra time is that La Salle is an older team and he is confident that they have enough experience where another few weeks of practice won’t really affect them.

“I don’t think the team needs another two weeks of doing the same things they’ve been doing for the past three years,” he said.

The new NCAA practice rule was decided in early May and was designed to allow teams to have a flexible preseason practice schedule making room for some off days, instead of practicing every possible day.

According to Giannini the rule is still a good one because it allows coaches to get creative with their coaching and it can be extremely beneficial to coaches who have a younger team.

Redshirt sophomore Rohan Brown shares the same opinion, “I feel it is a great thing for players and coaches; coaches don’t have to worry about breaking certain rules relating to how many players can be with a coach at practice.”

The Explorer’s are OK with their current practice plan that involves hitting it hard right away in September. “We’re small so we play a very aggressive style of pressure defense, and we try to set the tone early with intensity,” said Giannini.

La Salle will instead use the next few weeks to continue to get their freshman up to speed and have individual practices.  They will also take this time to rest up for the big preseason.

“We’re pretty banged up right now,” said. Giannini.  He explained that because of the speed and intensity they’ve been pushing at practice, there have been harder hits on defense causing some players to have a few bumps and bruises.

The team will start heading into full practices October 11; a little less than a month from their first exhibition game versus Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Nov. 2.

Although most schools have begun their practices, including Philly schools, Temple and Villanova, the players at La Salle are ok with Giannini’s decision.

“Coach knows what is best for our team at the end of the day,” said senior guard Taylor Dunn.