La Salle Explorers to play in November's Paradise Jam

La Salle Explorers to play in November's Paradise Jam
May 6, 2013, 1:15 pm
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John Giannini's led La Salle to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 21 years in 2013. (AP)

The La Salle Explorers will play in the U.S. Virgin Islands' Paradise Jam in St. Thomas from Nov. 22-25, the university announced in a statement on Monday.

It will be the fourth time the men's basketball team has played in the Paradise Jam since the tournament's inception in 2000.

“This tournament provides us with excellent opponents on a neutral court,” head coach John Giannini said. “It is a great competitive opportunity and strengthens our schedule. The location also provides an opportunity to experience a beautiful place that makes for lifelong memories.”

The Explorers will open play against Morgan State at 9 p.m. on Nov. 22. Vanderbilt and Providence are on La Salle's side of the bracket, while Maryland, Northern Iowa, Loyola Maymount and Marist make up the rest of the tournament.

La Salle last played in the Paradise Jam in 2008, losing to No. 2 UConn and then Southern Miss in overtime, before beating Valparaiso, also in overtime.

The Explorers did not win a game in their trip in 2003. Rasual Butler was named to the all-tournament team in 2001.

La Salle returns the majority of its 2012-13 team that reached the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16. Leading scorer Ramon Galloway and seldom-used reserve Garvin Hunt are no longer with the program.

The rest of the team remains in tact and adds Delaware transfer guard Khalid Lewis and two freshmen -- point guard Amar Stukes (6-1 / La Salle College High School) and big man Tony Washington (6-9 / Miller School, Greenville, SC).