John Giannini

La Salle releases full 2017-18 schedule

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La Salle releases full 2017-18 schedule

La Salle's full 2017-18 schedule is out and the Explorers are ready to travel.

The Atlantic 10 slate features tough road games at Rhode Island, Richmond and Davidson, while John Giannini's club will play a tip-off tournament in Uncasville, Connecticut, a December tournament in Northern Ireland and a home game in Reading, Pennsylvania.

The good thing: La Salle doesn't have to visit VCU or Dayton, two of the more difficult road stops in the conference.

The Explorers will also play all five of their City 6 foes.

La Salle, which finished 15-15 (9-9 A-10) last season, will be led by 6-foot-7 senior wing B.J. Johnson, a Syracuse transfer who averaged 17.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in his first year with the Explorers.

Here's a look at La Salle's full schedule, which was released Wednesday:

Nov. 11: Saint Peter's

Nov. 13: at Penn

Nov. 16: vs. South Alabama

Nov. 18: vs. Northwestern*

Nov. 19: vs. Texas Tech/Boston College*

Nov. 22: vs. Miami**

Nov. 26: Temple

Dec. 1: vs. Towson***

Dec. 2: vs. Manhattan/Holy Cross***

Dec. 7: Drexel

Dec. 10: at Villanova (Wells Fargo Center)

Dec. 17: Mercer

Dec. 22: at Bucknell

Dec. 30: Saint Louis

Jan. 3: at Rhode Island

Jan. 6: vs. VCU

Jan. 10: at UMass

Jan. 13: at Duquesne

Jan. 17: Fordham

Jan. 20: at Richmond

Jan. 24: UMass

Jan. 31: at Davidson

Feb. 3: Saint Joseph's

Feb. 7: at George Washington

Feb. 10: at Saint Louis

Feb. 13: St. Bonaventure

Feb. 17: George Mason

Feb. 20: Rhode Island

Feb. 24: at Fordham

Feb. 28: Dayton

March 3: at Saint Joseph's

Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament*

Home game in Reading, Pennsylvania**

Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic***

Former La Salle great Donnie Carr returns to alma mater as assistant coach

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Former La Salle great Donnie Carr returns to alma mater as assistant coach

A former La Salle great and Big 5 Hall of Famer is being added to the Explorers' coaching staff.

Head coach John Giannini on Tuesday announced that Donnie Carr would be returning to the program as an assistant coach. Carr, who played four seasons at La Salle from 1996-2000, is one of just six players in program history with over 2,000 career points. 

"Donnie is a La Salle and Big 5 Hall of Famer who has paid his dues in coaching while getting valuable experience and making great contacts," Giannini said in a statement. "He has assisted at the small college level, the Division I level and the highest level of AAU competition. Our relationship has grown over the years and he is the perfect person for our staff at this time. Whether it is in mentoring, skill development or recruiting, he will make our players and program better."

After racking up over 1,000 points in his career at Roman Catholic High School, Carr moved a few miles north up Broad Street and continued to fill it up on Olney Avenue. In four seasons with the Explorers, Carr compiled 2,067 total points and career average of 19.7 points per game.

In addition to being named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in his first season as an Explorer, Carr landed on first team All-Big 5 in each of his four collegiate seasons. 

"Since March 8, 2000, when I played my last game at La Salle in the A-10 Tournament, I have always dreamed of one day getting an opportunity to coach at my alma mater," Carr said. "This is a dream come true, and I'm ready to hit the ground running for our program."

Injuries cut short Carr's professional playing career overseas, which included stops in Turkey and France.

His prior coaching resume includes different stops as an assistant coach at Holy Family University, The Haverford School and Roman Catholic, as well as a two-year stint at Hartford as a coordinator for player devolopment. Carr had recently been named the head basketball coach at Girard College before coming aboard as an assistant coach at La Salle. 

"I'm blessed, honored and thankful for the opportunity that Coach Giannini has entrusted me with," Carr said. "I have always supported Coach Giannini and have the utmost respect and admiration for him. To be given an opportunity to learn from him and the other coaches on the staff is priceless."

La Salle director of basketball operations Matt Bloom moving on to coach Rutgers Prep

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La Salle director of basketball operations Matt Bloom moving on to coach Rutgers Prep

A familiar face will be missing from the La Salle bench next season. Matt Bloom, a member of Dr. John Giannini's staff for the past six years, has accepted the head boy's basketball coaching job at Rutgers Prep in Somerset, New Jersey. He's served as the men's team's director of basketball operations for the last three year's at La Salle.

"I can't put into words how hard Matt worked for us and how much he cared," Giannini said in a press release. "I appreciate all his efforts and friendship. The number of daily activities he organized and the number of people he worked with seems countless. Matt took care of every single detail in our program. We will miss him, but we are excited for his new challenge. I'm sure he will do great things."

Bloom's duties as director of basketball operations had focused heavily on players' schedules — cooridnating class, practice, workouts, commuty service and media responsibilities. Before that, he was a video coordinator and an academic support assistant. Bloom said he's thankful for the memories the past six years have given him. 

"The relationships I've made at La Salle will last a lifetime and I wish the team the best of luck moving forward," Bloom said.

Prior to coming aboard at La Salle, Bloom spent three seasons at Rutgers University under Fred Hill.