During LaSalle’s open practice at the Sprint Center, the Explorers were practicing what they do best – shooting. Leading scorer Ramon Galloway was having fun launching 3-pointers while three grade school ball boys were trying to defend him. A LaSalle assistant was coaching up the defenders and offering encouragement.
Less than 24 hours earlier, LaSalle was getting ready to take the court in Dayton, Ohio - 600 miles to the east – for a first-round game with Boise State. The Explorers won 80-71, making a season high 63 percent of their shots. After the game, LaSalle flew to K.C. and arrived at 4:30 a.m. local time.
“At this point in time you don't have no time to be tired, sore,” Galloway said during the team’s news conference before practice. “You can't have any negative energy. It's all positive from the players and the coaches.”
“We feel blessed,” LaSalle coach John Giannini said. “We feel like we're on top of the world. We're not feel sorry for ourselves at all. We just have to be careful with our energy levels being that no one else had to play last night. And these teams also didn't have the travel, we did. We're going to take it very easy.”
No. 13 seed LaSalle faces No. 4 seed Kansas State at 2:10 p.m. Friday. The last time the Explorers won two games in the NCAA Tournament was 1955, the year after they won the 1954 national championship at Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium … a few blocks from the Sprint Center.
“We all wanted to get LaSalle back to being a basketball program, being mentioned with the top teams in the country because we absolutely can play with anybody in the country,” Galloway said.