Posts for la salle

Is ‘City of Basketball Love’ Ending?

Chris Jastrzembski - October 18, 2018

This was something that caught my eye last night.

(EDIT: The tweet has been deleted)

I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a “thanks and good bye” message to me. And some Inquirer writers also makes it seem like the popular college basketball site is ending.

If you try to go on their website, you’re greeted with a SportsEngine login page– which is what hosted the site. That’s not the same as sections and articles on the site. They work fine, as shown with the high school page. (EDIT: That page now redirects you to the SportsEngine login as well).

The account tweeted a story on Sean Yoder committing to Navy earlier yesterday, something that was posted on Tuesday. They were also in the midst of their 2018-19 college previews, which just began with Drexel on Monday.

The site’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, Josh Verlin, has his Twitter account inactive. Back in June, he wrote a post on the sixth anniversary of the site about battling depression.

This spring has been a trying one in my private life, and that’s had a major impact on my ability to run the business at the level I have been over the first five years and change. At first, I just tried to ignore it and push through, working as much as I could, but ultimately it was overwhelming, and I had to back off significantly.

As I’ve posted on social media several weeks back, I’ve dealt with chronic depression since my early teens. The combination of a recent breakup and a search for a new place to live, along with my general stress about growing this business and making its best that it could be — a stress that’s always at least in the back of my mind — brought me into a bad place. And I’ve learned enough about myself over the years to know when I need to take a couple steps back and let things settle out. So that’s what I did.

Though I know that the last two months have been necessary for my mental health and just to get my private life in order, I still feel as though I’ve let down all the players, coaches, parents and fans who have relied on our site’s steady presence throughout the years. And I’m sure people will tell me that I don’t need to feel this way, my health is my priority, etc., and I get that. But I still feel badly. So there you have it.

A few things. First off, I hope everything with Josh is good. I’ve read his work on CoBL as well as when he joined the Inquirer last year. He does a great service to the high school and college basketball scene.

Second, it would suck to see the site go right before the start of the hoops season. I’ve been a fan of the site since I was a junior at La Salle College High School, and it was a blessing to have a different voice dedicated to the sport. Talking to him a few times while running the La Salle Sports Twitter account– Josh is a genuine guy. I’ll miss the site, and so will the local college hoops scene.

UPDATE: Since the post was published, the account tweeted directly to me. I tried reaching out to them but was blocked by the account shortly after (I have since been unblocked).

They also replied to their last tweet with a grim outlook on sports journalism.

UPDATE #2: Looks like the site is done, according to the Twitter account.

There’s also more tweets coming in. Some people close to him think it’s not Josh tweeting from the account, but it does not appear to be the case. They have since all been deleted.

UPDATE #3: The CoBL website home page shows this.

If you Google the site, the sections don’t work. Some articles are still accessible via Twitter.

La Salle Found Their Man

Kevin Kinkead - April 9, 2018

He was right here in Philadelphia.

Ashley Howard, Jay Wright’s top assistant at Villanova, will take over as the Explorers’ next head basketball coach following the departure of Dr. John Giannini after 14 seasons.

You might not know much about him, but you’ve probably seen a lot of him, speaking with Wright on the Nova bench from 2013 to 2018, a stretch that featured a lot of winning and very little losing.

Howard is a Philly native, a Bonner and Drexel grad who saw a collegiate playing career with the Dragons cut short when he was diagnosed with a heart condition. He took an assistant coaching job at La Salle in 2004, went back to Drexel in 2008 in a similar role, and then joined up with Wright five years ago.

Josh Verlin at City of Basketball Love, my go-to site for local hoops, wrote a bit about Howard’s candidacy for the job:

“Ask anybody around Philly hoops which area assistant coach was like to become a head coach, and Ashley Howard was the first name out of his or her mouth.

A poll last August had Howard as one of the nine assistant coaches voted “most likely to become a coaching star” at some point in his career. Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel had Howard fifth on his list of 12 assistants ready for head coaching looks this offseason. Like Baker Dunleavy, who left Jay Wright’s staff to take over the Quinnipiac job last offseason, it seemed almost inevitable that this was the year that Howard would make the jump himself.

So when La Salle’s head coaching job opened up, Howard’s name immediately came to mind as one of the top potential candidates. Former La Salle star Tim Legler, who had NBA playing and AAU coaching experience but none on a Division I sideline, became a hot name as well, and (Athletic Director Bill) Bradshaw also brought in Duke associate head coach Nate James for an interview.

But there’s no denying all the intangibles Howard had, and as long as he wanted the job — which clearly, he did — then it was going to be his job to lose.”

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John Giannini and La Salle Agree to Part Ways

Kevin Kinkead - March 23, 2018

I thought it was going to be a nice and quiet Friday afternoon.

First, the Michael Bennett thing, then news of Dr. John’s departure from La Salle.

It’s being called a mutual parting of ways, according to a statement released by the university that includes quotes from the longtime coach:

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The Big Five: Conference Tournament Outlooks for Villanova, Penn, and three Underachievers

Kevin Kinkead - March 7, 2018

Let’s talk about college basketball.

We really haven’t done much of anything on it this season, outside of the occasional Villanova mention, because we were preoccupied with your Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

And outside of the Wildcats, it was a down year for the Big 5 and Drexel, a crop that isn’t putting multiple teams in the big dance without pulling some Jon Dorenbos-level conference tournament magic, starting tonight and tomorrow. Temple and Saint Joe’s didn’t give us much this season, while Penn put together an excellent year amid very little press and fanfare.

Let’s take a look at where each squad stands, as we begin what I think is one of the best sporting weeks of the year. I put the conference tournament brackets below each section, courtesy of CBS Sports.

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Celebrate the Best Philly Sports Team of the Year with This Commemorative DVD

Kyle Scott - October 23, 2013

I’m trying to reconcile the cognitive dissonance of that headline and the fact that we’re talking about La Salle basketball. But ’tis true– your greatest Philly sports moment of the year, thus far, and most likely come December 31, is The Southwest Philly Floater.

The folks over at La Salle have put together a commemorative DVD, just in time for the holidays!

La Salle Athletics is excited to announce the release of a commemorative DVD highlighting the 2012-13 men’s basketball season. SWEET! runs approximately 70 minutes and chronicles the season from its opening tip-off to the final buzzer.

The DVD contains never-before seen interviews with head coach Dr. John Giannini and several players as well as video highlights from every game and exclusive, behind-the-scenes content. It is narrated by men’s basketball PA announcer Kevin Casey and was produced by Molly Gallagher.

Gotta say– I grew some respect for the La Salle folks last spring. They were genuinely excited to be in the Tournament and didn’t rub it in to fans of other schools (like you St. Joe’s folks may have done…). And the sentiment was mutual among alumni of the other Big 5 schools and Drexel. Had to root for La Salle, Tyrone Garland and his Cousin Bern.

The DVD is $20. The money goes to the school. Probably better than the Phillies’ Home Companion this year. Go buy one.

Big 5 Teams are Going to Play a Ton of Games on National TV

Kyle Scott - September 6, 2013

I’ll see you over on FOX, Erin

For all the worry about conference realignment hurting non-powerhouse football schools (or just non-football schools), like those in the Big 5 and Drexel, things shook out surprisingly well. The A-10 has an ESPN-NBC-CBS Sports deal and the Big East has a FOX-CBS deal, meaning dozens of local games will be broadcast on national TV.

All of sudden, ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPN U aren’t the only options for nationally televised games. Oddly, the TV revenue that helped break apart conferences and hurt smaller programs also helped those same smaller programs get exposure. Villanova will play every one of its 31 regular season games on national TV (most on FOX Sports 1). Temple will play over 20 games on national TV (most on ESPN channels). La Salle will have at least 15 (a smattering of ESPN, FOX, CBS and NBC networks). And even little St. Joe’s (sorry, can’t help myself) will have around a dozen (ESPN, CBS and NBC networks). And then there’s Penn!

As a Nova guy, I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out for the Big East. It could have been very bad for schools like Villanova, Georgetown and St. Johns, but the conference avoided doom by A) keeping the Big East name, B) keeping Madison Square Garden for the tournament, C) adding relatively notable teams like Xavier and Butler, and (D) signing a deal with FOX Sports, which has a ton of money invested in its new networks. I mean, look at this:

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 3.58.19 PM

Yeah, the ACC and ESPN are still king. But FOX Sports 1 is partially building their network around Villanova, Georgetown and St. John’s. Fantastic!

ESPN College GameDay Coming to The Palestra for Temple-La Salle

Kyle Scott - August 14, 2013

The last time College GameDay was in town

This is cool. Because I’m a snob, I think that every College GameDay in Philadelphia should include Villanova… but still, this is cool: ESPN College GameDay is coming to The Palestra for Temple-La Salle on January 18.

From La Salle:

Tickets for the game will be split evenly between the two schools and the student section behind the ESPN GameDay set will also be divided equally.

The game at the Palestra will conclude ESPN’s “My Home Court” initiative – a week-long celebration of college basketball’s greatest venues.

Oddly, the game won’t be ESPN’s featured matchup that day. The show will air at 10 a.m. and the game will be at 12 p.m., rather than the usual prime time start at College GameDay sites.

The night game that night is Louisville-UCONN.

Video: One Shining Moment

Kyle Scott - April 9, 2013

How does the Southwest Philly Floater not make One Shining Moment? No shoutout to Cousin Bern? Tyrone Garland’s mom? Outrage.