College Basketball Nation: Tyrone Garland

Top things to know from Thursday

March, 29, 2013
Marquette has one of its best days
Marquette will make its second Elite Eight appearance since winning the national championship in 1977, and its first since 2003, after beating Miami handily.

Marquette shot 54 percent, its highest field-goal percentage in an NCAA tournament game since shooting 56.4 percent against Kentucky in the 2003 Elite Eight.

Miami shot 34.9 percent, its lowest in an NCAA tournament game since shooting 33.8 percent against Missouri in 2002.

Marquette scored 1.23 points per possession against Miami, the most the Hurricanes have allowed this season. The Canes were 2-5 this season when allowing more than 1.1 points per possession. Their four worst defensive performances in terms of efficiency came against NCAA tournament teams.

Marquette scored 40 points in the paint Thursday, its most paint points in any game in the past four NCAA tournament appearances and most in its past 12 games overall. The Golden Eagles entered Thursday's game averaging 32.1 paint points per game.

Marquette outscored Miami by 16 points in the paint, tied for the Hurricanes' second-worst paint differential this season. Miami was outscored by a season-high 26 paint points in its loss to Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 13.

An unlikely big-shot-maker
Ohio State advanced to the Elite Eight for the second consecutive season with its second consecutive last-second win. The game-winning 3-pointer by Ohio State's LaQuinton Ross was the first game-tying or go-ahead shot Ross has attempted in the final minute of any game in his career.

Ross joined Marquette's Vander Blue, La Salle's Tyrone Garland, and Buckeyes teammate Aaron Craft as the only players in the past two tournaments to make a potential game-tying or go-ahead field goal in the final 10 seconds of a game. Players have made the last three such shot attempts after making one of the previous 26 dating back to the 2011 tournament.

Also of note: Ohio State's defense stepped up late in possessions in its victory against Arizona on Thursday, limiting the Wildcats to 8-for-29 (27.6 percent) on shots that came after two or more passes, including 4-for-17 (23.5 percent) in the second half. Arizona was more efficient on offense when passing once or fewer, shooting 15-for-23 (65.2 percent) from the field.

Syracuse defense dominates
A No. 1 seed went down as Syracuse handled Indiana with relative ease, holding the Hoosiers to their season low in points, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage.

The Hoosiers fell to 0-7 against Big East teams in the NCAA tournament since beating Syracuse to win the national title in 1987.

Indiana’s 50 points were its second-fewest in an NCAA tournament game in the shot-clock era and its fewest points scored as a No. 1-seeded team.

Indiana shot 28.6 percent and had 16 turnovers against Syracuse's zone. The Hoosiers had nine of their 42 field-goal attempts against the zone blocked. They entered the game shooting 52.8 percent against zone defenses this season, fourth-best in the nation.

Michael Carter-Williams scored 24 points, 39 percent of Syracuse’s total. That’s the sixth-highest percentage of points any player has scored in a win over a No. 1 seed. Carter-Williams had more steals (4) than any of the five players ahead of him.

Easy for Wichita State
Wichita State improved to 4-1 all-time in the Round of 16 with its win over La Salle. It will make its first Elite Eight appearance since 1981.

The victory snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Missouri Valley Conference in Sweet 16 games, with the last win being that Wichita State victory in 1981.

La Salle shot 35.7 percent from the field, its lowest percentage by far in its four NCAA tournament games. The Explorers could not shoot well enough (7-for-28 outside the paint) to offset their being outrebounded by 18 and being outscored in the paint by 14.

Carl Hall dominated the paint in this game, going 7-for-9 on shots there, accounting for 14 of the Shockers' 40 points in the paint.

La Salle says it's no Cinderella

March, 25, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ramon Galloway would like to send a message to the fans, media members and anyone else who might spend the next few days buzzing about the La Salle basketball team.

“We’re not Cinderella,” Galloway said. “We didn’t get lucky. This isn’t a fluke.”

Anyone who has watched the No. 13-seeded Explorers during the NCAA tournament would probably agree, and so would their opponents.

La Salle advanced to the Sweet 16 on Sunday with a 76-74 victory over Ole Miss at the Sprint Center, and it didn’t happen because of a lucky basket at the buzzer or an off night from its opponent.

The Explorers won because they took good shots, kept their poise and got key defensive stops in the game’s waning minutes. Tyrone Garland won it with a layup in traffic just before the final horn.

[+] EnlargeRamon Galloway
Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesRamon Galloway scored a game-high 24 points as the La Salle Explorers beat Ole Miss to advance to the Sweet 16.
“Those are the things good teams do,” said Galloway, who scored a game-high 24 points. “This is Division I basketball. Everyone has great athletes with great skill. Look at Wichita State. They’re winning. Florida Gulf Coast is winning. We’re winning.

“This isn’t a fluke. We’ve thought all year that we could compete with anyone in the country. We just needed our shot.”

La Salle -- which defeated Boise State on Wednesday in the First Four before toppling No. 4 seed Kansas State and No. 12 seed Ole Miss -- advances to play Wichita State this weekend in the Sweet 16 in Los Angeles. The Shockers upset No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Saturday night.

Instead of returning to Philadelphia for a few days, the Explorers will head straight to California from Kansas City. In some ways, that’s unfortunate. Moments after returning to the locker room after Sunday’s win, La Salle players were scrolling through texts and tweets about the celebration that had ensued back on campus.

“Riots, signs, parties, people all out in the streets -- the whole bit,” guard Sam Mills said. “This is one of the craziest feelings we’ve had in our whole lives. We’d love to [travel] back and celebrate with them, but we’re not finished yet.

“We’re still on a mission.”

La Salle seemed like a rather unlikely Sweet 16 team a week ago. The Explorers posted a 24-9 record overall and an 11-5 mark in conference play. The NCAA tournament selection committee, however, showed a lot of respect toward the Atlantic 10 and rewarded the league with five bids.

The Explorers are the only ones to make it to the second weekend. Before last week, La Salle had won just one NCAA tournament game in 30 years and hadn’t earned a spot in the field since 1992.

Still, that’s not to say La Salle doesn’t have tradition. The best player in the program’s history is Lionel Simmons, who ranks third in the NCAA in career points (3,217). Simmons, who won the Wooden Award in 1990, was with the team in Kansas City over the weekend.

Moments after Garland’s shot, Simmons was on the court dancing and celebrating with Explorers players before joining them in the locker room, where the fun continued.

“I’m just an excited fan, an excited alumni,” Simmons said. “That’s the beauty of the NCAA tournament. Any team can beat anybody. If you play hard and give yourself a chance to win, anything can happen.”

Pleased as they were with the victory, La Salle didn’t seem close to satisfied after Sunday’s win. A victory over Wichita State this weekend would vault La Salle into the Elite Eight. Explorers coach John Giannini said a win in that game wouldn’t be an upset -- just as their first three wins weren’t.

“If I’d have told you at the beginning of the season,” a reporter asked Giannini, “that you’d be standing here now, with the Elite Eight as the next goal, what would you have told me?”

Giannini smiled.

“That it could happen,” he said. “There’s no parity [in college basketball this season]. Parity makes it sound like everyone is average. Everyone’s good. You know what Wichita State’s budget and facility and tradition is like? Why shouldn’t they be terrific?

“It’s not parity. Maybe no one is great the way Jordan and Perkins and Ewing were, but everybody is good.”

DAYTON, Ohio -- Quick reaction to La Salle's 80-71 victory over Boise State on Wednesday:

Overview: If the logistics of La Salle's first NCAA tournament berth in 21 years felt a little bit like an audition for the big show, its fans can rest easy. La Salle may be sticking around awhile.

Thanks to a balanced and efficient effort -- including a combined 20-of-25 shooting from supporting players Jerrell Wright, Sam Mills and Tyrone Garland, and an anchor performance from star senior guard Ramon Galloway -- La Salle closed the 2013 First Four by bouncing the fellow 13th-seeded Broncos.

The difference between the two teams wasn't hard to notice: La Salle did what it wanted to on the offensive end, got to the spots it wished to obtain, and knocked down the shots once there. All told, the Explorers finished 31-of-49 from the field; Boise State couldn't find a stop to save its (tournament) life.

Turning point: In a season that has in many ways been defined by tidal comebacks -- in a sport that makes its bacon on insanity -- perhaps the most striking thing about La Salle's win was how ho-hum it felt throughout. The Explorers controlled the game early, and fended off most Boise mini runs, including a late 90-second stretch that saw them increase their lead from 62-54 to 70-58 with two quick 3-pointers and a Wright dunk.

Boise State didn't go down without a scrap: Guard Derrick Marks cut the La Salle lead to just six with 1:51 remaining, and D.J. Peterson's push-off loose-ball foul on the ensuing offensive possession put Boise center Kenny Buckner on the line to shoot a one-and-one. But Buckner missed, Garland hit two, and when a full-court pass to Galloway broke Boise's press, that was that.

Key player: There wasn't an Explorer on the floor who played poorly, at least on the offensive end, but Garland's 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting was not only a huge boost but a huge surprise. Garland has always looked talented this season -- there aren't many defenders he can't break down off the dribble -- but he has been maddeningly inconsistent. On Wednesday night, he was peerless.

Key stat: Let's keep it simple: The Explorers finished 63.3 percent from the field overall and 52.4 percent on their 21 3-point shots, and when a team plays that well on offense -- or, conversely, when a team plays that poorly on defense -- little further explanation is required.

What's next: La Salle (22-9) moves on to Friday's brutally tough "second round" game against No. 4 seed Kansas State in Kansas City, Mo. Boise State finishes a good season -- which included a victory at Creighton and a creditable performance in a very good Mountain West -- 21-11.

Numbers To Know: Thursday Recap

December, 21, 2012
Player of the Night – Isaiah Sykes, UCF Knights
Sykes recorded the third triple-double in UCF history -- and the first since Kingsley Edwards in 2005 -- in the Knights’ 83-66 win over Stetson. The junior finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

Sykes is averaging 14.9 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game and 5.1 assists per game. Over the past five seasons, only Belmont’s Alex Renfroe and Ohio State’s Evan Turner finished the year with those numbers.

Stat Sheet Stuffer – Mason Plumlee, Duke Blue Devils
Plumlee had 21 points and 15 rebounds, as Duke defeated Elon for its 100th consecutive nonconference home win. That’s his third 20-15 game already this season, the most for a Duke player since Shelden Williams in 2005-06.

Bench Player of the Night – Tyrone Garland, La Salle Explorers
There’s something about playing in Philadelphia that turns Garland into a scoring machine. He’s the third leading scorer in the history of the Philadelphia Public League, just eight points behind Wilt Chamberlain.

On Thursday, he played in his first home game at La Salle since transferring from Virginia Tech. Garland scored a career-high 26 points off the bench -- including 19 in the second half -- as La Salle beat Iona 88-74. That’s the most points off the bench for an Explorer since Gary Neal’s 32 in 2003.

Scorer of the Night = Daman Starring, UC-Irvine Anteaters
UC-Irvine beat USC for the first time since 1983, and just the second time ever. Starring scored a game-high 23 points, including five 3s. With wins at Fresno State and USC, UC-Irvine has won back-to-back nonconference road games for just the second time in the past seven seasons. The Trojans have now lost six of their past seven games.

Freshman of the Night – Stephen Hurt, Lipscomb Bisons
Lipscomb gave Memphis a good scare, but ultimately fell short 62-56. Hurt finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds, his third straight double-double. Over the past three games, Hurt is averaging 16.7 points per game and 14.0 rebounds per game.