La Salle will be led by their backcourt in Sophomore guards Tyreek Duran and Sam Mills, and senior guard Earl Pettis. Duran led all scorers in the Explorers opening win over Lafayette dropping 17, while distributing 6 assissts and grabbign 6 rebounds. The Explorers are taking a page out of Jay Wright's coaching book so far and compensating for their lack of depth in the front court by using their speed and sizable guards to their advantage. Look for La Salle to continue their 4 guard look tonight. Unfortunately, Junior transfer from South Carolina Ramone Galloway suffered a concussion in Friday's home win and will not be dressed for tonights game (he should be back for Saturday's matchup agaisnt James Madison). Galloway has been a leader thus far and displayed tremendous on-ball defense skills.
Villanova did not suffer for any lack of offense in their opening win against Monmouth, defeating the Hawks 106-70. The Wildcats were led by Dominic Cheek and Mouphtou Yarou, both scoring over 24 points. Guard Maalik Waynes also contributed 15 points and 5 assists. This Wildcat team also likes to get out into space and press the ball so tonights matchup should include a lot of scoring. Last year la Salle looked primed for an upset, but could not hold on as Villanova clawed out a 84-81 victory. This year I expect the game to be competitive for a good portion into the second half before Villanova's experience and size take over. La Salle's main rotation in the front court includes Devon White and Jerrell Wright, neither taller than 6'8. Mouphtaou Yarou stands at 6'10 and pulled in 10 rebounds against Monmouth. La Salle's only chance is to neutralize Novas size and control the preimeter. Tip-off is set for 7:00 and can be viewed on ESPN3.
Prediction: Villanova 80 La Salle 73