La Salle ended last season 15-15. Despite the season being canceled before the Explorers’ A-10 Tournament matchup against Davidson, the program finished with its most wins since 2016-17.
Three players who played big roles in that improvement have moved on. The Explorers will return the rest of their production and bring in a four-man signing class.
Here’s a breakdown of key departures and additions for the Explorers:
Moustapha Diagne, 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward, 1.0 point per game
Diagne arrived as a graduate transfer last summer from Western Kentucky. He played in four games and totaled four points and three rebounds in 17 minutes. Injuries limited his chance to make a bigger impact.
Saul Phiri, 6-foot-4, 215-pound wing, 7.1 points per game
Phiri started 25 games last season and averaged 7.1 points. When the Explorers went to four-guard lineups, his 215-pound frame helped him guard taller players. He was active in the passing lanes and recorded 37 steals in his final season.
Isiah Deas, 6-foot-6, 200-pound wing, 9.9 points per game
One of La Salle’s best scorers, Deas ended his final season just under 10 points per game. He had a career-high 31 points in 26 minutes against Morgan State in December. His scoring average got as high as 12.7 points in January before he slowed at the end of the season. He finished his career just shy of 1,000 points (984).
Anwar Gill, 6-foot-4, 185-pound wing, Montverde Academy, Fla.
An early-period signee, Gill is a 6-4 wing capable of playing guard and forward. Gill’s game is focused on the defensive end first, and that make’s him a perfect fit for La Salle’s brand of basketball. Howard said he envisions Gill as a lockdown defender. His offensive game is centered around slashing to the basket and making plays for teammates. Gill believes his ability to penetrate will be one of his biggest strengths next season.
Jhamir Brickus, 5-foot-11, 165-pound guard, Coatesville High, Pa.
Brickus is the highest-scoring player in Coatesville’s history. He’s listed at 5-11, and he embraces the role of being an undersized guard. His scoring ability is a reason he can come in and play right away. It’s no secret that La Salle likes to get after it in practice, and Brickus’ matchup against the defensive-minded Ayinde Hikim is going to be a fun one, but Howard said the two guards may also see some time on the court together next season.
Tegra Izay, 6-foot-10, 235-pound center, Archbishop Carroll, D.C.
Ed Croswell’s transfer left La Salle’s frontcourt thin last season, but Izay and his 7-foot-8 wingspan are on the way. Izay is an old-school center who prides himself on running the floor, protecting the rim and scoring with his back to the basket. His ability to protect the rim could make him a key weapon with La Salle’s four-guard lineups. Indiana transfer Clifton Moore is also eligible to play next season, so the depth has been re-stocked.
Derrius Ward, 6-foot-6 guard, St. Thomas More, Conn.