The assistant coaches on La Salle's basketball staff went right to work after the Explorers looked lost on offense in a loss to No. 15 Villanova, compiling a tape that was mostly a horror flick but also educational and, eventually, beneficial.
The Explorers got the message.
Three nights after managing just nine assists vs. 'Nova, they dished out 26 assists and shot a season-best 56 percent from the field last night in a 92-75 wipeout of Rider before a sparse crowd at Tom Gola Arena.
"The coaches put together a tape showing us the difference between a good-passing team [Villanova] and a bad-passing team," said guard Rodney Green, who led the way with eight assists, 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals. "We just knew if we wanted to win, we had to pass better and hit the open man."
La Salle coach John Giannini, who sounded almost despondent after Sunday's performance, was mighty pleased looking at the numbers last night, especially the ones that said 26 assists on 32 field goals.
"The Villanova game was a lesson well-learned," he said. "My staff did a phenomenal job putting together a tape showing the difference between us and Villanova. I thought we defended well and we outrebounded them, but their passing was exquisite. They get the ball to the right guy and they make the open shots.
"Our guys are capable of being an outstanding team, and they knew after watching that tape they had to get better. They were tremendous in practice, and they were tremendous tonight. I appreciate these kids. They do what we ask of them."
Besides Green, the Explorers (5-4) placed three scorers in double figures - Kimmani Barrett with 16, Ruben Guillandeaux with 13 and Yves Mekongo Mbala with 10. Darryl Partin had five assists, while Guillandeaux, Mekongo Mbala and Jerrell Williams had four apiece.
"We talked about this with Rodney: If everyone on the team looks to pass and everyone is a good passer, everyone is going to score more," Giannini said. "It's counterintuitive. You will score more if you're a better passer as long as your teammates share that commitment."
They did last night: No La Salle player took more than nine shots.
The Explorers hit eight of their first 13 attempts from the field to take a 14-point lead before the first half was 10 minutes old. They hit a lull late in the first half but still held a 44-34 advantage at the break.
A three-point basket by Barrett gave La Salle its largest lead, 81-60, with 5 minutes, 1 second to play.
"I'm very happy right now," Giannini said, "and close to being blissfully happy."
The Broncs (5-3), who have seven players from the Philadelphia area on their roster, shot only 38 percent from the field.
Lenape High's Ryan Thompson, younger brother of Sacramento Kings rookie and former Rider star Jason Thompson, led the Broncs with 19. Mike Ringgold (Roman Catholic) added 16, but he sat out a good chunk of the second half in foul trouble.