Courtesy of GoExplorers.com
PHILADELPHIA- La Salle Athletics will welcome back members of the 1989-90 La Salle men’s basketball team for Saturday’s game against Fordham. This season marks the 25th anniversary of the 1989-90 team that won the MAAC Tournament and competed in the NCAA Tournament.
The 1989-90 team, coached by Speedy Morris, won the MAAC Tournament thanks to a 71-61 win over Fordham in Albany, N.Y. and went on to compete in the 1990 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The Explorers went 30-1 in the regular season with their sole loss coming to 25th ranked Loyola Marymount 121-116. The Explorers would earn the number four seed in the East Regional for the NCAA Tournament and ultimately fell in the second round, 79-75, to Clemson in Hartford, Connecticut.
La Salle would finish the year 30-2 and ranked 12thï¿½in the nation in the final AP Poll and 13thï¿½in the final Coaches poll.
The Explorers were led that year by senior Lionel Simmons. The Philadelphia native earned a litany of honors that season including the Naismith College Player of the Year, USBWA College Player of the Year, John R. Wooden Award, Adolph Rupp Trophy and the Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year.
Simmons averaged 26.5 points per game, 11.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists while shooting 51.3% from the floor during the 1989-90 season. He is the programs all-time leading scorer with 3,217 points, blocks with 248, second in all-time rebounds with 1,429 and steals 239. He was selected with the seventh pick in the 1990 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings and went on to an eight year NBA career, all with the Kings.
The 1989-90 team featured three players who were drafted into the NBA (Simmons, Doug Overton and Randy Woods) and played a total of 22 NBA season between them. Two players from the team would go on to become college or professional coaches with Overton having served as the head coach of the NBA D-League’s Springfield Armor and Jeff Neubauer serving in his 10th season as head coach at Eastern Kentucky where he has led the Colonials to two NCAA Tournament appearances and a career record of 177-127. In addition two assistant coaches from that season’s team went on to become head coaches with Joe Mihalich currently serving as the head coach at Hofstra and Randy Monroe having served as head coach at UMBC for eight seasons.
Managers: Gus Carr, Ben Norman, Brian Morris
Head Coach: Speedy Morris; Assistants: Joe Mihalich, Randy Monroe, Rich Prendergast, Sam Rines
Trainer: Bill Gerzabek
Equipment Manager: Mike Murphy