Stephen Pianovich (@SPianovich) &
Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Savon Goodman is coming home, and La Salle’s already strong conglomerate of reinforcement transfers just got another boost.
Goodman, a Constitution high school grad and Philadelphia native, is transferring to La Salle after spending the first four years of his college career at three separate schools. He will be immediately eligible for the Explorers, joining three other transfers who can play for John Giannini’s team next season.
Goodman’s college career has been an adventure. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward was in the same 2012 UNLV recruiting class as eventual No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett. He then went to Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa -- a town of about 25,000 near the southeast corner of the state -- for a year while not suiting up for a team. And most recently he played with the Sun Devils, putting up nine double-doubles over the last two seasons and leading the team with 6.4 rebounds in 2015-16.
But Goodman announced in March he planned to transfer, and now that adventure is coming to a close in his hometown.
“I think I just went through a lot. Going away for college gave me a chance to grow up a lot, see a lot of the world on my own and learn how to do things on my own,” he told CoBL over the phone. “But coming back home, there are no negatives. I’m excited to be home and see my family. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Being close to home was certainly part of his choice to come to La Salle, but it wasn’t what Goodman called his top reason.
“The biggest thing was I trusted the coaching staff and I trust the coaches,” he said.
Giannini and that staff are going to have a whole lot more to work with next season, after the undermanned Explorers -- who sometimes used just six- or seven-man rotations -- went 9-22 in the 2015-16 campaign.
Goodman will be joined by three other transfers who sat out out last season due to NCAA rules: B.J. Johnson, a 6-7 forward and Lower Merion product who spent his first two seasons at Syracuse; Demetrius Henry, a 6-9, 227-pound big man who will give the Explorers a boost in the post after transferring from South Carolina and RaShawn “Pookie” Powell, a 6-1 point guard who has three years of eligibility left after leaving Memphis.
La Salle will also return its top six scorers from a season ago, including Jordan Price, who netted 19.2 points per game last year. The Explorers were already expected to make a big jump next season, and Goodman’s presence will certainly aid in that process.
Goodman made the NCAA Tournament once, as a freshman for UNLV in 2013 -- also the last time the Explorers made the big dance. He doesn’t want to set expectations for his final collegiate season since he hasn’t spent much time with his new teammates yet, but Goodman knows what the ultimate goal will be.
“My goal is always to win and to win a conference championship and make a run in the NCAA Tournament,” he said.
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