Home » Columns »Your Phil of Hoops » Currently Reading:

Bruiser Flint won’t be stressing out the next few days

March 6, 2012 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

RICHMOND, Va. – In theory, the next six days should be quite stressful for Drexel and head coach Bruiser Flint. After losing in the Colonial Athletic Association championship game on Monday night, the Dragons must wait to find out which tournament they will be playing in. As the regular season champions of the CAA, they are guaranteed a bid to the NIT, but naturally hope the NCAA Tournament comes calling. Flint doesn’t seem stressed at all about it, however, and his experience is a key factor in that.

Drexel was in a similar position in 2007. The big difference is in the NCAA Tournament profiles of the two teams, as the one in 2007 was better than this one. A look at the numbers doesn’t help Drexel: their strength of schedule entering Monday was 259, and their non-conference SOS is 228. Their best non-conference win is probably their win over Princeton at home, and the Tigers will finish third in the Ivy League.

In 2006-07, Drexel finished the regular season with a 23-8 mark. They finished fourth in the CAA in the regular season and lost in the semifinals to eventual champion VCU. That team had a very impressive non-conference resume, with wins at Vermont, Villanova, Syracuse, Temple and Creighton. They lost at Penn and Rider and were 13-5 in CAA play. The Dragons went 13-4 on the road that year. And still no bid.

Flint hasn’t approached non-conference scheduling the same ever since, and part of that is the reality that many of the Villanovas and Syracuses of the world don’t want to play them. That also drives why he’s not going to stress himself or his team over the next few days.

“We had all the right things that they said we were supposed to have, and we didn’t get in,” Flint said of the 2006-07 squad. “I thought, in 2007, we were going to get in. It couldn’t really get much better than that.”

Not only has scheduling become a much tougher task in terms of getting quality opponents, but Flint had another problem this season. When September rolled around and his schedule still wasn’t complete, he had just two home games on the slate. He needed to get more, and Big East and ACC teams that are hesitant enough to play Drexel only at home are certainly not going to play them in Philadelphia. As it is, the Dragons had 13 home games, with nine coming in conference play.

Flint added Fairfield and Princeton to his schedule, and that looked like a reasonable move. Fairfield was among the preseason favorites in the MAAC, while Princeton was projected to contend in the Ivy League. In the end, neither quite happened, although Fairfield made it to the MAAC title game before falling to Loyola (Md.) on Monday night.

“Guys talked them up in the preseason, people were saying to me, that might have saved your schedule,” Flint said. “I can’t help what Fairfield and Princeton did. I had to get some home games for us.”

Drexel finishes the regular season 27-6, with 20 of those games being away from home. Six were at neutral sites, although some will say that Monday’s game was a road game since VCU plays their home games about a mile down the road from the Richmond Coliseum. The Dragons were 11-3 in true road games.

The Dragons will naturally hope for the NCAA Tournament. Drawing from his experience, Flint will approach the NIT differently this time around if the NCAA doesn’t come calling. He felt that not making the NCAA in 2007 was a big letdown for his team, hence their home loss to North Carolina State in the first game there. Perhaps creating no expectations of being in will help, although there has been a groundswell of support for them as a tournament team.

“I think both the teams that are playing tomorrow night definitely belong in the NCAA Tournament,” George Mason coach Paul Hewitt said on Sunday. “I can’t wait to hear, when both of those guys get in, all the people say they don’t belong and look forward to seeing them advancing through the tournament.”

Added VCU head coach Shaka Smart: “To me, there’s no doubt that they’re an NCAA Tournament team.”

Old Dominion head coach Blaine Taylor draws on his own experience this season, while admitting there is a little bias since he is talking about a school in his conference.

“Having played Kentucky in a real tough game, having played Missouri right to the wire, I really think, for instance, a Drexel-Missouri matchup would be a very entertaining game, and I’d give Drexel every opportunity for success in that game,” said Taylor.

Drexel started the season without their best returning player in Chris Fouch, and he took a long time to remotely resemble his old self this season. They won 19 straight games before losing on Monday night, and it wasn’t a bad loss – in fact, they don’t have a bad loss. Even if they did, Taylor feels the time of the year has to come into play, as well as the conference’s play in the BracketBusters event. Drexel crushed Cleveland State on the road in their BracketBusters game to lead a solid showing by the CAA’s best teams.

“The problem our league has is that we have to have an open-minded assessment of what happened in the first weeks of the season,” said Taylor. “If somebody looks from the middle of December on, it’s unbelievable how strong our league has been. I think we were symptomatic of that. I think a lot of people were young, without players or kind of feeling their way along a little bit, and they got a couple of losses they can’t get back. But I’d rather have the bad loss on November 15 than the ones the BCS schools are trying to talk you out of on March 6.”

While others are going to bat for his team, with Taylor doing so in much the same way he did for VCU a year ago after knocking them off in the title game, Flint isn’t stressing. He’ll get his team ready for whatever lies ahead, and there’s a pretty good chance this team can win more games.

Comment on this Article:

Reader Poll

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 04-04-2016 12:26:51
End date 30-04-2016 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Who is the favorite to win the 2017 National Championship?


Your Phil of Hoops

The wait is over for Stony Brook

March 12, 2016 by


Stony Brook is finally going to the NCAA Tournament, and the story of tragic endings – and all that goes with it – is a thing of the past.

Saturday Notes – February 27, 2016

February 28, 2016 by


The last Saturday of exclusively regular season play seemed to follow the script of many others. We look at notes from many of the day’s games of consequence.

Saturday Notes – February 20, 2016

February 21, 2016 by


On a day with a lot of games that had NCAA Tournament implications, it seemed like more bubble teams lost games they couldn’t afford to than won to advance their candidacy further.

Hoopville Archives

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by


The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by


The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by


Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by


Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.