Drexel Dragons (13-18 overall, 9-9 conference)
Projected starting five:
Sr. G Frantz Massenat
Jr. G Damion Lee
So. F Tavon Allen
Sr. F Dartaye Ruffin
Jr. F Kazembe Abif
Two starters are gone from last season’s team: G Derrick Thomas (9.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.3 apg) and F-C Daryl McCoy (4.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg). G Aquil Younger (1.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg) (transferred) has also departed.
76.7 percent of scoring and 66.1 percent of rebounding
Fr. F Mohamed Bah
Fr. G Major Canady
Fr. F Khris Lane
Fr. F Rodney Williams
Jr. G Freddie Wilson (transfer from Seton Hall, eligible in December)
Drexel opens a challenging non-conference slate at UCLA and Illinois State, then plays in the NIT Season Tip-Off hosted by Rutgers, where they will have a chance to advance to New York and get two more challenges before later road games at Davidson, Saint Joseph’s and Southern Miss. Of the four home games they have, the toughest is probably against Cleveland State. Early in CAA play, the Dragons play four of five at home, while they close out the regular season with three of four on the road.
Projected finish and outlook:
More was expected of Drexel last year, and with much of that team back they might seem an odd selection to contend again. But injuries and difficulty with adversity didn’t help, and all of those things appear to be mitigated this time around at first glance. Massenat had a slump year in part because of dealing with expectations and then having more heaped on him, especially when Fouch was lost to another season-ending injury and Lee got hurt early and was uneven all season. Ruffin didn’t have the kind of year they needed from him as well, and Abif never really had an off-season prior to the year before and as a result didn’t play last season at a good weight. Fouch will try once more to make it through a season, and if he does he gives them a solid weapon alongside Lee and Allen. McCoy’s loss is bigger than many think, but that can be mitigated if Abif, who had a full off-season, starts to live up to his potential. The Dragons will need someone among the freshmen to have an impact right away in the same manner that Ruffin did three years ago, while the perimeter is more settled and will add an impact transfer in Freddie Wilson in December. While the Dragons’ offense wasn’t nearly as good last year, the defense wasn’t up to its usual standard last year, either, and Bruiser Flint thinks that transferred over to the offensive end. If they defend more like Flint’s teams usually do, there’s enough offensive firepower on this team to score enough to win on many nights.