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2013-14 CAA Post-Mortem

by - Published May 9, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
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The new era in the Colonial Athletic Association has begun. While there was plenty of competitiveness, as expected, the conference is in a very different time now with arguably its three signature programs having left over the past two years.

Conference champion Delaware was a study in overcoming adversity all season long. The Blue Hens certainly had enough talent and experience to compete for the title, but suspensions of multiple players, including long ones to Devon Saddler and Jarvis Threatt, could have scuttled this magical season. They were challenged in the conference tournament, including in the title game, but as they did all year, they found a way to win.

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Not the ending anyone imagined for Drexel

by - Published March 9, 2014 in Columns
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BALTIMORE – The way Chris Fouch headed to the bench said it all. It wasn’t the way a guy who scores 30 points in a tremendous effort normally would.

This wasn’t how the season was supposed to end for Drexel. Not in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament with a senior-driven team. Not with a 90-81 loss that didn’t feel that close and where there was a good stretch the team looked out-classed. Not in a game where the opponent set a season high for points in a game, and it wasn’t an overtime game. Not in a game where the Dragons scored 60 points in the second half, but allowed the opponent to shoot 65 percent.

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At Drexel, two different guards from different places try to extend their careers

by - Published March 7, 2014 in Columns
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This weekend, Drexel will attempt to prolong a season that began with a lot of promise. It hasn’t quite gone as many had hoped, but two senior guards will try to lead them to a longer season. It is those two guards, who come from different places, who have had different journeys to this point, and who have become like brothers while learning plenty about dealing with adversity, who will try to lead them one last time in the Colonial Athletic Association.

From a basketball standpoint, the backgrounds of Chris Fouch and Frantz Massenat aren’t all that similar. Their careers have been quite different as well, but as teammates they have been a big part of how Drexel has done. Through adversity, they have forged a strong bond that Massenat points out during interviews of both. It is perhaps only fitting that they will finish right next to each other on the school’s all-time scoring list.

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Drexel, key players overcome adversity yet again in win over Alabama

by - Published November 30, 2013 in Columns
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NEW YORK – For Drexel to take home the third place game in the NIT Season Tip-Off the way they did, they had to persevere through a lot. While the challenges that came with Friday were not minimal, the Dragons have a couple of key players in the game who have had to persevere through more in their college careers.

For Chris Fouch and Kazembe Abif, Friday was just one more challenge in a college career that has had plenty of them.

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Drexel 70, Rutgers 59: Three points of emphasis

by - Published November 22, 2013 in Columns
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Piscataway, N.J. – Rutgers’ hopes of getting to New York and the “Final Four” of the NIT Season Tip-Off were dashed by a solid Drexel team. The Dragons earned the trip, defeating the Scarlet Knights 70-59 on their Rutgers Athletic Center home court on Tuesday.

Three points of emphasis from this one:

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Drexel Dragons 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
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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

Important departures:

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.

Returning:

76.7 percent of scoring and 66.1 percent of rebounding

Additions:

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)

Schedule Highlights:

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.

Next: Hofstra Pride

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New-look CAA trying to find its place in the changing landscape

by - Published October 23, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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BALTIMORE – As the Colonial Athletic Association goes through more changes, it’s natural to wonder where its place is in college basketball now.  The conference has had major membership changes over the last year and a half, and locations for major events like Media Day and the conference tournament are also changing.  While there is certainly a feeling of newness, one wonders what lies ahead for a conference that had a great run from 2006 to 2012 before things changed drastically.

The CAA is just one conference that is changing in an ever-changing landscape.  In the short term, the conference can be labeled one of the losers in the conference maneuvering.  In the last 18 months, George Mason, Old Dominion and VCU – the conference’s signature programs historically – have all departed, along with a Georgia State program that wasn’t in the conference long but looks like it might be on the rise under Ron Hunter.  What remains starts with five former America East schools and then includes newcomer College of Charleston and three charter members in James Madison, UNCW and William & Mary.  Next year, Elon joins the conference.

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Drexel has had to beat more than just opponents this season

by - Published February 3, 2013 in Columns
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BOSTON – Raise your hand if you thought Drexel would be in the middle of the pack in the CAA this season.

No hands? None at all?

It’s hard to blame anyone who would keep their hand down. There was just about every reason to think Drexel was the clear team to beat in the CAA this season, and we won’t go through those now. But as we are more than halfway home, the Dragons are mired in mediocrity with a 5-5 conference record after losing 59-52 at Northeastern on Saturday night.

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Drexel Dragons 2012-13 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2012 in Conference Notes
drexel

Drexel Dragons (29-7 overall, 16-2 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Frantz Massenat
So. G Damion Lee
Sr. G Derrick Thomas
Jr. F Dartaye Ruffin
Sr. F Daryl McCoy

Important departures:

F Samme Givens (11.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.8 apg) is the only player of any significance the Dragons lose.

Returning:

82.2 percent of scoring and 77.8 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Tavon Allen (redshirt)
Fr. F Casey Carroll (redshirt)

Schedule Highlights:

The Dragons open the season at Kent State before hosting Missouri Valley contender Illinois State. They will play in the Anaheim Classic, starting with Saint Mary’s and then playing either Xavier or Pacific in the second game. The toughest road game the rest of the way is at Ivy League favorite Princeton, as they get Atlantic 10 favorite Saint Joseph’s at home to close out the non-conference slate. In CAA play, the Dragons have a four-game home stretch in February followed by the second three-game road stretch.

Projected finish and outlook:

There’s every reason to pick Drexel to win the CAA. The Dragons lose just one player of any significance, and while Givens is no small loss there is plenty coming back. The Dragons will have the conference’s best backcourt, best defense, a veteran cast and plenty of good candidates to take Givens’ place up front. If Ruffin is more like the player we saw as a freshman than the one we saw last year, Givens’ loss will be minimized, and while long known for their defense the Dragons have become a terrific offensive team with Massenat running the show. They led the conference in three-point shooting last season, among other things, and it helps that they bring high-scoring guard Chris Fouch off the bench. There is good leadership all the way around and the intangibles are off the charts, so the Dragons are going to be very difficult to beat this year.

Next: George Mason Patriots

Back to CAA preview

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

by - Published March 6, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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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.

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Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

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Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

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The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

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Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

Hoopville Archives

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

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Recruiting Coverage

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

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Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

October 17, 2014 by

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Vermont Academy has a new coach for the second year in a row, but they shouldn’t skip a beat. They have enough talent to win a lot of games and make a deep run in NEPSAC Class AA.

The Master’s School has good students and talent

October 15, 2014 by

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The Master’s School has a number of good students, and they will continue to head to college later. This time around, they also have some talent on the hardwood and should win a few more games.

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 by

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The Rivers School had a breakthrough season last year, winning the Independent School League. They will try to build on that with a team that loses a lot but also returns a lot from last season’s team.

Tabor Academy looks to have more depth this time around

October 13, 2014 by

taboracademy

Tabor Academy will once again be headlined by a frontcourt player. This time around, though, the Seawolves appear to have a deeper support cast than in recent years.