Friday, November 22, 2013


Statistically there's very little doubt that Mike Trout has been the best player in baseball the last two seasons.  To date, the young Mr. Trout has a total of zero Most Valuable Player trophies to show for it.  The argument most often heard by the baseball writers who vote on this is that the trophy isn't the "Best Player Award", it's the MVP.  Feel free to laugh at the idea that baseball awards the best pitcher the Cy Young, the best fielder the Gold Glove, the best hitter the Silver Slugger and the best player...  absolutely nothing.

There is more than enough talent to go around on this Drexel team and plenty of arguments can be made as to who the best player is.  In regards to which player is the most valuable however, there can only be two.

Major Canady looks like a good fit for the system here at Drexel.  He's listed 6'4", seems athletic and a capable passer.  Thus far, when he's been on the court there has been a noticeable drop off in the play of the Dragons.  Not surprisingly, a freshman with four college games under his belt isn't playing at the level of an All Conference player like Frantz Massenat.  Having Frantz on the floor makes this team much better.  When Freddie Wilson becomes available, the 6'3" junior transfer from Seton Hall won't be able to fill Frantz's shoes either, but he'll be a welcome assistant.  You can rely on Frantz to be in the top 100 in assist rate in the country, shoot well from the perimeter and have a solid handle.  This makes him a good to elite point guard.  But due to the depth behind him, which is certainly a step down, but just as certainly does exist, he is not the most valuable player on this Drexel team.

Dartaye Ruffin is listed 6'8", 250 pounds.  In four games this year he has played over 30 minutes a game, has shot 7 of 11 from the field (64%, someone give him the damn ball) has only turned over the ball 4 times (the players that he was guarding in the first 4 games this year have had 12 turnovers) and has improved his rebounding beyond his very strong rate last year.  In the most physical battle on the blocks that Ruffin has seen this year, Ruffin owned Wally Judge, as Judge ended up in early foul trouble and ended the game with all of 3 rebounds, paling in comparison to Ruffin's 9 boards.

When Ruffin goes to the bench he is replaced by either of two freshman, Rodney Williams or Mohamed Bah.  If you're familiar with the history of Drexel forwards under the Flint/Connors regime you'll know that they are far from finished products and generally don't see the floor.  Daryl McCoy had a dreadful freshman year.  Samme Givens shot only 44% and was a fouling king as a freshman.  Frank Elegar took only 13 shots all season long in his first year.

Williams and Bah could be great players for the Dragons, but right now they are teenagers growing into almost 7 foot bodies, adjusting to the speed of the game at this level, and with the new block/charge rules the learning curve is steeper than ever for the big fellas.  The staff can ask them to guard guys like Wally Judge or UCLA's David Wear all day long, but when they do...  well, the two freshman have combined for 16 fouls in 64 minutes while defending the weaker forward from the opposition.

Ruffin has 17 fouls in 123 minutes while spending all of his time guarding the best forward on the opposing teams.

When watching the Dragons at the Garden next week, keep your eyes on Dartaye Ruffin.  You might not be seeing the teams best PTP'er, but you will be watching the MVD.  The Most Valuable Dragon.

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