News and notes surrounding the Dragons:
--Freddie Wilson will play in his first game for the Dragons Sunday at Davidson. A scorer who I expect to backup Fouch and snag some minutes in a smaller DU lineup at the 3, he'll be a welcome addition to a club who has gone 3-0 while "shorthanded" and playing a four guard roster. While there is reason for excitement, keep in mind his previous coach, Kevin Willard's words: "Freddie's a [bonehead] and Freddie's going to pay for it," along with Bruiser's prior use of transfers before you expect Freddie to be the Dragons savior. A useful contributor will be plenty, and a fine addition.
--The streak is now at three games: Drexel has scored 100% of the time when they pass the ball to Dartaye Ruffin and he shoots it. All of the shots that havent gone in have either featured called fouls or offensive boards that ended in points. Dartaye is now up to a 72% effective field goal percentage, good for 17th in the country.
--Box out! The Dragons are 25th in the country in defensive rebound percentage, allowing opponents to only grab 26% of their missed shots. Stunningly, the 25th ranking is their worst ranking in the last 4 years. Don't come into Daryl or Dartaye's house and expect to leave with the ball.
Conversely, the offensive rebound percentage has taken a considerable step back since the Givens' era (surprising no one, as Samme's dominance is nearly impossible to replace). Kaz Abif is doing well, and I don't believe Ruffin's the problem here. Tough to pile on the guy, but Chris Fouch is currently outrebounding 6'7" Tavon Allen. This seems to feed into the storyline of Allen shying away from contact and the paint. With the skills Allen has, the sooner he can get comfortable playing in the paint a bit, the much, much better the Dragons will be.
--Dueces Wild: For the first time in five years the Dragons have no one shooting under 40% from 2. That's akin to saying that all of the hitters in a baseball lineup are hitting at least .200, as 40% from 2 is pretty terrible. Getting the entire team above that line is a noteable accomplishment for the Flint offenses, and with the distance shooting being so poor, the 2 point shooting and lack of turnovers is the reason why the Dragons offense is currently top 100.
--In the 2011-12 season where DU ripped off 19 straight wins en route to their first deep NIT run of the Flint tenure, the Dragons averaged a 10 year high 108.8 points per possession (ppp), good for 49th in the country. This years team, against superior competition to date, has averaged 107.5 ppp. That number is without Wilson, and with Fouch and Allen shooting 30% 22% from distance respectively. Outside of the UCLA and Arizona games they have yet to have under 104 ppp in a game. utside of that 11-12 season, 104 would be a season high since Phil Goss was playing for DU. This year its an outside the top 25 season low. These guys are good.
--Chris Fouch will not end the year shooting 30% from three. As goes Fouch, so will go the Dragon offense.
--With the guards taking 79% of the shots thus far this year, no one has any idea what the forwards are capable of. Currently Abif, Ruffin, Williams and Bah have combined to hit an outstanding 58% of their shots, but with the majority being tip ins and dunks its still an incomplete data set. Look to see if the staff challenges the forwards to find out what they have before conference season starts. Much like the Cleveland State game was a game that could be used to help the three shooters get right, perhaps the St. Francis or Buffalo games can be used to challenge the bigs.
--The Big Three: With Frantz (top 400 in assist rate, fouls created, fouls drawn and free throw rate) and ruffin (top 400 in effective field goal percentage, offensive rebound percentage, defensive rebound percentage, and free throw rate) doing their things, if the Dragons can get that third player to step up, they should continue to be a consistently good team against any level of competition.
--One more time: As goes Fouch, so will the Dragons. I'd put my money on Fouch.
Look out CAA, these guys are good.