Friday, December 6, 2013

Tennessee State Pregame - Great Smokes!

The Dragons return to the court on Saturday with a lot of reasons to be happy.  They've gotten to sleep in their own beds for almost a week straight for the first time since prior to the California trip.  Through seven games, six of them on the road and two against ranked opponents they've racked up a 5-2 record which puts them in the top 64 teams in the country no matter what ranking you look at.  They've proven they can win without Lee, and haven't even played their best basketball yet.  And this game is extremely unlikely to go to triple overtime.

The Tennessee State Tigers are 0-9 and only half of those games were against teams that are particularly good.  Drexel hasn't gotten a chance to get a cream puff game in yet and a chance to loosen up and not feel the pressure that every other game has brought could be just what they need to start getting their rhythm going with the jump shots.  Seeing the ball go through the hoop and getting some confidence in their shooting going into exam week could put them in a spot where they can be recovered physically and mentally when the season restarts at Davidson.

The spread for this game will probably come out in the 16-18 point neighborhood.  As this is the first cream puff on the schedule and they do have a rest week following, it's a potential letdown spot for the Dragons so watch out for them to come out a little flat.  If the Dragons can keep up their dominant rebounding and turnover advantage they should fly though this game, but the traits of the let down spot are getting a little loose with the ball so the turnovers are what to look for early and should well be a better sign of things to come then the scoreboard.

On the Tigers it's Patrick Miller, a junior point guard who will be out there all night and taking the vast majority of the shot attempts.  Miller is a skilled shooter who will uncork from anywhere, averaging 20 shots a game on the season.  He should be Frantz' responsibility and coming off of a 55 minute effort on Wednesday, a big lead would be nice as it would give Major Canady a chance to get some decent PT against a solid guard and take some of the weight off of Frantz' shoulders.  MJ Rhett is a junior bigman that is also worth keeping an eye on, expected to be the responsibility of Ruffin who will be looking to follow up his MVP like performance from the Cleveland State game.

Look for the Dragons to try some jumpshots, look to get their confidence going from range and try to stay off the line in their last game prior to Freddie Wilson's arrival to the floor.  This game is a business trip at home, just get in and cash the W, and be happy to have survived these three shorthanded games without Lee or Wilson.  Any win is a good win, and this one may be closer than it should be.

Prediction:  Dragons 69- Tennessee St 57
Vegas Line: Dragons -14.5

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