Final: Drexel 77, Hofstra 74
Player of the Game: Frantz Massenat
Key to the Game: Running the offense
Next Game: Sat Feb 1 @ Towson
It's frustrating. It's just got to be frustrating. Drexel had 12 more points off of turnovers due to a +9 turnover margin. Despite some troubles on the boards in the first half, the second chance points were even at 15 and DU dominated the points in the paint 30 to 20 thanks to some great passing from Massenat making the Dragons look like Dunk City. And while dominating the points in the paint they also shot almost 50% from behind the three point line, also behind a career game from Frantz. The foul shooting was virtually even. All in all, a very good Dragons performance if you look at the numbers.
So how on earth was this a one score game?
It's the same reason that this team is only 3-2 in their top five offensive games of the year. Defense. The 55% that Hofstra shot from inside the arc was their highest total in almost two months of basketball, a 14 game stretch. William and Mary had their best offensive game of the year against the Dragons. So did Towson. Delaware had their second best. So did Northeastern.
The last time that a team put up less then a point per possession against Drexel was last year. That's eight straight games. Last years Drexel team, one of Bruisers worst defensive teams ever, only had that happen to them fourteen times all season. The year prior, only nine times all season. It's the Jacksonville Jaguars defense out there, the Washington Generals, The Bad News Bears. The 118.8 points per possession that they've given up in conference play would be good for 347th nationally. There are more teams in college basketball that you have never heard of than there are teams that have been worse defensively than the Dragons since conference play started.
UNCW, every team in the SWAC, The Citadel... and every other armed forces team, High Point, Mount Saint Mary's, and Penn. All teams who have been better defensively than the Dragons in 2014.
Drexel's defense is so bad, that when they sit around the house, the house escapes.
Drexel's defense is so bad that Benny Moss is being called in to put it back together again.
Drexel's defense is so bad their shadows just dunked on them.
Drexel's defense is so bad that if they had been trying to keep people on the road in Atlanta this week, everyone would have gotten home.
That felt good. Feel free to try it out in the comments section.
But wait!! There's more! Good news on the horizon. Neither I, nor I imagine Bru, can believe I am saying this but Tavon Allen is (slowly this time, thank goodness) rounding into healthy form. And while he's likely to cause a step back in Drexel's suddenly torrid offense, his size and experience will really help defend some of the bigger perimeter players that have been causing the Dragons such problems. Abif will add some much needed depth and rebounding in the interior as he continues his slow drive to health. Ruffin looks to be himself, and although he was largely responsible for Moussa Kone's big first half by choosing to lay out a red carpet for his offensive rebounds rather than boxing him out, in the second half Kone's line was zero points, zero rebounds a turnover and three fouls in six minutes. Welcome back Dartaye.
Also, there's this: Despite the defense and the poor first half on the glass, Drexel won the game. It might be the best game Drexel fans have ever seen from Frantz Massenat with his 32 points, 9 assists and not a turnover to be found. The bigs got plenty of dunk and layup opportunities in an offense that is firing on all cylinders right now. It certainly appears that it was the defense and not the offense that was beaten up by injuries. In the 2013 portion of the schedule, Drexel averaged around one point per possession flat, against a much harder schedule then they have this month, but with a full (less Damion Lee) roster. If they can reclaim that when all of the Drexel players are back to health in a few weeks (take it slow fellas) and Massenat can continue to run the offense at this kind of level they won't compete in Baltimore.
They'll win the damn thing.