Wednesday, February 26, 2014

College of Charleston - Pregame - Senior Night at the DAC

There's a nasty rumor going around that a basketball game is going to break out in the middle of a coronation on Wednesday.  The Dragons may not be locked into the 4/5 seed game in Baltimore, but with JMU playing Towson before going to Hofstra for HU's senior night and C of C getting DU and UDback to back along with Drexel's one game lead on both of those teams, it's close to a fait accompli.  So while this game matters, well, it doesn't matter for a whole lot.

Here is what does matter:

The first road team to win at Yum! Brands Arena in Louisville, Kentucky
The first NIT win and postseason run in the Bruiser Flint tenure
A win in Madison Square Garden
The programs second trip to the CAA Title Game in Drexel history
Unquestionable leadership, while taking over the reigns of leadership in a time of turmoil
6-4 record against Delaware and Penn, 3-3 against the Big 5

When this group of seniors walked in the door, they were walking in on a team that went 43-50 (.462) in the prior three seasons, lost Jamie Harris, Kevin Phillip and Shannon Givens in the off-season and didn't know what to expect from Chris Fouch coming off of a major knee injury.  They were dealt a deuce seven off-suit.   They had to crawl through 500 yards of shit smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to remember.  And they came out clean on the other side.  Four years later they can feel good knowing that they inherited a mess, and they left with the accomplishments above, with a 78-47 (.624) record, and still time to finish strong.  It's a bounce-back story that will never get the respect it deserves unless they dance this year, but that they can be proud of, and quite frankly saved their coaching staff.  They will graduate, and they will do so after four years of no one questioning their or the programs character or ethics.  They represented themselves, Drexel University, and all of us who were allowed the pleasure of watching, very well, and tonight's game is about nothing other than that.

So while you watch Dartaye Ruffin (who can tie Chaz Crawford for 7th in Drexel history with 10 rebounds tonight) bang down low against C of C's very impressive Adjehi Baru realize just how big of a turnaround that he helped achieve.  When Frantz (17 points away from passing Bob Stephens for 7th in career scoring at DU) and Fouch are lighting up C of C, realize you're watching a couple of all timers.  C of C's frontcourt was already undermanned before losing Joe Chealey for this game with a knee injury, so the seniors along with Major and Tavon should be able to dictate in the years final home game.

While both teams were better than they showed in their first meeting, Drexel stayed even on the boards and had a significant turnover edge, and those numbers should hold.  DU isn't going o-fer from deep at home on senior night.  When the lights are bright, Chris Fouch rises to the occasion, and in front of a jam packed DAC tonight, the likes of which Charleston hasn't seen even during roadies to Davidson, the lights will be bright.  It will be another rock fight, but expect Drexel to stand strong and send the fans home happy one last time.

Thanks Seniors.

Prediction:  Drexel 62, Charleston 58
Vegas Line:  Drexel -4.5

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