The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles visit the DAC on Sunday, November 30 in a return game from last season's Drexel Trip From Hell. That trip included a 17 point loss to the Golden Eagles that wasn't that close and two extra nights stay in a New Orleans airport hotel, with nary a scent of beignet nor even a note of jazz in the air before they could return home.
This will not be that.
85 of the 115 points scored in last years game were scored by players who will not be participating this year. It's a whole new class not just on the DU side without Frantz, Chris, and Kaz but also on the Southern Miss side. Neither team has shown strength this year with their relatively young squads, with wins against struggling teams Cornell and Troy highlighting their resumes to date.
On the court, this is a bit of a fun matchup as both teams rely on a star wing player and a solitary big man. It'll be Damion Lee (shooting 47% from 3 after he got his feet wet in the first game of the year) against Golden Eagles redshirt sophomore Matt Bingaya on the wing. Bingaya is filling up the stat sheet inside and outside of the arc (53% from 2, 40% from 3) and if that isn't enough for the DAC Pack to hone in on, he's from Delaware (the town of Delaware, OH). On the inside Rodney Williams needs to start showing more of an offensive game than he has shown thus far (shooting just 35% from the field, 53% from the charity stripe) as he faces off against Southern Miss go to guy Norville Carey.
Southern Miss will switch defenses, and they'll be aggressive. With all of the turnover struggles that the Dragons showed in Charleston, fans should be watching to see how they respond to pressure today. With a good week of practice since their last game, one hopes that ball handling was the point of emphasis as it will be tested today. If they can't handle pressure today, that will be a huge red flag for the rest of the year.
Turnovers scare the heck out of me today, but DU should be able to offset that with good numbers on the boards. Look for some better shooting after a week to rest and being in their home digs, and Damion Lee inflating his line with foul shots down the stretch.
Prediction: Drexel 67 - Southern Miss 61
Vegas Line: Drexel -3.5
Alan Boston's Notes: Southern Miss began this year fresh. They lost 4 starters. They lost one of the best coaches in the country. Prior to Tyndall, Southern miss was blessed with Larry Eustachy, so Doc Sadler has 2 extremely tough acts to follow. When I first bet college hoops, I remember James Green, now at Jacksonville St, working miracles in Hattiesburg. They have terrific coaching history. Sadler is pretty good too, but most are a notch down from Eustachy and Tyndall. The good news is he starts with a brand new team, which will make it easier to put his stuff in. The bad news is So Miss is a tough place to recruit. They began this year by struggling with their rival So Alabama before getting away in the last minute. They went to Alabama and although they avoided the blow out, they were never really in the game. They came from behind to beat a very weak Troy team. They were outrebounded 36-23 by Troy. That is not good. Drexel has the edge in both talent and experience. They are playing a young team making their first long road trip. They should win easily, but this is Drexel, so I write that with the utmost care. Drexel by 15