Friday, January 9, 2015

Towson - The Happy Recap!

Final:  Drexel 55, Towson 41

Player of the Game:  Freddie Wilson
Key to the game:  Turnovers
Next Game:  Thursday January 10 @ UNC Wilmington

 A funny thing happened on the way to the Dragons 0-18 CAA season.  Their defense showed up.  Towson turned over the ball 11 times (to Drexel's 3!) and most of them were forced, including 6 Drexel steals, half of which were from Freddie Wilson.

Oh, Freddie Wilson.  Yes, he is officially branded Freddie Wilson of the Terrible Shooting, but maybe you missed him running the point and having zero turnovers in four of the last five games.  Maybe you missed him only picking up 6 fouls in that time, while getting to the line 20 times himself.  And yes, while his shooting has been brutal he showed up last night to the tune of an efficient 3 of 5 night from the floor.  He wasn't settling for bad jump shots this time, he got to the rim on a regular basis and only attempted a single three.  And that is how Drexel won this game.

Up until Freddie's Bull Run to the basket, Drexel didn't win games when they shot 21% from three.  And when they were outrebounded in those same games, they were quickly on their way to blowout city.  So why then, was this night unlike other nights?

After 27 points were scored in the first 10 minutes of the game - not exactly a scoring bananza in itself, which ended with Towson on a 11-4 run and threatening to run away with the game, Bru answered with a substitution: In went Austin Williams and out went Sammy Mojica.  Suddenly the game was even slower.  Only 17 points were scored in the back 10 minutes of the half, Towson only had a single offensive rebound in the back half of the half, and Drexel battled back to a tie game, 22-22.  A message had been sent.

In the second half Bru went back to the 4 guard, but the game stayed just as slow.  As a matter of fact, at a stunning and seemingly impossible 49 possessions, this was the slowest game in the Bruiser Flint era at Drexel.  Alan Boston kept saying that Bru needed to slow it down and play his game, and going into Iona I told him that I thought he was wrong, that this DU team could play with pace.  Turns out, in a move stunning no one, the guy who made his career being smart about this stuff was right on the money.  Because as good as the defense was, here's what you didn't realize about the offense that scored 55 points.

At 1.12 points per possession, yesterday Drexel had it's most efficient offensive game of the season. Good defense led to good offense.  It's amazing what 26 points in the paint will do.

So while Towson helped out at times with what their own coach called "terrible guard play" including Four McGlynn shooting from 35 thousand feet, respect what Drexel did.  And give Bru his due, because when he absolutely had to do something that he didn't want to do - put a second big man in the game and hit the brakes - he did it.

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