Thursday, February 12, 2015

Towson (home) - The Happy Recap

Final:  Drexel 53, Towson 49

Player of the Game:  Damion Lee
Key to the game:  Interior Defense
Next Game:  Sunday February 15 vs Hofstra @ the DAC

The Dragons played 26 minutes in the 3 guard and 14 at the 4 in this game (more on that in an upcoming post).  They played slow.  Damion Lee had a ho hum 23 points and the front court even tossed in an efficient 13.  They played excellent defense and Towson only shot 31% from the field.  

So why was this game close?

Last two games:  Drexel has 9 offensive rebounds to their opponents 39.  In this game it was Drexel 6, Towson 23.  Not 23 rebounds, 23 offensive rebounds.  That's putting the offensive in offensive.  Now before we get too far ahead of ourselves, C of C and Towson are two of the better rebounding teams in the conference, and they need to be since they miss a lot.  Drexel knew going in that the boards were going to be tough for them, but I don't think they expected to be well... I just googled "alternative phrases to being someones b" and nothing came back.  So I'm not saying I'm going with that, but I'm not saying I'm not.  23-6.  Mercy.  

The practical application to that is that Towson got the rebound on over 50% of the shots they missed.  On most possessions, Drexel had to try to stop Towson not once, but twice.  As inept as TU is, that's asking for trouble.  At some point - and that point is next game against Hofstra- Drexel is going to run into a team that won't let them get away with that.  

Here's what's cool though.  The Dragons had one big (ok, gigantic) problem, but beat Towson in every other way possible.  Rodney Williams was representative of his entire team.  Perhaps still getting his legs back under him a bit, his rebounding numbers have been well off since his return, but his 10 points on only 6 field goal attempts and 6 blocked shots (!!) make his final line still look good.  Sammy Mojica put together his sixth straight game with over a point per possession efficiency and is now second on the team in effective field goal percentage behind Damion Lee.  Mohamed Bah put up 6 boards, an assist and a steal in just a 22 minute shift.  

More importantly, as a team the Dragons only had 5 turnovers, which offset some of the Tigers rebounding advantage.  They kept John Davis in check and only allowed 9 three point attempts, few of which were good looks.  The actually ran some lobs off the weave and turned those into dunks.  Bruiser's squad led almost cover to cover yet again and even with the 3 ball vacant from their game (20%) they had over a point per possession on offense.  That's what getting to the rim, and making the pass inside can do, and they're doing that now.  If the days of living and dying by the three are over, then we should all say good riddance...  and yes, give the staff the credit for getting the team there.

After playing the three worst teams in the conference back to back to back things are looking up.  It's a good time to remind ourselves that this is what usually happens when the schedule is that weak, and that things get harder from here.  But fundamentally, regardless of the opposition, this team is playing better basketball.  They have an absurdly tough matchup for them on Sunday, a real test to see how much they have improved while picking on the little guys.  Personally, I can't wait to see how that test goes.  

See you at the DAC.

Four Guard Tracker:

In the 4 games since Rodney Williams return, the Dragons +/- vs opponents has been:

3 Guard:  +33
4 Guard:  +3

In this game the four guard allowed 13 offensive rebounds in just 14 minutes

Damion POY Tracker:

Damion Lee will likely move into the top 10 in All-Time Drexel Scoring and Career Free throws within the next two games, and certainly in the next three.  More on that information can be found at the absolutely outstanding

Kenpom O-Rating: 118.6 (3rd, 2nd amongst guards)
PPG:  21.9 (1st)
FG%: 46.5% (5th, 3rd amongst guards)
3pt FG%: 40.5% (5th)
FT%: 90.4% (1st)
RBP: 6.8 (4th)
APG: 2.4 (15th)
Steals/G: 1.5 (5th)
Min: 38.6 (1st)

Currently Kenpom has Damion as the Conference POY.  Current all conference team:

1. Damion Lee
2. Marcus Thornton
3. Terry Tarpey
4. Juan'ya Green
5. Scott Eatherton


  1. If one looks at the stats for just this game the 4 guard wasn't so bad. In the 14 minutes of 4-guard, the score was Drexel 27 Towson 19. In the 26 minutes of 3-guard, it was Towson 30 Drexel 26. The defense was decent in both cases, but the four-guard offense scored at 2 pts/minute compared to the three-guards 1 pt/min. I counted the offensive rebounds to be 11 for each with 1 meaningless one in the last four seconds where they were actually 5 guard. The other thing about the offensive rebounds, it that although you hate to get out-rebounded that bad, Towson only scored 14 points off those 23 offensive rebounds (7 against each group).

    It is not like I am a big fan of the 4-guard but one thing it is doing is allowing Sammy to get minutes. The way Bruiser coaches Lee and Allen are going to out there almost all the time unless they're in foul trouble, so at most Sammy might get 10-15 minutes if they played 3-guard all the time. As you've pointed out Sammy has been supplying some much needed points when he's been in there. I don't think too many people would complain seeing Sammy take some of Tavon's minutes, but I don't see that happening. I'm not sure how much it has happened, but in my mind there is at least no excuse for a 4-guard line-up that includes both Freddie and Rashann.

    It will be interesting to see how our rejuvenated team does down the stretch, especially against the more offensive-minded teams like W&M and Hofstra.

  2. I appreciate anyone who comments before I wake up at 6am on a post that I (hastily) posted at midnight, so thanks for the read.

    I screwed up the count on the 4 guard/ 3 guard +/- in the post (haste makes waste) but that has been updated, thanks for giving that a look. There will be a 4 guard post coming and it'll be a good one I think. I tried to ask the coaches why they were using the 4 guard but my request was denied by the Athletics Dept on the basis that I wasn't real media. I was looking for the pro's of using it since I didn't see them and wanted the other side of the argument. I have recently come into some thoughts on why to use it, and that's what I'll be getting up. Not sure if it will happen today, real world stuff, yadda yadda, but it'll be up by this time next week at the latest.

    Thanks again for the read!

  3. You forgot to add that 5G plays even!

    It's a shame basketball doesn't allow on-the-fly substitutions like hockey. I don't necessarily mind 4G on the offensive side, it seems to allow lanes to the rim to open up for the guards to drive or for Rodney getting free for a dunk and that's a good point by WB about it allowing Sammy minutes. That said, I can't stand it on defense

  4. If you want to ask Bruiser about it, you should try tweeting the question for the coach's teleconference - at least Rob Washburn is always putting that out there as a possibility. I don't know that I heard them ask/answer one, but perhaps no one is asking questions that way.

    Tony Shaver did have some thoughts on the benefits of 4-guard on this week's call. The question was asked about UNCW using it against them, but Shaver uses it as well at times so I would guess his thoughts were related to why he does as well.