Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Towson (home) - Pregame

Four games ago the Dragons hit a stretch where the matchups made anything possible, and they went 4-0.  Two games ago I said that the Dragons needed 3 wins in order to keep themselves out of playing on Friday Night in Baltimore.  No "Pillow Fight Friday" team has ever won the CAA Tourney, so this was an especially relevant goal.  Now, they're just one win away from "should be good" territory.  With a very tough matchup coming up on Saturday, followed by 3 of the final 4 games on the road, now would be a very good time to get that third win.

The Dragons already defeated Towson on the road this year, and they are just the type of team that DU likes to play.  Big, slow, and very weak on the offensive side of the ball.  The Tigers are last in the conference in 3pt field goal percentage and first in missed free throw percentage.  The Tigers lone shooter, Four McGlynn is an easy cover since he is the only guard worth paying attention to on the perimeter.  Drexel beat these guys on the road and the Dragons are even better now than they were then, so this game should be a walk in the park, no?

Well, no.  Coach Skerry has been finding ways to minimize how terrible his team is shooting the ball.  Namely, everyone meets at the basket.  The Tigers are 1st in the conference on the offensive glass, and first in the country at getting to the foul line.  If the Dragons start getting silly and go small, or run, then they will be doing TU a tremendous favor.  Looking at the first game - this is big - the Dragons played a half hour of four guard, but they also kept the pace to an absolute crawl.  With just 49 possessions, it was one of the slowest games in the entire country this year.  End result?  Dragons guards calmed down, the team only had 3 turnovers, and a turnover differential of +8 is how they won.

So that is what we want to see after this game tips at 6pm at the DAC.  Low and slow, like good barbecue.  Bru did mention how strong Towson's rebounding was after last game, so we know that is an area of concern to the staff and will hopefully lead to some more minutes for the big guys.  Towson is 3-3 in their last 6 and playing better basketball themselves, but when two teams play similar styles, it's always nice to be the more talented team, also playing at home.  The only concern on the books is that the players and staff have had exceptionally good press this week for a 9-14 basketball team, and could come out a little flat and overconfident.  Still, no excuse to lose this one.

Prediction:  Drexel 57 - Towson 45
Vegas Line:  Drexel -4

Alan Boston's Notes:  Towson is next up for Drexel. They last met in early January an easy 55-41 road win for Drexel. This happened pre Williams return, so with RW back, this should be easy. Towson has lost 2 in a row. Drexel has won 5 in a row, so this should be a cake walk. There is nothing Towson can do to hurt Drexel. There will be absolutely NO REASON for Bruiser to use that reprehensible 4 guard thing, so how can Drexel ever lose? Well, as easy as this looks and Drexel will be a decent fave for sure, danger still looms. Teams that lose at home, play to higher level in the road rematch, so Towson will be more than ready here. Drexel has played mostly great in their 5 game winning streak, but like the peaks they are at now, there are always valleys lurking. There is a good chance Drexel shows up flat for this game. Yes, I feel Towson will have more energy, more focus for the rematch. Is this enough to pull the upset? Well, again, it all depends on the number 4.  Since there is not a single good reason to go 4 guards vs Towson, I think Drexel superior talent will be enough to get by.

Drexel 58 Towson 56

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