Final Score: Drexel 61, College of Charleston 54
Drexel player of the game: Rodney Williams
Key to the game: Free Throws
Next Game: Thursday Jan 14, @ Hofstra
The first win of the conference season for the Dragons wasn't just their first win of the conference season. It was, on January 9th, the first time during the 15-16 season that this team has earned a win. It was widely circulated that the win against Penn was a fight to see which team was less terrible that day, and the Dragons win against La Salle came against one of the poorest efforts this decade by the La Salle program. While College of Charleston certainly didn't light the world on fire, they didn't hand the Dragons this game either. With a well earned win, and the offense looking effective in back to back games, it appears that we have confirmed signs of improvement, which has to feel good for coaches, players and fans alike.
The story of the week for the Dragons was the suddenly conscious offense. After not going over a point per possession in a game since Thanksgiving, they did it in both games this week. This was directly correlated to the shot selection. The ball finally made many an appearance in the paint. In the Charleston game, 24 of 33 points scored from the field (73%) were scored in the paint, and that is indicative of what we have seen since the new year. In out of conference play, 50% of their points in the run of play were scored in the paint. In the young CAA season, that number is 59%. And while that won't cure all of the ills of this team, it's a very good place to start a rebuild.
On the Charleston side, the story was lack of adjustments. Despite getting pounded in the paint, they never looked to a zone. When the Dragons came out and hedged hard on the perimeter, they never moved the ball fast enough to catch the defense out of position from it. Rodney Williams didn't just score 19 points, he did it by abusing his defenders, multiple times simply walking around them for a dunk. Never did the doubleteam come. Add to the lack of adjustments the loss of Canyon Berry with a separated shoulder, and the Charleston freshman frontcourt having to face the veteran Dragon bigmen (although we saw flashes - Jarell Brantley is going to be a real good player in this league), and you get a game that not even 47% 3 point shooting could bring C of C back from.
While there is clear improvement in both the Drexel game-planning and the frontcourt execution, the Dragons still have a ways to go. Sammy Mojica has shown considerable improvement, taking the ball to the hoop much more often then settling for pullup jumpers of late, but Terrell Allen seems to be hitting a freshman wall, more has been less from Tavon Allen, and Rashann London has not shown himself to be a consistent offensive threat. Find a team that can handle the Dragon frontcourt, or simply get Kaz Abif and Rodney Williams in foul trouble, and there still will be issues. Still, this game was a step in the right direction, and the team should walk away feeling good that the work and effort that they have put in all season is starting to pay dividends.