The below is written by Jay Koeppel - The infamous "DrexelJay" of the CAAZone. We welcome back Jay and thank him for his contribution below.
Final Score: JMU 68 Drexel 45
Drexel Player of the Game: Kazembe Abif
Key to the Game: Bench points. Points in Paint. Rebounding. 2nd Chance Points.
Next Game: Sunday January 24, Noon - vs UNCW
Tonight's game ends my personal boycott of Drexel basketball - but for only one game. I promised myself over a year ago that until Bruiser and Zillmer were removed from the Athletics Department, I would never watch another Drexel Dragons men's hoops game. I also made a promise that as soon as they were gone, I would pledge my support to the new leadership in hopes of helping get the program back to something that we can all be proud of. While our fanbase may not always get along, everybody in our fanbase - but we have always had the same goal in mind. We want this team to WIN. We hold the team more accountable than our Athletic Department does. And the vast majority that I have spoken to have accepted that the time has come for changes to be made.
With all that said, I never expected this year's team to be this bad. 3-14 is shocking (even to the most cynical fan) and even though I am not watching the games, I still read this blog. I respect the people who put it together and the passion they display. But 3-14 is enough to get me to watch a game. Why? I want to see for myself if it is really that bad. I wrote this intro 45 minutes before tip-off knowing absolutely nothing about this year's team besides their record. I know nothing about JMU either. I have watched a lot of college hoops this year - but I haven't watched any CAA hoops. I am not going to go too crazy breaking down the x's and o's. I am simply going to give this team the eye test.
First Half Comments:
1. What a sad fan turnout for a first place JMU team. That gym is less than half full at tip-off.
2. Four of the first six Drexel shots were 3 pointers (3-6).
3. Drexel goes up 17-13 with 9:35 left. Solid defensive effort thus far.
4. JMU up 28-18 at halftime. Drexel scores 1 point in final 10:29 of first half.
5. Drexel winds up shooting 31% from the field including 3-18 from 3 point range (0-12 after starting 3-6)
6. Points in the paint: JMU 34 Drexel 10
7. Bench Points: JMU 27 Drexel 0
8. 2nd chance points: JMU 17 Drexel 3
9. Drexel was out-rebounded 44-20. (15-4 offensive)
This was painful to watch. An absolutely pathetic showing. Today is Throwback Thursday and this was certainly a Bruiser Flint throwback game - only worse. Those were problems of the good old days. I feel like I have watched the final 10+ minutes of the first half at least 20 times before. The Bruiser Flint extended offensive droughts are the staple of our Drexel fandom. It is mind-boggling to think that a team could play more than a quarter of a game and not hit a single shot.
The shame of it is that James Madison is also a bad team and they are in first place in the CAA and just beat us by 23 points. Please don't tell me that they aren't bad. Any decent team from the golden era of the CAA (George Mason, VCU, ODU, even Drexel) would mop the floor with the JMU team I saw play tonight. It is amazing that we play in a conference that is so winnable - yet we continue to regress.
I am not going to write about any of the players. They are not the ones to blame. But now - at 3-15 - I can't figure out how anybody willingly watches this. At halftime, my girlfriend needed me to help her pick up empty boxes from a neighbor's house in the freezing cold. It was the most entertaining part of my night. And with that, I will be fading back in to my self imposed Drexel basketball ban. I wish I could write more but I am not quite sure what else to say that hasn't been said yet - except...
See you when I see you. The apathy is real.