Thursday, January 28, 2016

Towson Home - Pregame

With the noteable exception of two games against the University of Delaware that will be played for pride, one of the biggest remaining games on Drexel's regular season schedule kicks off this Thursday night at the DAC.  The second game and by far most winnable game of a four game homestand will be played against the Towson Tigers, who beat DU by 19 not even two weeks ago.  It's a dagger in a season to go 0-4 on a four game home swing and with the following two games against Kenpom #76 Hofstra and #70 James Madison if the Dragons want to salvage a win to double their conference total, it has to be now.

In their first game against Towson, the Dragons were manhandled.  They scored only 12 points in the first half, were dominated in the paint - having 11 of their 45 2-point shots blocked while shooting only 33% on the shots that made it past their defenders.  The Dragons performance was softer than Hilary Clinton's Top Secret Clearance, a cashmere sweater and Ron Jeremy at the end of a busy day combined.

It wasn't all bad news, even with the garbage performance from the Dragons, it still took Towson punching above their weight to make it a blowout.  The Tigers shot 50% from inside the arc and 56% from outside.  That's unlikely to happen a second time, even in an empty gym.  The game should have hung close as Towson joins DU in lacking discipline and in that game had 18 turnovers - which is consistent with what they do.  With the Dragons possibly getting back Tyshawn Myles tonight, they gain some size inside which they have been missing the last couple of games as well.  This game is winnable.

While we can breakdown the teams again, as we did here, we'll know the likely outcome to this one early and it has little to do with the matchups.  With the bulk and bodies of John Brown, Arnaud William Adala Moto, Timajh Parker-Rivera, and Mike Morsell in the starting five, Towson is going to once again punch the Dragons in the mouth.  They'll do so early and often.  Last time they did that, the Dragons did all they could to take their ball and go home - this was a time that Bru was right, no matchups or gameplan mattered.  In the first 10 minutes we'll know if the Dragons are up to breathe some fire and fight back, or run back to their locker room.  Talent-wise and matchup-wise Drexel is the better team, they're playing at home, and this is a game they should win.  But looking at the last handful of games, there's plenty of reason to believe that this teams mean streak is gone.  The fight isn't there.  This is an awful matchup for a team that doesn't want to throw a punch back.

Prediction:  Towson 61, Drexel 51
Vegas Line:  Towson -2.5

Alan Boston's Take:

Once again, we find Drexel in a spot where they appear to have a very winnable game. Two weeks ago, Towson hammered Drexel 69-50. It was perhaps Drexel's worst effort of the year, and that is saying something.  Yes, they played on short rest after putting in a huge effort at Hofstra, so they had a bit of an excuse. However, they never made a run and did not play with much intensity. There is no excuse for that. What do we get in the rematch? Excellent question. Towson has been the model of inconsistency. After the Drexel win, they lost at home to shorthanded C of C  and then went on the road and beat a very good Northeastern team. Yes Quincy Ford was out, still it was a desperate NU team that Towson beat. To start conference they won impressively at William and Mary, then came home and lost 90-58 to Towson.

Message given.

Drexel has shown flashes of being better, but they still can not shoot and I am not sure this team is equipped for the way the game is called. Until the rules are changed again,  it is de rigeuer to have guards that can break defenders down and either get fouled, make a layup or kick it out for a 3 point shot. Sadly, that is what the powers that be want. Drexel has not done well with that game.

Coming off their big road win at Northeastern, one would expect Towson, if they stick to this years formula, to put a clinker in. Drexel led for a long time vs UNCW before pissing the game away late. A repeat of that effort vs a shaky Towson team, should result in a win. However, I could never write with much certainty, the words, "Drexel will win"

With much trepidation

Drexel 66 Towson 63

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