Final Score: Elon 81, Drexel 76
Drexel Player of the Game: Terrell Allen
Key to the Game: Perimeter Defense
Next Game: Saturday Feb 20 at William and Mary
The first time the Dragons played Elon in a conference game, at home at the DAC on January 3rd, 2015, this was written in the postgame blog post:
Many, including Coach Flint, want to say that the key to the game was the three point shooting in the first half by Elon. Those that want to make that argument may not be wrong but they're completely missing the underlying point.
Taking a second and granting them the point, lets note this: Tanner Samson took 10 attempts from long range in this game. Tanner shoots 80% of his shots each year from 3. He's the definition of a one trick pony. Tanner is going to take jump shots from behind the arc, and that's it. He's not going to drive by anyone. He's not going to cut to the basket away from the ball. He's the easiest guy on the court to guard, and it's not close. In the preview I even said:
Samson takes 80% of his shots from behind the arc though, so against a man to man defense, as long as his man doesn't leave to help out, there is no reason Samson should threaten the Dragons.
(In my best Bruiser voice) Dude took 10 shots. He was open to shoot the ball 10 times. (/Bru voice) For perspective, the other player in the conference who just sits outside the 3 point line is Towson's Four McGlynn. McGlynn took 6 three point shots against the Dragons last year in two games combined. More perspective: Last year when the Dragons played against the Phoenix in the Preseason NIT, Samson only took 5 shots.
Samson was left open to shoot the ball 10 times in this game. There were only 68 possessions in this game! You're telling me that this guy, who only has one move, was left open to do it on 15% of the possessions? And you want to give them credit for it? Last year the Dragons only allowed 22% of the points against them to be scored from three point territory. This year it's 28%.
That was then, after a game in which Tanner Samson scored 12 points against the Dragons. It turns out, after three more head to head matchups with the Dragons, that all of that was written after Samson's lowest scoring performance against the Dragons. In the games since that time, Samson scored 22, 19 and 19 points. He did that on 16 three point attempts and just 7 shots from inside the arc.
When you can't stop a perimeter spot up shooter at any point over the course of four games, you don't deserve to win. The Drexel offense played well tonight. Terrell Allen was animated, got his teammates involved, and the Abif/Rodney Williams tandem was totally unstoppable. Tyshawn Myles and Austin Williams combined for 6 rebounds and 5 blocked shots in just 23 minutes. They only had 8 turnovers and they shot well from the free throw line. But when the other team, who everyone knows is in love with the three point jump shot, is allowed to shoot 59% from the perimeter, there's just not much of a chance of winning.
In 4 CAA games against the Dragons, @ElonMensHoops shooting from three:
Total: 39-77 (51%)
It might be time for a defensive adjustment.