2017-18 Preview: The Freshmen and New Arrivals

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In the first of four installments in the week before the Dragons’ season opens, we take a look at the new arrivals to 34th and Market.

This season, the Drexel Dragons will add five players to their roster.  If asked to describe this group of players in one word, that choice word would be “BIG.”  Three freshmen who are all taller than 6-9, a sophomore international who is 6-9, and a transfer from an old rival who stands at 6-8 will round out Zach Spiker’s recruiting push for the 2017-18 season.  In today’s article, we will take a closer look at these five players and what we know about them.

Freshman Jarvis Doles 6-9 215 LBS

Doles was Spiker’s first signing this offseason.  He’s big, mobile, and averaged a double-double in his senior year of high school.  While Doles saw interest from well known mid-major teams like Mount St. Mary’s and Wright St. he settled on Drexel, citing Kurk Lee as one of the biggest selling points in an article last year in the Baltimore Sun.

Freshman Tim Perry Jr 6-10 218 LBS

If the name “Tim Perry” looks familiar, there is a reason.  This Drexel freshman is the son of Temple standout and NBA Veteran of the same name.  Perry Jr joined the Dragons in mid-January.  In his junior year in high school playing in Cherry Hill, NJ, Perry Jr was regarded as one of the best big men in South Jersey.  He took a post-grad year to hone his skills at the Phelps School just outside of West Chester, PA.

In an interview with Dragonscast, Drexel grad Elgin Ford had a lot to say about Perry Jr’s speed and mobility, saying that he has the ability to “sprint with the guards.”

Freshman Tadas Kararinas 6-10 210 LBS

The final Drexel signing, picked up in late August, Kararinas comes to Drexel from Lithuania by way of Fidlay Prep in Nevada.  For those who are not familiar with Findlay Prep, the easiest way to describe the school is as more of a basketball team with a high school than a high school with a basketball team.  Everyone who goes there is a player, and the school typically has no more than maybe 30 students tops.  Findlay has put out 10 NBA players in the last 7 years, the first one being Avery Bradley of the Detroit Pistons.

Little is known about Kararinas, however based on the basketball environment he comes from,  he should arrive at Drexel well-schooled in the brand of basketball played outside of Europe.

Sophomore Alihan Demir 6-9 223 LBS

Demir comes to Drexel from Central Wyoming College where he averaged 13.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.  NCAA rules say that although he is a transfer this season, he will be eligible to play immediately.  From all appearances, Demir seems to be a big guy who can shoot.

In the Dragonscast interview with Ford and Canaday, Elgin Ford had this to say about Demir: “He can shoot. . . but I think that his game is more suitable with what spiker wants to do with having a trail man, something like a stretch 4.”  For those who are not aware, stretch 4 is a term that is used for a big man who is able to extend his game and spread the floor.  It is someone who plays the power forward position, commonly known at the “4” who also has the ability to shoot from the perimeter.  The style of play is similar to that of Kevin Garnett or Kevin Love.

Demir will be ineligible for the first five games of the season.

Sophomore James Butler 6-8 228 LBS

Butler comes to Drexel from Spiker’s old rival, the U.S. Naval Academy.  He is ineligible to play this season by NCAA transfer rules but he still has three years of eligibility to use after that.  Butler came to Drexel very quietly this off-season.  He is described as being very athletic with a strong vertical by his teammates.

While Butler did not have a chance to make much of an impact at Navy during his freshman campaign, he comes from a strong pedigree.  Butler’s dad is none other than Vernon Butler, Navy’s all-time second leading scorer and rebounder behind some guy named David Robinson.  We look forward to seeing James on the court in the 2018-19 season.

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