Drexel visits the oldest town in Texas to take on traditional Southland Power Stephen F Austin. Nacogdoches is named after the indigenous Nacagdoche people, who settled there centuries earlier. The Stephen F Austin success story began with Danny Kaspar, now at Texas State and continued with Brad Underwood, now at Illinois.
Strangely, the powers that be in Nacogdoches decided to not stay in the Kaspar tree and instead hired a Billy Kennedy assistant, Kyle Keller. Now in his fourth year, he has not come close to the success of the prior coaches. Last year was a disaster as injuries, suspensions and defections destroyed any hope of success.
Do not weep. The Lumberjacks loaded up the talent and I make them the favorite to win the Southland. They only have two starters returning but it is the recruiting class that puts them at the top. Keller signed four, count them four, top-100 Junior College transfers. From Dallas they nabbed three star frosh Sama’Zha Hart. He played 18 minutes against Niagara, up from 13 minutes in the game against UNC Central. Hart has averaged 10 points in the two games. He will likely start sooner rather than later.
The talent of his teammates has been on full display as they ran UNC Central out of the gym, 94 64. They led Niagara by only 34-32 at the half but surged to a 21 point lead before coasting home, 89-80.
Drexel has obviously made massive strides this year. They went on the road and took both Temple and most recently Rutgers to the wire. This is now Drexel’s fifth game in twelve days to open the season. The war at Rutgers could leave them even more sapped. Stephen F Austin is a terrific program. Their talent is legit. Drexel might hang for a bit, but I would expect the flood gates to open rather quickly.
Stephen F Austin 90 Drexel 71