CAA Championship Preview – The Finale Is Too Soon

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For the final, I give you another from The Voice Croatia, Season 3, which had the strongest group of vocalists I have heard on a singing competition. This song is from a little-known group out of Ohio, Welshly Arms. This kid covers mostly obscure artists, but his taste is impeccable. The winner of tonight’s hoop finale, should feel the lyric.

I would like to again thank Dan for letting me play “the expert”. I do not know a ton about basketball. I know how to pick winners, at least sometimes. It is an entirely different skill set. One of my best friends in life, Sally Solomon was a long time Chemistry professor at Drexel. I also feel a West Philly camaraderie. I am honored to be allowed to both convey some thought and spew some venom. I thank any that have read my attempts. If one person finds joy in reading, then I am a winner, which of late, has been ephemeral.

Congratulations to Coach Spiker. I still feel he could have better performed in his tenure here, but Drexel is playing their best ball at the right time. They have been buoyed by the return of their best shooter, Mate Okros, which has allowed them better spacing. Drexel has hit threes at a high rate for them. Will that continue?

I doubt even the most optimistic of Elon fans could have envisioned this. Mired in a long losing streak, Elon has come from nowhere and won seven in a row. Last night, “We had a group effort,” Ikenna Ndugba said. “We just wanted to capitalize on our keys going into the game: Gang rebound and share the ball and make open shots, and have fun doing it.”

The group mentality is how mid majors excel. Elon also got a huge game from freshman Darius Buford, who had 19 points and 6 assists. After being winless in their first seven contests, the Phoenix are, no, do not write it, no, no, no, “rising”. Boston, I said “no!”.

I understand how cliche it is, but damn it is stupid fun to put it on paper.

Sure, the final score last night was a bit misleading as they ended on a 14-1 run after Hofstra, like many, in this fucked up season, ran out of gas. Still, Coach Schrage is the man. Can they continue the winning streak?

Drexel is the favorite going in, but I am still not sold. They shot the lights out night one versus a bad College of Charleston team. Last night, Coen talked of how Northeastern played on fumes. Yet Drexel led only one with less than seven minutes to go in the game. The shot clock wound down. James Butler, somehow, had the ball. He proceeded to hit a dagger three pointer. Another followed. Northeastern was done.

I doubt Butler would be Spiker’s first choice to take what turned out to be the pivotal shot. If he misses, it is not difficult to see a different result. Drexel hit 8-16 from three and 14-16 free throws. They killed the fatigued Huskies on the boards. Drexel did struggle vs Northeastern zone. I am sure Shrage took note. Drexel was fortunate to get thru. If Northeastern didn’t fall to COVID in the final weeks, I doubt the Dragons would have had much chance. Credit to Drexel for playing well when it counts.

I was high on Elon to start the year. I have praised Mike Schrage nonstop. He deserves every bit of it.
I may seem bias, but one does not earn a living betting sports with that mentality. Elon is young. They are extremely well coached. Their improvement was expected. Drexel is playing with a ton of confidence. They have shot the ball extremely well. Drexel has the advantage of playing only their third game in three days, while Elon is playing their fourth in four. They are also more experienced.

Elon has won the final five minutes of the last two games. Energy does not seem to be an issue for the young team. They also have Mike Schrage. Sorry to keep taking shots at Coach Spiker, but against names like Coen or Schrage he has shown to be second best. I feel Drexel is at their ceiling. I do not think Elon is close to theirs. I feel Schrage will have a superior game plan. Drexel will likely need to continue bombing in threes. I doubt James Butler will go two for two when it matters again.

Elon 78 Drexel 69

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