I am a college basketball fan. I do not have a ton of knowledge about Drexel basketball. My previews are from an entirely neutral position.
Year four of Coach Spiker, is indeed, his best team. I don’t think a lot of people, right now, after such a poor February in the win/loss column understand that. In fact, Drexel has improved slightly every year under coach Spiker per my power rankings. However, I would make this his final season as Dragon’s Head Coach.
I write this even though I believe coaches are fired far too quickly. I had no intention of going here, until I saw Camren Wynter played forty fucking minutes in their latest loss to UNCW. Drexel has one and only one thing that matters, give the team the best shot to win the conference tournament. After they failed, game after game after game, to have a chance to avoid the play in round, there was no longer any relevance to either the UNCW game or today’s College of Charleston game. Coach Spiker did not get that memo. He chose instead to use his most valuable and already over worked player for FORTY FUCKING MINUTES, in the irrelevant UNCW game.
Even if his contract says that he must win “X” number of games, to achieve a bonus or whatever nonsense they come up with in today’s greed filled game he should sacrifice whatever amount that is for the good of the team. Playing Cam Wynter for FORTY FUCKING MINUTES in a lame duck game, is not optimal for either Cam or the team. These last two games should be used to prepare for the upcoming conference tournament. Spiker should use his bench players for the majority of minutes, to help prepare them for the conference tournament. When playing several days in a row, one never knows when cramping or an injury or fatigue may set in. It would be best to have as many players ready to go as possible. Spiker got lucky in the game at Wilmington in that a few starters got in foul trouble or I am sure he would have worn them down or risked injury to them too.
Playing starters max minutes in a game that does not matter convinced me, Spiker needs to go. However, there are many more reasons. I have watched Drexel only a few times, but I see the same sets run over and over and over again. Spiker lacks creativity. I am not saying that he should put in a new system in monthly, but when you are outmanned, unless you are Tony Shaver, you need a few tricks in the bag. Drexel’s defense has basically sucked under Spiker. Sure, it helps to have athletes to defend, but in the three point happy Colonial, how about studying Ralph Willard’s Holy Cross teams and put in some tricked up match up zone? I suggested when they last played College of Charleston to junk the defense up, perhaps a box and one to try and negate Riller as best you can. Instead I witnessed Riller have a picnic as no one on Drexel or in the league for that matter, can stay in front of him.
In game one, sure, College of Charleston shot the lights out, but it was basically a lay up drill from the three point line or an actual lay up from Riller. Spiker may have changed personnel, but he didn’t change his defense, as wide open shot after wide open shot were hit with regularity. I understand that perhaps Drexel does not have the most support behind the program, but Spiker has not recruited well either. Message delivered. I am done taking on Coach Spiker, who I thought was a good hire. Notice the participle I used.
The plan today should be to play the starters a few minutes and let the reserves play the rest. Drexel should show nothing, no new set plays, no new presses or defenses. That should play right to what Drexel does. When the conference tournament begins, he will have fresher starters. Hopefully, Spiker uses the days til the tournament to put in some new sets and perhaps even some junk defenses to hide their deficiencies. The conference tournament is all that matters, coach. Both you and your team become relevant when you make the big dance. You do not make the dance by playing Cam Wynter FORTY FUCKING MINUTES in a game that does not matter. Sure, it was a winnable game, but it was a winnable game that had no relevance. When the game got away, you did not dream of taking Cam out? I get so fucking angry at this stupidity, because it isn’t just a Coach Spiker thing, it is happening all over the country. If you are going to have a conference tournament in a one bid league, your entire season should be focused on winning it. Most coaches do not see big picture. Zach Spiker is one of them. I don’t know if this is due to coaches performance bonuses and big money greed, or if we are all just getting dumber, but it is everywhere.
As far as today goes, I would expect Coach Spiker to play Cam Wynter until the game gets out of hand and then keep him in just in case it is not out of hand enough. UNCW used a box and one and other assorted junk defenses very successfully against C of C. Coach Spiker should have learned from that, but now that this game is meaningless, even if by some miracle he has decided to put some junk in (and he has in the past, but he has saved it for the tournament), now is not the day to show it. He should keep those tricked up defenses ready for the conference tournament. Today, for sure will be the same old thing.
With Drexel worn down and on short rest, this figures to get ugly quickly. If that indeed happens, hopefully Spiker will take his starters out and give this meaningless game up. I am not suggesting to no-show, but if C of C runs out to a big lead, accept the loss. Who cares if you win this game? If you are a Drexel fan, root for the C of C blow out. If that happens, I would hope Spiker does not feel desperate to win this game. I would hope he gives up. I would hope he does not pull some full court press out of his hat. Please no. Give the game up coach. That would make this your best coached game in a very long time. Listen to Simon and Garfunkel, it is OVER.
Today needs to be entirely about setting up next Saturday in Washington.
College of Charleston 90 Drexel 52