Drexel goes from playing one of the preseason conference favorites to playing possibly the present conference favorite. As possible proof, Drexel closed an 11.5 point underdog to Northeastern. The line opened for this game at Hofstra by 14.5. At least the Dragons get the toughest games out of the way early. And there’s good news…
Drexel played very well vs a tough Northeastern team. Coen gave huge props to Troy Harper, who led Drexel with 28 points. Coen said they could not stop him. Harper has always been a scorer, but it seems as if he took it to another level against Northeastern. This could be huge for Drexel, if/when Kurk Lee should return.
Northeastern was never able to get control of the game. Drexel made repeated runs throughout. Unfortunately, Drexel’s defensive concerns were not alleviated. Northeastern runs terrific offense, but they shot over 56% for the game and over 52% from 3 point land. The Dragons will not win many games giving up numbers like that.
Unfortunately, they now face red hot Hofstra, a team that has surprised this writer. Hofstra hit 14 of 23 triples in the rout of Delaware. The final score was 91-46. Delaware had something to do with it, but Hofstra is running Mihalich’s spread offense beautifully. With a myriad of guards running off a myriad of screens, Hofstra is a difficult team to stop. With Drexel’s trouble on D, trouble lurks. The good news is that Drexel hung in both games versus the Dutchmen last year. The bad news is Drexel is down a notch and Hofstra is up at least one notch this year.
I thought Drexel we impressive in their conference opener. However, a repeat of that effort will likely not win this one. What concerns this writer the most, is the amount of minutes the starters are playing. Of the utmost concern is Freshman point guard Wynter. He played 39 minutes vs Northeastern, the ninth time this year he has played over 30 minutes and the seventh time he had played 36 or more minutes. He is just a freshman. He can’t be asked to sustain that pace.
If Drexel played this game as the first of the road trip, I would have given them a chance at the upset. Short rest for a team that played their hearts out versus a team that is running their beautiful offense to near perfection and is coming off of a laugher, is probably too much too overcome. I shall be taking 14.5 but now with alacrity.
Hofstra 84 Drexel 73