For likely one bid leagues like the Colonial, the real season begins now. Yes, conference play is underway!
It is good news and bad news for Drexel. The bad news is Drexel opens with conference favorite Northeastern. The good news is school is on break so home advantage will not be immense. The other good news is that last year Drexel scored the games final 7 points to beat Northeastern in Philly. There was almost more good news in the rematch in Boston. Drexel fell behind by 14 but made a late run to get the game back to 4, before finally losing 75-69.
The really bad news is Northeastern will have all hands on deck for the first time this season. Their superb point guard Vasa Pusica returned last game after missing the previous 6 contests. In 31 minutes he had 16 pts and 7 assists. Superb defender Shaun Occeus missed the St Bonny win to attend to personal matters, but he will be back for the conference opener. Northeastern has had a myriad of injuries this season, but they are now as healthy as they have been.
With his roster intact, mastermind Bill Coen and his structured and efficient offense will be in full gear. Drexel is suspect defensively. They should have their hands full defending Northeastern. Despite the erratic roster, the Huskies have wins over Alabama, Bucknell, Harvard and most recently St. Bonaventure. Most will talk about how efficient Northeastern is offensively, but it is their massive improvement defensively that makes them the favorite this season.
Sure, Drexel catches a break playing in a not so hostile environment, but a healthy Northeastern team should be far too good on both sides of the ball for Drexel. I do think the Dragons will play their best, but they are playing against one of the best Colonial teams since Keats left UNCW.
Northesatern 68 Drexel 52