William and Mary is the surprise team in the Colonial. With the ridiculous firing of Tony Shaver, many players who were looking forward to being a part of the first Tribe team to play in the NCAA tournament, transferred. However, talent remained.
Nathan Knight is one of the best ever to play in the league. Thornton Scott is a future star. Now coach Dane Fischer got a couple of good graduate transfers. Others that remained completed a legit team. After years and years of working with little, Shaver had finally upgraded the talent level at this tough academic school.
Unfortunately after years of overachieving teams, of being a class act and a terrific coach, he was not allowed one last year. Obviously, the team would have been a huge favorite to make the big dance. When that happened, Shaver would have been untouchable. The new A.D. talked a bunch of bullshit, but the reality is she or someone who has influence wanted Shaver out. It is probably not a coincidence that 57 million has been donated this year to upgrade the facilities.
It shows how much this once wonderful game has deteriorated. Shaver did an incredible job. No one could dispute that. He is gone and along with him, players that would have got them into the big dance, where I believe they would have been a threat to win a game or two. Obviously, we will never know. Instead, William and Mary is just a solid bunch. I also think the coach is excellent. However, he is not Shaver. No one is.
The Tribe ran roughshod through the first half of the conference slate. They even swept the Hofstra/Northeastern road trip. However, they are no longer catching people by surprise. They are now the hunted. The result, three straight blow out losses. William and Mary is now playing more to their expected level.
On the visitor bench tonight, Drexel continues to show their youth. Towson bullied them and Drexel broke late, losing a seven point second half lead. The Dragons continue to look like potential league champions and yet, within the same game, a lock for the play in round. They are alone in sixth place in the CAA. The top six league teams avoid the dreaded play in round. William and Mary has lost 4 of 5, the skid beginning with their blowout loss at the DAC. Once a threat to win the conference, they too are no longer a cinch to avoid day one of the tournament. This is a huge game for both teams.
Drexel played probably their best game of the season when they beat W&M 84-57. Drexel never trailed. The game was never in doubt. While Drexel can be up and down within a game, Dane Fischer’s squad started up and recently has come crashing down. Drexel was well prepared for the matchup in the first game. Can they possibly repeat that home run effort? Obviously, it is not likely, but as it stands now there is little to choose between these two teams. Unlike game one, this should go to the wire. I struggle to be objective when it comes to William and Mary. It is well documented on this blog that Shaver is a hero to me. So with much bias:
Drexel 76 William and Mary 75