(Cam) Wynter is coming, as are our terrible puns. And with all of that, the Drexel Dragons basketball season will kick off on November 9th in Ypsilanti, Michigan (the home opener at the DAC is November 14) and it will kick off with more questions than answers.
Out are veteran names like Williams, Isabell, Overton, Mojica and Myles. In (or now available to play after sitting out their transfer year) we see freshman snipers Coltrane Washington and Cam Wynter joined by red shirt freshman big man Tim Perry Jr. Perry Jr will fight for playing time with his fellow redshirt, sophomore James Butler. Those four will be joined by junior college transfer Zach Walton, who can play a number of positions, and Graudate Transfer Trevor John. Alongside the significant of on the court change, one thing has remained consistent: The sideline.
Zach Spiker, Rob O’Driscoll, Paul Fortier, and Justin Jennings are all back for their third year at Drexel. And the staff that has stayed together has had continuity of message, and has clearly recruited to it. They want to run, and they want to shoot, and they want to run and shoot and they want to shoot and run. In Bruiser Flint’s final four years at Drexel his team never had an effective field goal percentage higher than 47%. In their first two years, Spiker & Staff’s teams have shot 49%, accomplishing that despite being 309th in the country from three point land last season. This year, a group of incoming shooters, alongside continued development of guys like Lee, Harper and Doles means that the smarter shot selection that fans have seen under Spiker should be joined by enhanced perimeter shooting. In short, the team should be able to run, and they should be able to shoot.
How to fit all of these new pieces in is an article all to itself. At a high level here is what the Dragons are looking at: Kirk Lee is your likely starter at the point. Alihan Demir will be at the 4. And everywhere else… is a big question mark. Expect to see plenty of the double W’s, Walton and Wynter, but Troy Harper is a senior who has earned minutes over the course of his career as well, and Coletrane Washington bought into the Spiker Koolaid as early as any recruit has. Those question marks at the two and three may not as significant as who will fill Austin Williams shoes at the center spot however. Perry Jr, Butler, and too oft forgotten Tadas Kararinas will all be competing for a role that the team desperately needs someone to reach out and take over.
Off the court, from the locker room to the student section to the President’s Suite, there’s plenty of discussion to be had after a seemingly quiet off season that was actually anything but quiet. Attendance and marketing is a discussion that seems to have continued legs, as will the effect of roster change on the locker room, and the overall goals and agenda of the program.
As Scott Kier, Adam Hermann and I continue to try to provide a forum for this continued discussion, Always a Dragon is now open for the season, and excited to welcome back Drexel Basketball. Along with our friends at Dragonscast and the Blue and Gold Club, we have joined together to launch #18for18, a preseason grouping of articles, posts and podcast to help launch these important discussions, and provide fans with preseason content and excitement . As this season begins, year three of the Spiker Experience, the expectations are as unknown as they’ve been in the last fifteen years. With the teams starting spots wide open and sharpshooters up and down the roster, this team feels like its about ready for Open Season.
It’s time for Drexel Basketball. And as our friends at Dragonscast and the Blue and Gold Club will tell you, it’s time to #BringBackTheDAC. We’ll see you there.