In meeting one, Drexel caught Delaware a bit worn out and won easily, 76-60. Since then the two teams that are both being led by a new and improved coach have shown signs of a positive future. Drexel endured a rigorous 5 games in 10 days stretch and came out the better. They then buried William and Mary and lost a very winnable game vs Towson. That gamemay have been lost due to an injured Miles Overton and a couple of dinged up players.
Kurk Lee is emerging as a terrific point guard. He will need to improve defensively. The weight room and experience will help with that. The players seem to be buying in to Spiker’s system. They are not backing down from pressure. Good recruits are on the way. The future is bright.
Delaware could not get Mike Brey back, so they turned to one of his boys, Martin Inglesby. They are also showing life. After upsetting Elon at home, the got their first conference road win knocking off James Madison 58-57. They are playing the cliched hard nosed basketball. With a lack of talent, they are shortening games and defending terrifically. If Inglesby can recruit (and my guess is that he can) Delaware too should improve a ton next year. For both these struggling programs, things are looking up.
This game is a toss up. Throw the first game out as Drexel was super focused and better rested. Delaware was not ready. The rout was on. We know that in the Towson game both Austin and Rodney Williams seemed to get knocks, and Kari Jonsson was getting his knee iced down. Obviously with the lack of depth, Drexel could use all of them at full strength, not only their minutes but as added threats on the floor. Delaware has played extremely well at home, with wins over JMU, Elon and Northeastern. The only blowout loss was to Towson right after the upset of Northeastern. Drexel showed great resolve in their last two road efforts. Who has the edge then?
With the noted exception of when Monte Ross sold his soul to get better players, Drexel has had the better program for the last decade plus. I also believe the Dragons are further along in their rise back to relevance. This is no knock on Delaware as they have played extremely well given what they have. Therefore, I give a peanut edge to the Dragons. I hope the Colonial Athletic Association still exists in its current form in a few years. I feel both Drexel and Delaware will be upper tier teams. With Elon also improving, C of C and UNCW all set, and Shaver working miracles at William and Mary, the league will be very tough and very balanced. Lets hope it is allowed to happen.
Drexel 70 Delaware 68
Vegas Line: Delaware -1
Other CAA Lines (Home team in CAPS)
Charleston -1.5 HOFSTRA
TOWSON -2 Elon
William and Mary -4 JMU
Wilmington -4 NORTHEASTERN