I am not sure where to begin.
Obviously, I must address my disdain for the firing of the great Tony Shaver. Coach Shaver is the perfect coach for William and Mary. He exudes both class and intelligence. His players do the same, both on and off the court.
William and Mary has strict academic standards. They do not bend to let athletes in. It is a tough place to build a basketball program. Yet, Tony Shaver did just that. Their lack of athletes did not allow them to break through and get into the NCAA tournament, but when he took over, they were among the worst programs in division one. His entire team last year was loaded with talent, much of it young was returning. He deserved one more year. Had he stayed, William and Mary would have had a team that not only was a lock to win the Colonial, but also was a threat to win a game or two or three in the NCAA tournament. I write that without bias. Imagine this team with Pierce, Owens Audige and even Millen. With Shaver coaching a legit talented team, with the younger players having a year in his system, this would have been a legit top 25 team.
Instead some egomaniac enters. She runs her own “internal investigation”. She decides Shaver must go. What a crock of shit. One could argue that William and Mary underachieved last year, but that is only because Shaver had much success. For years his brilliant offense and schemes got his teams to overachieve, thus amping up expectations. The new Athletic Director whom let go an absolute class act, who was doing a terrific job, who had his entire talented roster returning healthy, should be forced to tell the truth. There is no doubt William and Mary would have finally made the big dance. Coach Shaver who is the sole reason they were knocking on the door, and he certainly deserved another year to make that happen. I remain both sad and disgusted that some know nothing megalomaniac decided she wanted her stamp on things.
Post Shaver, William and Mary hired an excellent coach. They are off to their best start ever. Nathan Knight loves playing for Dane Fischer. Coach Fischer also fits the Tribe vibe. Like Shaver, his press conferences show him to be both honest and positive. The results on the court have been spectacular. I am sure all the William and Mary fans are thrilled, however, this team would have been infinitely better with Shaver and his players. As I expected Thornton Scott is becoming a terrific point guard. If he can avoid injury, he will eventually be the best in the Colonial, right there with Cam Wynter.
Fisher’s offense allows for a bit more freedom. The players have reveled in that. They defend well. They take mostly good shots. The talent remains solid for a Colonial Association team. Their excellent start has shocked many. I am not one of them, but I do know how this team pales in comparison to what would have been.
OK, enough of my Shaver love. I think Tony Shaver is the perfect coach. I miss him. I am no doubt, not alone. This team loves the new coach. They have bought in. They are undefeated. They are both talented and well coached. However, one could argue that they have hit their limit. I could see them leveling off a bit.
Drexel took a while to get on track against an Elon team who was down a very good player. Sure Green was out for Drexel, but I am not sure that hurts the Dragons as much as Elon missing Wright did. Drexel continues to show flashes of brilliance. The second half explosion versus the first half struggle is a microcosm of Drexel’s year. I believe that the Dragons have better days ahead. They are a young team. They still make some poor decisions. I am a Spiker fan, but I am not sure he is optimizing his talent. No matter, they are having a very good year.
If William and Mary continues to play at this very high level, I do not think Drexel is good enough. With the Tribe big men dominating and a point guard that gets them the ball in proper spots, I do not think Drexel has the right team to stop the streak. However, at some point, William and Mary will crash. Just not today.
William and Mary 78 Drexel 73