Messages

Forum Index : College Basketball : Messages
Author: [College Basketball] Topic: Drexel-SJU Play
Dmon826 send a private message View Space | Friends | Playbook |
Dmon826
Participation Meter
Rookie
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 588
Location: Pennsylvania
#1
Posted: 11/30/2011 5:56:12 PM
Sorry I haven't been posting much lately.  There's a number of reasons it's been tough this season to post my plays, but rather than bore you with excuses, I'll just apologize and get on to tonight.
 
There's an interesting game on the schedule tonight that caught my eye.  In what ought to be a real Philly battle tonight, I'm going with:
 
DREXEL +4.5
 
This game's particularly interesting to me because of the contrast in styles.  St. Joes is an athletic, young team just starting to figure it out this year.  Drexel, on the other hand, is its usual physical, hard-nosed team that tries to impose its will on you.  Whichever team can control the style of the contest obviously has the bench chance to prevail here.
 
Let's look at the two teams in a bit more detail, starting with Drexel.  This is the quintessential Bruiser Flint Drexel team:  it's physical, defensive-minded, and dominant on the boards, while simultaneously lacking in offensive creativity and shooting.  The strength of this team is its trio of big men--Samme Givens, Dartaye Ruffin, and Daryl McCoy-- a trio that led Drexel to being the 17th best offensive rebounding and #1 best defensive rebounding team in the country a year ago.  Now they all return and bring back that rebounding and inside scoring to anchor this unit.  Now, the guard play is what's really held this team back so far, as the shooting has been abysmal.  They do get gunner Chris Fouch back tonight (most likely, anyway) for the first time this season, but despite his launch-tastic scoring mentality, he lacks the accuracy to really be an efficient scorer.  Despite their offensive problems, though, this team definitely takes on Bruiser's identity and is an extremely tough-minded defensive bunch.  They play an in-your-face man-to-man that really stifles the perimeter game of its opponents; its current opponent 3-point FG% of 20.3% ranks third in the country.  With their ability to force misses and clean up the glass, this is one of the best defenses in the country despite not turning their opponents over very often and fouling too often.
 
St. Joes, on the other hand, is a bit more interesting and dynamic of a team.  After an ugly two-year rebuild, Phil Martelli finally has this team moving in a direction that Hawks fans can be excited about again.  Guards Carl Jones and Langston Galloway form a dynamic scoring duo, with Jones the slasher and Galloway the shooter of the two.  Inside they've got talented and super-athletic center C.J. Aiken, a shot-blocker on the defensive end and a guy who can step out and shoot it on offense.  Rounding out their rotation is underrated banger Ronald Roberts, fan-favorite forward Halil Kanacevic (the Hofstra transfer), athletic winger Daryus Quarles, and freshman true point guard Chris Wilson.  This is an extremely young bunch and they play like it sometimes, but there's a lot of talent here.  Still, it's coming together quickly, certainly quicker than I expected, and it's a testament to how good of a coach Phil Martelli is.  Offensively they've been extremely efficient, aided by their outstanding shooting (especially from 3, where they've hit at 44.2% as a team).  Defensively, they've been only average, but that's a huge step forward from last year's horrible team defense.  Their interior D has been particularly good, and is largely the result of C.J. Aiken's gamechanging shotblocking ability.  But it's not a high-pressure D, so they will generate very few turnovers.  The last SJU-specific note of relevance here is that this isn't a particularly good rebounding team, ranking 311th in offensive rebounding and 183rd in defensive rebounding.
 

CONTINUED IN NEXT POST...
quote
Dmon826 send a private message View Space | Friends | Playbook |
Dmon826
Participation Meter
Rookie
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 588
Location: Pennsylvania
#2
Posted: 11/30/2011 5:56:32 PM
...CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST


Now there's a couple things that make me lean Drexel's way in this one:
 
For those unfamiliar with the Philadelphia basketball scene, Drexel has historically been the ugly duckling in this city, as the only one of the six major city basketball schools not to be a part of the Big Five.  The other five (Villanova, Temple, St. Joes, Penn, and La Salle) are obviously the five members of the Big Five, and they have an agreement in place to play each other every year and have All-City teams and awards and records, none of which Drexel is a part of.  Drexel's always been on the outside looking in and has understandably developed something of an inferiority complex.  Still, in recent years, Drexel has still played most of the other five schools each year.  This year, though, largely because some of the other schools don't want to play in Drexel's home gym (or maybe not- I'm not the best person to ask on why Drexel does what it does), Drexel has not scheduled ANY of the other Big Five schools.  I don't ever remember that happening.  So tonight's game against St. Joes is Drexel's ONLY contest against a Big Five school this year, so all of that city pride and inferiority complex defensiveness and whatnot should be on display tonight.  Look at the rest of Drexel's schedule and you can easily see that tonight is Drexel's Super Bowl, if you will, at least as far as the regular season goes.
 
Within the game itself, these games involving city teams tend to take on a life of their own in terms of toughness and physicality and pride.  Both of these teams play a deliberate half-court game, and so you can definitely expect a slow-paced, physical game tonight.  And if it becomes a battle, that gives Drexel an edge.  The young St. Joes kids went 0-5 in the city last year (including a pasting at the hands of this Drexel team) and have yet to prove themselves in one of these types of battles.  That's not to say that they don't have it in them, only that we haven't seen it yet.  Drexel, on the other hand, has a veteran team built to fight in physical games that resemble wars.
 
Last year when these two teams played (at Drexel), Drexel won by physically manhandling the young, immature St. Joes team.  Looking at the rebounding battle in that game, Drexel's dominant 46-23 margin (17-4 on the offensive glass) tells you all you need to know about which team controlled the physical aspect of the game.  If Drexel can do that again, it ought to be able to win this game outright.  So the number of question of this game is this:  we know St. Joes has come a long way and the kids have grown up quite a bit, but have they grown up enough to fight (and win) a physical battle against a team as nasty as they'll see all year?  Rising up the that challenge would be a tremendous accomplishment for them, but it's a gigantic open question as of now.
 
Helping them, of course, will be a rocking Hagan Fieldhouse.  That place gets loud and rowdy, and gives them a ton of energy.  Last year's physical massacre happened at Drexel, and playing this year's game in their own gym (where SJU demolished Penn St. in their only home game so far this season) will certainly help give them to energy to hang with this Drexel team.
 
Normally I'd question whether Drexel can match that intensity, but given that this is their only city game of the entire season and that their inferiority complex makes this a tad bit personal, I'd sure as heck expect them to take on the personality of their head coach and come out with the proper level of intensity.  And getting Fouch back, even if he's not that great by advanced metrics, has to give them an added boost and confidence.
 
In summary, while SJU is the more talented team, I like Drexel's chances not only to keep this close, but to win outright.  The line of 4.5 in favor of SJU just seems excessively high given the physical nature of these contests, given the fact that Drexel is the team more stylistically suited to play in a real war of a game, and that this is the game of the year for this Drexel squad.  I'm rolling with:
 
DREXEL +4.5 (with a little on the ML, as well)
quote
IlliniBill send a private message View Space | Blog | Friends | Playbook | My Sportsbook: SBGGlobal.eu |
IlliniBill
Participation Meter
Captain
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5227
Location: Illinois
#3
Posted: 11/30/2011 5:57:01 PM
On it as well.  Great write-up.  BOL
quote
CrusCrnshw send a private message View Space | Blog | Friends | Playbook |
CrusCrnshw
Participation Meter
MVP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 15859
Location: Tokelau
#4
Posted: 11/30/2011 5:58:24 PM
thats a lot of stuff in there...certainly should be a grinder...dont be surprised if St. Joes runs as much as possible...no real take on this game from either side
quote
cmval5454
RSI Wagerline RSI Rating
send a private message View Space | Friends | Playbook |
cmval5454
Participation Meter
Prospect
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 176
Location: Illinois
#5
Posted: 11/30/2011 6:01:54 PM
quote
Dmon826 send a private message View Space | Friends | Playbook |
Dmon826
Participation Meter
Rookie
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 588
Location: Pennsylvania
#6
Posted: 11/30/2011 6:19:06 PM
It actually appears that the line's now Drexel +5 almost all over, for whatever that's worth.
quote
sportsanalyst send a private message View Space | Friends | Playbook |
sportsanalyst
Participation Meter
Prospect
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 440
Location:
#7
Posted: 11/30/2011 6:25:27 PM
great post and analysis. Like the under tonight
quote
Nickcage send a private message View Space | Blog | Friends | Playbook |
Nickcage
Participation Meter
Veteran
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1920
Location: Colorado
#8
Posted: 12/1/2011 1:44:35 PM
Better leave the A10 to Crenshaw
quote
Forum Index : College Basketball : Messages
You have entered the forum as a GUEST. 
You must login/register to post or reply.