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Making A Name

What do you think of when you think of Philadelphia college basketball? Villanova, the team that went to the Final Four a few years back, and a consistent feature in the NCAA tournament. How about Temple, a team that upset Coach K and Duke earlier this year and is well on its way to capturing the Atlantic 10 title? Even St. Joes, which has produced players such as Jameer Nelson and Delonte West, gets a lot of attention. The hallowed Palestra where UPenn is famous for playing its games and the aura of traditional Ivy clashes brings attention to the Quakers as well.

The Dragon mascot has had plenty cheer about, most notably 23 wins (SBNation).

But you know what you usually don’t think of when you think Philly college basketball? Drexel, a college not known for their basketball capabilities but rather for their esteemed engineering courses. However, this year’s version of the Dragons has been turning some heads with their performances. With Villanova having a down year, UPenn most likely out of contention, and Saint Joseph’s not really in the mix for an at-large bid, Drexel has taken center stage in Philly (along with the impressive Owls). With an impressive 23-5 overall record, and 14-2 in the Colonial Athletic Conference, the Dragons have had a quite a good season.

Wins over very good mid-majors in so-called “BracketBuster” match-ups may be the most interesting aspect of Drexel’s season; they’ve knocked off three 20+-win teams, Cleveland State, George Mason, and VCU, all of whom are the mix for at-large bids.

Drexel will most likely win their conference, barring a late-season collapse, and go to the tournament. Usually George Mason or Old Dominion goes, or even the Cinderella-story VCU. However, this is Drexel’s year to shine. They will be seeded low, but they could have a good chance to upset a 3 or 4 seed, as they may play a team such as Michigan which has shown weaknesses this season.

Lee, still a freshman, has been a pleasant surprise and is Drexel's future (Carrocio).

Drexel, led this year by sophomore Frantz Massenat (13.7 ppg, 4.4 apg), freshman Damion Lee (12 ppg, 1.8 apg), and senior Samme Givens (11.6 pg, 7.5 rpg), have put on an impressive display during their season, showing chemistry that has been lacking in other major programs, and a desire to win.

With their level of play, Drexel will most likely go to their first NCAA tournament since 1996, when current Sixers broadcaster Malik Rose was on the team. It’s the dawn of a new age in North Philadelphia, as the Dragons have taken the entire city by storm.

Arjun Dravid is Khandyman’s Drexel correspondent.

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Categories: CBB, Drexel

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One Comment on “Making A Name”

  1. soslow
    February 20, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Arjun, great article. Glad to see that drexel is getting some of the reccognition they deserve.

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