CAA Preview: Drexel Dragons

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By: Matthew Neiser

Head Coach: Zach Spiker (3rd season)

Last Season: 13-20 (6-12, 7th in CAA); lost to Charleston in CAA Quarterfinals

Losses:

  • G Tramaine Isabell (21 ppg; transferred to Saint Louis)
  • F Miles Overton
  • F Austin Williams
  • G Kris Alford
  • G Sammy Mojica
  • F Tyshawn Miles

Newcomers:

  • G Trevor John (Transferred from Cal Poly)
  • F Zach Walton (Transferred from Edmonds Community College)
  • G Matey Juric (Lake Forest Academy)
  • G Coletrane Washington (Quaker Valley High School)
  • G Camren Wynter (DME Academy)
  • F Tim Perry Jr. (redshirted last year)
  • F James Butler (sat out last year due to transfer rules)

Coming off a season where they finished in a four-way tie for seventh in the CAA, the Drexel Dragons are going to be an interesting team to follow this upcoming season. While the team has dwelled at the bottom of the CAA for the last few years, improvement has been the name of the game for Dragons.

Having increased the team’s win total in both seasons since arriving and bolstered by the signing of a multi-year extension this summer, head coach Zach Spiker will look to continue the trend in 18-19. However, improvement this season will be quite the task.

Losing important players is never easy for any team. Losing your top scorer and assist-maker as a sub-.500 team in a mid-major conference? That’s about as difficult as it can get. The Dragons find themselves with this exact dilemma coming into the 2018-2019 season, as CAA All-Conference Second Team guard Tramaine Isabell (21 pts, 7.5 reb, 3.4 ast) graduated this past summer and transferred to Saint Louis. To add to the Dragons’ troubles, they also graduated guard Sammy Mojica (third leading scorer) and CAA All-Defensive Team forward Austin Williams (first in rebounds).

Luckily for the Dragons, they will still return three 10+ ppg scorers from last season, led by Junior guard Kurk Lee. Lee led the team in minutes last season at just under 36 per game, and is poised to be the team’s main playmaker in the absence of Isabell.

Drexel will look to replace much of the lost production with returning players, but that certainly won’t be the only source. Incoming transfer forward Zach Walton has impressed in Drexel’s recent preseason tour in Australia, highlighted by a 22-point game in his debut for the team. New guards Trevor John and Camren Wynter also contributed a little under ten points apiece during the tour.

Shooting has been a major issue for the Dragons, who finished dead last in 3PT% last season. If they want to drag themselves up from the bottom of the league, improving their accuracy from deep is going to be absolutely key. The addition of John is bound to help, as he shot a whopping 45% from beyond the arc last season for Cal Poly.

One bright spot for the Dragons this season will be their depth. Though they lost major contributors, the rest of the team has stayed mainly intact. Add onto that the transfers of John and Walton, as well as the addition of forwards Tim Perry Jr. and James Butler, who both sat out last season, and the Dragons will be a team with lots of  experience throughout the squad.

Bottom Line: Losing Isabell, Williams, and Mojica leave Drexel with an abundance of question marks. The Dragons will have to develop leadership and shooting quickly to find success this season. Expectations aren’t high for the Dragons, but new additions and improvement from some familiar faces might help them surprise some people.

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