The news that Drexel Dragons fans have long awaited is finally here. The 2013-14 schedule has been released to the public.
Drexel starts off their season with a bang, traveling to UCLA to take on the Bruins in the famed Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 8. Head coach Bruiser Flint’s squad will be put to the test in the very first game of the year, taking on incoming coach Steve Alford’s Bruins. UCLA went 25-10 and won the PAC-12 regular season title outright last season under then-head coach Ben Howland.
Prior to heading to the NIT Season Tip Off, the Dragons will look to get their revenge on Illinois State, a team whose uptempo play barely outlasted Drexel a year ago in a close overtime battle. The NIT Season Tip Off could provide some intriguing match-ups if Flint’s crew is able to get by their first round opponent, Elon. Drexel could face Rutgers and college-basketball newcomer coach Eddie Jordan in the second round. The Dragons are in the bottom half of the draw that features the tournament’s No. 1 seed Arizona Wildcats.
In addition to Illinois State, Drexel will have two other chances to gain revenge on teams that beat them last season. The Dragons will host Tennessee State on Dec. 7 and make the short trip to Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 18. Last season, Drexel was stunned by Tennessee State in a 10-point loss and fell to Saint Joseph’s on New Years Eve in a blowout at home. The Dragons will travel to Davidson on Dec. 15, a team that they took down at the DAC last season.
Home games against Cleveland State (Dec. 4), Saint Francis (PA) (Dec. 22), and Buffalo (Dec. 29) round out Drexel’s four non-conference games at the DAC. Drexel will also travel to Southern Mississippi (Jan. 3) in their final game before CAA play begins.
Obvious to any fan of the Blue and Gold is one glaring hole in the non-conference schedule. Penn – Drexel’s neighborhood rival in the “Battle of 33rd Street” – is missing from the schedule. This is the second time in three seasons that the two schools will opt to not play each other. Although the official reason why is unknown, one could assume that Flint is taking a stand against the Quakers’ refusal to go home-and-home with the Dragons. Penn will only play the games at the Palestra, so it seems the year that Flint sees as Drexel’s year to hold the home game, the two teams will not play. Last season after Drexel beat Penn at the Palestra, Flint had some strong words about the matter.
The Dragons’ first game in a further watered-down CAA will begin on Jan. 8 as they travel to William & Mary. Some notable conference games will be when likely CAA-favorite Towson comes to West Philadelphia on Jan. 14. Arch-rival Delaware makes the trip up I-95 to face Drexel on Jan. 20, and you can bet the house that the DAC Pack already has the date circled.
Drexel will host CAA newcomer College of Charleston on Feb. 26, which will be Senior Night for the Dragons. This season’s seniors include sixth-year guard Chris Fouch, point guard Frantz Massenat, center Dartaye Ruffin, back-up forward Goran Pantovic, and reserve guards Jake Lerner and Stevan Manojlovic.
On March 7, the Dragons will make the trip to Baltimore, Md. for the CAA Conference Tournament. This will be the first year that the tournament is held in Baltimore after a long run in Richmond, Va.
Last season, Flint’s team finished with a disappointing 13-18 record and was ousted in the first round of the CAA tournament. With Fouch’s sixth-year granted, Massenat and Damion Lee a year better, and an influx of young talent with the potential to make an early impact, it is hard for Drexel fans to not be hopeful. Could this be the year that the Dragons cleanse their mouths of the sour taste left by the NCAA selection committee in 2012 and their sub-.500 season in revenge-seeking 2013?
Any “prediction” would be merely a guess. You’ll just have to hop on-board and get ready for the five month ride. This could be a fun season for the Drexel Dragons.
8…..Friday…..at UCLA…..12:00 AM
12…..Tuesday…..at Illinois State…..8:00 PM
18…..Monday…..NIT Season Tip Off vs. Elon…..5:00 PM
19…..Tuesday…..NIT Season Tip Off vs. Rutgers or Canisius…..TBA
25-29…..Monday-Friday…..NIT Season Tip Off (site TBA)…..TBA
4…..Wednesday…..Cleveland State…..7:00 PM
7…..Saturday…..Tennessee State…..4:00 PM
15……Sunday…..at Davidson…..2:00 PM
18…..Wednesday…..at Saint Joseph’s…..7:00 PM
22…..Sunday…..St. Francis (Pa.)…..2:00 PM
3…..Friday…..at Southern Mississippi…..2:00 PM
8…..Wednesday…..at William & Mary*…..TBA
11….. Saturday…..Northeastern*…..2:00 PM
18…..Saturday…..at UNC Wilmington*…..TBA
25…..Saturday…..William & Mary*…..4:00 PM
1…..Saturday…..at Towson*…..4:30 PM
3…..Monday…..UNC Wilmington*…..7:00 PM
8…..Saturday…..James Madison*…..4:00 PM
13…..Thursday…..at College of Charleston*…..TBA
19…..Wednesday…..at James Madison*…..7:00 PM
23…..Sunday…..at Delaware*…..3:00 PM
26…..Wednesday…..College of Charleston*…..7:00 PM
*Denotes Colonial Athletic Association game.
Home games are in bold.