The start of last season was disappointing, to say the least, for Drexel fans. With known stars like Damion Lee and Tavon Allen, the team was expected to be at least competitive. Instead, they dug themselves too deep of a hole to come out of. Granted, they played four pretty tough teams to start the season (@ Colorado, vs Saint Joseph's, vs USC, vs Miami). The Dragons lost each of those first four games, but then won two straight against an underrated Cornell squad, and Southern Mississippi.
The Dragons went a little under .500 the next few games, but then finally got a good winning streak going in late January, winning six in a row against CAA teams. These were the Dragons people expected from the beginning. They lost the next four after that, eventually finishing 11-19 on the year.
Key Losses: Damion Lee (21.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Freddie Wilson (5.3 ppg, 1.5 apg),
One thing Drexel has going for them is that they aren't losing too many players from last season. But they did have one major loss over the offseason. Damion Lee was one of the best scorers the program had ever seen. He averaged 21.4 points per game, good for fifth highest in the entire nation. Not just the CAA, but of every team in the country. Lee has taken his talents to Louisville this offseason to play his final year under Rick Pitino.
While Freddie Wilson didn't come with the scoring prowess that Lee did, he was still an important part to the Dragons' offensive and defensive attacks. He brought a little of everything to the table and was great at getting others involved on offense.
Key Returning Players: Tavon Allen (11.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg), Rodney Williams (8.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Kazembe Abif (7.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg in 2013-2014)
Like I mentioned earlier, the Dragons are returning a lot of key players from last year. Their number one option on offense this year will be Tavon Allen. Allen really broke out his sophomore year, averaging 11.7 points per game in 2013-2014. His scoring remained stagnant his junior year, but expect him to boost that average this season.
Rodney Williams is another player who will be a focal point on offense this year. His stats all improved across the board last season, especially in the rebound category. His 7.o rebound per game average led the Dragons last year. Williams will need to improve yet again if the Dragons want to improve their position in the CAA.
The Dragons are also returning Kazembe Abif this season. He tore his ACL prior to the start of the 2014-2015 season, but should be ready to go this year. Abif averaged over 7 points and 6 rebounds two seasons ago, and will be relied upon to deliver yet again this season.
X-Factor: Mohamed Bah
One thing that Drexel doesn't have much of this season is height. In fact, Bah is the only player on the team over 6'8". Bah doubled his minutes from his freshman to his sophomore season, and should average close to 25 minutes per game in 2015-2016. He will need to keep progressing for this squad to go anywhere this year.
While they may not have Damion Lee and his 21.4 points per game, they still have plenty of fire power on offense, with players like Tavon Allen, Rodney Williams, Kazembe Abif, and Major Canady. The key will be getting off to a much better start this season.
The Dragons have a lot of underclassmen who will be relied upon to contribute for this team to succeed, but these guys have taken a step from their freshmen years to now. A CAA title may be out of the question, they should finish around .500 and maybe surprise everyone in the CAA Tournament.
By: Dan Goggin
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