#66 Drake Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Drake Bulldogs
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #66
Conference Rank: #2 Missouri Valley
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Drake won at least 20 games in Coach Darian DeVries first two seasons as a head coach, but it was last year when the Bulldogs really came onto the national scene. Drake went 26-5 and reached their first NCAA Tournament since 2008. Following a tight 53-52 victory over Wichita State in the First Four, Drake lost in the first round to USC. Joseph Yesufu transferred to Kansas and he was a dominating force down the stretch last season, but all five starters are back and this team will be looking to return to the NCAA Tournament and push Loyola for the conference title.
2020-21 Record: 26-5, 15-3
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Darian DeVries
Coach Record: 70-29 at Drake, 70-29 overall
Key Departed Players:
Joseph Yesufu, Guard, 12.8 ppg
Key Returning Players:
ShanQuan Hemphill, Senior, Forward, 13.2 ppg
Roman Penn, Senior, Guard, 11.2 ppg
Tremell Murphy, Senior, Forward, 10.1 ppg
D.J. Wilkins, Senior, Guard, 10.1 ppg
Garrett Sturtz, Seniuor, Guard, 8.2 ppg
Darnell Brodie, Senior, Forward, 7.7 ppg
Jonah Jackson, Senior, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Nate Ferguson, Sophomore, Forward, 2.5 ppg
Issa Samake, Sophomore, Forward, 2.1 ppg
Okay Djamgouz, Sophomore, Guard, 2.0 ppg
Bryceson Burns, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 1.6 ppg
Jordan Kwiecinski, Sophomore, Forward, 1.1 ppg
Deven Dahlke, Sophomore, Guard, 1.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Ayo Akinwole, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Omaha
Tucker DeVries, Freshman, Guard/Forward
Conor Enright, Freshman, Guard
ShanQuan Hemphill, Tremell Murphy and Darnell Brodie will again man the frontcourt. Hemphill led the Bulldogs with 13.2 points and the 6-6 senior is very effective attacking the basket. He can play pretty good defense too. Murphy is also a 6-6 senior and he tallied 10.1 points and 5.2 rebounds last season. Brodie is the big man in the paint. He is not going to do a ton of scoring, but Brodie is a very good rebounder. Roman Penn had another great season with Drake, averaging 11.2 points and 5.5 assists and earning First-Team All-MVC honors. He missed the last seven games of the season with an injury and his leadership was clearly missed. Coach DeVries has quite a few shooters on this team, but none are more prolific or productive as D.J. Wilkins. He hit a team high 67 three-pointers at a 40.4 percent clip. When Wilkins is feeling it, he can be absolutely explosive, like when he hit six three-pointers in a 23-point effort against Air Force last year. Garrett Sturtz will score by attacking the basket and Omaha transfer Ayo Akinwole adds another dynamic scoring threat to the backcourt. He may not be able to directly replace Yesufu, but there is enough depth for everybody to pick up a little bit of the slack. If that happens, Drake will be ready to make another serious run for an at-large bid.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.9 (66th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.5 (38, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.3 (18, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.2 (112, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (197, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.7 (49, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.3 (163, 7)
Rebound Margin: 4.9 (43, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.6 (132, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.3 (10, 1)
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#114 Tucker DeVries