#36 Drexel Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Drexel Dragons

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #36
Conference Rank: #1 Colonial
Drexel Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Drexel Team Page


After losing January 2nd at Georgia State, Drexel did not lose again until the CAA title game against VCU. This was a team that went 16-2 in conference play and won the regular season title over teams like Old Dominion, VCU and George Mason. The loss to the Rams in the title game left the Dragons in the NIT. There they made a nice run to the quarterfinals, but it still seems that the team never got the respect they deserved. That should all come to an end this year.

2011-12 Record: 29-7, 16-2
2011-12 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Bruiser Flint
Coach Record: 199-141 at Drexel, 285-213 overall

Who’s Out:
Sammie Givens is the only player who made an appearance last season and is not returning for the 2012-2013 campaign. But losing Givens is a big deal. During his senior season the efficient 6-5 forward had a team high 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per contest. He also added 11.6 points per game.  A tough guard who was as versatile and talented as Givens will not be easy to replace.

Who’s In:
Tavon Allen, a 6-7 wing who missed last season with a foot injury, is an intriguing prospect. With his size he could fill in at the power forward spot if depth in the frontcourt becomes a major issue. Ideally he is a wing who will do plenty of scoring slashing to the basket and with his size just about everybody in the CAA will have trouble defending him on the wing. But Allen can even be a backup point guard. His versatility is tremendous and Coach Bruiser Flint will have a fun time plugging him into the rotation at a few different spots, depending on the matchup. Casey Carroll, another redshirt freshman, will add depth to the frontcourt. He may not do much scoring, but he is expected to help out on the glass and on the defensive end.

Who to Watch:
Once again Drexel will rely on their backcourt to win games. That will be the case even more so this year without Givens. Four players shot over 35 percent from beyond the arc and with shooting like that, this is a tough team to stop. Frantz Massenat had an amazing sophomore season, averaging 13.7 points and 4.8 assists per game. He emerged as a true leader on the floor and did an absolutely amazing job running the show. On top of ball handling and offense creating, Massenat knocked down 45.0 percent of his attempts from long range. When he is shooting that well, the opposition has to choose to either defend him out on the perimeter or back down and try to stop him from attacking the basket. Either way Massenat will win. Derrick Thomas and Damion Lee figure to join Massenat in the starting lineup again in 2012-2013. Thomas is best known for his stellar defense, but he emerged as a very good shooter last year as well. Once he gets more aggressive with his 6-4 frame, Thomas could be yet another dynamic scorer for Drexel. Lee is another lanky wing who can do a lot of damage on the defensive end. Yet, the sophomore is also a proven scorer and was only behind Massenat with 12.0 points per game. Lee can score from anywhere on the floor and his size also makes him a great rebounder on the wing. And without Givens, that skill will come in very handy. When healthy and knocking down shots, senior Chris Fouch is a great sixth man. He was both of those things last season and averaged 10.8 points per game. As a senior, Fouch should provide leadership and an offensive spark off of the bench. Aquil Younger was supposed to be the backup point guard last year, but was pretty unproductive. A year of experience should help, but somebody like Allen could take away his minutes.

Final Projection:
Replacing Givens’ spot in the starting lineup will be Dartaye Ruffin. The 6-8 junior was the first frontcourt player off of the bench last year and played nearly 22 minutes per game. Ruffin is a great rebounder, but he will be asked to do a lot more scoring in the paint to help replace Givens in that regard. When he did look towards the basket Ruffin was very efficient, but it remains to be seen if he can keep up that pace while taking more shots. Daryl McCoy is back to join Ruffin the frontcourt. McCoy will not be the interior scorer this team needs to replace Givens, but he is a major presence in the paint. He is a superb rebounder and a fine defender. McCoy may not block a lot of shots, but he uses his 280 pound frame to make life very difficult for opposing big men. Kazembe Abif will be expected to pick up his production and earn a spot in the regular rotation. Goran Pantovic and Carroll will get a chance for quality minutes as well. And experienced frontcourt depth is where this group may falter. Drexel is a physical team and foul trouble can always be an issue. The frontcourt players behind Ruffin and McCoy need to at least come in and help out on the glass and defensively or Drexel could end the year in disappointment.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Frantz Massenat, Junior, Guard, 13.7 points per game
Derrick Thomas, Senior, Guard, 8.1 points per game
Damion Lee, Sophomore, Guard, 12.0 points per game
Dartaye Ruffin, Junior, Forward, 5.6 points per game
Daryl McCoy, Senior, Forward, 4.3 points per game