In a season that was littered with injuries and incredible potential, it’s hard to look for positives, but the Dragons did help themselves for the future in some aspects. It may only be one day after their first round exit to Northeastern in the CAA tournament, but you can imagine Bruiser Flint is either reviewing or making plans to within these next few days. As a coach, he’s got a lot to think about, but instead of dwelling on the negatives, there’s always another season on the horizon.
To begin, he’s got to be thankful for this season’s senior class and what they bestowed upon their teammates. Losing Frantz Massenat, Dartaye Ruffin and Chris Fouch won’t be an easy task, as they’ve all been go-to guys over the last three years, but all good things must come to an end. These three men grew up under Flint, not only as players, but also as people, and that’s nothing to scoff at. So instead of being sad about losing these players, he should embrace what they brought to the table and look forward to how they helped shape his future players.
While we’re on the topic of Flint, let’s also discuss some of the aspects of the game he may need to adjust to better compliment his team. The Dragons run a Princeton style offense, which normally benefits a slower, bigger team. While this was successful at times for the Philadelphia team, it could be worth exploring other options. Many times, it seemed as if the Dragons were stagnant, just waiting for the next screen, instead of taking advantage of lanes or a drive and kick. Flint enjoys a guard heavy lineup, normally playing with three backcourt players and two power forwards, but doesn’t administer an offense that allows their speed to be taken advantage of. It’s never guaranteed that another offense will help them more and his thought may be to not fix what isn’t broken, but he’s entered the last four years as one of the top dogs and still hasn’t been able to go buy those dancing shoes. It’s true that high reward is normally accompanied with high risk, but sometimes change is eminent.
Next let’s take a look at what the Dragons have returning next season. First, Damion Lee will have to make his presence known again after being chosen as a preseason All-CAA First Team player, but watching that slip away with a torn ACL. Accompanying him are upperclassmen Tavon Allen and Kazembe Abif, who have the opportunity to be prolific scorers and rebounders, respectively. Finally, while this year’s injuries were heartbreaking at the moment, it opened the doors for three of their freshman to get some valuable court time. Point guard Major Canady and forward Rodney Williams played a major role in multiple games this season, while Mohamed Bah also saw the court in 24 games. Those statistics could be extremely important when planning for next season, as they are definitely game ready as sophomores.
As for 2014’s recruits, ESPN reports that guards Rashann London and Sammy Mojica and forward Tyshawn Myles have all signed with Drexel. Myles has the opportunity to step in and play a major role for the Dragons in the paint, as he averaged five blocks per game his senior year, something Drexel has been missing. While thinking the three of them will be able to help on the court immediately, here’s to hoping next year’s hospital bill isn’t quite as steep as 2014’s.
Finally, this will be Flint’s 13th season as the Dragons head coach, and while he’s had a stellar campaign, 212-159 overall, it’s just about time they get an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. As a mid-major, most schools look at the dance as almost out of reach, but Drexel doesn’t view it like this. They’re picked to finish at the top of the CAA nearly every year and have even been in talks of getting a bid in recent years. This upcoming season is important for the future of Bruiser in Philadelphia because this is a team that will have the opportunity to take another run at the title.
Regardless of the future, it’s time to review what was done this season and make amends to become better. It’s also important to thank this year’s seniors for paving the way for the upcoming season. Massenat and Fouch could very well be one of the best graduating backcourts Drexel has ever witnessed, and for that, we say thank you. Best of luck in the future and I’m sure it’s not the last time we hear those names, whether it be in the States or abroad.