The Drexel men's basketball team will return to action in just a few short weeks after an injury plagued end to the 2014-15 season. This season will see the return of some familiar faces who missed all of last year, like point guard Major Canady and forward Kazembe Abif, but a void left by perhaps the top player in program history, Damion Lee, departing to Louisville
Before the start of the season we'll take a quick look back at how the Dragons stacked up statistically in the CAA last year. Unless otherwise noted, all rankings are from league games only.
Drexel scored just the eighth most points per game in the conference at 60.7 ppg, and were much closer to last place College of Charleston (58.1) than to the league leader Hofstra (75.8). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Dragons used a slower pace on both ends of the floor to help lead them to the best defensive scoring average in the league at 63.8 ppg. By comparison, Elon gave up a full eight more points per game as the last ranked team in that category.
The Dragons made the second fewest shots (387 to CoC's 386) last season but were sixth in overall shots taken. That math didn't work out favorably for Drexel who owned the league's worst shooting percentage at 39.8%, well behind Northeastern (50.4%) and William and Mary (50.4%) who both made over half of their shots. While Drexel was able to keep opponent scoring low they did allow the second best field goal percentage against them (45.5%) which was good for over 3% higher than league leading Towson (42.4%).
The CAA has had some solid three point shooting teams in the recent past, and Drexel was unable to keep up with a majority of the league last season. The Dragons were eighth in three point field goal percentage (32.9%) well behind James Madison, William & Mary, and Northeastern, all of which were up over 40%. Drexel averaged just shy of six three pointers per game during conference play.
One area that has seen vast improvement in recent years for Bruiser Flint is the team's free throw shooting abilities. Drexel finished just a fraction of a point behind league leading William & Mary (77.2% to 76.6%) and were well ahead of most of the conference for the season. Despite the high percentage, Drexel attempted only the eighth most free throws, converting 268 of 350 for the year. Northeastern attempted 478 to lead the league.
The rebounding numbers for the Dragons are a bit tough to look at, Drexel finished dead last i total rebounding, averaging just 29.5 boards a game, well behind Towson's league leading 37.2. The Dragons finished about five rebounds per game behind the league leader on both the offensive and defensive side, finishing seventh in offensive rebounding (8.7 rpg to Towson's 13.8) and last in defensive rebounding (20.8 rpg to Delaware's 25.3). Unsurprisingly, Drexel was ninth in rebounding margin a -4.9 per game, just ahead of last place Elon at -5.1.
Drexel led the league in turnover ratio, tallying just 8.8 per game, well ahead of second place William and Mary (11.3). Drexel forced their opponents into an average of 11.7 turnovers per game, good for second in overall margin (+2.84). The Dragons handed out 10.9 assists per game and had an assist to turnover ratio of 1.23, which was third in the league behind William and Mary and Hofstra.
The Dragons finished in the middle of the pack in terms of blocks (fifth at 3.68 per game) and steals (sixth at 5.53 per game). Drexel finished ninth in the league in overall attendance, and could certainly use more home court support this season. The Dragons' schedule features a lot of big games including at St. Joes, at La Salle, home against Penn (!), Penn State at the Palestra, and many more in addition to their CAA slate.