Team preview: Drexel

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

James "Bruiser" Flint's Dragons enter the 2006-07 season one year removed from the question marks that plague the other CAA title contenders this season. While most CAA teams are taking the good with the bad (or questionable) -- sketchy front courts or a lack of depth -- Drexel returns four starters and its top three scorers to a team that saw almost every break go the wrong way in 2005-06.

"We lost a lot of close games last year," said Flint, referring to the fact that nine of his team's 10 conference losses were by seven or fewer points, including both overtime games. The Dragons also made a spirited run to the Final Four of the NIT Tip-Off tournament last season, playing six games in 13 days that included a run of four games in six days. Drexel wowed the country by playing Duke even for about 36 minutes before fading and losing by 10. Duke had just dismantled Seton Hall, 93-40, and if it's possible, the game wasn't even that close. The Blue Devils followed that with an 84-55 pasting of Davidson. Drexel then suffered a gut-wrenching overtime loss, 58-57, to NCAA finalist UCLA.

"We shot the ball terribly [last year]," said Flint. "We were just bad. Everything else we did well, but we were a little young, too."

The shooting difficulties -- Drexel was last in the conference in scoring at 62.3 points per game, and shot just 39 percent overall, also last -- and the tough breaks conspired to keep Drexel out of the postseason for the first time in four years. The Dragons had made three consecutive NIT appearances and won an average of more than 17 games per year over that span.

It was fitting, perhaps, that Drexel's season ended with a CAA Tournament loss to rival Delaware when a scoreboard error listing the number of team fouls on Drexel went in the favor of Delaware, helping the Dragons to the 52-49 defeat.