Before the season started, Wednesday's game against Drexel looked like a deceivingly tough one. After the Dragons beat then-No. 20 and undefeated Louisville 52-46 in the YUM! Center, there was nothing deceiving about it any longer. Drexel was coming to the Dome as a legitimate threat.
Here's what Card Chronicle had to say after the loss.
This wasn't one of those "random December home losses" - pretty clear what happened. Drexel played really good defense, slowed us down, used a ton of time from the shot clock and then out rebounded us by 20. If we shoot 25% from 3 when we only get 16 attempts and miss half our free throws again this season, we will lose by 50.
Here's the thing. The Dragons are 8-1, their best start since 1993-94, have won six-straight, beat a Top 25 team on the road and received votes this week in the AP poll.That's more than half the Big East can say, possibly more. The last time the Dragons were performing this well was the '06-'07 season. The same year they beat No. 25 Syracuse for their first win over a ranked team since 1996.
Their coach in that game was Bruiser Flint, whom you might remember as The Guy At UMass After John Calipari. He's still at Drexel, in his tenth season (157-125), and he's still trying to improve on that '06-'07 season in which the Dragons came close to making the NCAA Tournament.
"I don’t even look at ’06-07," Flint said this week. "When you do what we did in ’06-07 and still don’t get in the tournament, it’s all about winning your conference. I don’t even like to reference back to it because we did everything we needed to do and still didn’t get in. It’s all about the conference."
Drexel may have won the last meeting against the Orange but Syracuse still leads the all-time series. Barely.
Syracuse leads the all-time series with Drexel, 2-1. The first meeting between the two schools came in the second round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament. The Orange defeated the Dragons, 69-58, on its way to the national finals. The teams met again in 2004 in the Carrier Dome, a game which Syracuse won, 74-54.
As for the players Syracuse will need to have an answer for, there's a trio of trouble-makers worth noting.
Three players are averaging double figures in scoring for Drexel. Chris Fouch leads the way, posting 19.7 points per game. Samme Givens is averaging a double-double this season, recording 11.8 points and rebounds per contest, while Gerald Colds is contributing 10.8 points per game.
Fouch is also the team's major three-point threat (40%, 8 attempts per game) but he's been held to 10 points in both of Drexel's last two games.
The Dragon's lone loss of the season was to Rhode Island (74-68). In that one, Ram Delroy James lit it up from three-point range (8-9) for 33 points total. The Dragons shot 1-11 from three in that one.