RICHMOND, Va. -- Like his team, Damion Lee didn’t have the best first half in the Drexel’s 59-47 Colonial Athletic Association quarterfinal win over University of North Carolina Wilmington. Drexel led just 27-22 at intermission and Lee, the CAA Rookie of the Year, had just two points. He was 1 for 4 from the field and 0 for 3 from beyond the arc.
“We just had to play our game,” Lee said.
And he did that in the final 20 minutes. Lee finished with 10 points and in the second half he shot 3 for 5, with the only two misses being three pointers.
To his credit he didn’t force the issue, but Drexel is going to need even a more aggressive mindset from Lee if the Dragons have designs of winning the CAA Tournament.
The fact that he was 0 for 5 and the Dragons were 3 for 17 from three-point range, and still won by 12 points, is actually a positive sign.
People will look at UNCW’s 10-21 record and wonder why Drexel wasn’t able to blow the Seahawks out.
Coach Bruiser Flint understands that the Dragons can play better and will have to in order to advance, but he realizes the No. 1 goal in a setting like this.
“Survive and advance,” he said.
For that to happen, Lee will have to show the aggressiveness on offense that he displayed in the second half.
He has one of the quickest releases in college basketball and 6-6 freshman is able to shoot over defenders.
It says here that Drexel will need more than 10 points from Lee to keep advancing. He only averaged 12.4 points so it wasn’t much off his average, but Lee has a way of scoring in bunches and demoralizing defenses.
The reason his scoring average isn’t higher is that Lee has been up and down offensively, which is something virtually all freshmen go through.
For instance he has eight games of scoring seven or fewer points and six with 18 or more.
It might seem a lot to put on a freshman, but Lee has shown that he can handle the expectations and he’s capable of playing an entire game, the way he did in the second half on Saturday.