Is Drexel finally ready to take the next step?

I went to the DAC on Saturday to watch Drexel play Delaware. I certainly could have gone to Marquette-Villanova or St. Joe's-Temple instead, but I had a couple of reasons for choosing the game I did over the other two.

The first was that I knew there would be plenty of coverage of the other games anyway. Sunday's Inquirer will have plenty of proof of that.

The second was that Drexel-Delaware is a decent rivalry and the DAC has been a fun place to watch games lately. The matchup might not have the venom of St. Joe's-Temple or even Old Dominion-Virginia Commonwealth, but the DAC Pack is a great student section and they quite enjoy tormenting Blue Hens coach Monté Ross.

The third reason was the most important. This year's Drexel team has been playing some pretty serious basketball of late. The Dragons had a bad start to the season, but over the last few games they've looked a lot more like the team people thought they would be when they were picked first in the CAA preseason poll.

Coming into Saturday, Drexel was riding an eight-game winning streak, and had won six straight before its last loss. It's not inconsequential that their only two losses since the start of December were to conference opponents, but 14 wins in 16 games is hard to overlook.

Drexel won again Saturday, a 71-55 thumping of Delaware that was fuelled mainly by 44 points in the paint. The Dragons (17-5. 9-2 CAA) are tied for second place in the CAA with Virginia Commonwealth, with George Mason in first place by one game.

Unfortunately for Drexel, the ability to finish first is out of their hands. They only play Mason once this season, and that was a 60-53 Dragons win at the DAC on January 12. If the two schools meet again, it will be at the CAA Tournament in Richmond. And if they do meet, Drexel will probably have had to beat VCU along the way.

But it does seem that Drexel's offense is finally starting to click in the way that its defense has for so many years under Bruiser Flint. The question for Bruiser Flint and his players is whether they can keep the momentum going into March.

That was the topic of discussion in Saturday's postgame press conference. Here are some video highlights. And for good measure, there are a few quotes from Monté Ross about what he saw from the winning team.