Tramaine Isabell putting up big scoring numbers for Drexel

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Drexel’s Tramaine Isabell has been a spark for the Dragons offense.

Mike Anderson was the first player from Drexel to make it to the NBA while Malik Rose played 813 games over 14 seasons in the Association, winning two rings with the San Antonio Spurs.

There is a reason their numbers are hanging from the rafters at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

Still, if credentials before a player arrived at the school on Chestnut Street are considered, it could be argued that Drexel has never had a player with more clout than junior transfer Tramaine Isabell.

As a senior at Garfield High in Seattle, Isabel led the team to a 26-1 record and the 2014 Washington Class 4A title. He was MVP of the title game.

Named as the 2014 4A Player of the Year by the Associated Press and rated as a top 50 point guard, Isabell accepted a scholarship to the University of Missouri.

He played 55 games in the Southeastern Conference before transferring during a time of turmoil in 2016 that saw 12 players with eligibility leave Missouri in two seasons.

A connection to Drexel assistant coach Paul Fortier, who played and was an assistant coach at the University of Washington, helped guide Isabell to Philadelphia.

After sitting out the 2016-17 season, Isabell is making an impact at Drexel.

With a scoring average of 19.8 points, Isabell is second to La Salle senior B.J. Johnson among City Six players and ranks 40th in the nation. Last week against Elon, he became the first Drexel player since Anderson in 1988 to score 40 points in a game.

“I don’t know the (Rose and Anderson) stories that well, so I can’t say,” said Drexel second-year coach Zach Spiker. “Still, anytime you bring a transfer in you expect them to produce.”

At 6-foot-1, Isabell might be a bit undersized, but he has a strong compact frame and quickness to drive to the basket. He’s more a scorer than a shooter but he knows how to create offense.

Moving across the country with no family or friends in Philadelphia was a transition for Isabell, and then he had to sit out a season.

After having two 30-point and two 20-point efforts in his first seven games, he missed four of the next seven games with injury.

He’s totaled 82 points in his last three games, and as the Dragons look to find consistency down the stretch and into the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, Isabell said he finally feels comfortable back on the court.

“My first game back, it actually felt kind of weird to be back between the lines, having referees and even fans in the gym,” Isabell said. “It took some time for me to get my focus, to understand what I needed to do on this team.

“It’s new players, new coaching staff, new city, new state. It’s an opportunity, and I’m happy to have the chance to play basketball again.”