School: Drexel University Dragons League: CAA Record: 12-7 (6th Place)
The Dragons finished 4-5 in the CAA regular season but got hot in the conference tournament and won three straight to claim the title and clinch their first NCAA tournament bid in 25 years.
Drexel entered the CAA tournament off a win over regular-season champions, James Madison, but otherwise had little momentum. They had lost three of their last five games and five of nine.
Drexel enters the NCAA tournament scoring 71.5 PPG and allowing 66.8 PPG (+4.7).
They built their success on outshooting their opponents on 2PA (.477 to .441), 3PA (.372 to .321), and FTA (.777 to .751), giving them the higher eFG% (.543 to .496) and TS% (.654 to .598).
Drexel won the CAA despite fewer FGA (186 to 154) and 3PA (62 to 51) than their opponents, shooting worse on 2PA (.484 to .476) and FTA (.818 to .780), and more TOs (34 to 18).
They got it done with significant margins in 3PT% (.569 to .323) and FTA (41 to 22), helping them finish with a much higher TS% (.705 to .532) and eFG% (.601 to .484) than their opponents.
Camren Wynter (16.8 PPG, 5.3 APG, 42.5 3PT% on 4.2 3PA/G) leads a balanced Drexel attack featuring three other starters averaging double-figure points per game.
James Butler (12.9 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 58.0 FG%), T.J. Bickerstaff (10.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 53.5 FG%), and Zach Walton (10.6 PPG, 39.2 3PT% on 4.2 3PA/G) have started every game with Wynter.
Mate Okros (7.3 PPG, 39.2 3PT% on 4.9 3PA/G) started 12 games but came off the bench in the CAA tournament and made 7 out 12 3PA, including 4 of 5 in their title-clinching win over Elon.
Walton got red hot from 3PT range in their opening round win over Charleston, hitting 5 of 6 3PA.
Drexel runs a four-out set and uses motion, back screens, and handoffs, with the occasional stagger screen action, to initiate their offense and get the ball in the hands of their playmakers.
Wynter is their primary ball-handler and their offense often gets going with him attacking in PnR and transition. Butler is their main Big man, he sets most of the screens and excels on the block.
Walton also handles the ball and creates his own shot, Okros is a spot-up shooter, with a quick release, and Bickerstaff is a long, athletic combo forward, who is great at slashing to the rim.
Wynter likes to bring the ball up the floor and pull-up for jumpers when the defense sags off or attack downhill, but their best looks often come from Butler post-ups or dives to the rim.
However, too many of their offensive possessions are choppy, stagnant, and there isn’t enough ball and player movement, so they struggle to consistently create open looks from their sets.
Wynter, Walton, and Okros make up for it by knocking down tough, contested three-pointers, oftentimes off the dribble (38.1 FG% - 1.09 PPP - 89th PR on Guarded CnS Jumpers).
According to Synergy, Drexel plays man defense in 93.4% of their defensive possessions.
As a team, they bring a significant lack of effort, urgency, and endurance on the defensive end.
Their guards apply mediocre ball pressure, don’t force ball-handlers away from screens, give up a ton of dribble penetration, and have few standout on-ball defenders if any.
Off the ball, their guys do a lot of standing and watching, with their hands down, provide little help, and rarely swarm the ball. They don’t box-out consistently and ORBs usually become put-backs.
Most players switch screens, but both of their Bigs play drop coverage due to a lack of mobility.
Opposing teams attack their Bigs in PnR almost every possession. They are routinely cooked on drives to the rim, give up open mid-range jumpers or allow wide-open pick-and-pop threes.