December 27, 2007 10:59 am ET by Kyle Whelliston
Rider (Metro Atlantic) at Drexel (Colonial)
Daskalakis Athletic Center - Philadelphia, PA
7:30 PM EST
We're in the nonconference home stretch now, with just a few more games to go before everyone gets deep into their real seasons, the ones that happen in parentheses. That's where we'll be able to see if Rider's seven non-league win form translates to the MAAC grind, if they're a realistic title threat against emergent favorites Niagara (who they've already lost to) and Siena. The Broncs may not have put up the eye-popping team numbers that those other squads have, but they do have a legitimate NBA prospect in 6-11 former MMBOW Jason Thompson, who's averaging 19.8 ppg in addition to being the MAAC's leading rebounder with 11.3. His double-double average has translated to seven in-game dub-dubs, including ones in both conference games the Broncs have played.
Drexel (6-5, 0-1 CAA) has been frustrating, and that's not just because I used to go to school there. The Dragons have been a lot like Southern Illinois in miniature, a solid defensive team that can't hit a barn with an asteroid on offense. The frontcourt tandem of Frank Elegar and Randy Oveneke have held things down on D, but Elegar (team-leading 13.7 ppg) hasn't had a lot of help on the scoring end. The guards are young and still being sorted through, but a good sign is the great game Scott Rodgers had against Bucknell last weekend (18 points in a 65-53 win) after six weeks of being the guy who's on the floor who you never notice. And all five of the games since this relatively local series resumed has gone to the home team, so the Dragons have that going for them.
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