Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#661 William & Mary -2.5 vs.
#662 Drexel 140
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 2:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes

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#661 College of William & Mary
#662 Drexel University
14-5
11-8
13-5
8-10
7-9-2
7-11
73
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68

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This article covers a past game!

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William & Mary faces Drexel on Saturday in CAA action at 2pmET from Philadelphia. The red-hot Tribe are 6-0 in the CAA, while the Dragons are 4-2.

Last season, William & Mary won both games, including an 84-66 win on the road from the DAC.

Could the Tribe go undefeated in the CAA?

That's asking a lot and the only thing that matters is that William & Mary gets a high seed in the CAA tournament and wins it for the first time (in Washington D.C.). Winning the regular-season title and getting that automatic bid for the NIT is not the goal for a school that has never gotten to the big dance. But the Tribe could be on their way.

On Thursday, they took care of Delaware on the road, beating them 77-68. Nathan Knight led the way with 25 points and 14 rebounds on 11-of-12 from the line. William & Mary shot just 41% from the field, but they made 9-of-24 from beyond the arc and 20 of 23 from the line (87%). They also turned the ball over just seven times and force 15 Blue Hens turnovers. They also outrebounded the Hens by six.

KenPom has the Tribe ranked 129th, while they rank 90th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 176th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

What really makes this team go is their size led by Knight (6-10, 240) and Wisconsin transfer Andy Van Vliet (7-0, 235). The size gives them on edge on the boards (+5.3). They are also playing well defensively, holding teams to just 41% shooting from the field and 31.6% from beyond the arc. On offense, William & Mary is shooting 47.3% from the field and 36.6% from beyond the arc.

Moving on up

Drexel is 4-2 in the CAA and for them to take the next step, a win over the Tribe would be huge. Their two losses took place against Towson (89-73) on the road and at home against Charleston (76-65). The Dragons beat the lesser teams of the league, but it gets a lot tougher for the Dragons after the William & Mary game. They'll travel to Northeastern, Hofstra and Delaware, so things do get much tougher.

What wasn't difficult was a 63-41 win over Elon on Thursday night at home. Guard Camren Wynter had a great game with 27 points on 10-of-14 shooting, while forward Zach Walton (6-6, 205) added 16 points and 11 boards.

The key player in this game will be Navy transfer James Butler, a 6-8, 242-pound bruiser, who averages 12.2 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. Butler had 15 points and 15 rebounds against Elon. He's had six double-doubles in his last 10 games. He'll be matched up against Knight or Van Vliet.

Wynter leads the Dragons with 15.4 points and 5.2 assists per game. Drexel averages 69.3 points per game on 43.6% shooting and 35.5% from long range. They allow 68.9 points on 43.8% shooting (29.2% 3pt). They also outrebound teams by 3.1 per game.

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The key is staying with Knight and Van Vliet on the boards and in the paint. No CAA team has been able to do that thus far and it's doubtful that Drexel can hang. They just don't match up with either player. Even if Butler puts up 15 rebounds, he is still giving up two inches to Knight and four to Van Vliet. He's the only quality big man for the Dragons and that's not good enough. William & Mary also has an underrated guard in Luke Loewe (6-4, 188), who averages 11.1 points and is the team's best perimeter defender. He'll slow down Wynter in this game.

Prediction: William & Mary -3

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Drexel runs a little bit, ranking 189th in adjusted tempo according to KenPom, which is tied with William & Mary. So both teams play at a moderate pace and both squads are pretty good defensively. Drexel absolutely shut down an Elon team that put up 80 in their previous game. Their defense is a bit underrated and that's one of the reasons they are off to such a good start in the CAA> The Tribe have improved tremendously on defense and all that height clogs the lane. Take the under.

Prediction: Under 140
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Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!