Coach Spiker, Williams and Moore reflect on their Big 5 Classic victory | The Triangle

Coach Spiker, Williams and Moore reflect on their Big 5 Classic victory

Photo by Raphael Bartell | The Triangle

Coach Zach Spiker and the Drexel Dragons defeated the Villanova Wildcats in a dramatic ending to finish fifth. In their very first appearance in the Big 5 Classic, the team sat down for a quick press conference. “It is a great day for Philadelphia college basketball,” said Spiker.

With both Drexel and Villanova finishing 0-2 in their pods, they would get to play each other in the fifth-place game. The Dragons went toe-toe with Villanova and never once trailed them throughout the game. The game came down to the final seven seconds where Drexel had a 57-55 lead. 

An inbounds pass found Villanova’s Justin Moore who drove into the paint being guarded by Drexel’s Lucas Monroe. His shot was viciously blocked by Drexel forward Amari Williams to help seal the victory over the Wildcats. This is Drexel’s first ever win as part of the Big 5 and only their second win ever over Villanova, the first one dating back to 2006.

“That was just 40 minutes into an awesome day and obviously very special for our basketball program,” said Spiker.

Coach Spiker believes that the Big 5 was a great opportunity for the team, the athletic program and the university as a whole to get to compete in the tournament for the first time in a new format that removes the round-robin style of play to determine a champion for a new one. Two pods of three teams see each team playing twice and the results determining a Championship, third and fifth-place game to be played at the Wells Fargo Center.

“To my guys on my left and right, I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Spiker. He was mentioning Drexel’s Justin Moore and Amari Williams who both come from completely different basketball backgrounds. Moore, who grew up in Philadelphia and watching Big 5 basketball played high school basketball at Archbishop Wood before committing to Drexel.

“I know everybody on every team…It means a lot,  you see these guys in the summer time and you know you grow up playing other kids from the city on those teams so like it just means a lot to go out there to compete against them,” said Moore.

On the other hand, there is Amari Williams from Nottingham, England, who never felt the atmosphere that a stadium like the Wells Fargo Center could produce.

“Basketball’s not really big in England,” Williams said. “We don’t have an atmosphere like this.”