Fast breaks, slam dunks and blocks off the backboard are almost back at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. The 2022-23 Drexel Men’s and Women’s Basketball seasons start in a little over a month and when the time comes, the DAC Pack will be rocking and Calvin Hicks will be screaming in joy after every Drexel W.
After a 15-14 record last year as the reigning Colonial Athletic Association champs, the men’s team was eliminated in the first round by the eventual 2021-22 CAA Champs, Delaware. They will now have to turn the page from the Camren Wynter–James Butler era and most likely look to run their offense through the reigning CAA Defensive Player of the Year, Amari Williams.
Standing at 6’10” and 250-pounds, Williams took over the starting job at center following an injury to Butler and never looked back. He led the conference in blocks, recorded six double-doubles and averaged 11.9 points per game in games he started in. The junior Englishman also represented Great Britain in the World Cup Qualifiers this past summer.
He’ll be joined by some lethal perimeter shooting in the likes of senior Mate Okros, fifth year Coletrane Washington and junior Lamar Oden Jr. They combined to shoot at a .385 clip from behind the arc last season.
The ability to create baskets on the drive is a question heading into the season with Wynter, Drexel’s sixth all-time leading scorer, and Melik Martin not returning. Wynter and Martin were the top two scorers for the Dragons, who will now try to split the offensive load between the returners mentioned above, four freshman and Jamie Bergens, the junior transferred in from Oral Roberts.
The women’s team comes into the 2022-23 season after owning the best record (28-6) in the CAA during the regular season last year, along with tying the program record for wins in a season. However, with four starters not returning to the lineup, including star point guard Hannah Nihill, a new core will have to emerge for the Dragons.
Fortunately, Drexel’s top scorer, Keishana Washington, will return for her fifth year with the Dragons after averaging 19.2 points per game last year. She will be joined in the back court with Maura Hendrixson, who was Drexel’s sixth woman last year. Last year, Hendrixson had the fourth best assist to turnover ratio in the country (3.03) and will look to fill out Nihill’s footsteps at the point guard this season.
The front court is up for grabs with Tessa Brugler, Kate Connolly and Mariah Leonard not returning. Some candidates to watch out for include senior Hetta Saatman and junior Jasmine Valentine who saw their roles increase last year off the bench.
The women’s team will start the season against Rider on Nov. 10 with the men playing the next day against Old Dominion. Students can attend all home games for free so come out to the DAC this fall and winter. For directions to get your free student tickets visit the Campus and Community tab on Drexel One.