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Bruiser Flint eyes Big Dance
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 20, 2012 @ 5:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott M Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports caught up with Drexel coach James “Bruiser” Flint for its weekly Mid-Major Coach’s Diary.
Bruiser Flint’s eyes roll when he hears a reporter mention three hated syllables.
“Look, VCU is gone,” Flint said. “Everybody keeps asking me about them. They’re not in the Colonial anymore. Seriously, I yell at everyone out on the street. Why you mentioning VCU? They’re in the Atlantic 10 now. I don’t worry about that. And we’ve still got good teams (in the CAA).”
It’s difficult to blame Flint for dodging any Virginia Commonwealth-laced question. Drexel, and every other team in the CAA for that matter, have been living in the gigantic shadow of Shaka Smart and VCU since the team’s 2011 Final Four run.
And last year, VCU spoiled Drexel’s stellar season by beating the Dragons in the CAA tournament championship to punch the league’s automatic ticket to the NCAAs. Despite a 19-game winning streak and 27 wins, the Dragons were left out of the NCAA tournament when vying for an at-large bid, extending the school’s Big Dance drought stretching back to 1996.
However as Flint mentioned, VCU went to the Atlantic 10. Drexel’s nemesis is now gone and out of the way as the team returns most of its key players from last year and eyes both the CAA regular-season and tournament titles.
But starting the season with two losses is no way to boost the Dragons’ resume if they’re once again looking for an at-large bid. Drexel started 0-2 after losing at Kent State in the season opener on the road and then falling at home to Missouri Valley Conference contender Illinois State. Both games were in overtime. A bounce-back win vs. Penn makes the Dragons 1-2, but tough road test at St. Mary’s comes Thursday.
Flint on Drexel’s early-season struggles and how the team can bounce back:
“We’re not playing to our abilities right now. We just haven’t made plays at the end of the game. Both games, we haven’t been able to do it at the end or in overtime. Kent State, Illinois State found a way to … [For more on Mid-Major Coach's Diary: Bruiser Flint eyes Big Dance, click here.]
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