At the Colonial Athletic Association media day in Baltimore, Maryland this past Tuesday, it was announced that the Drexel Dragons men's and women's basketball teams were both picked to finish in second place in the CAA for the 2013-2014 season.
On the men's side, the Dragons were picked to finish behind the Towson Tigers, who return CAA pre-season player of the year Jerrelle Bennimon. Following Drexel, the College of Charleston, Delaware and William & Mary rounded out the top five.
Joining Bennimon on the CAA pre-season first team is Dragon guards Franz Massenat and Damion Lee. With Chris Fouch coming back as a sixth-year senior to join Massenat and Lee, the Dragons should have the best backcourt in the conference. If the Dragons can reach their full potential this season, this could be the team that finally breaks through to the NCAA Tournament.
The Drexel women, fresh off the post-season WNIT title this past April, were picked to finish behind the James Madison Dukes, who return CAA pre-season player of the year Kirby Burkholder, last year's CAA rookie of the year Precious Hall, as well as starting forward Toia Giggets and redshirt senior leader Nikki Newman, who missed most of last season with an injury. Northeastern, Towson and Delaware were picked to finish third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Drexel senior Fiona Flanagan and sophomore guard Meghan Creighton were honorable mentions for the pre-season All-CAA team, proving that there are several unknowns on this year's Drexel team. With the losses of Hollie Mershon, Taylor Wootton, Renee Johnson-Allen and Nicki Jones, many younger players for Denise Dillon will have to step into the spotlight. Yet, despite those losses, the conference still believes the Dragons can be competitive.
If freshmen Alexis Smith and Sarah Curran can contribute in their rookie seasons and Drexel can get a balanced scoring attack, the Dragons could make some noise in the CAA this year.
Both Drexel basketball squads start their season on November 8th with the men on the road at UCLA and the women at Toledo as part of the Glass City Tournament.