Drake basketball

America’s sweetheart last year, Drake basketball returns the bulk of their rotation and will look for similar results

After a near-perfect regular season and one of the best records in all of college basketball, Drake basketball brings back six of their seven leading scorers from last season. With another year of experience and what should be a fully healthy team, Drake could be in store for a special season.

To view teams 61-100, click here.

Projected Rotation

PG: Roman Penn (6-0, 185, Sr.)

2021 stats: 11.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.4 steals

Projected stats: 11.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.3 steals

SG: D.J Wilkins (6-2, 188, Sr.)

2021 stats: 10.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.7 steals

Projected stats: 9.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.7 steals

SF: ShanQuan Hemphill (6-6, 200, Sr.)

2021 stats: 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals

Projected stats: 15.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.6 steals

PF: Tremell Murphy (6-6, 210, Sr.)

2021 stats: 10.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.9 blocks

Projected stats: 11.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 blocks

C: Darnell Brodie (6-10, 275, Sr.)

2021 stats: 7.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 blocks

Projected stats: 7.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 blocks

6: Garrett Sturtz (6-3, 180, Sr.)

2021 stats: 8.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals

Projected stats: 9.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals

7: Ayo Akinwole (5-11, 180, Sr.)

2021 stats: 13.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.9 steals

Projected stats: 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.6 steals

8: Tucker DeVries (6-6, 190, Fr.)

247 Sports #126 Recruit

Projected stats: 6.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.4 steals

9: Nate Ferguson (6’8, 210, So.)

2021 stats: 2.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.1 assists, 0.3 steals

Projected stats: 3.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.3 steals

Team MVP: ShanQuan Hamphill

Hemphill enjoyed a breakout season last year, leading the team in points and being a big reason for their long undefeated start. He scored in double digits in nine straight games at one point and was looking like a superstar in the making. His injury in February really made the difference for Drake, and even though he was able to come back, he wasn’t the same and neither was the Drake team. With Hamphill being fully healthy next year, Hamphill can become one of the best mid-major players in the country and lead this Drake basketball team to another great year.

Make-or-Break Player: D.J Wilkins

With Joseph Yesufu transferring to Kansas, Wilkins should have an even bigger role than last year. Wilkins has been pretty consistent the last three years but what we’re going to highlight is his inconsistent play in big games. When Drake and Loyola Chicago played back-to-back games in February, Wilkins scored 2 points in the loss and 11 points in the win. In Drake’s two tournament games, Wilkins scored 3 in the Round of 64 and 4 in the Round of 32. They’ll need more out of him in these big games since he’s such a talented overall player, and whether he’s able to do so will be a big difference-maker for Drake basketball.

Bench Rating: 7.5/10

Strutz is a great 6th man and fills his role perfectly. He was great off the bench last year and should do the same this year. Ayo could be an intriguing player for Drake. He averaged 13 points per game for Omaha last year, and his ability as a three-point shooter should translate well to this team. Lastly is their only recruit, the son of Head Coach Darian Devries, Tucker Devries. This isn’t a Tyler Self or Steven Izzo situation; Tucker can hoop. He should get his fair share of minutes and could be an impactful player.

Analytic to Know: Adjusted Offense

Drake had the 33rd best AdjO in college basketball last year according to KenPom. This means they were extremely efficient on the offensive end, and with the bulk of their talent returning, they should find themselves around there once again.

Team Outlook

With everyone but Joseph Yesufu returning and Loyola Chicago losing their head coach and superstar player, the Drake Bulldogs are in an incredible position to run the Missouri Valley Conference this season. Drake plays great team ball and no one holds an ego. Don’t be surprised if Drake finishes undefeated in conference play or at worst loses twice. With that being said, Loyola Chicago should still be a problem for them, and once again it should be a two-team conference. It’ll be up to their guys to show up and take them down if they want to make another tournament run and go even farther this year.

Projected Finish: 2nd in the MVC

Projected Postseason Finish: Round of 64/ First Four Exit

Ceiling: Round of 32 Appearance

 

Featured image from Who13.com

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