By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After getting stiffed by the NCAA Tournament committee despite their 27-6 record and regular season CAA title, the Drexel Dragons now focus on their NIT opener tonight at the DAC against Central Florida.
Head coach Bruiser Flint says they have to look past the NCAA snub, and focus on the fact that they do have the opportunity to continue what has been a very, very good season.
“You’re not in the other tournament, but being in postseason play is big for our program and its big for my senior. Samme (Givens) would have been the second senior I’ve ever coached who never went to the postseason for me. I’m glad he got a chance to continue his career, because he’s been great for me and now we’ve got to try and win some games in the NIT.”
Many times you’ll see teams that get their NCAA hearts broken come out sluggish in the NIT, but Flint doesn’t think that will be the case with his squad.
“One of the things we’ve talked about a lot was, we got left out of the NIT last year when we thought we were going to get in. But this time we got our chance to be in, we’re in postseason. We talked about it way before, before everything went down on Sunday, about just being ready to play in whatever tournament we’re in. We’ve got to have the focus that we can win some games because I thought we were good enough.”
As for the opponent, Central Florida comes to town with a 22-10 record and Flint says they will be a challenge.
“Big team, athletic. Typical Conference USA team. Got some big guys who score and shoot the ball. Got some good guards, Michael Jordan’s son (Marcus) is a good player for them. It’s going to be a tough game for us.”
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Bruiser Flint:
A junior guard, Jordan is second in scoring for UCF at 13.9 points a game. Junior forward Keith Clanton leads the squad at 14.6 a contest and he is also high man on the glass with 8.1 caroms a night.
Drexel and Central Florida will tip-off at 7:15 tonight at the DAC. The winner of this game plays the St. Joe’s/Northern Iowa winner in round two.