PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Drexel University women’s basketball team will be quite busy over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The Dragons will be taking part in the Paradise Jam in Melbourne, Florida. They will play three games in three days beginning with a Thursday match-up with Virginia Tech.
The Dragons are 2-1 so far this season and head coach Denise Dillon is pleased with what she has seen so far.
“Starting with a tough schedule, we feel pretty good with where we stand,” Dillon tells KYW Newsradio. “First game on the road [84-70 at Penn State] was very challenging, down a couple players. I thought it was a great learning experience for a young, inexperienced team and they bounced back against La Salle at our place [79-54 win] and Bucknell as well [63-54 win].”
The Dragons are coming off a 21-11 2016-17 season. Dillon says defense has to be a key to success for the 2017-18 Dragons.
“This group has the ability to play full-court basketball,” Dillon says. “They can press, they can be a little more aggressive. We’ve changed it up, just looking to deny the ball, looking to scramble a little bit, run around. [Our] guards can guard bigs and our bigs have the ability to stop people on the drive. So I just think that dynamic can not change. We talk about the versatility on the offensive end being so crucial, but it has to be on the defensive end. The defense has to create some offense for this group to be successful.”
The Paradise Jam will be a good litmus test for the Dragons. In addition to Virginia Tech, they will match-up with West Virginia (Friday) and Butler (Saturday) as well. Dillon breaks down the match-up with the Hokies to open things up.
“It’s interesting because being familiar with [head coach] Kenny Brooks from when he was at JMU and his style, one thing you see from Virginia Tech is the ability for every player on the floor to score the basketball,” Dillon says. “There were teams that we faced of his in the past [at JMU], they had a couple scorers, they had their rebounders, but this group is very talented on the offensive end. Then you also see more of a match-up [zone defense] then man-to-man. So just [have] to try and find those open spots and everyone on our end [has to be] willing to take the shot. We can’t hesitate. If we hesitate, they’ll take advantage.”
Thursday’s game with the Hokies gets underway at 2:30pm.
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