Drake Men's Basketball Weekly Update – Dec. 31
Upcoming Events This Week
Wednesday, January 2 – vs. Wichita State (Des Moines, Iowa/Knapp Center) – 7:05 p.m.
Television: Metro Sports (Kansas City)
Radio: 1350 AM – KRNT
Promotions: Bankers Trust Trading Cards
Saturday, January 5 – vs. Missouri State (Des Moines, Iowa/Knapp Center) – 7:05 p.m.
Television: Mediacom MC22/ESPN3
Radio: 1350 AM – KRNT
Promotions: Bankers Trust Camper Reunion
This Week’s Opponents
Wichita State is 12-1 on this season and heads to Des Moines with three straight wins following the team’s lone loss at Tennessee. On Sunday, the Shockers opened MVC play with a convincing 66-41 win over UNI in Wichita. Defensively, WSU is only allowing 57.2 points per game and no team has reached the 70-point mark against WSU with opponents shooting just 38 percent from the field. Additionally, the Shockers have outrebounded opponents by an average of 12.8 boards per game. However, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, Carl Hall (13.9 ppg/7.6 rpg) has not played the last three games as he recovers from a thumb injury. Cleanthony Early is the team’ top active scorer at 13.3 points per game.
The Series vs. Wichita State
Drake and Wichita State meet for the 142nd time with WSU holding a 94-47 advantage in the series. Drake leads the series, 34-33, in games in Des Moines and 11-9 in the Knapp Center. The teams have split the last 10 meetings. The last meeting in Des Moines saw Drake prevail, 93-86, in triple overtime.
Missouri State is 3-10 this season but opened the conference season with a 70-59 win over Southern Illinois on Sunday to snap a seven-game losing skid and earn the team’s first win over a Division I opponent. The Bears also play at Evansville on Wednesday evening prior to traveling to Des Moines. Anthony Downing leads the Bears with 13 points per game for an offense that is scoring 58.4 points per game while shooting .385 from the field. Defensively, MSU is giving up 62.8 points per game while opponents are shooting 44.1 percent and outrebounding the Bears by more than five boards per game.
The Series vs. Missouri State
Saturday’s game is the 46th between the two programs with Missouri State holding a 35-10 advantage in the series. The Bears have won seven of the last 10 games, including five straight over the Bulldogs.
Dec. 29 – at Bradley – L, 67-57
Cold shooting and turnovers combined to hamper the Drake University men’s basketball team in its Missouri Valley Conference opener as the team fell at Bradley Saturday evening, 67-57. Drake was second in the nation in three-point shooting coming into the game but managed just 18.5 percent (5-of-27) against a stingy Bradley defense that forced 18 Drake turnovers and scored 23 points as a result of Bulldog miscues. Ben Simons led Drake with a double-double thanks to 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds while Seth VanDeest and Chris Hines added 10 and 11 points, respectively. Simons 10 boards helped contribute to the team’s season-high 46 rebounds with the Bulldogs holding a 12-rebound advantage over Bradley. The Braves were paced by Dyricus Simms-Edwards’ 20 points and eight steals while Walt Lemmon, Jr. added 23 points.
- The Bulldogs, who had scored 70 or more points in all previous 11 games, were held to a season-low 57 points in the loss at Bradley.
- Despite shooting a season-low 18.5 percent from three-point range, the Bulldogs remain among the most accurate three-point shooting teams in the nation at 41.0 percent to tie for sixth nationally and second in the MVC.
- Ben Simons hauled in a career-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. His performance is the seventh double-digit rebounding performance for the Bulldogs this season.
- As a team, Drake had a season-high 46 rebounds with 14 of them coming off the offensive glass, also a season-high.
- Jordan Clarke remains the MVC’s top rebounder at 8.7 per game.
- Drake’s 18 turnovers matched a season high as the team turned the ball over on 23.3 percent of its possessions.
- Seth VanDeest has scored in double figures in four straight games.
- Drake remains one of the top teams in the MVC at getting to the line with 23.8 attempts per game to rank second in the league.
- 61.7 percent of Drake’s baskets have come via assists, the third highest rate in the MVC and the 33rd highest nationally.
0 – Kori Babineux – DNP – Coach’s Decision
1 – Jordan Clarke – Had eight rebounds, three offensive, with three points in 31 minutes. Is the MVC’s top rebounder at 8.7 per game.
2 – Gary Ricks, Jr. – Scored seven points in 13 minutes. Averaging 6.3 points in the last three games.
3 – Richard Carter – Came off the bench to play 28 minutes and rack up a game-high five assists.
4 – Chris Hines – Was 3-of-6 from the three-point arc for 11 points with three rebounds. Is averaging 11.2 points in the last five games.
10 – Jeremy Jeffers – Was scoreless in one minute of action.
11 – Karl Madison - DNP – Injury (Knee)
21 – Robert Puleikis – DNP – Coach’s Decision
22 – Micah Mason – Was scoreless with three assists in 12 minutes.
23 – Mitch McLaughlin – DNP – Coach’s Decision
24 – Joey King – Had four points with four rebounds in just 14 minutes due to foul trouble.
25 – Matt Bowie – DNP – Coach’s Decision
34 – Ben Simons – Struggled from the field, but ended up with 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double.
40 - Daddy Ugbede – Continued to contribute solid minutes with a career-high seven points and five rebounds in 17 minutes.
45 – Seth VanDeest – Had 10 points and seven rebounds for his fourth straight game in double figures. Also added a pair of blocks in 17 minutes.
[This story was written for Ron Maly by Ty Patton, Drake's assistant athletic director for communications].