On Tuesday, Nov. 9 the men’s basketball team took on the Division III Coe College Kohawks in the first regulation game of the Bulldogs’ season.
In the end, the Bulldogs came out victorious with an 87-61 win over the Kohawks. Senior Tremell Murphy and first-year Tucker DeVries led in scoring with 14 points each.
The win proved to not only be helpful to the team’s record, but their reputation among the fans, which increased optimism for the rest of the season.
After the first game, student opinion on the team had been positive with students saying the performance was overall a well-executed start to the season.
“I think the team played really well together,” said spectator Ethan Roemmich, junior. “It was good to see the veterans back on the court as well as some of the new guys like Tucker and Ayo. I think this game really set a tone for the rest of the season.”
Students also expressed that, despite the win, the team had things that needed to be worked on before playing higher-ranked teams and participating in conference play.
“I think some of the things on the defensive end need to be cleaned up a little bit and we got to improve on our transitions,” Roemmich said. “On some of our transitions, we got a little too out of control, which resulted in turnovers. However, I thought the rest went pretty well.”
Drake was not only able to get the approval of the student body, but members of their staff as well.
“Drake men’s basketball has great team chemistry and lived up to expectations set by the coaches and themselves,” said Liam Nugent, the team’s manager. “It was a close game at one point, but Drake recovered and managed to pull through and secure the win.”
The previous season, Drake men’s basketball made it to the March Madness Tournament which has led to students to voice their optimistic opinions about the possibility of the team returning for their second consecutive year.
“I think Drake absolutely has a shot at March Madness,” Roemmich said. “We’re coming back with essentially the same team we had last year and I would argue that this team is overall better than last year. I think we are very capable of doing well this season.”
News of the Bulldogs’ win spread throughout the student body quickly, even to those who were not present at the game.
“While I didn’t go to the game, it sounds like Drake basketball really showed up to play,” said senior Adam Albright. “The first game can also be difficult, especially after a year without playing real games, so Drake winning shows they are ready for a pretty successful year.”
With Drake having the support and cheers of the student body and a home win under their belts, the Bulldogs will have an advantage for future games which include high-ranked teams and conference play. The men’s basketball team will face off against the University of Richmond on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 12 p.m. at the Knapp Center.