Tramaine Isabell is gone, our recruiting is nonexhistent, and we had 13 donors.
The first verse of that Pearl Jam song rings true for me today. "The waiting drove me mad..."
Tramaine Isabell will graduate from Drexel this summer, and then be gone.
He tested the NBA draft waters, albeit a long shot, and now it appears he will be transferring to a school in a major conference where he can presumably raise his stock as a basketball player.
Another year on his legs and another birthday behind him will certainly not inspire confidence in many NBA general managers, although perhaps he can parlay a stellar season into a G-League or two-way contract. I don't see that happening, and the most realistic scenario is Isabell goes overseas and earns a living as a professional hooper.
I sincerely wish him all the best.
Isabell was the main facilitator for Drexel, and a top-3 player in the CAA last season. This year, it would've been hard to imagine anyone other than Tramaine taking home CAA Player of the Year honors.
While it might not be a huge surprise Isabell is leaving, it was the agonizing period of not knowing what he'd do that was shaving years off of my life.
Everyone remembers Damion Lee, who left Drexel for Louisville to get on the radar of NBA scouts. Ultimately, Lee didn't have an opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament, where his stock really could've rose, because of then coach Rick Pitino and his staffers indiscretions and ensuing NCAA penalties. Lee did enough to earn a spot in the G-League, and when his name was called this season, he made the most of it for the Atlanta Hawks.
This is a totally different scenario, but for a player like Isabell, playing games on national television, and in a perfect world, making it to the big dance where he'd be in front of millions of pairs of eyes is his best shot of becoming a professional basketball player at any level.
Drexel doesn't offer that, and to be completely frank, the administration seems ok with it.
There was absolutely zero effort to get asses in the seats of the DAC last season by anyone except for the guys in this sites Slack channel, who aren't employed by the university.
During Drexel's 24-hours of giving donation-a-roma, the only athletic program with the potential to seriously move the needle came up completely empty with 13 total donors. The Drexel Men's Basketball Twitter account sent three total Tweets to encourage donations. The majority of those 13 donations came from employees of the University. One generous alum donated enough to make it appear as though people actually cares about the program.
If you are attempting to be any sort of legitimate Division I Men's Basketball program you need financial support above all else.
I compare this Drexel basketball team to the Temple football teams of the mid-2000's. The school was unconcerned with football, the team unable to recruit, and the results were comically lopsided games.
The University eventually took an interest in football, and now Temple is a competitor, routinely sending players to the NFL. They spent money to play at Lincoln Financial Field, upgrade their practice facilities and hire competent people to run the program.
You cannot build a program on junior college transfers, or any transfers for that matter. That is not a knock on Zach Walton or Troy Harper, I'm excited for these dudes because their responsibilities just increased ten-fold.
It should be sounding the alarms in the squash facility where Big Z and Fry are playing their favorite pastime that this staff has come up all but completely empty this recruiting season. Drexel's inability to recruit the Philadelphia region is a major concern. I'm happy Assistant Coach Fortier has these Pacific Northwest connections, but it is not sustainable.
With Isabell, the Dragons could've made a little noise next year. Without him it will be difficult, but Kurk Lee should return to form and have a season more similar to his freshman campaign.
It is the future of this team that seriously concerns me. There seem to be major recruiting issues, and building a winning team is more difficult than trying to jam mismatched pieces into a puzzle like a child.
Zach Spiker better be insanely confident that Coletrane Washington and Tim Perry will develop into sensational players and program cornerstones because his job depends on it.
Well, it would depend on it if anyone gave a shit.