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Drake is big news, but where to start?

January 22, 2008
By RICK DEINES, TIMES-REPUBLICAN
Drake is currently the biggest men’s basketball story in Iowa, despite Iowa’s win over Michigan State, Iowa State’s victory over Oklahoma State and Northern Iowa’s whipping of Missouri State.

The Bulldogs are 16-1, a perfect 7-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference and are ranked in the top 25 nationally in both The Associated Press and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Drake ranks 22nd in the AP poll and No. 23 in the USA Today rankings. It is the first time in 33 years that Drake has been ranked in the top 25 of any major poll.

“For a team that lost five seniors and four starters from last year and was ranked ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll, we felt, our team and coaches, and probably our fans, felt we could have a pretty good team this year and be better than people expected, but this wasn’t what people were thinking — a national ranking,” said first-year head coach Keno Davis.

For the second straight week, a Drake player has been named Player of the Week in the MVC. This week it is Adam Emmenecker, a reward for — in particular — his last-second heroics in the win at Evansville. It was Adam shoots, Adam rebounds, Adam shoots, Adam rebounds, Adam shoots, Drake wins.

Last week it was Jonathan Cox for averaging 15.5 points and 10 rebounds in the Drake wins over Indiana State and Missouri State.

Walk-ons Emmenecker and Cox have filled the gap left by the injury to the ‘Dogs leading scorer, Josh Young. Young, averaging 16.3 points per game, has missed the last three games with an ankle injury. His status for Tuesday is unknown.

After two weeks of “big games,” Tuesday’s tilt at Creighton is just another in the series. The Bluejays are 14-3 for the season and 5-2 in the MVC, having lost to both Illinois State and Indiana State, teams that lost on the road to Drake.

One of the Creighton losses came to Xavier, currently flip-flopped with Drake at 22/23 in the two major polls.

Creighton holds a big advantage in the history of the series, leading 86-52, but enjoys a huge margin when the Bluejays and Bulldogs are playing in Omaha. There, Creighton is 52-17.

The game will be telecast by Mediacom at 7 p.m.

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Contact Rick Deines at 641-753-6611 or rdeines@timesrepublican.com

Fact Box

Probable Starters
Drake Bulldogs (16-1, 7-0)
# Name Yr. PPG RPG
5 Leonard Houston Sr 15.1 3.8
11 Jacob Baryenbruch Jr 2.2 0.8
15 Adam Emmenecker Sr 6.0 *5.2
24 Klayton Korver Sr 9.4 4.1
31 Jonathan Cox Jr 12.2 8.7
* – assists per game

Creighton Bluejays (14-3, 5-2)
# Name Yr. PPG RPG
10 P’Allen Stinnett Fr 11.5 3.1
12 Josh Dotzler Jr 4.3 *4.3
25 Kenny Lawson Jr. Fr 6.5 3.4
34 Nick Bahe Sr 7.2 2.8
50 Dane Watts Sr 12.7 6.8
* – assists per game

 
 

 

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