The Bulldogs — picked ninth in the preseason ranking — surprised everyone by winning the Missouri Valley Conference title, cinching the crown with four games left in the regular season.
Along the way, Drake won a school-record 21 straight games, the fourth-longest run in Missouri Valley history.
The Bulldogs opened the MVC season with a 62-54 win at Wichita State in December.
The Drake balloon has sprung a slow leak lately. The Bulldogs have lost three of their last five games — the three losses by a total of seven points. In all three games, though, Drake had chances to win in its final possession. The shots that went in earlier in the year refused to drop in the three recent defeats.
Along with a conference win at Northern Iowa, Drake traveled to Indianapolis for an ESPN BracketBuster game and handed No. 8 Butler a 71-64 upset loss. The win probably cinched a berth in the NCAA basketball tournament.Seniors Adam Emmenecker, Leonard Houston and Klayton Korver will be recognized in ceremonies following the game.
Emmenecker was named the ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-American of the year this week. The former walk-on needs seven assists in the Wichita State game to break the school record of 174 set by Al Stewart last year.
Korver will appear in his school-record 118th game. He is just the second Drake player to score 1,000 points and make 200 3-point baskets. He ranks second with 222 3-pointers behind the 241 treys of Luke McDonald. Korver is 16th on the all-time career scoring list with 1,071 points.
Houston, who became a starter only this season, has boosted his scoring average from 4.5 points in 2006-07 to over 14 points this season.
Today’s game will be telecast by ESPN2 at 1 p.m.
Fact BoxProbable Starters
Drake Bulldogs (24-4, 14-3)
# Name Yr. PPG RPG
5 Leonard Houston Sr 14.2 4.3
15 A. Emmenecker Sr 7.5 *6.0
20 Josh Young So 16.6 2.5
24 Klayton Korver Sr 9.6 3.8
31 Jonathan Cox Jr 11.8 8.4
* – assists per game
Wichita St. Shockers (11-18, 4-13)
# Name Yr. PPG RPG
3 Lance Harris Sr 2.0 0.6
22 Matt Brauer Sr 11.9 3.5
0 Aaron Ellis Fr 1.8 2.1
2 P.J. Couisnard Sr 13.3 5.7
10 Ramon Clemente Jr 6.8 7.6
Today at 1 p.m.
Knapp Center, Des Moines