It has been 15 years since the Delaware men's basketball team has been to the NCAA tournament...they will learn who they play on Sunday.
Delaware went 4 times in the 1990's...1992, 1993 under Steve Steinwedel and 1998 and 1999 under Mike Brey. I was fortunate enough to broadcast all four of those games.
For the last decade, Delaware has battled opponents in the CAA without ever sniffing the title...until this year. Talk about a perfect storm. Delaware has talent and the league...not so much. With the departure of VCU, Old Dominion, George Mason and Georgia State in the last year or two, the conference is just a shell of what it was. Only two teams had any chance of knocking Delaware off this year...Drexel and Towson...and both came up short.
This is not to diminish Delaware's talent...with a backcourt of Devon Saddler, Davon Usher and Jarvis Threatt, they can score. However, the Blue Hens got lucky in getting Usher for one year after his previous school, Mississippi Valley State, was put on probation for academic failures. Usher has been outstanding and he came to Delaware because of his friendship with Saddler. Without him, they likely don't go dancing.
This team has the potential to win a game in the tournament, depending on who they draw. Mike Brey left for Notre Dame back in 2000...one of the reasons being he didn't think it was likely he could win a game (or more) in the NCAA tournament at Delaware (mostly because they were in the America East). But being in the CAA, Monte Ross has had to recruit at a higher level, and as a result, this team might be better constructed to win a game. However, it depends on the matchup. A team with size would cause problems, because Delaware has one big man of note and routinely gets out-rebounded by opponents.
But they can shoot and score, and if it becomes a shootout, they have a chance. If they get a big-time opponent who can defend, then it will likely be 0-5 in the NCAA tournament and a quick trip home.
Either way, its good for Delaware to get back to the top of the heap...and with a weakened CAA, it should be a more frequent occurence.
Posted at 8:06am on March 14, 2014 by Big Don Voltz
I'm not really a Basketball fan, but hope U of Del does win, but having read your sports piece on the main page of this website, and hearing your views of Del's strength and weaknesses vs Mich. St, I'd have to agree with the Prez that the U of Del will not win, but hey they made it this far in spite of those weaknesses, so they can build on this for next year.
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