PHILADELPHIA — Drexel coach Bruiser Flint knows he’s getting a text message from Kevin Baggett.
He also knows he won’t like what it says.
“Y’all know Kev,” Flint said after Rider knocked off Drexel, 75-66,
Saturday afternoon. “He’ll be texting me tonight, ‘Told you I was gonna
Baggett and Flint played together at St. Joseph’s in the 80s and
Flint even tried to hire Baggett as an assistant before he got the head
coaching job at Rider.
“I love Bruiser,” Baggett said. “We played together. We’ve grown up
together. It’s always tough with a friend, having to play or coach
against him — win or lose. I have a great deal of respect for him and
what he’s done for this program.”
Though it’s still early in the season, Flint noticed the difference
in Baggett’s team, compared to Rider squads of the past.
“I always thought they had good offensive players, but they’ve added
the element of pressing and I think that makes them a lot better. It
gets them easy baskets, especially when you throw it to them," Flint
said, pointing out the Dragons’ 16 turnovers.
“Me and him talked even before he became a head coach and we talked about what he would do on the defensive stuff.”
So far, it’s paying off.
The Broncs allowed 74.6 points per game last year, but have held opponents to fewer than 70 in six of nine contests.
“I think the biggest difference is what they’ve been doing defensively,” Flint said.
Drexel, which was picked to win the CAA but lost leading scorer Chris
Fouch for the season, is off to a sputtering start at 2-5.
Baggett doesn’t doubt that Flint, winner of 200 games at Drexel, will get that sorted out.
“I think he’ll get those guys going,” he said. “We needed to win a
game against an opponent that (would be) a signature win for us this
Baggett thought his team did just that Saturday.
Getting it against his friend only sweetens the pot.
“I got to listen to him tell me how he beat me for the next 50 years
of our lives in the first game we played against each other,” Flint said
with a smile.