I have been going to Drake Basketball games since I was an infant. My grandfather, Don Moon, was an Education professor and Director of Educational Media at Drake University beginning in the early 1960s through the mid 1990s. He was actively involved in athletics, filming basketball and football games.
My grandfather would frequently take my father to games with him, building his love for Drake Athletics over time. It would only make sense that he would pass that passion on to me.
This year, the marketing team of Drake Athletics had a Dog Pound Student Rewards app. You get 10 points per game that you check-in at. If it was a big game, like an in-state rivalry, you would get 20 points. I downloaded the app almost as soon as it was release and have almost always been at the top. At the moment, I am at the top of the leaderboard with 440 points with 35 check-ins.
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams had really good seasons this year. I am super luck that I was able to watch their success from the first row of the student section.
Despite their success, Drake Men’s Basketball went through a lot this season. In addition to their brand new coaching staff, they had four season-ending injuries.
Connor Gholson was the first to go. Connor Gholson was a walk-on who never got a lot of playing time. Before the season even started, he broke his leg in practice, keeping him on the bench for most of the season after his surgery.
Nick Norton was the next to go. A red-shirt senior, he started the first 14 games of the season. In the conference season opener at Evansville, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The injury was bad enough for surgery and ended his season.
D. J. Wilkins had the next injury: a broken ankle. As a freshman, he was named on the Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman team. He was injured in the last regular-season conference game at Missouri State. He also underwent surgery, ending his season.
The last player with an injury was Nick McGlynn. He almost made it to the very end, but suffered a knee injury less than 10 minutes into the MVC Tournament semi-final game against UNI. Though he was unable to play for the rest of that game as well as against Southern Utah in the CIT, he did compete at the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship.
This season, the team went 12-6 in the conference season and 12-4 against non-conference opponents. This gives them an overall record of 24-10, making it the best season since the 2007-2008 season.
The team tied for regular season conference champions with Loyola. They defeated Missouri State at Missouri State on March 2, 2019. However, they lost to the University of Northern Iowa in the semi-final round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
Before the games started in St. Louis, however, the team took home a few more awards:
- Anthony Murphy – All-Bench Team
- Nick McGlynn – All-Defensive Team, First Team All-Conference, Defensive Player of the Year, Scholar Athlete of the Year
- Brady Ellingson – All-Newcomer Team, Second Team All-Conference
- D.J. Wilkins – All-Freshman Team
- Darian DeVries – Coach of the Year
After losing in the semi-finals of the conference tournament, Drake Men’s Basketball got a bid to play in the CIT, traveling to Utah to play against Southern Utah, only to lose to them in overtime.
Congratulations on having a great season, and I look forward to next season!