Blizzard conditions continue to slam Long Island, but as I type this shortly after 5:30 p.m., there seems to be no convincing Hofstra to do the right thing and postpone the men’s basketball game against Drexel. I’m not surprised, at all, but I held out some hope they’d take something other than the bottom line into account for once.
Speaking of that bottom line, Hofstra is only too eager to bolster it by exploiting the blizzard and pitching its PrideZone coverage as an alternative to trying to kill yourself on the way to the Arena. (Newsday.com reports more than 200 accidents were reported on Long Island between midnight and 1 p.m. today) Hey, you’re already eating $10 or $15 per ticket tonight! What’s another $5?
The least the school could have done if it insists on playing this game is offer the PrideZone for free. It might have even worked out in the long run for Hofstra—maybe people would have enjoyed the trial and signed up for a subscription.
Now? Forget about it. I’ll find it free somewhere or listen to the free WRHU feed, and if you’re reading this, I encourage you to do the same. It’ll make live Tweeting a little more difficult, but enough is enough when it comes to Hofstra trampling all over what remains of its fan base.
As for the game that will be played in front of absolutely nobody, I regret to predict that it’ll be a really good one. Tom Pecora said after the loss to Northeastern Saturday that Charles Jenkins needed to get 20 shots a game, so I’d expect him to be in take-charge mode tonight. Figure, too, that the Flying Dutchmen will be eager to put up a better performance than they did in the loss to Drexel in Philadelphia Jan. 23 and that Cornelius Vines, who missed that game with a knee injury, will blanket the Dragons’ sensational freshman Chris Fouch, who scored 29 points and drained six 3-pointers.
The Dutchmen are 0-8 against teams in the top half of the CAA standings, so tonight is the latest Last Chance to record the much-needed Signature Win (and yes, if the Dutchmen lose tonight, I’ll call the game at Northeastern Feb. 23 the REAL Last Chance at a much-needed Signature Win).
While my guess is Drexel wins a tight one, a victory over the Dragons would be a good sign for the Dutchmen’s fortunes the rest of the season. How the Dutchmen fare against Drexel is usually a good barometer for the program in general: Hofstra lost its first seven games to Drexel during its first three years as a member of the NAC/America East, during which the Flying Dutchmen went 31-51. But the Dutchmen were 8-2 against Drexel in Jay Wright’s final four years at the helm, during which the program went 91-34 and reached two NCAA Tournaments and one NIT.
The Dutchmen lost their first eight games against Drexel under Pecora but finally snapped that streak in the 2005 CAA Tournament, a win that likely qualified them for the NIT. They have won six of their last 10 games against the Dragons, including a season sweep during the infamous 2005-06 season, but have dropped three straight. A win tonight shouldn’t send you running to make reservations for the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, but it’ll be a sign that maybe the faithful (what’s left of it after tonight, anyway) can invest some hope in a Cinderella run in the CAA Tournament.
Wherever you are tonight—and I hope you’re in your living room—enjoy the game despite Hofstra’s best attempt to dampen the enthusiasm. I’ll do my best to live Tweet the festivities. Tune in and I’ll see if I can’t drop a reference to the Shaq of the NAC or Joe Lindermann.