Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
He is supposed to be good. We knew that before the season started. But the West Coast Conference player of the year last season really upped his stock against Drexel on Thursday.
The Colonial Athletic Association website claims there were highlights from Drexel's 76-64 loss to St. Mary's. There is even a video that purports to show them.
But the highlights from that game are not of Drexel. Rightfully, the only player who deserved a highlight reel Thursday afternoon was St. Mary's Matthew Dellavedova.
Save missing two technical free throws, the Australian point guard had a perfect day leading his team to the win. He finished 10-for-16 from the floor for 32 points. He had just four assists, a fluke of scoring almost half the points for his team.
But Dellavedova played the role of maestro for the Gaels even if it didn't show up in the scoresheet. His leadership of the offense against an obviously unorganized Drexel team was masterful, and had the ESPN announcers pushing him into the NBA Draft's first round.
That might be a stretch, especially since the Dragons were forced into giving significant minutes to players down the bench because of all their injury problems. More games like this though, especially against teams in the West Coast Conference could make that exaggeration a reality.
We praised George Beamon in his return to Manhattan's lineup, and he only had a 44 for his Game Score. Dellavedova logged a 49 on Thursday, possibly the second most dominating performance in college basketball so far this season (Isaiah Canaan's game against Auburn topped 50 on the Game Score.)
All this occurred against a Drexel team whose strength is supposed to be its defense. Last year, the Dragons allowed just 56.1 points per game. With almost the same team back, Drexel is allowing 71.8 points this year.
This was an issue before the injuries. Samme Givens was a tough defender (11.5 DEF100), and the best on the team last season, but the rest of the Dragons weren't terrible. He wasn't carrying the team defensively.
Somehow without him, the team is just different, and in a massive way.
The inside presence isn't the same. The backcourt, thinned by injuries, looks a step slow. Drexel just doesn't have it together in the same way that the team that got snubbed by the NCAA committee did.
That should have the rest of the teams in the CAA jumping for joy.
Maybe a lot of the disorganization in this game should be credited to Dellavedova though. He was playing on a different level, one that was potentially NBA worthy.