The St. Francis (PA) Red Flash started NEC play 1-4; however, they've gone 6-3 since. Blossoming forward Ronnie Drinnon was kind enough to answer a few of my questions during the last week of conference play. Drinnon is averaging 8.8 ppg and 5.6 rpg on 57.3 % from the floor (3rd in the NEC) in 14 conference games.
SFU is still fighting for a top-four seed and a home game to open the NEC Tournament next Wednesday. They'll have two more opportunities to improve their chances with road games at Wagner (2/27) and Mount St. Mary's (3/1).
Q: I was able to see you play live in mid-January, and was impressed with your versatility and ability to play away from the basket. What did you work on over the summer and during the course of the season that has allowed you to become such a versatile player?
I wanted and needed to expand my game, and the coaching staff challenged me to do so. Last summer, much of the team stayed on campus to build on our games. Most of my time was spent working out with Earl Brown, who is one of the hardest working and most versatile players I've ever played with. He really helped me grow, and will continue to.
Q: Are there any players in the NCAA or in the NBA that you try to pattern your game after?
Kevin Love is the player-type that I want to resemble. I admire his hard work and desire to rebound the basketball. I spend time watching his highlights and work to incorporate that into my game. His ability to step out and knock down a jump shot makes him one of the best at his position. That gives me something to work at in order to expand my game even more.
Q: You just recorded your first career double-double at Fairleigh Dickinson, and set a career-high in points (19) against LIU Brooklyn. Do you feel like you’re starting to peek at the perfect time in the season?
To be honest, I'm just blessed to be playing the game I love. When I tore my meniscus in December and had to sit out for awhile, it made me realize just how big this opportunity is. So, I don't want to necessarily call it peeking, it's just playing with a chip on my shoulder every game for God. I will always credit what I do on the court to Him.
Q: What is it like playing for head coach Krimmel?
There's nothing like playing for Coach Krim. He is a basketball coach, but he is focused on helping us growing as individuals as well. He treats everyone on this team as family. I wouldn't want to play for anybody else.
Q: You guys started NEC play 1-4, but have since gone 6-3. What do you attribute to the team’s turnaround?
Our start in NEC play was frustrating, because there's nothing like losing close games to teams that have had our number in past years. That motivated us. I also attribute the turnaround to this team's chemistry. We have grown together tremendously, and Coach Krim has made it a point that we must continue to do so if we want to take that next step in winning a NEC championship.
Q: I know you and the entire team are focused on this season, but given that all of your major contributors (minutes per game) are returning next season, how good can this team be in the future?
Only time will tell. This team is full of hard workers that want to change the face of SFU basketball. I believe we can do just that. But more importantly, we are focused on this year and our goal of winning a NEC championship.
I want to thank you for opportunity to do this interview. It was a pleasure.