What We Learned From Drake\'s Season Opening Win Over Buena Vista

Darian DeVries was visibly happy and relieved after getting win No. 1 as a head coach. Matthew Bain, Sports writer

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Drake head coach Darian DeVries during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.(Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register)Buy Photo

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Aplington-Parkersburg rented a school bus Thursday night. About 40 kids and four coaches from the high-school and middle-school basketball teams piled in and drove 100 miles south to the Knapp Center. Plenty more community members drove themselves to come watch, too.

They wanted to be on hand, front and center, to watch Aplington's own Darian DeVries begin his head coaching career at Drake. 

"We're going to try to do it more," said Aaron Thomas, a former Drake basketball player and now the principal and boys basketball coach at Aplington-Parkersburg.

DeVries said he believes 102 folks made it down from Aplington.

"That's most the town, by the way," he joked.

Those 102 watched DeVries and the Bulldogs win 98-52 over Division-III Buena Vista University, a private college in Storm Lake. Up next? At Colorado next Tuesday.

"The biggest thing is we did what we wanted to do," DeVries said, "and that was come out and be aggressive and be unselfish. I didn't think we deviated from who we are just because of who we were playing."

A blowout was expected; the Beavers don't have a player taller than 6-foot-5. But it was still a regular-season game, and it's win No. 1 for DeVries' new-look Bulldogs.

Here's what we learned:

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Drake's Tremell Murphy drives to the basket as Connor Sonius of Buena Vista defends during a game at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake's Tremell Murphy drives to the basket as Connor Sonius of Buena Vista defends during a game at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenAnthony Murphy of Drake drives to the basket as Ryan Vogelei of Buena Vista defends during a game at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Anthony Murphy of Drake drives to the basket as Ryan Vogelei of Buena Vista defends during a game at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenNoah Thomas of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Noah Thomas of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenMick McGlynn of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Mick McGlynn of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake head coach Darian DeVries during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake head coach Darian DeVries during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenAnthony Murphy of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Anthony Murphy of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenD.J. Wilkins of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
D.J. Wilkins of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenNoah Thomas of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Noah Thomas of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake's Tremell Murphy drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake's Tremell Murphy drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenAnthony Murphy of Drake looks to pass during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Anthony Murphy of Drake looks to pass during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake head coach Darian DeVries talk to his team during a timeout in a win against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake head coach Darian DeVries talk to his team during a timeout in a win against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenNoah Thomas of Drake puts up a shot during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Noah Thomas of Drake puts up a shot during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake's Tremell Murphy drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake's Tremell Murphy drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake head coach Darian DeVries during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake head coach Darian DeVries during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenBrady Ellingson of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Brady Ellingson of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenNoah Thomas of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Noah Thomas of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenD.J. Wilkins of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
D.J. Wilkins of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenLiam Robbins of Drake puts up a shot during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Liam Robbins of Drake puts up a shot during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake's Tremell Murphy drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake's Tremell Murphy drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenMick McGlynn of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Mick McGlynn of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake head coach Darian DeVries during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake head coach Darian DeVries during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenLiam Robbins of Drake puts up a shot during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Liam Robbins of Drake puts up a shot during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake head coach Darian DeVries during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake head coach Darian DeVries during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenAnthony Murphy of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Anthony Murphy of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake's Connor Gholson is down under the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake's Connor Gholson is down under the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake head coach Darian DeVries greets fans after a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake head coach Darian DeVries greets fans after a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenAnthony Murphy of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Anthony Murphy of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>FullscreenDrake head coach Darian DeVries greets fans after a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018.Buy Photo
Drake head coach Darian DeVries greets fans after a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The RegisterBuy Photo>Fullscreen

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    The Bulldogs look like they'll go eight-deep consistently.  Tremell Murphy, Nick Norton, Brady Ellingson, D.J. Wilkins and Nick McGlynn started. DeVries' first two off the bench were Anthony Murphy, for Tremell, and Liam Robbins, for McGlynn. Noah Thomas soon came in for Norton.

    That seems to be the main rotation for now. Depending on whether the NCAA allows Siena transfer Roman Penn to play this year, we’ll also see him or preferred walk-on freshman Garrett Sturtz have a role. (More on that later.) Antonio Pilipovic played 11 minutes and could factor in, as well.

    Five Bulldogs scored double figures: Norton (17), Robbins (16), Thomas (15), Tremell Murphy (14) and Anthony Murphy (12).

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    Anthony Murphy of Drake looks to pass during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register)

    By the way: Tremell wears No. 2, and Anthony wears No. 4. Also, Tremell is 1 inch taller. Good luck pinpointing that difference on the floor.

    But Bulldog fans should try their best to keep an eye on these guys. The twins epitomize what a modern wing/small forward should be. They're "point forwards" or "power guards" or whatever you want to call them. They can guard 1 through 5 on defense, and pass, dribble and shoot on offense.

    Drake hasn't had that kind of dynamic, long athlete in recent history.

    Now it has two.

    "We just throw it in a little bit, mix everything around," said Tremell, who also had eight rebounds. "(We help make it) so we're not stagnant for a possession, so we just move around and just go get it if we need to."

    PREVIOUSLY: Drake beats top-tier competition for JUCO transfers Tremell and Anthony Murphy

    Thomas is a spark plug. The Australian sophomore is the fastest guy on the floor and his hands are nearly as quick. That makes for a pest on defense and an electric play-maker on offense. 

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    Noah Thomas of Drake drives to the basket during a game against Buena Vista at the Knapp center Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo: Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register)

    Thomas was both those things Thursday night. 

    His best play might have come on a fastbreak lay-up where he just about Riverdance'd through three defenders at the basket.

    "I think speed just encourages everyone else to run at that same speed," Thomas said. "Just get going. All that comes from defense. So, once we get a stop, I'm off. Everyone else is off."

    True (but not really true) freshmen will play a big role:  Wilkins and Robbins.

    Both players are true freshmen ... kind of. Doctors didn't clear Wilkins to play last year at Florida SouthWestern College after he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. And Robbins, a product of Davenport Assumption, played a prep year with Sunrise Christian in Wichita, Kansas. 

    In other words: They're two of the more experienced true freshmen you'll see.

    Who might redshirt?

    After the game, DeVries said preferred walk-on Luke Vaske will redshirt and they're looking at that option with Australian freshman Matt Gray. He also said preferred walk-on Garrett Sturtz will redshirt if the NCAA allows sophomore transfer Roman Penn to play this season. If not, Sturtz will play.

    How is Connor Gholson?

    Early in the second half, Connor Gholson, a preferred walk-on redshirt sophomore from Newton, suffered what players described as a gruesome injury to his right leg. DeVries immediately walked out and knelt by Gholson as trainers wrapped a brace around his right leg. At one point, Gholson grabbed DeVries leg and yelled. He was carted off after several minutes.

    DeVries said there was no news regarding Gholson's injury or his status moving forward. Obviously, it appears to be an injury that would keep Gholson out for a while.

    Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.

    Source : https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/college/drake/drake-bulldogs/2018/11/08/drake-bulldogs-basketball-season-opening-buena-vista-darian-devries-tremell-murphy-noah-thomas/1924978002/

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