Men’s Basketball Hosts Upper Iowa In Saturday Exhibition

first_imgStory Links Live Audio Print Friendly Version DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University men’s basketball team rings in the new season at home Saturday, Nov. 2, in an exhibition against the Upper Iowa Peacocks. Tipoff is scheduled for noon at the Knapp Center.Drake, defending Missouri Valley Conference champion, look to start off the season strong after a 24-win season and postseason appearance in head coach Darian DeVries first season at the helm. D.J. Wilkins, who earned MVC All-Freshman Team honors last season, leads Drake’s veterans and makes his return to the court after suffering a  season-ending ankle injury in last year’s final game of the season. Another returning starter is Noah Thomas, who led the team with 89 assists a season ago. In the paint, the Bulldogs will be looking to 7-foot sophomore Liam Robbins who saw floor time last year as Nick McGlynn’s understudy, but will now be expected to take more of a starring role. Roman Penn will also make his Drake debut Saturday after he spent last season on the bench upon transferring from Siena, where he had been one of the program’s leaders as a freshman.The Bulldogs are led for the second year by Darian DeVries, recipient of last year’s MVC Coach of the Year award.The Peacocks come into Saturday’s exhibition off a 7-21 season that saw them send off three starting seniors. However, the team retained a valuable asset in sophomore guard Joe Smoldt who was recently named as a Northern Sun Conference Player to Watch in the league’s preseason preview. The Bulldogs and Peacocks last met on the court in 2011.Following Saturday’s exhibition, Drake begins regular-season play against the Kennesaw State Owls at home Nov. 7. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and tickets are available at Live Stats Buy Tickets last_img read more