DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University men’s basketball
team continues its nearly month-long stay in Des Moines on Saturday when it
hosts IPFW at the Knapp Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and will be
broadcast regionally on Mediacom MC22 with Larry Morgan and former Drake star
Adam Emmenecker calling the action.
The Bulldogs (3-4) will try to rebound from Wednesday’s loss
to a seasoned Saint Mary’s squad against an IPFW team that is 5-5 on the season
following a 63-52 loss at Valparaiso on Wednesday.
“We have to continue to get better and we’ve made some steps
in the right direction,” head coach Mark Phelps said. “But we have to get
better and we’ve got a bunch of really good guys that are determined to improve
and we’ve had two days to get ready for IPFW.”
Saturday’s game features a pair of teams on opposite ends of
the scoring spectrum with Drake averaging 77.3 points per game on 45.6 percent
shooting. The Bulldogs are also one of the top three-point shooting teams in
the nation, making an average of 9.4 three-pointers per game on 44.4 percent
shooting. The Mastodons average 61.9 points per game in non-overtime contests
on 40.4 percent shooting.
Additionally, IPFW has outrebounded foes by nearly eight
rebounds a game in an area the Bulldogs have endured struggles with this
“We’ve got to do better on the boards,” Phelps said. “That’s
the biggest thing we need to see – a better rebounding outcome.”
The Mastodons are led by fifth-year guard Frank Gaines’ 19.2
points per game as the fifth year guard has taken 22 percent of the team’s
shots this season. He is the only scorer in double figures as part of the
Mastodons’ small rotation that has only seen 10 players hit the court this
Senior Ben Simons (Cadillac,
Mich.) continues to lead Drake with 15.6 points per game while Jeremy Jeffers (Wilson, N.C.) stepped
off the bench against Saint Mary’s to score a career-high 16 points. The guard
is averaging 13.5 points per game as a spark off the bench in the last two
Following Saturday’s game, the squad will have a week off to
prepare for Iowa State next Saturday as part of the Big Four Classic at Wells
Fargo Arena. Tipoff for that contest is scheduled for 4 p.m.