Here’s something you’ll almost never hear from a basketball player who leads their league in scoring.
“Defense is my favorite part of the game.”
But sure enough, those words were spoken by Bailey Greenberg, the Drexel women’s basketball team’s all-everything senior star. Despite being called upon to defend the opponent’s best post player virtually every game last season, the 5-foot-11 forward from North Wales, Pennsylvania, managed to lead the Colonial Athletic Conference in scoring. Yet it’s the less glamorous end of the court that she believes holds the key to her team’s dreams for this season.
“If our defense stays at the level it did last year and we can increase our scoring, I think we’ll be in excellent shape,” says the LeBow College of Business marketing major.
Last year was a successful, if bittersweet, one for the Dragons. An impressive 24-9 campaign ended with two stinging defeats, to Towson in the CAA Tournament title game, and to Harvard in the first round of the WNIT.
“Overall, you’re pleased when you look at the record,” says Coach Denise Dillon. “We were fairly young. We came up with some big wins, especially in conference play, and put ourselves in a great position to compete for a CAA championship. But the team and coaches want more.”
Her inexperienced group has aged into a veteran one. All five starters are back, as are several key backups. Niki Metzel, Keishana Washington, Aubree Brown and Hannah Nihill are among the key returnees. They’ll be joined by freshman A.J. Davis and Maria Ferariu, the younger sister of senior guard Ana Ferariu.
And then, of course, there’s Greenberg. The reigning CAA Player of the Year averaged 17.2 points per game last year, twice the second-highest total on the team. Her 569 total points were third-most ever for a Drexel junior, and her 7.2 rebounds per game were third in the CAA.
“She did everything for us offensively,” Dillon says. “She’s not the strongest and she’s not the biggest on the floor when it comes to post play, but she knows how to use her quickness and her timing is so good. Her defense was so impressive. When you talk about being player of the year in the league most often it’s recognized because of the offensive strength that a player has. I was pleased to see that the coaches recognized Bailey’s commitment on both ends.”
Greenberg worked on her ball handling and shooting this summer, but also paid special attention to her conditioning. Whether she ran, sprinted or actually shot hoops, she tried to do something active every day.
“Last year we had a couple of games where we lost at the end because we got tired,” she says. “So whatever we can do to prepare ourselves so that we don’t get tired at the end is a big goal.”
This season promises to be an exciting one in the CAA, where defending champion Towson is expected to contend along with James Madison and Delaware. Dillon believes the conference may even be able to place more than just its champion in the NCAA Tournament.
But Greenberg isn’t even considering that scenario. In her last collegiate season, she’s focused squarely on winning the CAA title.
“Anytime a team achieves over 20 wins it’s a great accomplishment,” Greenberg says. “But I think the whole team is not satisfied. This year we want to get what we wanted last year.”
“This year we want to get what we wanted last year.” — Bailey Greenberg ’20
Support from the basketball fans and Drexel alumni makes the team stronger. Show your support by making a gift today!