The Top 5 in 25 is a series that will run through next week chronicling the top five players since the 1987-1988 season. We will be releasing all six schools in the next few days.
The Drexel Dragons graduated to the NCAA Division I scene in 1973 after making it to four NCAA Division II tournaments in a ten-year stretch from 1957 to 1967.
The past 25 years for the Drexel Dragons have been an up and down journey to their present day standings as one of the top mid major basketball programs in the country. As the current team is poised for a run to the NCAA Tournament with players that very well may make similar lists in the future, it is important to remember the top players that have brought Drexel to their current standing.
Here are the top five Drexel men’s basketball players of the past 25 years:
G – Mike DeRocckis (1995-1999)
Mike DeRocckis is the marquee Drexel Dragons sharpshooter of the past 25 years. In his four-year career at Drexel, DeRocckis knocked down 313 3-pointers, good for the most in school history. DeRocckis was also almost automatic from the free-throw line, converting a school-best 83.6 percent of his free throws during his career. DeRocckis is no stranger to playing in the NCAA Tournament when he scored 14 points in Drexel’s upset win over the Memphis Tigers in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament. The win was the first and currently only NCAA Tournament win for Drexel in the school’s history. DeRocckis was one of the top players in the America East Conference during his time, earning All-America East Second Team honors three times.
G – Michael Anderson (1984-1988)
Michael Anderson is arguably the best player to ever put on the Drexel Dragon bue and gold. Playing from 1984 until 1988, Anderson accumulated 2,208 points putting him in first place on the school’s all-time scoring list. Anderson blossomed quickly as a star and held his position throughout his Drexel career. In his freshman year, Anderson started in every game he played, averaging 14.0 points per game, while earning East Coast Conference All-Rookie Team honors. Throughout each of the next three years, Anderson raised his points per game average all the way up to 23.9 points per game in his senior season where he set the school record for most points in a season with 670. Incredibly, even after setting many of the school’s scoring records, Anderson was also able to break the school record for career assists showing a complete skill set. One of Anderson’s most impressive games was when he scored 31 points in one half versus Lehigh in 1988. Over his career, Anderson was even able to record six triple-doubles. After his four seasons with the team, 45 Drexel basketball records had Anderson’s name on it and he was named First Team All-Conference for three straight years. Anderson became the first Drexel basketball player selected in the NBA Draft when he was selected in the third round by the Indiana Pacers in 1988.
F – Malik Rose (1992-1996)
Malik Rose is perhaps the biggest name to come out of Drexel’s basketball program over the past 25 years due to an incredible college career and successful professional career in the NBA. Over the course of his Drexel career, Rose joined Drexel great Bob Stephens as the only players at the time to amass over 1000 points and 1000 rebounds. Rose however accomplished the feat in impressive fashion finishing third all-time on the school’s career points list with 2,024 and first on the school’s rebounding list with 1,514. The strong career was built on strong individual seasons with Rose gaining First Team All-Conference honors all four years he played at Drexel. Rose was the leader on the last Drexel team to make the NCAA Tournament in 1995-96 where the Dragons won their first and only NCAA Tournament game in school history with an upset win over Memphis in the first round. In fact, Rose led the Drexel Dragons to the NCAA Tournament three times in his four year career, something that no other Drexel player has been able to do. After the successful college years, Rose went on to get drafted 44th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets and played from 1996 to 2009 winning two NBA Championships with the San Antonio Spurs.
F – Samme Givens (2008-2012)
Samme Givens is safely the best Drexel basketball player of the past decade. Graduating after last season, Givens played the game with the type of heart and hustle of a true winner. Playing forward at only 6-foot-5, Givens always played much taller than his actual size as seen by his career rebounding totals. During his senior year, Givens became only the third player in Drexel basketball history with 1000 points and 1000 rebounds. Givens ended up finishing his college career with 1,059 rebounds which puts him atop the Colonial Athletic Conference’s career rebounds list. Solid in each year of his career, Givens earned All-CAA Rookie Team honors in the 2008-09 season and earned All-CAA Second Team honors in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Givens’ junior season was his best collegiate season statistically, recording a double-double for the season with 12.2 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Givens recently signed a contract to play professionally in the Dutch Basketball League in Holland.
C – Joe Linderman (1996-2001)
Joe Linderman started his career at Drexel in 1996 and made his presence felt from the very beginning. After earning All-Conference Rookie Team and All-Conference Third Team honors in his freshman season, Linderman finished with All-Conference First Team honors in 1998, 1999, and 2001. The 6-foot-9 center was an intimidating presence on both the offensive end and on the glass. Linderman finished just shy of 2,000 points with 1,816 points, good for fourth all-time in school history. His 808 rebounds land him safely in the school’s top ten. The left-hander went on to coach and teach at the high school level after his collegiate playing days.
Of course with the quality players that have donned the Drexel Dragons uniform over the past 25 years, there are some very good players that inevitably get snubbed. Guys like guard Jeff Myers (1996-2001) and forward John Rankins (1985-1989) immediately come to mind. Regardless, the Dragons’ top five players of the last 25 years can stack up with any other top five in the City 6. With the outside shot of Mike DeRocckis, the scoring prowess of Michael Anderson, the scoring and rebounding from both Malik Rose and Samme Givens, and the big bodied, low post game of Joe Linderman, the Drexel Dragons boast a solid starting five, and the future is only looking brighter.
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