West Lafayette, Indiana — Three years after taking over a Drake program that did not have enough scholarship players to fill a starting lineup Darian DeVries leads the Bulldogs into the NCAA Tournament Thursday night with a First Four game against Wichita State.
Being part of the First Four gives the Bulldogs a chance to play in the national spotlight.
DeVries says the key in a tournament is to play with a sense of urgency.
DeVries says leading scorer Tank Hemphill will practice later today and is expected to play Thursday night. Hemphill has been out since he underwent foot surgery on February 11th.
DeVries says how many minutes Hemphill plays will depend upon how he feels.
When not practicing the Bulldogs have spent most of their time at the hotel. Junior guard D.J. Wilkins says they don’t mind.
Wilkins says the Bulldogs played a lot of big games down the stretch and he is not concerned about the stage being too big.
Thursday’s game will be played on the 50th anniversary of Drake’s last NCAA Tournament victory, an overtime win against Notre Dame in the 1971 Sweet Sixteen.