Men’s Basketball: New era ushers in new point man

Men's Basketball: New era ushers in new point man

Brian Bernstein

Photo credit: Abigaelle Levray
Sophomore point guard Landon Drew will be taking the reigns for the Matadors this season. Last season, he averaged 5.8 points per game and 3.8 assists off the bench. Photo credit: Abigaelle Levray

 

Expected to be the floor general for the Matadors, who are predicted to finish seventh in the Big West Conference by the LA Times, is sophomore point guard Landon Drew. With the season underway, Drew has not concerned himself with what the papers have to say.

“My expectations are definitely high,” Drew said. “We got new talent this year, brought a few guys in this year who are a lot more athletic this year than last year. My expectations are finishing first. You know I don’t care who is suppose to be better than us, I expect us to get it all the way.”

Landon is no stranger to the game of basketball, it’s in his DNA. His father, Larry Drew, played 10 years in the NBA and is currently the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. While unable to attend his son’s games, Larry has continued to be an influence on his upbringing and development as a player.

Then there is Landon’s older brother Larry, who played for UCLA and the Miami Heat. Although Larry played only one game for the Heat’s summer team, he is playing for the Developmental League in South Dakota.

Landon keeps in contact with his family often, particularly with his dad during the season.

“My father understands what it takes to get there cause he’s been in the NBA,” Landon said. “He’ll give me tips. There are times if he’s on the road and he can’t come to my games, we’ll watch tape on the phone and he will tell me what I’m doing right or wrong.”

Playing one of the toughest positions in basketball, Landon knows the role he will be put into this season but said the situation is nothing new. He is confident that his actions on the court will be a leading force for his team, but vocalizing his opinion and views is just as important in a leadership role.

“I have to be more vocal, I understand that,” Landon said. “Be a leader on and off the court. Be somebody that these guys can come and talk to on and off the court as well.”

New head coach Reggie Theus also needs Landon to step into his role and be comfortable for the Matadors to be successful.

“I want to put a lot of pressure on him to be the future of this team. The toughest position on the court is playing point guard,” Theus said. “He has a tough job to play a certain style to make us better. He has to come to play everyday because if he lets up, we have no chance.”

Last year Landon averaged 19.2 minutes per game 5.8 points per game and 3.8 assists, but he was not the starter. This year he will be burdened with a greater load to shoulder for a team with lofty expectations.

Landon has an excitement playing for Theus and has noticed a change in the demeanor of some of the players in practice.

“There’s been a few people grinding it out in practice, and just chit-chatting back and forth to each other, but I just feel like that’s going to build a mindset to the team to be tougher,” Landon said. “Last year, teams came into our house and bullied us, and now it’s our turns to be the bullies in the conference.”

Unless asked, Landon will not talk about himself. His mind is set on bettering the team. He works out not just to improve his skills, but to work on components that will benefit the team.