ANNIKA WALL, TRUMPET MANAGING EDITOR
Max Smith Drahos has proven defense wins games in addition to offense as he used it to cement his role at Wartburg during the 2017-18 season. After that season, Smith Drahos shot up in the record books and finished the 2018-19 year tied for third in single-season steals with 54.
“As a freshman, we always talked about how Max is our best on-ball defender and does a better job getting through ball screens than anyone in our program,” Dick Peth, head Wartburg Men’s Basketball coach, said. “[It’s] a real credit to his effort, his intensity level.”
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Smith Drahos’ ability to play on both sides of the ball propelled him to numerous regional and state honors his senior year of high school at Cedar Rapids, Prairie, which included a third-team allstate selection.
That success followed him to Wartburg, where, most recently, he established the ninth-best spot on the Wartburg men’s basketball career steals list with 110 across three seasons.
“Ever since I was young, it’s something that I’ve prided myself on,” Smith Drahos said. “Coaches in elementary school said the one thing you can always control is your defense, and that’s something I remembered.”
Smith Drahos leads the team in points, assists and steals during the 2019-20 season.
As of Jan. 30, 2020, Smith Drahos currently sits at 110 career steals, placing him ninth all-time in career steals. He trails 1998 alum Rich Kloster’s number of 111 to move into eighth. Smith Drahos trials the career leader, 2017 alum Nick Weber, by only 33 steals.
“Every year with important guys graduating, you have to step
up your role and step up your game to fill their spots,” Smith Drahos said. “My teammates have given me the confidence and their trust to do that. It’s really helped me elevate my game.”
The Knights are tied for sixth place in the American Rivers Conference standings with a 3-5 record in conference.
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