Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Want info on a SoCon team before making the trip to Charleston?

Try the Southern Conference Media Guide

2005-06 SoCon Men's Basketball Media Guide

View the PDF images to get info on any team in the conference just in time for the tournament this weekend.

Heading to historic Charleston for the weekend and need guidance?

Check this tourism/visitors' site.

Also check this tourism/visitors' site.

These two are "doin' the Charleston".

RPI rankings for SoCon & other areas schools

Men's RPI as published by The Charlotte Observer
(SoCon schools in bold)
Editorial Note: These rankings don't amount to jack squat, since the SoCon only gets one school in the NCAA tournament. Plus, an RPI ranking well over 100 is nothing to write home about....or to put you on the NCAA tournament "bubble". I will admit, however, that I like seeing us just above Wake Forest.

112. Davidson (top ranked SoCon school)
113. W. Forest
116. Va. Tech
122. UMass
131. Co. Caro
136. Miss.
139. Ga. Tech
140. Birm-So.
143. Ga. South.
160. Gard-Webb
162. Rhode Isl.
169. Fordham
175. Elon
176. High Pt.
177. C. of Chas.
184. Radford
191. Chatt.
199. Richmond
203. Furman
226. UNC Ashe.
229. S.C. St.
239. Chas. So.
242. App. St.
243. W. Carolina
277. Wofford
280. UNCG
291. E. Carolina
292. Campbell
309. Duquesne
316. N.C. A&T
317. Liberty
318. VMI
322. Citadel

Click here for entire RPI rankings list.

Article from The Charleston Post & Courier

The Charleston Battery

No bye? Then bye-bye, says SoCon history
By Jeff Hartsell

It's the Southern Conference's version of the Golden Ticket. If you want to enter college basketball's Chocolate Factory - the NCAA Tournament - you've got to have one.

A first-round bye in the SoCon Tournament, that is.

"I'm one of those guys who starts talking about that bye from the first day of practice," said Chattanooga coach John Shulman, whose team parlayed a first-round bye into a SoCon Tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAAs last year. "To win the (SoCon) tournament, you must have one of those."

History proves Shulman right. No SoCon team ever has won four games in four days to claim the tournament title. And since the league introduced a quarterfinal round in 1993, only one squad has even made it to the title game without that first-round bye.

Click here for entire article.

SoCon Tourney posts from school websites

SoCon Tournament Bracket: click here
From SoConSports.com: Georgia Southern Earns Top Seed In SoCon Men’s Basketball Tournament

From Davidson website: Men Third Seed for SoCon Tournament; Play at 8:30 on Friday

From C of C website: SoCon Championships Schedule Set; CofC Battles UTC On Friday

From App State website: SoCon Tournament Field Set; App Earns 8th Seed

From The Citadel website: nothing previewing the tournament (???)

From Elon website: Elon Captures No. 2 Seed in SoCon Tournament

From Furman website: Furman Opens SoCon Tournament Play Versus The Citadel

From GSU website: Men’s Basketball Earns Top Seed in SoCon Tournament, Win South Division Title with 86-61 Win at Furman

From UNCG website: Follow UNCG in the SoCon Basketball Tournament on All-Access

From UTC website: nothing previewing the tournament (???)

From WCU website: Catamount Basketball Heads to Charleston; Men Seeded Seventh

From Wofford website: nothing previewing the tournament (???)

Brendan Winters: All-America Candidate

From Davidson website:
Winters on All-America Ballot for NABC

Monday, February 27, 2006

Non-Davidson post

Click here for video: (the link is working now)
Autistic basketball player creates mayhem at game
You have got to watch this video. It's a great story.

New Link 1: Click here for CNN story
New Link 2: Click here for another video

It’s an awesome story with a fairy tale ending for one basketball player in Rochester, NY. The senior, who is autistic, had never played in a varsity game before—until last Thursday night.Jason McElwain is the trainer for the Greece Athena varsity team. As a part of "Senior Night" for the team's last home game, his coach decided to let him play. click here for story

Sunday, February 26, 2006

2006 SoCon Tourney Bracket

Click on the bracket to see a larger version, or click here.

MY COMMENTS: At a glance, it would appear that Davidson has a pretty favorable path to the championship game. If we make it to the championship game, we likely won't have to face Wofford, who has a history of beating us. Luckily, we would only have to face either GSU or Charleston, and not both. Going through both of those two would be tough. In our side of the bracket, we will likely have to face Furman, and we should be able to take care of business against them. Then the likely opponent would be Elon. Our experience would be a big advantage against Elon, and I think we simply have a better team. Therefore, I believe we would prevail in that as well. We would then be in the championship game against GSU, C of C or a cinderella lower seed. The championship game will be tough, no matter who the opponent.

Overall, it looks good on paper so far.

Your thoughts?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Let's all "Do the Charleston"!!

Don't you love the following two corny pictures?

Click here to link to another prior post about the tournament, which includes the schedule and TV coverage information.

SoCon Tourney info

Official Tournament website: click here

Ticket Information: click here or call the Davidson ticket office [1-800-768-CATS (2287)].

From Davidson ticket office website:
American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover accepted.
You may also fax your request to: 704-894-2744.
If you have any questions, please email Jamie Hendricks (mailto:jahendricks@davidson.edu).

Can't go to Charleston and don't have a TV to watch the games? How about SoCon.TV? SoCon.TV will broadcast ONLINE all the SoCon Tournament games (except the championship, due to ESPN's tv rights).

North Charleston Coliseum seating chart (click here for larger view):

On to Charleston!!!

The Wildcats will play at either 6 or 8:30 on Friday night in their first game of the SoCon Tournament. Here we go on the path to the NCAAs!!

Here is a link to the SOCON TOURNAMENT BRACKET.

Click here to link to my prior post about the tournament, which includes the schedule and TV coverage information.

On Senior Day, Wildcats complete regular season sweep of Cougars

It was a tight game at the end, but Kenny Grant's clutch three-pointer sealed the game for Davidson. That should give the team some momentum heading into the SoCon Tournament.

From Davidson website:
Grant's Trey Lifts 'Cats Over Charleston on Senior Day, 65-63
Postgame Audio (mp3 format): click here to download

From C of C website:
Cougars Fall To Davidson In Regular Season Finale

Click here for College of Charleston message board

From SoConSports.com:
Elon, Davidson Win in Early Action on Saturday

From The Charleston Post & Courier:
Cougars' rally all for naught

From The Charlotte Observer:
Wildcats go to Grant for win

From Will Bryan's blog:
Senior Spectacular


1. The Citadel beat Wofford in OT to avoid going 0-15 in SoCon.
2. Victory at last for Dogs
Good for The Citadel!!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Senior Day

(Above picture lifted from Will Bryan's blog; it was simply too good to pass up.)

One of the best overall classes in the
rich history of Davidson Basketball:


You have brought numerous smiles to the faces of many a Davidson fan in the past four years. We applaud you, gentlemen, for all you have done for Davidson.

I thank you. We all thank you.

Big Game: Charleston @ Davidson

12:00 noon

TV Coverage: ESPN2

Will Bryan's preview of the game: click here

Link to a C of C related blog: click here
Here's a quote from his post about this game:

...even with the bye for next week, we still need a stong showing on Saturday at Davidson. As it stands the College of Charleston is 17-9, 9-5 in the SoCon. One more win would make us the 2nd Seed team in the SoCon Tournament. There is still a chance we could end up 4th seeds, but that is the worst-case-scenario.

SoCon Tournament is next week March 2nd through the 5th at the North Charleston Coliseum. The Cougars have a 26-5 (.839) all-time record at the North Charleston
Coliseum. Expect the College of Charleston to win the SoCon Tournament this year and go on to their first trip to the Big Dance since 1999.

From Davidson website:
Last Chance to Earn Top Seed at Men's SoCon Tournament

Link to C of C website: click here

Game Notes:
From Davidson website
From C of C website

click here for more info

Remaining SoCon schedule

Here are the games that will sort out the conference seeds. We won't know for sure until Sunday afternoon.

Saturday games:
Elon @ UNCG ..... TV: Fox Sports Net
12 noon

C of C @ Davidson ..... TV: ESPN2
12 noon

Citadel @ Wofford ..... TV: ETV

Western @ UTC

Sunday game:
GSU @ Furman

SoCon article from The Charleston Post & Courier

League Will Be Kept In Suspense A Day
from the Charleston Post & Courier
by David Carviello

Those pesky final exams.

They instill fear within student populations. They lead to cramming and loss of sleep. And in one isolated instance, they force the Southern Conference to wait an extra day to figure out who plays who in next week's league tournament at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Click here for entire article.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Where are they now?

Binghamton University Bearcats

Assistant Coach Ali Ton

Fresh from a stint coaching with the Turkish National 20 & Under Team, Ali Ton begins his first season with the Binghamton basketball program in 2005-06.

Ton was a Division I all-conference player for Davidson College (N.C.)...

Very complimentary write-up from before the Duke game (dukebasketballreport.com)

Next up for Duke is an always solid Davidson team, and one with seven seniors, which suggests that they may be a particularly dangerous opponent this year.

Bob McKillop is one of those guys who really should have gotten an offer from a bigger school, and maybe he has and just likes Davidson. He's a very, very good coach who happens to work at a school with a lower profile than maybe he could somewhere else. But he's extremely solid, as his recent record has demonstrated. He has given Duke a game or two in Cameron where Coach K had to keep his main guys in until the very end, and has given Stanford and Kansas fits...


They certainly don't mirror each other style-wise, but Duke and Davidson have a long and honorable history together, and both are ethical programs at serious schools. Bob McKillop has made Davidson's basketball program highly respectable again, and while they haven't beaten Duke, they have provided some very solid competition. We would expect a solid performance from both teams, although given Duke's defense so far, that could mean Davidson might lose by a wide margin and still be solid. That's what Davidson is now, and what they're likely to be for the near future. And we think it's great. Davidson has earned a lot of respect.

Older article we've all seen, but it's a good one

Davidson Deserves More Credit
Small college coach a big player on hoops scene and campus

Nov. 24, 2004, by Andy Elrick, CollegeSports.com

Northeasterners like to think they have a corner on small, exclusive liberal arts colleges like Vassar, Williams or Middlebury. I'm here to tell you that none of those places have a thing on Davidson, and on the basketball court, it's not even a contest. The North Carolina school is ranked as the seventh best liberal arts college in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Thus far they have steered clear of ranking basketball programs, but it's safe to say that placed in the same company, the Wildcats would be first by a mile.

So let's add Davidson to our list of schools to fall all over ourselves praising, shall we, because Duke and Stanford are just getting old. Earlier this month head basketball coach Bob McKillop found himself somewhere I'm guessing Coach K or Trent Johnson never would, Dr. Multhaup's cognitive psychology class. The Wildcats coach was there to defend the indefensible, the "hot hand."

Click here for entire article.

Can Civi interview from Eurobasket.com

Google is AMAZING. Here's an interview with Can Civi from Eurobasket.com.


Can Civi of Davidson College - Feb 11, 2006

After competing at all levels of Efes Pilsen for seven years, playing for Darussafaka in his last year, and also serving for the Turkish Cadets National Team that have made to the finals of European Championships in 2003, Can Civi (186-G-87) has decided to improve his basketball skills and continue his education in USA. At Davidson College, one of the top liberal arts colleges of the nation, he is trying to earn the same respect Ali Ton (183-G-77, college: Davidson) has received there almost a decade ago. Here is what Can has to say about his first year experience on and off the court...

What were the reasons for going to the States first of all?
I believe USA is the best place for education and basketball. I can play basketball at a high level, and have education at the same time. And also, there are so many opportunities in the U.S. for a successful future. Basically, that's why I decided to continue my basketball and academic career in the U.S.

How would you describe Davidson College, the basketball team and the conference?
Davidson College is a liberal arts college. It’s ranked seventh in the nation academically. It’s incredible how we can have a good basketball program with such a demanding academic lifestyle. Last year, we were one of two teams in the nation to go undefeated in conference games. We play in Southern Conference, currently hold a 7-3 record. In our conference, all the teams have potential to beat each other. Davidson is well respected in the conference and considered to be the best basketball program. Other than conference games, we have a tough non-conference schedule, competing against teams like Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse and Missouri.


The interview is pretty long. It's pretty sad that Davidson gets more ink on Eurobasket.com than in The Charlotte Observer.

Updated standings

Here are the standings as of Thursday afternoon:

1 Georgia Southern 10-4
2 Elon 9-4
3 & 4 Davidson 9-5*, Charleston 9-5*
5 Furman 8-6
6 & 7 Chattanooga 7-6**, Western Carolina 7-6**
8 Wofford 6-8
9 Appalachian State 5-8
10 North Carolina Greensboro 4-8
11 Citadel 0-14

*Davidson has tie-breaker with CofC as of Thursday, pending Saturday's game
**don't know about tie breaker here

Odds & Ends

Team Report: Getting Inside
Davidson had one of its most impressive victories of the season, 77-59 over Furman on Feb. 18. The Wildcats jumped ahead 28-9 and never looked back...

Team Report: Notes and Quotes
Davidson point guard Kenny Grant has vaulted into the nation's top 10 in assists at No. 9. He's averaging 6.3 per contest. The last time a Davidson player placed that high nationally in assists was 1998-99, when Ali Ton was third with 7.6 per game...

Team Report: Roster Report
KEYS: Davidson must continue to play with confidence in order to have a chance in the conference tournament. Defense is the key...

Show the seniors how much they have meant

Saturday marks the final game in Belk Arena for the seniors*. The game is on ESPN2, but we need as many people there as possible.

Go early and fill the seats. Let the seniors know what they have meant to us. It will be an especially emotional senior day for Coach McKillop, since Matt is one of the seniors playing his final game in Belk.

*(barring the possibility of a home game in the NIT, if the team ends up there)



Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Not to look past Saturday's game...

...but here is a note about Davidson coverage during the SoCon Tourney:

Will Bryan, a Davidson student, has a blog where he will apparently be posting at various intervals during the SoCon Tournament games (at least the Davidson games). Will covers the Davidson basketball team for The Davidsonian.

Here's his quote:
"For more up-to-date analysis during the tournament, go to http://www.wibryan.blogspot.com./ It will be updated several times per game and afterwards with post-game quotes."

I will be attending the tournament, so I will not be able to post during the games. However, I will try to leave the link to his website as the last post on this blog before I head to Charleston next weekend.

Looking ahead to the final home game: College of Charleston

The College of Charleston Cougars come to town to face off in what is always a tough game. In my humble opinion, they have been our biggest rival since they entered the league. Here's what else I said before the last game: click here.

Here are a few C of C links you may check out prior to the game:

Game Notes from the first game: From College of Charleston Website
Game Notes from the first game: From Davidson Website
Link to C of C Basketball website
Link to a C of C alum's blog (somewhat basketball related)

Note: C of C beat Wofford tonight
CofC Earns SoCon Tournament Bye In 69-64 Win Over Wofford

Breaking news

"Fighting breaks out on DavidsonCats.com. Referee sends everyone to a neutral corner."

Hey, everyone over there, chill out a little bit. Relax, show a little class, and quit beating each other up.

Can't we all just get along?

Road woes continue for Wildcats

From Davidson website: Davidson Falls Out of First with 76-73 Loss at GSU

From SoConSports.com: GSU Clinches Share of South Division Crown

From GSU website: Men’s Basketball Clinches Share of South Division Title with 76-73 Win Over Davidson


The Charlotte Observer: Georgia Southern 76, Davidson 73

Now, if we could just figure out a way to move the SoCon Tourney to Belk Arena......

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

HUGE game tonight @ Ga. Southern, 7:30

From Davidson website:
Battle for First in South Division Takes Place at Georgia Southern

From GSU website: Men’s Basketball Set to Face Davidson in SoCon Battle

From SoCon website: Men's Basketball Enters Final Week of Regular Season

Mid Majority.com game of the night: DC vs. GSU

DavidsonCats.com: GSU game discussion thread

Radio broadcast:
WFNA - 1660 AM
WAGI - 105.3 FM

New Davidson radio show posted by WALT 1610 AM

Davidson Sports Network
with Will Bryan and Blake Poole

Thanks to Will and Blake, two Davidson students, for taking the time to put this show together.

You can click here, then download the show as an MP3 file, and listen on your computer or Ipod.

Latest article from The Davidsonian

The Davidsonian
"The South's Foremost College Weekly"
By Will Bryan

This 2005-2006 basketball season has been a tale of two teams. Or has it? One could look at Davidson's conference leading margin of victory and home wins over the likes of Missouri and St. Joe's and be convinced that this is one of the best Wildcat squads in recent history. One also might argue that inconsistency has plagued a team that has lost four out of seven conference road games, and has not been able to come back from a halftime deficit. However, this team has continued to claw through every opponent they have faced this season and have not relinquished until the final buzzer sounded.

Last Saturday, the Wildcats epitomized Coach McKillop's philosophy of playing one game at a time, enjoying the moment, and moving on to the next play.

Taking on the team that broke the Wildcats' remarkable record for conference victories, the Wildcats (16-9, 9-4) gave the Furman Paladins a lesson in aggressive, fundamental basketball. Davidson jumped out to a 28-9 lead in the first half that was capped off by a Jason Morton '06 three-pointer, his eleventh in a row dating back to the Wofford game. That mark set a new team and conference record for consecutive three-point baskets. Like so many opponents before them this year, Furman seemed stunned in the first half and they were never able to claw their way closer than 15 points, falling by a final margin of 77-59.

The Wildcats were paced by a double-double from Thomas Sander '08 who finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Ian Johnson '06 who finished with a game-high 20 points. The Wildcats finished with 34 points in the paint, showing the interior dominance that makes Davidson foes continually have to double down when the ball goes down low. Davidson's seemingly newfound aggressive style found the Wildcats picking up unprecedented amounts of offensive boards and second chance points. Morton and Matt McKillop '06 sparked a defensive effort worthy of praise as they resoundingly shut down the Paladin perimeter game, holding shooters Eric Webb and Robby Bostain to just 10 total points, and 1-4 from three point range.

"I really thought Matt showed some grit out there today," said head coach Bob McKillop. "We played with high energy and I'm really proud of our guys."

Apart from the College of Charleston, Davidson has faced all of the top five teams in the Southern Conference at Belk Arena and come away with resounding victories. In a great departure from last year's heart-stopping close thrillers, Davidson has opened up games in the first half this season, holding a 9.5 average margin of victory that leads the Southern Conference.

Kenny Grant '06 continued to direct the floor as he dished out a game-high nine assists, helping to maintain Davidson's top assist mark in the conference and ranking of sixth in the nation.

"Our hallmark is unselfish play that opens up the floor," said coach McKillop. "And Kenny has really developed into the floor leader that keeps that together."

The victory over Furman also marked a pivotal performance by the Davidson fan base. After consecutive home games with underwhelming attendance, the Wildcat supporters showed up in droves and waved their white towels in an impressive display for the TV cameras.

"People don't realize how much the crowd can affect the outcome of a game," said coach McKillop. "Our players thrive off of their energy which makes it louder. It is a mutual relationship."

Sitting tied for first place with Elon and Georgia Southern, Davidson's trip to Statesboro this Tuesday will be a pivotal game in the outcome of the season. If the Wildcats win, they are guaranteed their fifth straight division title and an automatic berth the NIT if they were to lose in the conference tournament. With a loss the Wildcats would have to beat the College of Charleston on Saturday and hope that the Eagles lose.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Fashion Power Index

Here's a little light-hearted post to keep you smiling after the Wildcats beat up on Furman.

This is the last Head Coach Fashion Power Index from CollegeInsider.com:

By Angela Lento
March 14, 2005

1. Rick Pitino (Louisville)
2. Willis Wilson (Rice)
3. Neil Dougherty (TCU)
4. Gary Waters (Rutgers)
5. Bruiser Flint (Drexel)
6. Bob McKillop (Davidson): He carries himself with a Presidential appeal. One of the absolute classic dressers and classy men in the game.
7. Johnny Jones (North Texas)
8. Jay Wright (Villanova)
9. John Calipari (Memphis)
10. Roy Williams (North Carolina)

Click here to link to last year's Runway to the Fashionable Four. McKillop lost out in the 2nd round to Roy Williams. However, McKillop is a perennial favorite in this competition, so expect a strong performace in 2006.

McKillop made a very strong showing in 2002, advancing to the Fashionable Four. Note McKillop's name just below Atlanta in this graphic below:

Click here to link to the voting page. Go vote for McKillop!!

(Yes, it's silly; but it's fun...and why not?)

Mid-Major related NIT news

Let it be clear that I am not endorsing the position that we hope for just an NIT bid. I am simply posting this as a general point of interest for the SoCon. Don't get me wrong; last year was great. However, we are all obviously hoping for the NCAA tourney this year, just like everybody else.

NIT Selection Committee Meets; Excitement Builds for New Postseason Process
Regular Season Conference Champions Guaranteed of Postseason Berth
For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 16, 2006

NEW YORK --- The National Invitation Tournament will now guarantee regular-season conference champions a berth in the postseason, assuring quality and integrity in the selection process.

The NIT Selection Committee conducted its inaugural meeting in Atlanta in late January and ratified initial selection procedures that will be used in conjunction with this year’s postseason event.

Click here for entire article.

Click here for PDF document entitled "National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Principles and Procedures for Establishing the Bracket"

Here's a link to the discussion thread on DavidsonCats.com on this topic.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Davidson guaranteed Bye; currently in position for #1 seed (I think)

Wildcats guaranteed 1st round BYE in SoCon Tourney

Tied for 1st overall seed (not sure, but don't we have the tie-breaker with wins over Elon & GSU?)
Here's a discussion thread of this topic on DavidsonCats.com:
Click here

Here are the standings as of Sunday night:

1 Davidson 9-4**
2 & 3 Elon 9-4*, Georgia Southern 9-4*
4 Charleston 8-5
5 Furman 7-6
6 & 7 Chattanooga 6-6*, Western Carolina 6-6*
8 Wofford 6-7
9 Appalachian State 5-7
10 North Carolina Greensboro 4-7
11 Citadel 0-13

*not sure about tie-breakers on these teams
**Davidson currently has tie-breaker with Elon & GSU, I think
(1 head-to-head game left with GSU, however, on Tuesday night....then C of C)


Other SoCon articles from The Charleston Post & Courier:

South Division hogging first-round tourney byes

Is the bugler warming up at The Citadel?

Cougars won't benefit from Bracket Buster matchup with Panthers, today or next season

Bob McKillop Teleconference

From February 9, 2006: Click here

Wildcats get revenge against Furman, 77-59


BOX SCORE: Click Here

From The Greenville News: Furman tumbles on road

From The Charlotte Observer: Wildcats begin hard road with solid victory

From Davidson website: Sander, 'Cats Hit the Boards in 77-59 Win Over Furman
Postgame Audio: Click here

From SoConSports.com: Davidson Clinches First Round Bye With Win Over Furman

From Furman website: Davidson Hands Furman Fourth Straight Road Loss 77-59

Editorial Comment: The Furman uniforms, with the "FU" across the back and something across the rear end, are bad. Those uniforms are about as bad as Timmons Arena (Furman's home court) is for basketball.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Don't forget!!




Pointless, non-Davidson trivia time

Can you name my destination?

Gone again for the weekend to the beach ...but not Pawleys Island this time.

Latest article from The Davidsonian

The Davidsonian
"The South's Foremost College Weekly"
By Will Bryan

There’s something about Charleston. Coming off their fourth Southern Conference road loss at Wofford last Saturday, Davidson (15-9, 8-4) faced a must-win situation against the Citadel on Monday. The Citadel was looking for their first Southern Conference victory of the season and came out firing, making Davidson look vulnerable throughout the entire first half. But there’s something about Charleston. Davidson had picked up its only tough road win against the College of Charleston back in January, and they proved to everyone that they wouldn’t fade against the Citadel this time, building an 11-point lead with over a minute remaining and holding on for a 81-77 victory. Hopefully this confidence will extend to the Southern Conference tournament, which will be held in Charleston in a little over two weeks.
This crazy week started last Wednesday as fans filed into Belk Arena looking to bounce back from the home upset to Western Carolina. The Wildcats came out firing against UNC-Greensboro, hitting six first half threes en route to a 46-31 halftime lead. The Wildcats combined an aggressive, trapping defense and hot-shooting offense to bury the Spartans before they realized the game had started. Brendan Winters ’06 finished with 24 points, and Davidson looked to be back on the winning track as they cruised to a 92-73 victory.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats were forced to go back on the road on Saturday when they traveled to Wofford. Sporting a 2-7 road record at that point, the men in red knew that they would get a fight from the Terriers in a gym where Davidson had only won once in the last 5 years. The Wildcats seem to take the challenge in stride as they found an offensive rhythm inside with Ian Johnson ’06, who finished with a game-high 23 points on 11-20 FG shooting. Davidson had no trouble finding proficient scoring, but that wasn’t enough to overcome the two-headed monster of Wofford’s three-point shooting and a knee injury to reserve guard Jason Morton ’06. Morton’s injury came early in the first half, and his hot shooting and quick defense went to the bench with him. Unable to mount a successful charge against Wofford eight second-half three-pointers, the Wildcats again proved unable to win a game when not leading at halftime, falling 84-71.
On Monday night, it looked like Davidson finally found a formula for winning on the road. Playing against an inspired Citadel team whose guards continued to hit fantastic shots, Davidson established a philosophy of team toughness. When the Bulldogs hit a shot, the Wildcats would go on the attack and got points on the offensive end, instead of playing flustered like they had in the past. Davidson’s hard work defensively paid off near the end of the game as they went on a 14-2 run to build an 11-point lead with just over a minute to play. “They hit some big shots, but we responded every time instead of getting knocked to the mat,” said Coach McKillop. “We got down, but we did not relent. And we have made that a point of emphasis when playing on the road.”
The Wildcats also made it a team effort on Monday as the Wildcat bench made up for a 3-15 FG performance by captains Winters, Kenny Grant ’06, and Matt McKillop ’06. Jason Morton ’06 showed excellent resiliency by coming off a knee injury and one day’s rest to contribute 27 points and set a team record for 100% three-point shooting, going 6-6 from beyond the arc. The Wildcats also got key minutes from Andrew Lovedale ’09 and Eric Blancett ’06 who combined for nine rebounds, four of them offensive, in an average of just 10.5 minutes between them. “Jason Morton played spectacularly and I think that Lovedale had his best game in a Davidson uniform,” said McKillop. “When you get your bench making those contributions, you are going to be successful.”
Johnson continued to be strong inside as he racked up 19 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. The Wildcats performed well on the boards as a team as they out-rebounded the Citadel 44-27 and picked 16 offensive rebounds, giving them second chances and providing psychological daggers to the defense.
The story of this game, however, is the emergence of a team leader that has been sorely lacking all season. Jason Morton has demonstrated that despite not being a starter, he will emotionally and physically lead this Wildcat squad with hot shooting, unrelenting defense, and contagious hustling. Perhaps one of the keys of Davidson’s struggles this season has been the inability to take pressure off of the shots of Winters and McKillop and allow them to play wide open basketball. Morton has stepped into that role now and defenses can no longer focus on a single outside or inside threat, but rather must contend with a slasher whose ability to shoot and spread the ball around makes the Wildcat offense all the more dangerous. He has also provided the defensive spark to pressure opponents on the ball and create transition opportunities.
On Monday, the Wildcats showed that despite the toughness of their opponents, they can overcome a deficit and pick up a win in a hostile environment. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Wildcats have only been able to do that on the road in Charleston, SC. The Southern Conference tournament looms large on the horizon and the Wildcats want to establish momentum and good play in the historic Southern city.
Despite their four conference losses, Davidson remains in the thick of the Southern Conference race for first place as they are one game behind Georgia Southern and Elon who sit at 9-3. Facing fourth-place Furman on Saturday at Belk Arena, Davidson will look to exact revenge from their January road loss to the Paladins.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Furman game preview

Revenge is a dish best served cold:


From Furman website
From Davidson website

From Furman website:
Furman Visits Davidson In Saturday SoCon Showdown

Prior Furman preview post: click here

Updated standings for tournament seeds

Here are the overall standings for the conference tournament seeds as of Wednesday night:

1 & 2 Elon 9-3*, Georgia Southern 9-3*
3 Davidson 8-4
4 & 5 Charleston 7-5*, Furman 7-5*
6 Chattanooga 6-6
7 Western Carolina 5-6
8 & 9 Wofford 5-7*, Appalachian State 5-7*
10 North Carolina Greensboro 4-7
11 Citadel 0-12**

*not sure about tie-breakers on these teams
**Citadel has a lock on #11 seed

NOTE: Top 5 teams get a bye

Odds and Ends from FoxSports.com

Team Report: Getting Inside
On the season, with three regular-season games to play, Davidson is 15-9 overall, 8-4 in the SoCon, one game behind 9-3 Georgia Southern in the South Division. Elon already has secured the North Division and stands at 9-3 as well. Davidson, however, controls its own fate, as the Wildcats have already defeated Southern this season. The teams meet again Feb. 21. Click here to read full article.

Team Report: Notes and Quotes
As usual under coach Bob McKillop, Davidson leads the SoCon in free-throw percentage at 76.8. Furman is second at 73.5, and thus, barring a barrage of bricks never before seen over the last three conference games, the Wildcats should at least finish atop the SoCon. Click here to read full article.

Team Report: Roster Report
--Jason Morton, a 6-foot-2 senior, poured in a career-high 27 points, including a school-record 6-of-6 3-point shooting, in Davidson's 81-77 win over The Citadel.
--F Ian Johnson, a 6-9 senior, registered his fourth double-double of the season and the ninth of his career with 19 points and 10 boards against The Citadel.
Click here to read full article.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Revenge game: Furman, Saturday @ 2:00




We need this game for two reasons. First, we need to keep pace with or gain on the rest of the league so we can still possible have a #1 seed (and no worse that a #3 seed). Second, and less imporantly, we need to get them back for ending our conference winning streak.

Furman Basketball website: click here

Furman Athletics unofficial message board: click here

Even though I am a Wildcat, I grew up in and currently live in Greenville, SC. Consequently, I grew up a Furman fan. Of course, I don't really pull for them anymore, but I still like and respect the school. Also, Dr. David Shi is the President at Furman, and he was a Davidson history professor immediately before becoming taking the postition at Furman (around 1991-92 or so?). I guess Furman's got a few things going for it. Anyway, here is a random link I found that has some pictures of the Furman campus...apparently posted by some Furman alums.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Wildcats edge out The Citadel 81-77

81-77........whew. That was too close for comfort.

By the way, Jason Morton is THE MAN. 27 points off the bench???? Awesome performance, period.


Click for BOX SCORE


From Davidson website: Morton Scores Career-High 27 to Lead Men to 81-77 Win at Citadel

From The Citadel website:
The Citadel Falls to Davidson, 81-77

From ESPN.com: Davidson 81, The Citadel 77

From The Charlotte Observer: Wildcats' late rally pays off

From the Charleston Post & Courier: Agony again: Dogs fall just short against Wildcats, still winless in SoCon

Roundup: All of Monday's SoCon action, from SoCon Sports.com:
Elon 69, Chattanooga 61
Georgia Southern 91, College of Charleston 79
Furman 67, Wofford 59
Appalachian State 83, Western Carolina 66
Davidson 81, The Citadel 77