Sunday, November 12, 2006

Looking back at the weekend's 3 games

Full stats for the weekend for all four teams: click here
Discuss this weekend's games:

Note: I was not in attendance for these 3 games, so my following thoughts are simply based on what I have been able to read about the weekend and heard on the radio broadcast on Sunday.


Expectations heading into the weekend: moderate
Let's face it...we lost most of our scoring and the core of our team from last year. We're not picked to do much, and most fans probably expect this to be a rebuilding year. That's a great way to set the stage for this year's pressure.

News flash: These guys can play.

Prior to these three games, I figured this team was going to be extremely young, and would probably struggle to find itself early in the year. Last year - since we had Brendan, Ian, and company - none of the current players had the opportunity to really carry the team. Therefore, I did not know exactly what to expect from these guys. About the only things that I knew were that (1) Sander is a tough guy and would do good things, (2) that Boris would do well, (3) that Richardson would be solid, and (4) that Lovedale would begin to emerge. We obviously all knew that McKillop would provide great leadership for the team (that goes without saying). Other than that, I had no clue what this team would do. I imagine that I am not alone in this.

With last year's group, I would not have been at all surprised to have won all three games (Michigan included in that). With this year's group of so many unknown and unproven players, going into the weekend, I did not expect to beat Michigan. I also didn't really know much of anything about Eastern Michigan and Central Connecticut State. I just really had no idea what to expect.

Results: Excellent
Beginning the season with a win against EMU was encouraging. While it's not a Big 10 school, it is a large state university with almost 24,000 students. EMU may not be a great team, but after losing 7 seniors,our team is almost starting over (at least it feels that way). I'd chalk that up as a very good win.

Losing to Michigan was not unexpected. Losing to Michigan by only 10 was, perhaps, unexpected. Having a freshman, Stephen Curry, drop 32 points on Michigan was VERY unexpected. That's no knock on Curry at's just rare that a freshman comes in against the Wolverines in his second-ever college game and knocks down 32 against them in their house. Nobody is really in favor of moral victories, but this game may be a sign of good things to come this year.

Crushing CCSU by 27 points was a fitting finale to the weekend. Granted, CCSU is not a good team at all. However, with the young bunch we have on the team, who knows what could have happened? Like EMU, CCSU is a large school with over 12,000 students. In the game, Curry was apparently off a little, but still put up 16 points. Jason Richardson and Boris chipped in with 15 and 12 points, respectively. Thomas Sander apparently decided to put on a show, and lit up CCSU for 26 points.....which included at least one 3-pointer. If we start getting that type of production out of Sander, we're going to be just fine. Sander is a tough son-of-a-gun.

Conclusion from the weekend:
We've got doubt. The freshman are going to be making great contributions. Stephen Curry obviously began to make a name for himself by leading all the players on all four teams in scoring for the weekend. Will Archambault played solid minutes, averaging 8.7 points per game in the first three games of his college career. Freshman Bryant Barr came in a the end of the CCSU game to hit 5 quick points, apparently in front of a bunch of his family. (That must have been a thrill for him.) Clearly, Thomas Sander is going to be a great leader on this team, as well as Richardson and Meno.

After the CCSU game, McKillop gave this weekend an overall grade of "A". I would have to agree. Starting out 2-1, and finding out we've got some real talent in this year's freshman class was a great way to begin the season. I really think we've got a chance to surprise alot of people this year. I'm already looking forward to heading to Charleston in March.

Outlook for the next week:
Now we've got the University of Illinois-Chicago coming to Davidson on Wednesday. I'm sure the guys would like to get a little revenge against them for last year's loss. Then on Sunday, it would be great to make it 3 in a row against Missouri (at Missouri). Without a doubt, they are going to be ready to pounce on Davidson after what the team has done to Missouri the past 2 years. They will not be taking us lightly. However, with the way Davidson has emerged from this past weekend's games, I would not be surprised to see the winning streak against Missouri continue.

Who knows? This could wind up being another special season under McKillop.

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