Saturday, January 13, 2007

Article from Chattanooga paper

(Thanks to "chattanoogamocs" from for this.)

Davidson hasn’t dipped

By David Uchiyama
Staff Writer

Davidson basketball coach Bob McKillop had a quick comeback when asked if he’s surprised by the Wildcats’ success, like most outside observers.

"I saw more practices than you did," McKillop said during the weekly Southern Conference teleconference.

Score one for the coach.

Still, the preseason voters couldn’t help but notice that Davidson lost seven seniors from an NCAA tournament team that scared Ohio State last March. Davidson lost 59.5 points per game from last season.

It made sense that the Wildcats would take a dip this year, but their only blips have come at the hands of Michigan, Missouri and Duke despite not having one senior on scholarship.

"At the beginning of the year I thought we’d miss them a lot," junior captain Jason Richards said. "As the season goes on, I’m having fun with the team we have now."

It’s also a winning team. The Wildcats (14-3, 5-0) have reeled off 10 consecutive victories, including defeats of Ohio, Charlotte and Arizona State.

The Wildcats have jumped out to a two-game lead on the College of Charleston in the SoCon’s South Division.

"They’re relentless," said Furman coach Jeff Jackson, whose team lost by eight at home to McKillop. "They just keep coming at you, and they come at you at such a constant pace that if you’re not careful they wear you down."

It’s been that way for two years. In the 2004-05 season, Davidson ran the SoCon table, going 16-0, but stumbled in the SoCon tournament before winning twice in the NIT. Then last season, Davidson cruised through the SoCon tournament.

Richards, Thomas Sander and Boris Meno played on each of those teams and picked up the Davidson system — the X’s and O’s along with the leadership skills — from the likes of Brendan Winters and Conor Grace. The juniors are now the captains and treated like seniors by McKillop. "Coach has put a lot on the captains," said Richards, who leads the SoCon with 7.1 assists per game. "We have to lead drills, communicate on the court and handle business off the court."

Freshman Stephen Curry has the made their jobs a little easier. The son of former NBA star Dell Curry is second in the league with 55 made 3-pointers and averages 19.3 points per game, good for second in the SoCon.

"His stats clearly speak pretty loudly," McKillop said. "I think the system has accentuated his strengths.

"I’m just delighted that he has not missed a beat fitting himself into defensive schemes."

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