Friday, October 12, 2007

A Night With the Cats - From the Charlotte Observer


• Davidson didn't have a dunk contest during its "Night with the Cats" Thursday, but dunking is another area where Stephen Curry improved over the offseason. Curry -- who missed a dunk in the Southern Conference tournament championship last season -- made a reverse double-pump dunk in the team's warm-ups.

• Curry is known for his 3-point shooting, and he didn't disappoint Thursday. He hit seven straight at one point.

• Curry is the star, but point guard Jason Richards showed his value in a scrimmage. His team scored the first 10 points of a 15-minute scrimmage and won 29-15, thanks to his ability to run the offense.

• Freshman Brendan McKillop showed he can hit outside shots -- finishing second in the 3-point contest -- but Richards showed McKillop has work to do defensively. Freshman BenAllison might be one of the most athletic Wildcats. The third freshman -- AaronBond -- did not play in the scrimmage because of a sore shoulder.

• Davidson's men's and women's basketball players did dance routines -- separated by class -- to open the show. The sophomores and seniors had some panache in their prancing, and we'll give the freshmen the benefit of the doubt. As for the juniors -- some of the men's players should have kept on the masks they wore for part of their routine.

• Forward Thomas Sander said he lost 20 pounds between the beginning and end of last season, and weighed only 205 pounds when the Wildcats faced Maryland in the NCAA Tournament. He's bulked up quite a bit over the summer -- something Davidson will need when it faces teams such as North Carolina, Duke and UCLA.

• One way Davidson has already improved: better scoreboards. The new scoreboards at Belk Arena continually flash player fouls and points, so fans at the game don't have to keep their own score to see Stephen Curry's point total.

• Davidson coach Bob McKillop gave a passionate speech before his team took the court, telling fans to "Embrace the Bullseye." But the most poignant moment came when the coach nearly cried, telling fans that in 35 years of coaching, the thing he enjoys most is working with his players.

• The Davidson women's team won a school-record 23 games last season, but the Wildcats will enter this season hobbled. Leading scorer Katie Hamilton has been bothered by a nagging knee injury and freshman guard Chloe Woodington is out for the season with a torn ACL. But help could be on the way -- freshman Ashley Lax showed a nice outside touch during a 3-point shootout.

--Kevin Cary
Photo Credit: Dana Romanoff

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