Friday, November 30, 2007

Highlights from the Women's game

The Davidson Women's team defeated Ga Southern.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thoughts for Saturday's game

Looking Ahead to Duke

The Duke game Saturday afternoon clearly and obviously presents a big challenge for Davidson, but also another great opportunity. Duke is, once again (and as usual), one of the best teams in the country. However, this Davidson team has already shown that it can play with the best. McKillop & Co. have the chance to pull off a history-making win for the program, and vault Davidson back into the national spotlight.

From what I've read on the Duke sites, they seem to have a healthy respect for the Davidson basketball program. However, it's probably more like that of a big brother toward a little brother (minus the love). They think we're doing a "pretty good job for a mid-major/little kid", but nothing like what they can do....and they probably figure that if the little kid is getting too big for his britches, they'll just beat us up. In other words, they think we're a great story and all that, but they expect nothing less than to come into Bobcat Arena and run us out of the building. I have no doubt, however, that this Davidson team has the skills to pull off the win. This particular little kid can hit back.

What does Davidson need to do in order to pull off the win? From and Xs and Os standpoint, I can't tell you. I'm no basketball coach. What I can tell you is just the obvious: that we've got to have a great game. Thomas, Boris, Andrew and Rossiter need to establish something inside. We've got to keep Duke honest on the inside to open up Steph, Bryant, Will & Jason on the perimeter for some shots. (This could be the time for Rossiter to have his break-out game.) While we all love watching Steph put up crazy numbers (the first half of the App State game was nuts to watch), we can't depend on him to carry the team against an opponent like Duke. We've got to have a solid, all-around team effort with more evenly distributed scoring. Big Willie needs to get going and hit some shots. We all know he can do it; he's a stud. He's just got to get a little confidence back in his shot. (Keep your chin up, Will. It will come.) Max will need to contribute on the offensive end, as well. He's great on D, but we need a few points out of him. Jason will be Jason: a great distributor and possible big scoring threat. He'll do well in either role that he needs to fill during the game. I want to see Bryant Barr position himself to get open to hit some outside shots. Lastly, Steph will just need to do his light all the way. He'll be ready to lead the charge.

Coaches McKillop & Matheny clearly had an excellent gameplan for the UNC game. I have no doubt that Bob and Matt will come up with a great plan to battle Duke. I leave the coaching to the coaches. They will have the guys ready.

Things are lining up for Davidson to have a great shot at taking down a giant. On paper, this is the best Davidson team since the glory days, AND we've got Duke away from Cameron Indoor (finally). The atmosphere should be nothing short of NCAA Tournament cailber (as it was at the UNC game). That won't intimidate Duke, but it won't bother Davidson at all, either. On the contrary, this Davidson team will thrive on the atmosphere. They will be pumped.

The Wildcats are bound to get over that "beating a ranked team" hump sooner, rather than later. This team is too good to not pick up a W in one of these high profile games. It will happen this season....and it may very likely be this Saturday.

If you are going to attend, show some class, be loud and wear red.

See you at the game. We just may witness a little history.

Go Cats!!!

McKillop supports App State football

From App State website:

"• Davidson head coach Bob McKillop had football on his mind prior to Monday’s game against the Mountaineers. The first statement of his pregame interview on the Appalachian ISP Sports Network was reserved for praise of both Jerry Moore and the ASU football team for what they have done for the visibility of the Southern Conference. Following the interview, McKillop, the winningest men’s basketball coach in the SoCon, asked in-depth about Eastern Washington and what the Apps had to do to win. Maybe the Davidson head coach is a closet Mountaineer football fan. If anyone can get him a 'We Beat Michigan' t-shirt and get a photo of him wearing it, we will post it here!"

Duke Basketball Report disusses Davidson

Jim Sumner On Duke-Davidson!
by DBR, November 29th, 2007

Mid-majors. If you follow college basketball at all, you know that mid-majors are all the rage. ESPN puts on Bracket Busters. Books are written about conferences like the Patriot League or the Colonial Athletic Associations. And mid-majors do their part in the NCAA Tournament, Bucknell, and George Mason, and yes, Virginia Commonwealth, upsetting the big boys and giving March Madness much of its unique flavor.

I’m not sure I can define a mid-major. It may be like United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s definition of pornography; “I know it when I see it.” I think most of us see Davidson, Duke’s opponent this Saturday, as a mid-major and a pretty successful one at that.

But it would be a disservice to view the Wildcats in the same way we look at Kent State or Eastern Kentucky. Duke’s rivalry with Davidson goes back a long way and has gone through a number of cycles.

Duke first played Davidson in 1909, winning 22-8. Davidson evened the series in 1915, the next time they met. Davidson beat Duke four consecutive times in the middle 1920s but that short-lived dominance disappeared when Duke made Eddie Cameron head coach, upgraded the program, and joined the Southern Conference.

Davidson joined the Southern Conference in 1936, eight years after Duke, but was rarely competitive. But they had their moments. Their 1939 team went 19-10 and defeated Duke twice, 41-39 and 42-40. But Davidson lost to Clemson in the Southern Conference Tournament semifinals. They never did win a Southern Conference Tournament during this period, never end made the finals.

Duke left the Southern Conference in 1953 as a founding member of the ACC . The teams didn’t play each other for awhile but Davidson wasn’t even able to compete in the weakened Southern Conference. In fact the Wildcats had losing seasons every season from 1950 through 1961. Some of these were boo-hiss-awful seasons, 4-17 in 1953, 5-19 in 1960.

Davidson’s coach Tom Scott was a solid coach but not much of a recruiter. He was dismissed as head coach following the 1960 season. He was replaced by 29-year-old Charles “Lefty” Driesell, a 1954 Duke graduate, fresh from Newport News High School. Davidson was his first college job. It was a gamble, but then again when you’ve had eleven consecutive losing seasons, sometimes you have to roll the dice.

The gamble was a spectacular success. In contrast to his predecessor, Driesell was a prodigious recruiter. He sold encyclopedias door-to-door when he was coaching high school and always compared recruiting to selling encyclopedias; the more doors you knock on, the more encyclopedias you sell.

Driesell eventually brought in prep talents like Terry Holland, Fred Hetzel, Dick Snyder, Mike Maloy, Jerry Kroll, and Brian Adrian, players who could have gone to any school in the country. Driesell sometimes has come across as a country bumpkin but he was smart enough to use Davidson’s academics as an asset not a debit. He recruited top basketball players who were also top students, a necessary approach that set him against his alma mater on the recruiting trail. And Driesell won his share of those battles and did so against Vic Bubas, no slouch in the recruiting wars himself.

But Driesell and Bubas did more than just square off on the recruiting trail. Against all odds and any rational expectations, Driesell turned a tiny, academically elite, private school with virtually no basketball tradition into a perennial national power. Bubas and Driesell first met on a basketball court in December 1961 and Duke won easily, 117-72.

But that game was in Durham, as was the 1962-’63 season opener. Duke won that game 76-68 behind Art Heyman’s 36 points. Clearly, Davidson was on the rise. The highest riser was Fred Hetzel, a 6′8″ sophomore from D.C. Hetzel had been all set to become a Blue Devil but Bill Bradley took Duke’s last scholarship for the high school class of 1961. Bradley, of course, reneged on his commitment to Duke and attended Princeton instead.

Duke visited Charlotte for a rematch on December 18. This was a great Duke team, with Heyman and Jeff Mullins leading the way. Duke was 6-0 and ranked second in the AP polls, behind only defending champions Cincinnati. But Davidson jumped all over the favorites and sprinted to a 39-28 halftime lead. They got the lead up to 15 before Mullins led a comeback. Duke had the ball down 70-67 when Barry Teague stole a pass and scored. The final was 72-69.

Duke would only loss two more times that season, the last defeat coming to Loyola in the Final Four. Hetzel led all scorers with 27 points, six more than Heyman and Mullins. Driesell has always called this the game that put his Davidson program on the national map.

Davidson came back to Durham the following season for a highly-anticipated game. This game was on February 15 and was regionally telecast, an unusual arrangement for a non-conference game in those days. Hetzel had been joined by sophomore sharpshooter Dick Snyder and the two led Davidson to a 19-2 mark coming to Duke. They were ranked fourth, one spot ahead of the 16-3 Devils.

Again, Duke fell behind early, trailing by as many as eight points in the first half. But they held it together and led 42-40 at the half. Led by Mullins, a senior All-American, Duke expanded its lead to 14 and fought off a late rally for an 82-75 win. Mullins had 29 points, while classmate Jay Buckley added 17 points and 16 rebounds.

Hetzel led Davidson with 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Duke and Davidson next met in 1968, again at Duke. Duke was 6-1, while Davidson was 8-2. Ironically, the three collective loses were all to Vanderbilt. This was Mike Lewis’ senior season and the big center dominated Davidson’s star center Mike Maloy. Duke led 43-38 at the half but fell behind by seven early in the second half. They regained their footing behind Lewis, who finished with 22 points and 17 rebounds, while holding Maloy to 11 points and 6 rebounds. Sweet-shooting guard Dave Golden equaled Lewis’ 22 points for Duke, which won the battle of the boards 39-20.

Duke went back to Charlotte the following season, Bubas’ last as a coach. Duke was struggling at 12-10, while fifth-ranked Davidson was 20-2. For the first time in recent memory, Duke was a clear underdog to Davidson. But a trio of sophomores led Duke to an inspired effort.

The key was 5′10″ guard Dick DeVenzio, who had probably the best game of his Duke career. DeVenzio, who died of cancer in 2001 at the age of 52, scored in transition, on long jumpers, and from the line. He and classmates Randy Denton and Rick Katherman spurred Duke to a 43-40 halftime lead.

The teams traded leads throughout the second half, Duke leading 76-71 late. DeVenzio’s last basket gave Duke an 80-79 lead with seconds left but Maloy was fouled with three seconds remaining. He made the second of two foul shots to send the game into overtime. An exhausted Duke team was held scoreless in the extra period and fell 88-80.

DeVenzio ended the game with a career-high 28 points. Katherman and Denton each scored 14, with Denton pulling down 23 rebounds. Maloy led Davidson with 28 points and 17 rebounds. Duke would have pulled off the upset had they made more than half of their 20 foul shots.

This ended the golden era of the Duke-Davidson rivalry. Bubas retired after the 1969 season, while Driesell moved to Maryland. Bucky Waters replaced Bubas and Terry Holland replaced Driesell. Neither was able to keep their programs at the level they inherited.

But there were some good games. The Blue Devils had to go into overtime to beat the Wildcats 79-76 in 1970. Denton had a monster game, 32 points and 13 rebounds, to pace Duke in this contest, which was played in Charlotte. Two years later Davidson defeated Duke 74-72 in Charlotte but then lost seven straight to Duke, many by large margins, including a 102-51 shellacking in 1977.

The arrival of Mike Krzyzewski at Duke in 1980 certainly hasn’t enhanced Davidson’s record against Duke. Davidson beat Krzyzewski’s worst Duke team 75-73 in December 1981. Since then Davidson has gone against Duke 20 times and has come up empty 20 times. The series now stands at 85-17.

But Davidson’s Bob McKillop has engineered another revival in Davidson’s fortunes, not as spectacular as what Driesell did in the 1960s but impressive enough to throw a scare into North Carolina earlier this season and get Davidson in the national polls. Sophomore guard Stephen Curry is Davidson’s first legitimate All-American candidate in years and the Wildcats are poised to return to the glory days of the 1960s, when Duke and Davidson put on some of the best basketball games around.

Applause for the App State athletic dept: taking "idiot" fans to task

Here is a large excerpt from a longer article posted on the App State Athletics official website. I can't recall seeing an athletic department show outrage with its own fanbase in such a strong manner. I applaud David Jackson (Associate Athletics Director) for having the courage to stand up and say this. I actually picked up the phone and called him to tell him how impressed I was with this.

Thank You, Mountaineer Maniacs
by David Jackson (Associate Athletics Director)

November 28, 2007 - Mountaineer Maniacs – you are to be commended.

You are a vital part of a championship fan base that cheers, proudly respects and enjoys the efforts of your championship teams.

The preceding message is meant to be read and digested by 98 percent of the fans that attended the home events over the weekend.

The following is for the remaining two percent that attended Saturday’s football game at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

What are you doing? You know who you are! What possess you to show your backside, to deface the name of the great university you claim to love and cherish and to center these heinous patterns of behavior around a sporting event?

What is it about taunting, spitting and jeering at a player who has just had his heart ripped out in one of the most emotional, beautiful and painful ways possible that makes you feel better about yourself? What if that player was your son? And someone sauntered over to him after the ulmination of him pouring his heart and soul into an extremely grueling and physically demanding outlet for his passions, acted out over the course of a lifetime. And his first impression of life after football is someone like you being an idiot.

The actions of the two percent of you on Saturday were beyond appalling and its acts like this that endanger the existence of all of the great things that we know and love that make up Gameday Saturdays at The Rock.

If these comments apply to you, then take this opportunity to reevaluate your place in life and how this university applies to you.

Pride in Appalachian State University is at an all-time high and applications pile into the admissions office by the day. There are kids across the nation – the world, for that matter – that would give anything to experience Boone, to learn in the way we are taught at ASU, to experience the heartwarming Appalachian famil, and I bet we can even find a few in that stack that understand how to win and lose with class.

If alumni status applies to you, or if you are just a Mountaineer Fan and you were one of the jerks shouting profanities at families clad in Purple and Gold after the game, then we’d appreciate you turning in your tickets. We’ll give you a refund – we don’t need you back if that is what you consider appropriate behavior. That is not what Appalachian State University represents and we have plenty of respectful and mature students, alumni and fans that will gladly take your seat.

Beat the Dukies!

There's not much out yet about the Duke/Davidson game coming up on Saturday. Until then, you can check out the Duke Basketball official website.

The game will be on ESPN-U, which I do get. Unfortunately for many, the "U" in ESPN-U stands for "unavailable". I'll record the game, but I will also be in attendance at Bobcat Arena. I look forward to another exciting game.

We can really use a "W" in one of these high-profile games to really make a statement. This Duke team is apparently pretty darn good....but so are the Tar Heels, and we could/should have won that game. So, intimidation will NOT be a factor. The guys can pull it out. If you are going, be ready to be loud. We will need plenty of red at the game.

<--Great picture of Jason just mugging that Duke guy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Western Carolina's best player, Nick Aldridge, quits team

Leading scorer leaves WCU men's basketball team
by Tyler Norris Goode
published November 28, 2007 3:07 pm

CULLOWHEE - Nick Aldridge, the Catamounts' leading scorer, has quit the Western Carolina men's basketball team.

A sophomore from South Webster, Ohio, Aldridge was averaging 18.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for WCU (2-4).

He did not play in WCU's 10-point loss to Elon on Tuesday due to a violation of unspecified team rules.

WCU coach Larry Hunter issued the following statement about Aldridge:

“Nick Aldridge has made a decision to no longer be a part of our basketball program. Nick had some issues that we felt were being detrimental to the development of our team and we have for some time been trying to help him work through these issues. He has chosen not to work with us any longer. The bottom line is he has quit our team. We are moving forward as a team and a program.”

WCU spokesman Daniel Hooker would not discuss the nature of Aldridge team-rules violation except to say Aldridge did not break the law.

Too bad for WCU. Nick Aldridge is a heck of a player.

The Battle for Charleston is tonight

The College of Charleston Cougars and Charleston Southern do battle tonight at the North Charleston Coliseum. Can the Cougs take back the trophy tonight from the Bucs after two years of losses to the Chas Southern? (Is there even a trophy? If so, is it better than the "brain on a stick" we have with UNCC?).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Australian mystery is solved

It's not Paul Rybiski '92 after all. Karl Lorenz '86, currently of Canberra, Australia is keeping up with Davidson basketball via this site. Thanks for reading and following the Wildcats!

Check out...

...Will Bryan's observations from the Davidson-App State game; he was there. His thoughts and impressions are a "must-read". Good stuff. We only wish he had done his normal in-game blogging, which is always great.

Mid-Majority features Davidson (after the App State game)

Note: Whelliston, the author, was at the game last night

The Boubacar 11/27/2007 (STEFF-in Edition)
By Kyle Whelliston on November 27, 2007 11:20 AM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The leftovers are already running out in your fridge, but they're always stocked up here at the Bread Restaurant. Personally, I recommend the cinnamon crunch bagel with hazelnut cream cheese, and perhaps a veggie grilled panini sandwich later. I'd better finish this Boubacar up before the lunch rush starts. "Houston Fancher, your order's ready at the counter. Houston?"

Stephen Curry, Davidson. He's not half-man, half-amazing, he's about five-eighths amazing right now. Last night in the SoCon opener for both Davidson and Appalachian State, Curry scored off the opening tip, nailed four 3's in a row, and went on to blow away his career high of 32. All told, he scored 38 points on 14-for-27 shooting, including nine bombs. That's the fourth-highest one-game total of the year, and Curry is now the nation's sixth-leading scorer at 26.

"He's unbelievable," said 6-8 senior Thomas Sander after the Wildcats' 71-60 win. "From the first few seconds of the game to the end, not only offensively but defensively... he did a great job on the defensive glass as well, helping out his big guys."

I almost forgot, Curry had six boards too, the same amount that Sander did. Watching him, it's easy to forget that this guy is a sophomore. I had to put it in my notes twice and circle it and underline it -- he's only played a little over one year of college ball. He's one of those rare players who runs the floor like he owns it, a two-guard confident enough to shout directions and make coded hand-signals to teammates. He's one of the few who can stand in the deep corner, nodding his head and casting looks into the crowd while a play's going on, then snap into focus and run a picture-perfect stutter-step route that ends in a perfect drilled three from elbow extended. People say "he's a joy to watch" about a lot of ballplayers, but Curry is the kind of player that leaves you with a big, goofy smile for hours after the final buzzer.

But a mystery remains: Davidson's game notes have Curry listed as 6-3 now, up from 6-flat last year. Was this really a growth spurt, or did he gain three inches' worth of reputation over the summer?

This post is a little late now, but...

...DAV/ASU was game of the night on Mid-Majority:

Davidson at Appalachian State (SoCon)
Jones Arena - Boone, NC
7:00 PM EST
By Kyle Whelliston

Conference games are already upon us. Can you believe it? Hoops Nation's first league contest of the year happened last Saturday here in the Southern Conference, as Georgia Southern beat Furman. But that one had little on tonight's tilt, which will set the scene for the way the rest of the SoCon season is played.

Davidson. "It." You've heard it all summer. But the Wildcats are 2-2 now, following up their buzzworthy loss to North Carolina with a seven-point drop at Western Michigan on Wednesday (told you the Broncos were good). But the Wildcats are still averaging 90 points a game, and are still one of the best ball-control teams in the nation (14.8 percent turnover rate, 22.5 assists per game), and took out their frustration on poor, defenseless North Carolina Central on Saturday in a 98-50 mauling. And they have Stephen Curry, the best player in mid-majordom despite the fact that national announcers still can't pronounce his name right.

In the yellow corner is Appalachian State, looking to prove themselves after a 25-win season (one was against these Cats) that ended sadly in the NIT's first round. We've already spat 800 words about their current roster and makeup over in ESPN pay-land, but here's the short version: size. They've got it. Lots. Donte Minter, Jeremy Clayton, 6-10 Ike Butts, and a churning rotation of 6-7-and-biggers that Houston Fancher will throw early and often at Davidson. Up at WMU, size helped beat the Wildcats (a team with two 6-8'ers up front), and it's not outside possibility's realm that it could happen again tonight. Skill versus size... who you got?

And this isn't the G!O!T!N! just because I'm going to be there. But stop and say "yo" if you go.

App State blogger

The App State Fan Blog has a post about the game. I found the title to be pretty funny:

"Somebody forgot to do a scouting report on No. 30"

From The Charlotte Observer

Curry proves one-man wrecking crew
Wildcats sophomore sticks ASU for 38

BOONE --Davidson sophomore Stephen Curry received handshakes and high-fives long after he led the Wildcats to a 71-60 Southern Conference win against Appalachian State Monday night.

Curry hit nine 3-pointers and scored a career-high 38 points, picking up his team every time the Wildcats started to wobble. Along the way, he silenced the Appalachian State students who harassed him.

Dell Curry, a former standout with the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, was known for his shooting, and his son showed the same kind of sizzle from the start Monday. Stephen Curry hit his first five shots, including four 3-pointers, and Davidson never trailed.

Curry showed an array of drives and deft moves around the basket. Curry said he didn't change his pregame routine, but he said once arriving at the Holmes Center, he could sense something special awaited.

"I just really felt comfortable at the shootaround," he said. "That got my confidence up before the game."

The sophomore saved his best shots for the second half, and helped the Wildcats withstand an Appalachian State rally.

The Mountaineers (3-3, 0-1) closed to 55-49 with eight minutes left. But after Bryant Barr hit a 3-pointer, Curry made two to cap a 9-0 run and push Davidson's lead to 15.

"It wasn't a surprise to see him shoot like that," Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. "But he did so many other things that were so valuable to us."

Curry's dad kidded him about the 27 shots attempts, but he admired his son's moxie on the court. Stephen Curry had six rebounds and four steals, as Davidson (3-2, 1-0) used double teams to frustrate the Mountaineers. Appalachian State had 17 turnovers and played out of sync all night.

That angered the Appalachian State student body, but they saved their biggest boos for Curry. He heard taunts about being a one-man team, his boyish looks, and his constant shooting, but after his 3-pointer pushed the Wildcats' lead to 15, one student shook his head.

"Just turn pro already," he said.

Curry's not ready for that, but he said he enjoyed his night, and hearing those sounds of silence.

"You could even hear them in warm-ups," he said. "They said some things that made me laugh. But you know if you hit some shots, that takes them out."

From Winston-Salem Journal

ASU unable to stop Curry
Davidson star has 38 points in victory over Appalachian

By Tommy Bowman

BOONE - Stephen Curry had one bad day last season.

He made up for it last night.

Curry made his first six 3-point attempts, scored 26 points in the first half and otherwise led Davidson to a 71-60 victory against Appalachian State in the Southern Conference opener for both teams.

Curry, last season’s top scorer and freshman of the year in the SoCon, made 1 of 11 3-point attempts in his team’s only game against Appalachian last season. It turned out to be their only league loss.

Last night’s performance was a different story. Curry scored 38 points - a Holmes Center record. He hit 9 of 16 3-point attempts, 14 of 27 shots overall, and added a team-leading six rebounds and four steals.

“He got to loose balls, had defensive stops, rebounds,” said Coach Bob McKillop, whose Wildcats improved to 3-2 overall. “He did so much that makes him so valuable for us. It wasn’t a surprise to see him shoot that well. We see it every day in practice.”

Curry said that he put last year’s performance against the Mountaineers out of mind.

“It helped making my first couple of shots and get my confidence going,” Curry said. “The guys helped get me open and they found me for open shots. They were pretty aggressive on the defensive end. We had to set them up with some screens to get open. We executed pretty well.”

Teammate Thomas Sander, who had 13 points, said that he felt that it would be Curry’s night from the start.

“He was unbelievable from the first two seconds of the game,” Sander said. “After they announced him as Steven Curry (instead of Stephen with an ‘f’ sound) in the pre-game, I was just looking to get him the ball. I could see the fire in his eyes.”

Curry, a 6-3 guard, made an impact in a hurry - giving the Wildcats the lead for good three seconds into play with a breakaway layup off the opening tap.

Less than five minutes into play, he had four 3-pointers and the Wildcats had a 19-9 lead.

“He played like an All-American tonight,” said Coach Houston Fancher, whose Mountaineers fell to 3-3. “He made some tough shots, some big-time 3s.”

Kellen Brand, who drew the principal assignment of guarding Curry for the second straight year, said: “He did a great job of moving without the ball. One thing I know now is to never slip on defense. The second I would move my hand for a little bit he was firing the trigger and getting the shot off. Next time I’ll know to keep my hands in his face to where he can’t really see the goal. I did that more in the second half and he missed a couple.”

The Mountaineers trailed by as many as 17 points, but got as close as 55-49 with eight minutes left.

Ryann Abraham, who led the Mountaineers with 19 points, four assists and three steals, nailed consecutive 3-pointers to get the Mountaineers started on a 10-3 run as the Wildcats struggled momentarily against a zone defense.

“We defended a lot better the second half and went to the zone to take (Curry) out some and not let him run off as many screens,” Fancher said. “And we were pretty efficient offensively in the second half.

“I really think we’re going to be a good basketball team. We’re just not an experienced team right now and we’re having to learn some lessons.”

The Wildcats responded with the next nine points - all on 3-pointers. Curry had two of them, and also padded his scoring total with drives to the basket and scoring on offensive rebounds.

The Mountaineers struggled inside against the Wildcats’ double-team pressure.

“We’ve been seeing it all year,” forward Donte Minter of the Mountaineers said. “It’s nothing new. I don’t know how quickly we adjusted to it, but we knew it was coming. We’ve just got to be ready to kick it back out or make a strong power move to the goal.”

Fancher said: “The thing I’m concerned about is the consistency of our inside guys. We didn’t handle their double teams very well in the post. We have to do better at that because we’re going to see a lot of it.”

The Mountaineers turned the ball over 17 times, with most of those coming from inside rather than the perimeter. And they struggled at times to loosen the Wildcats’ defense with outside shooting. Abraham was 3 of 5, but Brand and Eduardo Bermudez combined to go 2 for 10 from long range.

Davidson vs. App articles


App State website: Abraham’s Career High Not Enough in Home-Opening Loss to Davidson

Another blogger puts Davidson as the 15th best at end of season

This was published AFTER the loss to Western Michigan. Interesting to see someone thinking this highly of the Wildcats:
2007/08 NCAA Basketball Top 25
"Today I thought I’d take a cut at naming the Top 25 teams in college basketball this season. Here are my predictions for the Top 25 teams at the end of the season. In my opinion, these will be the best 25 teams in the country this season, regardless of conference."

2. UNC
15. Davidson - This veteran laden squad has one huge difference maker on their roster: Stephen Curry, son of the great Dell Curry. This kid is one of the top 20 players in all of college basketball and he’s only a sophomore. He’ll lead this team to plenty of upsets this year.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Random blog article I found

Davidson’s Primed to Make Waves
by Andrew Perkins
Memo to the world — the Davidson Wildcats are for real.

In no way do I think Davidson’s near-win against #1 UNC was a fluke. I wasn’t surprised at all. They’ve got all their starters back from last year’s 29-4 season. In fact, all the scholarship players from last year are back. And the sophomore phenom — Stephen Curry — is a year older and a year better.

The rest of Davidson’s non-conference schedule includes Duke, UCLA and NC State. Will they escape any of those with a win? Maybe, maybe not. But they will contend. And they’ll be battle tested when they get into Southern Conference play.

Mark my words — Stephen Curry will put up phat numbers. Davidson will win the SoCon again. And they’ll definitely be a tough out in the NCAAs.

Just like George Mason — remember them? An experienced, cohesive unit that shocked the world.

I definitely think Davidson could very well shock the world.

Davidson/App State article

(And, of coure, where other than San Luis Obispo, CA would you get your Davidson Basketball news? It makes total sense, I know.)

Recap: Appalachian St vs. Davidson
By Sports Network

Stephen Curry set the Holmes Center scoring record with 38 points as Davidson opened Southern Conference play with a 71-60 victory over the Appalachian State Mountaineers.

Curry was active from the field for the Wildcats (3-2, 1-0 SoCon), hitting 14- of-27, including 9-of-16 from behind the three-point line. Thomas Sander and Boris Meno added 13 and 10 points, respectively, and Jason Richards ended with a game-high seven assists for the victors.

Ryann Abraham led the Mountaineers (3-3, 0-1) with 19 points and four assists, while Kellen Brand netted 12 points in the loss.

Curry drilled 10-of-14 shots from the field in the first half, scoring 26 points to pace the Wildcats to a 42-28 lead at the break.

Despite hitting 54.5 percent from the field in the second half, the Mountaineers could not overcome the halftime deficit, losing by 11.

Davidson only went to the free-throw line twice in the game, but its 12 three- pointers more than made up for the lost opportunity at the charity stripe.

Quick observations about the App State win

I watched most of the game on streaming video over the internet (when I wasn't trying to get the kids to bed). Here are a few observations:

The game wasn't quite as close as the score indicated. There were a few cheap points scored by App right at the end. Davidson was in the lead by double digits almost the entire game.

Steph was ridiculously on fire in the first half. He was hitting 3 pointers from 4-5 feet behind the arc, and pulling up to shoot so quickly that no defender could contest his shot. He also played well on the boards, getting 6 rebounds. He also took a charge, had a block and 4 steals.

Jason's shot was off, but he still had 7 assists and 5 rebounds. I have total confidence in Jason. He made me nervous when he was a sophomore, but now I get nervous if we don't have Jason in the game. He's the man at point.

Bryant Barr is starting to get his shot going. Good to see that. We are going to need it against Duke.

Will Archambault continues to struggle. We need him, and I know he'll work through it and get back on track. We need him badly against Duke.

Boris didn't miss his dunk. In fact, he threw it down in transition with two hands and with style!

The Davidson defense really seemed to be swarming around, contesting passes and shots.

Davidson only had 2 foul shots in the entire game, and that was in the last couple of minutes. That is just sort of strange...but to me it seemed like that was probably due to Davidson's shooting mainly from outside.

I want Max to get his shot going a little bit. He's great on D, and getting a few points out of him would be an added bonus.

Thomas and Boris: very solid tonight.

I almost worry about getting too dependent on Steph's scoring. It's great to see Steph drop 38 on an opponent, but I would almost rather see more equally distributed scoring. I don't want to see the team not have a legit scoring threat if Steph gets in foul trouble or something.

The announcer at the game apparently introduced Steph as "Steven Curry". He doesn't like that very much, according to McKillop. The students were also all over Steph before the game. Well, he shut them up pretty quickly with about 8 points in the first 2 minutes, and 26 in the half.

Lastly....38 points: I'd say Steph's left hand is just fine.

Go Cats!!!

Cats beat down App State, 71-60

From Davidson website: Box Score
Curry's Record Night Leads Davidson Past Appalachian State

BOONE, N.C. – Davidson guard Stephen Curry scored 38 points, including 26 in the first half, to lead the Wildcats to a 71-60 men’s basketball victory over Appalachian State in their Southern Conference opener Monday night at the Holmes Center.

Curry set a Holmes Center scoring record, and added six rebounds and four steals. He also tied his own school mark with nine 3-pointers.

The sophomore was two points shy of Fred Hetzel’s school record of 28 points in a half, which he accomplished twice, the last of which came against Furman in 1964. Curry was 10-for-14 from the field and 6-of-9 from 3-point land, and one miss was a 40-footer as the buzzer sounded for halftime.

Senior Boris Meno collected 11 points and five rebounds for Davidson (3-2, 1-0 SoCon), and classmate Thomas Sander registered 13 points and six boards.

Ryann Abraham led Appalachian State (3-3, 0-1 SoCon) with 17 points, while Kellen Brand scored 12.

The Wildcats controlled the glass and finished with a 35-30 rebounding edge, including 11-4 on the offensive glass. Davidson also caused 17 Appalachian State turnovers while committing just 11. The ‘Cats led by double digits most of the game, and oddly enough, did not attempt a free throw until there was 2:45 left in the game and shot just two on the night.

With the score tied 8-8, Davidson outscored the Mountaineers 11-1 to 19-9 lead 4:54 into the contest. The Wildcats hit six of their first seven shots, including 4-of-5 from long range. Curry scored 14 of Davidson’s first 19 points.

Davidson cooled off from there, hitting just one of its next seven shots as Appalachian State climbed to within five points at 21-16 midway through the first half. The ‘Cats surged ahead and took a commanding 38-21 cushion on a Sander jump hook with 4:43 to go and led 42-28 at the break.

The Mountaineers used a 13-4 spurt to trim the lead to 52-45 midway through the second period after consecutive Abraham 3-pointers. After Curry answered with an open trey from the wing, Donte Minter scored on a jump hook, and Brand hit two free throws to make the score 55-49 with eight minutes remaining as the crowd came alive.

Davidson answered with two huge 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the court. Bryant Barr hit one from the wing after Stephen Rossiter got an offensive board, and Curry hit one from the top of the key to push the lead back to 61-49 with 7:05 to go. A steal by Jason Richards led to an exclamation-point dunk from Meno to bring the margin to 68-52 with 3:17 left.

Davidson is back in action when the Wildcats host No. 7 Duke (AP and USA Today Polls) at Charlotte Bobcats Arena Saturday, Dec. 1, at noon on ESPNU.

Game Notes: Curry reached the 20-point mark for the 23rd time in his career and 30 points for the fifth time… It was the Mountaineer’s home opener and the second time Davidson has been the opponent in a home opener this season (Western Michigan)… Before tonight, ASU’s only home opening loss in the Holmes Center was a 99-69 loss to North Carolina in the first game played in the building Nov. 17, 2000.

App State video

Really? I mean....really? This is an actual promotional video?
By the way, I think Steph Curry was HOT HOT HOT tonight, scoring 38 points.
Cats win 71-60.

And now there's an updated version??? You have got to be kidding me. Seriously, someone tell me this is a joke. Please. For the love of Pete.

ASU vs. Davidson on SoCon TV

You can watch the game via the video feed from SoCon TV.

It's also avaiable on the ASU website for $5.95 per game.

Greetings, Australia

Paul Rybiski....glad you can follow the Cats from down there in Sydney. That's got to be you checking in on things, isn't it?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Davidson @ App State: Game Notes, Live Audio, Live Stats & TV

From App State: click here
From Davidson: click here

Live Audio: Teamline
Live Stats: From Davidson, From App State

TV: MASN (limited regional cable availability); Dish 432 or 433, DirecTV 626 or 671

**No streaming video of the game available that I can find - it appears that neither Davidson nor App State have video available on their respective sites (I can't tell if SoCon TV is carrying the game or not. I was under the impression that the individual schools were doing their own live video, and not the SoCon. I'll see what I can find out tomorrow.)

From App State website

Mountaineers and Wildcats Meet In Home Opener
by Appalachian Sports Information

November 25, 2007 - Appalachian State University men's basketball will play on campus for the first time this season when it tips off Southern Conference play against Davidson on Monday evening at the Holmes Center.

The conference opener for both teams will be broadcast regionally across the Eastern seaboard on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN).

The Mountaineers come home with a 3-2 record after last Wednesday afternoon’s win at Campbell prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Kellen Brand continues to lead ASU in scoring at a 15.2 points per game clip. He has scored in double-figures in four of ASU’s five games, including a career-high 27 point in the season opener at Charlotte.

The Wildcats are 2-2 on the season with losses coming to North Carolina and Western Michigan. The team’s two wins have come against NC Central and Emory.

Stephen Curry leads the Cats and is 17th in the nation with 23.0 points per game. Jason Richards is second in the nation with nine assists per game.

Monday's game is the third time ASU has opened SoCon play against the Wildcats. The most recent came in the 2005-06 season when DC prevailed, 102-69, on Dec. 3 at the Holmes Center. Prior to that, the Apps opened the conference slate against DC on Dec. 6, 1976 with a 71-53 win at Davidson.

Davidson featured in EA Sports game

Check out #21 in the countdown. All credit to Will Bryan for finding this. I totally stole this from his blog, but it was too good to pass up.

Props to Wofford and App State football

Both Wofford and App State won in the I-AA Football playoffs. Wofford knocked off the #3 seed, Montana, in a hostile environment. Congrats to both teams. (I refuse to use that ridiculous FCS/FBS nonsense. It's always I-A and I-AA to me. Just my 2 cents on that.)

Preserving the moment

I saw this score on the ESPN ticker, showing Davidson ranked #25. Since we won't be ranked next week, I thought I would preserve the moment for all here to see and enjoy. Let's hope we will have the opportunity to see a ranking next to Davidson's name again this season.

I'd trade a ranking for a win or two in the NCAA Tournament. I think it's safe to say that NCAA Tournament win(s) is/are the goal this season. The heck with the rankings. That's one reason I'm not terribly concerned about the loss to Western Michigan. You don't win important tournament games in November. As we all know, those games are in March.

Observations from Kevin Cary

Observations Kevin Cary

• Davidson guard Stephen Curry, the son of former Charlotte Hornet Dell Curry, usually has the most impressive basketball pedigree among players on the court. But that wasn't the case Saturday. N.C. Central forward Joshua Worthy is the nephew of Hall of Famer James Worthy.

• Saturday's win not only helped Davidson gain a little confidence, it also gave some Wildcats a little rest. Guards Jason Richards and Stephen Curry sat out almost 15 minutes of the game because of the rout. Richards especially needed a break -- he had played all but one minute of Davidson's last two games.

• Davidson sophomore forward Stephen Rossiter is becoming one of the team's most polished offensive players. He made all five shots Saturday, and is now shooting 75 percent from the field this season.

• It's early, but a few Wildcats are struggling on 3-pointers. Will Archambault (3-of-20) and Max Paulhus Gosselin (0-of-10) both made at least 36 percent last season, and Curry (14-of-39) is slightly below last season's 41 percent from that range.

• Davidson freshman Brendan McKillop played 10 minutes Saturday, but the 6-foot-1 guard hasn't been used at the point much this season. He's been used more as a combo guard like his older brother Matt was for the Wildcats.

From The Observer

Wildcats regroup, then roll
Communication keys dominating victory

DAVIDSON --Davidson coach Bob McKillop credited his team's 98-50 win against N.C. Central Saturday to a return to family.

Davidson players spent much of Thanksgiving Day together, but this wasn't about turkey and cranberry sauce. It was about talking and communicating.

McKillop's team watched more than two hours of film from Wednesday's 83-76 loss to Western Michigan, and realized what it didn't do defensively.

They didn't help each other out the way a family does.

"When you're a family and you don't talk, you get a divorce," McKillop said. "When you are a basketball team, you break up."

McKillop said his team played like a dysfunctional family Wednesday, when Western Michigan made 59 percent from the field thanks to open shots.

"It looked like we were getting complacent when we watched the film," forward Thomas Sander said. "We saw how we were just going through the motions."

That changed at the start Saturday, when Sander -- called the "General" by McKillop for his defensive leadership -- started telling teammates where to be. Max Paulhus Gosselin returned to his disruptive ways, flailing his arms in front of entry passes and refusing to allow penetration. Guards Jason Richards and Stephen Curry stepped in front of passing lanes, and forward Boris Meno blocked three shots.

All that created 27 turnovers by N.C. Central (1-6), and revived the Wildcats (2-2), who had five players score in double figures.

Three of those players were reserves: Stephen Rossiter (13 points, 10 rebounds), Bryant Barr (12 points) and Will Archambault (10).

"We turned it up a notch defensively," said Paulhus Gosselin, who had three steals. "We were just a step quicker."

That helped Davidson at a crucial time. The Wildcats open Southern Conference play Monday at Appalachian State, and then face No. 10 Duke Saturday at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.

"Today we played like a family at the dinner table," McKillop said. "These guys really care about each other, and they finally used that connection today."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Davidson vs. App State to be on TV (in some places)

MASN to Televise Southern Conference Battle
Northern and Southern Division Champions to face each other in first conference game of the season

(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) – MASN, the local leader in live sports entertainment, will televise the men’s basketball game between Davidson and Appalachian State on Monday night. The game will air live at 7 pm from the George M. Holmes Convocation Center.

Davidson, last year’s Southern Conference Southern Division Champion, is nationally ranked by ESPN and USA Today. The Wildcats recently came within four points of toppling No. 1 ranked UNC. Bob McKillop enters his 19th season with Davidson with five returning starters. Last season, the team won a school record 29 games.

The Wildcats will travel to Boone, NC to face a tough Appalachian State team. Last year’s Northern Division Champion, the Mountaineers also won a record 25 games last season.

The game is the first of MASN’s four Davidson games this season. The network will also air Davidson games with Elon and UNC-Greensboro.

MASN recently announced its college basketball schedule including over 30 games featuring twelve North Carolina schools and universities. In addition, MASN carries weekly coaches’ shows including Roy Williams (UNC), Sylvia Hatchel (UNC women), Sidney Lowe (NC State) and Benny Moss (UNC Charlotte).

MASN airs more than 500 live sporting events every year including over 200 NCAA football, basketball and lacrosse games. MASN is available on expanded basic cable to millions of North Carolinians on four cable and satellite providers, including DirecTV (Channel 626), Dish Network (Channel 432), Mediacom and Charter.

For more information, please visit

25th ranked Wildcats get back on track and blow out NCCU, 98-50

Rossiter and No. 25 Davidson Soar Past Eagles, 98-50

Davidson, N.C. – Stephen Curry led five Davidson players in double figure with a game-high 16 points, and the Wildcats led tip to horn in a 98-50 men’s basketball victory over North Carolina Central Saturday afternoon at John M. Belk Arena.
North Carolina Central 50, (25) Davidson 98

Friday, November 23, 2007

Out of town

I'll be out of town until Saturday night. I hope to attend the game on Saturday, but I will likely not be able to post any updates until Saturday night.

Until then: Click here to get to the NCCU basketball site.

You already know how to get to the Davidson game notes, etc.

Go Cats!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

NY Times article

Players to Watch

Stephen Curry
Davidson, sophomore guard

After Stephen Curry caught the ball in the corner and drove to the middle only to be called for a charging foul at the Kobe Bryant Skills Academy for the nation’s top shooting guards, the camp’s namesake whispered advice to him.

“Don’t force things,” Bryant told Curry. “Just take what the defense gives you.”

This season, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Curry will be challenged to heed that advice. Opponents are sure to focus on him after his stellar freshman season, when he averaged 21.5 points, second to Texas’s Kevin Durant, the second pick in June’s N.B.A. draft.

Curry is one of five returning starters from a team that won 29 games and lost to Maryland in the first round of the N.C.A.A. tournament. He has a slight tear in his left wrist that needs surgery, but he plans to play through the injury this season.

“I expect teams to try and take me out of my game,” said Curry, the 19-year-old son of the former N.B.A. sharpshooter Dell Curry. “I’m definitely ready for double teams and traps.”

Indeed, Curry is. In a loss to top-ranked North Carolina this month, he scored a game-high 24 points. Davidson also plays Duke, U.C.L.A. and North Carolina State this season.

“We have a lot of opportunities to do some good things,” Curry said. “We’ve just got to take advantage.”

Wildcats fall on the road

Broncos' shooting wounds Wildcats
First national ranking in years can't lift Davidson

KALAMAZOO, Mich. --Davidson's 83-76 loss to Western Michigan on Wednesday night taught the Wildcats a tough lesson.

A basketball engine runs much smoother when all five parts are firing smoothly instead of just two.

Western Michigan spoiled the Wildcats' first national ranking in 37 years by hitting clutch shots, finding the open man and scrambling to guard shooters.

The Broncos shot 59 percent from the field, going 12-of-22 from 3-point range, to hold off Davidson and beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 1984.

"They hit every shot they took in the last five minutes," Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. "We didn't defend as well as we can. That's the defining line for this team. When you let someone shoot it that well, you are not going to win."

The Wildcats (1-2) hung in behind a stirring display from guards Jason Richards and Stephen Curry. Richards cajoled his teammates in huddles before free throws to stick together, and the senior combined with Curry to keep Davidson afloat.

Curry and Richards combined to score 32 of Davidson's first 36 points in the second half, mixing in drives with 3-pointers. Richards had 15 points and Curry had 17 in the stretch, and Curry's 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 33 seconds left cut the Western Michigan lead to 71-70.

But all five Western Michigan starters scored in double figures, and the Broncos had one more answer. David Kool hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to four, and Curry missed a 3-pointer. The Davidson sophomore fouled out on Western Michigan's next possession on a reach-in, putting his hands to the top of his head and saying "Oh no!" as the referee pointed at him.

Western Michigan guard Michael Redell hit two free throws to push the lead to six, and Davidson had to scramble again. Curry and Richards had kept Davidson in the game even though Western Michigan hit three shots with less than five seconds left on the shot clock in the second half, but Davidson went cold.

The Broncos (3-2) contested Davidson shots from the perimeter. Davidson made only 9 of 31 3-point attempts in the game and missed five of its last six shots overall.

"What we learned is that we haven't done anything yet," Curry said. "We wanted to get ranked, but we realize that people have a bull's-eye for us. We have to learn from this and not let it happen again."
AP Article:
From Davidson website:
From WMU website:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Game Notes for tonight

From Western Michigan: click here
From Davidson: click here

Watch the game online

The Western Michigan website (Bronco Insider) will have their streaming video available for anybody to watch the game. You do have to subscribe, but it's only $9.95 (one month subscription...there is no single game option). Hey, it's an option for those that need their fix of DC Hoops.

Caveat: If you do the monthly subscription, you HAVE TO CANCEL after the game, or it will continue to charge you each month thereafter. From their site: "You will be billed $9.95 each month until you go to the customer care menu option and cancel your subscription. "

From the WMU official website

Broncos to Host No. 25 Davidson Wednesday Night at University Arena

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan men's basketball team will play its first home game of the season on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. against No. 25 Davidson.

The Wildcats are the first nationally-ranked team to play at University Arena since No. 24 Eastern Michigan on Feb. 7, 1996, more than 11 years ago. The Broncos (3-2) will present the first challenge for Davidson (1-1) since they nearly upset No. 1 North Carolina, 72-68, last Wednesday

Western Michigan blog

Here's a link to a Western Michigan blog: The Bronco Insider.

They've got a preview up about the Davidson game. Check it out. They predict a 71-68 WMU win. They also think Brendan McKillop is averaging 11 points per game. Sooooo, they're apparently not too well informed yet. I'm sure they're nice folks, though.

At any rate, here's their breakdown of their Broncos:

"The Broncos are coming off 2 straight wins and a solid performance at Oregon that has everyone talking. In order for this team to make the type of waves they are looking for in the NCAA tournament and MAC tournament David Kool, Derek Drews, and Andre Ricks need to hit shots from the outside that will be open after double and triple teams hit Joe Reitz in the middle.Bronco Head Coach Steve Hawkins says this team has a ways to go on defense to be considered with the 2004 NCAA tournament team...Davidson is as good a time as any to show how much some of the younger players have grown.Work the inside out and run when available and the Broncos will have alot of good to talk about after the game."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Highlight clips from the Emory game

Thanks to Austin B., a current DC student, for the link to this video.

The Davidson Show

Oh, to be back in college...

Excellent article from Charlotte Magazine

Lefty, Bob, and the Kid
With Coach Bob McKillop calling the shots and star sophomore Stephen Curry taking them, Davidson’s basketball team is looking to make national waves this season. And Charlotte just might rediscover a long-lost love
Written by Michael Kruse

In the beginning there was Lefty. Charles G. Driesell, who went by Lefty and sounded like grits, came to Davidson College in 1960 to coach the basketball team. What he did in the next nine years was, and is, one of the most amazing, most improbable accomplishments in all of college sports—top ten national rankings for the small school, trips to the national quarterfinals, big, loud crowds in the old Charlotte Coliseum. Before the Panthers, before the Hornets and the Bobcats, before UNC-Charlotte was what UNC-Charlotte is today, Lefty's Wildcats were this town's team.

Then Lefty left, in 1969, and went to the University of Maryland, where the pep band played "Hail to the Chief" when he walked into the gym.
Back down in Davidson, the team slipped, first just a little in the early 1970s, then more than that, and by the early 1980s the school's brief, bright blip on the national basketball scene had long since faded to black.

Over those years, and in the years since, Charlotte changed, too. It got bigger, in geography and in population, and with its pro sports teams, its shiny skyline, its creeping reach into the suburbs. Davidson? Even in the mid-1990s, it felt near Charlotte, all the way up in north Mecklenburg County, but it didn't feel like part of Charlotte—too much grass, too much field, too much space, in between, say, exit 18 and exit 30 on Interstate 77.

Now it's almost forty years post-Lefty. Bob McKillop has been Davidson's coach for almost half of those. His team won a school-record twenty-nine games last year, is returning every player of any consequence, is in line for a third straight NCAA tournament appearance, and has on this season's schedule games at Charlotte Bobcats Arena against North Carolina and Duke.

This year could be the year the Wildcats win back Charlotte.

All it took was the legacy of a coach who did his thing and left, the development of a coach who's done his thing and stayed, burgeoning suburbs, and finally a skinny, unafraid nineteen-year-old kid who could end up being the most important player in the history of Davidson basketball.

BUT WAIT. That's getting too far ahead. This is, after all, a story about Davidson basketball, and any story about that has to start on the afternoon of April 18, 1960, when athletic director Tom Couch stood up at a Wildcat Club meeting and introduced the school's new basketball coach to the fifteen supporters who cared enough to come.

Lefty Driesell was twenty-eight and balding. He had won a state championship at Newport News High School in Virginia. His first-year contract at Davidson was for $6,000.

"We don't have anything to sell but education," he told the people there that day. "There must be eight or ten good basketball players out there who can get in here. And we're going to find them."

Understand something right now: Davidson does something it shouldn't do when it plays Division I sports. It is a 1,700-student liberal arts school for bookish, serious-minded students, and it has produced doctors, lawyers, pastors, CEOs, and twenty-three Rhodes Scholars. But back in 1960, it was a 900-student, all-male campus, with thrice-weekly chapel and compulsory Sunday evening vespers, a dry campus in a dry county in the middle of nowhere.

The year before Lefty arrived, the basketball team won five games and lost nineteen. None of those wins had come in the Southern Conference. It was, by almost any measure, one of the last places anybody was going to build anything close to a basketball power.

But Lefty was a seller. He sold encyclopedias as a high school coach. He sold the dream of big-time basketball to Davidson prospects and the reality of the education to their mamas. Then he sold Davidson to Charlotte.

He stomped his feet and flailed his arms and slammed doors and kicked volleyball stanchions in locker rooms and called newspaper reporters and talked to them all folksy and nice. He did something that good Presbyterians don't usually do. He evangelized. He sought and got attention.

In his first game as coach, in December 1960, in tiny, brick-walled Johnston Gym, Lefty's Wildcats beat Wake Forest. Billy Packer, now a CBS commentator, played point guard for Wake, and he was so humiliated he went back to Winston-Salem and stayed in his room for the next day and a half.

Before long, the Wildcats were playing in the old Charlotte Coliseum, which is now Cricket Arena, capacity 11,666. There were, at that time, no major pro sports on the East Coast between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, and the Carolinas' major college teams were in other places, like Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Winston-Salem, Columbia, and Clemson. The Wildcats' first game in the Coliseum was on December 18, 1962, and the opponent was Duke, and Duke was ranked second in the country, and Duke was the team that lost.

Charlotte had its team. That didn't change for the rest of the decade.

Sports Illustrated ranked Davidson No. 1 in the nation going into the 1964 season. Lefty's teams, in his nine years, beat the teams from Ohio State, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Temple, Memphis, St. John's, Villanova, South Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, and Texas. One team Davidson never beat, though, was North Carolina, and both those losses came in regional finals of the NCAA tournament, by a combined six points, to end the season in 1968 and again in 1969.

Then Lefty left, and that was that. But what happened at Davidson in the 1960s, of course, happened at a different time in a very different Charlotte.

Some dates to consider here:

*Man-made Lake Norman was built in 1963.
*UNC-Charlotte was created by the state General Assembly in 1965.
*Davidson, meanwhile, went coed in 1972.
*Interstate 77 from Winston-Salem to Charlotte was finished in 1977. That meant old Highway 21 was no longer the main way to get from Charlotte up to Davidson.
*The NBA's Hornets played their first game at the second Charlotte Coliseum in 1988. *The NFL's Panthers played their first game in 1995.

Here, then, is the key: All of these dates say something about how Charlotte has changed. The city's population in 1969, when Lefty left, was 240,000. It was 540,000 in 2000, and has gone up by another 100,000 just since then. This isn't just about Charlotte, either, because the transformation of the city made it grow out and up, up I-77, up to the Lake Norman area with all that red-clay shoreline, new roads, new Harris Teeters, new movieplexes, new Starbuckses, fancy roundabouts off Exit 30, hotels, offices, condos to come.

Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson—they're all doubling in population lickety-split, Huntersville up to 40,000, Cornelius up to 20,000, Davidson up past 10,000. North Mecklenburg High School's student body by now is almost twice the size of Davidson's. The Charlotte Observer opened a Lake Norman bureau two years ago. The volunteer fire department in the town of Davidson has had its calls go up more than threefold in just the last ten years.

All that grass between Exits 18 and 30, all those fields, all that space? There's not so much of it anymore. A gap is being bridged.

ENTER BOB MCKILLOP. He fits Davidson. Better, truth be told, than Lefty ever did, what with his wire-rim glasses, and his fine suits, and that power dimple tied into his tie. The man won twenty-nine games last year, which is four more than he won in his first three years combined, which at this point seems like a very long time ago.

He is going into his nineteenth season here, and all three of his children have gone here or are going here, and he lives across the street from campus and walks to and from Belk Arena for every game. All of this was never supposed to happen, really, because when he came to Davidson in 1989 from coaching high school at Long Island Lutheran in Brookville, New York, he came mainly to win his way to somewhere else.

Folks forget that. McKillop does not. Quiet bus rides after losses in places like Buies Creek, North Carolina, and Anderson, South Carolina, can humble a man, and did.

"I was brought to my knees," McKillop said one evening this fall out on his back porch.

But his 1993-'94 team went 22-8 and got to the National Invitation Tournament. His 1995-'96 team went 25-5 and undefeated in the Southern Conference. Another NIT.

His 1997-'98 team made it to the NCAAs. His 2001-'02 team got back and lost close to Ohio State. His 2004-'05 team went 16-0 in the Southern and won two games in the NIT. His teams from the last two years: NCAAs again, losses again, close again. Close, close, closer.

Davidson has seventeen basketball alums playing pro ball in Europe. McKillop's teams have grown, and so has he—he delegates more to his staff, he gives more freedom to his players, he's made his playbook more simple. Davidson basketball is a program now.

Last year, something changed. Some sort of tipping point.

Used to be, at basketball games, says Will Bryan, the sports editor of The Davidsonian, the school newspaper, "you picked up a ticket, you went and found your friends, you sat with your friends." No big deal. Not anymore.

After last season, the school sent out season ticket information in July, not August or September. "We realized, ‘There can't be an off-season this year,' " says Martin McCann, the athletic department's marketing man.

The lower bowl of red seats in Belk Arena is sold out. Just fifteen red seats opened up over the summer, and those people either moved or died. The premium bleacher seats with the backs: sold out. The family pack season tickets: sold out. The ticket office is now selling season tickets in the regular bleachers, which has never happened.

"You go through our database, and there are a lot of Charlotte addresses," says Jamie Hendricks, the director of the ticket office. "We're getting into territory where we've never been before, or not for a long, long time." ranks the Wildcats No. 24 going into the season. Lindy's preseason magazine has the team at No. 18. USA Today's Sports Weekly is predicting a trip to the Sweet 16.

The school has a new athletics Web site, . The arena has a new scoreboard. The media guide is fatter.
Jason Richards is a nominee for the award for the nation's top point guard. Stephen (pronounced STEFF-en) Curry, the star sophomore, is the favorite to win the Southern Conference player of the year. The Sporting News is calling him the third-best shooting guard in America. He's one of fifty players nominated for the John R. Wooden Award—college basketball's Heisman.

Only four schools had their first official practice of this season televised by the ESPNU network. Davidson was one of them.

And one morning earlier this fall, students claimed almost 1,200 tickets for the North Carolina game and the Duke game, both to be played in Charlotte Bobcats Arena. Take away the students who are studying abroad, and there are only about 1,450 students on campus, and many of them spent the night outside the ticket office with beach chairs, blankets, sleeping bags, and tents.

The strangest thing, too, has been happening to Davidson basketball players over the last six or so months. They're getting noticed at the Birkdale Village shopping area in Huntersville and at Northlake Mall in Charlotte. Last spring, Curry and three teammates were on an Easter break road trip, and they stopped at an Arby's somewhere in South Carolina. Five high school kids walked up and wanted to get their picture taken with them.

Then, earlier this fall, someone started a thread on the busy message board at It was titled "Re-Taking Charlotte."

SO. STEPHEN CURRY. Last year, the kid who's no more than six-foot-two and no bigger than 190 pounds led the Southern Conference in scoring, dropped 32 points on Michigan in his second college game, 29 in the league championship game, and 30 against Maryland in the NCAAs, and broke the all-time national record for three-pointers made by a freshman. Then he went and made the under-nineteen national team over the summer.

All of this is only the beginning of his potential long-term importance for the Davidson basketball program.

Remember all that space? Stephen Curry can be a sweet-shooting, baby-faced bridger of that gap. Remember all those dates? About Charlotte growing? Here are two more:

On March 14, 1988, Stephen Curry was born in Akron, Ohio, and he was born there because his father, Dell Curry, was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Three months and nine days later, the NBA had an expansion draft, and one of the two new teams picking that day was the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets picked Dell Curry. Dell Curry was the very first Hornet.

He was a good player, one of the best shooters in the league, and ended up playing ten of his sixteen seasons in Charlotte. When he retired, he made the city his home, and started the charitable Dell Curry Foundation. He does community relations for the Bobcats. He is part of Charlotte.

So Stephen Curry grew up here. He was an all-state basketball player at Charlotte Christian and graduated as the school's all-time leading scorer. He was small, though, so the big Atlantic Coast Conference schools weren't interested, which is how in the fall of 2005 he committed to Davidson.

Around campus, important people like the athletic director and the new president like to talk about how he's such a good kid, and how he's part of the "fabric," and that's nice.

The Davidson coaches use different words when they talk about him. McKillop: "vision," "balance," "gifted." Matt Matheny, the longtime associate head coach, uses two more:



The skinny kid is stronger than he looks. He's cool on the court. He doesn't get riled up and he doesn't get awestruck. He grew up around the NBA. Duke and North Carolina don't scare him.

He also, say the coaches, has some inner assassin. He hunts the big shot, and the big stage, and he has that unteachable something that allows him to miss a shot, two, three…but the next one? It's going in. Last year, in the NCAA tournament game against Maryland, his deep, parabolic three-pointer near the end of the first half went over a seven-foot defender and had Terrapins coach Gary Williams up off the bench cussing and contorting.

"When it's game time, it's game time," Curry says. "I know when to get serious."

He is the kid who can keep the Lake Norman newcomers coming to Belk Arena, and people in Charlotte, too. He is, ultimately, the face of McKillop's rallying cry going into this huge season: "Embrace the bullseye," the coach has said over and over.

What he is, for Davidson, at Davidson, is the son of arguably the most beloved basketball player in the history of the city of Charlotte. What that means, according to Jim Murphy, the athletic director, is this: "Everybody that liked Dell now likes Steph. Which is a lot of people." Which gets back to the premise at the start of this story. Stephen Curry could be the Davidson basketball program's most important player ever.

"It's not out of the question," Murphy says

"I would say," McKillop says, "he's sort of the post-Lefty poster boy."

Ron Green Sr. was a sports columnist for The Observer for a long time. He once wrote this: "If you could capture the magic of the Hornets' early years in Charlotte in a painting, it might be the graceful arc of a Dell Curry jump shot."

That arc now goes up I-77, up to north Meck, up to Exit 30, where this fall little Davidson is heading into its biggest basketball season in nearly forty years. Davidson's reach is moving south, Charlotte's reach is moving north, and this could be the year they meet somewhere in the middle.

Shake hands and say, hey there.

How you been?

Long time no see.