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!!!

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