But, even with Steph's ramped up hardwood success in his second collegiate season, another Big-12 freshman is staying just a step ahead. Michael Beasley, at Kansas State, has been vying with Steph for position on the top five scorers list all year.
Beasley, with his size and rebounding prowess (he notched 24 boards in his first game this season), plays a very different game than Steph. But the two share the same jersey number, and that pisses off my inner numerologist.
Beasley must be beaten in the battle for the number 30. Here's a breakdown of the two players and of what Steph needs to do to edge Beasley out. This also might come in handy if the 'Cats draw K-State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, a prospect that some have forecasted. A Steph Curry - Michael Beasley face-off -- even though the two play different positions -- would be a sight to behold.
#30 Michael Beasley - Freshman Forward @ Kansas State
6' 9" - 235 pounds
617 points on the year
Last game vs. Missouri (100-63 WIN for K-State at home):
Beasley - 40 points on 12-22 shooting, 14-15 from the line
PPG = 25.7
Nation's 4th leading scorer
AWAY at Nebraska on 2/20
#30 Stephen Curry - Sophomore Guard @ Davidson
6' 2" - 185 pounds
641 points on the year
Last game vs. Furman (86-51 WIN for Davidson at home):
Curry - 26 points on 8-16 shooting, 5-9 3-pointers
PPG = 25.6
Nation's 5th leading scorer
HOME against UNCG on 2/19
Both players are raising their games as the conference season comes to a close, but Beasley is setting the pace. Because Davidson plays on Tuesday and K-State doesn't, Steph can move up the scorers list (and overtop Beasley) in a vacuum.
In fact, Steph even has a chance to jump Lester Hudson at Tennessee-Martin (the indomitable Skyhawks…as if a "land hawk" is one of God's creatures) AND Beasley to become the nation's 3rd leading scorer if he drops at least 32 points on UNCG at home Tuesday night.
A 28-, 29-, 30-, or 31-point effort will land Steph alone in the 4th spot nationally, between Hudson and Beasley. Anything less, and Steph stays put.
With the player in 6th place, Bo McCalebb at New Orleans, averaging a paltry 23.7 PPG, it would seem that Steph will finish the season squarely in the nation's top five. In fact, Steph can average 12-points per outing over the final four regular season games (remember, Steph's double-digit scoring streak is now at 40+) and still beat McCalebb's clip.
So, it's nearly official that this year, unlike last, one of the five most prolific scorers in all of college basketball runs the hardwood with the word "Davidson" featured proudly on his chest.
Not good enough, you say? Can Davidson boast the nation's LEADING scorer this year, you ask?
Well, unless Steph posts monster numbers in his final few games -- far more monstrous than he has to this point -- and the top two scorers tank big time (scoring in negative numbers, perhaps), the scoring title on the year is well out of reach. Using his career high as a maximum, let's say Steph drops 41-points on each of Davidson's final four regular season opponents. He'd only be averaging 27.8 PPG at season's end, a far cry from Charron Fisher's 28.2 at Niagara.
For now, I'll be rooting for Steph to win the hypothetical and pointless battle of the 30s on Tuesday night. I'll be rooting AGAINST Davidson drawing K-State in the NCAAs, however. As entertaining as an actual Curry-Beasley showdown might be, I wouldn't wish the K-State freshman on anybody, much less our own Thomas Sander. I'm perfectly content keeping this match-up fictional.