Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Curry cold, Richards hot, Cats beat Winthrop by 13

That was an ugly game, but a good win. I was a bit concerned - no, very concerned - about that game. We definitely showed that we were the better team. But, it was ugly.

I'm glad Steph got that game out of his system, and Jason continues to be a stud.

Very ugly (but very good) win. If you had told me we'd win by 13 tonight, I'd have jumped for joy. Good job, Jason!

Another thing: That win will look better on paper than it did on TV, and that can't do anything but help when it comes time for NCAA bids. BUT....let's just take care of business and get the automatic bid.


BracketBusters to watch
Little guys get chance to boost their NCAA chances

Davidson at Winthrop, Friday, 7 p.m.
Why It's Big: Davidson is very much in the bubble discussion these days, and a road win against Winthrop will boost its cause. The Wildcats are heavy favorites to win the Southern Conference tournament and earn an automatic bid since they are 18-0 and only four games have been decided by less than 10 points. But if they somehow slip in the conference tournament, their resume will be examined very closely. Respectable losses to Duke, N.C. State, UCLA and North Carolina should help, but a loss to Winthrop on top of earlier defeats at Western Michigan and Charlotte will leave Davidson with an ugly 2-7 non-conference record.

Who To Watch: Davidson's Stephen Curry is a high-major talent who has flourished at Davidson for two years. He is in the top five in the nation in scoring (25.8 ppg) and three-pointers made (111) and has scored at least 30 points eight times this season. And don't forget about Jason Richards, Curry's backcourt mate who leads the nation with 8.1 assists per game.

The Winner: This should be an entertaining matchup between two schools that have not met in 16 years despite being just 45 miles apart. Winthrop has won nine of its last 11 to move to the top of the Big South and is looking to build momentum heading into the Big South tournament. Davidson needs the game more, however, and should win a tight one.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

DM's Winthrop preview

If you're a frequenter of local college basketball message boards, you've been privy to a healthy chunk of complaining and resentment over the past few weeks. Ever since ESPN announced BracketBuster match-ups for their over-hyped, only marginally relevant, upcoming weekend mid-major extravaganza, Davidson and Winthrop fans have been exchanging cyber-blows about the justice inherent in a pairing of their institutions.

On the Davidson side, a Winthrop draw feels like a slight, a slap in the face. Piling up Southern Conference wins and pushing powerhouse programs to the brink gets our name tossed around in a few faux-NCAA deliberations, but most agree that the 'Cats are far from a sure thing come March. The BracketBuster match-up was supposed to strengthen our at-large position and increase our national exposure. We've needed a marquee win all along and that's just not something that, with an RPI of 106, Winthrop can provide.

If Davidson loses to Winthrop, the bubble conversations and at-large considerations for the 'Cats effectively stop. If Davidson wins, will anyone care?

On the Winthrop side, nostalgia for last season is setting in: "Remember when everyone talked about US? Remember when WE made the Tournament last year…and WON in the first round?" It's a fair statement that Winthrop fans are a little peeved about the turning of tables, especially when their team is surging again (9-3 in conference and leading the Big South).

Surfing their message board reveals as much. Incensed by the loss of national attention, they call Davidson a "media darling" and make special mention of their own enduring status as the mid-major team of the South. These are relatively valid critiques, but betray a sense of "what about us?" that's a little hard to hear.

Winthrop fans would cite early-season wins over Georgia Tech and Miami (FL) as clear evidence of Eagle superiority. After all, they have actually beaten ACC teams this season. And, hey, didn't Miami just knock off Duke?

But they've also dropped games against Missouri State (RPI: 159), Mt. St. Mary's (190), and conference road games against High Point (240) and Coastal Carolina (251). The Coastal Carolina loss, in particular, happened recently, on February 6th, and points to a program languishing in the shadow of last year's success.

Make no mistake. Winthrop is a tough team to beat, especially on their home floor. They are 10-1 this year in the Winthrop Coliseum, and this game, as they see it, is their last chance to make a mark on the national scene. They'll be ready for us and for the cameras, no doubt.

Your Winthrop preview:

Leading Scorer (14.0 pts/gm):
#11 Michael Jenkins (Sr.) - 6' 3" Guard

3-point Threats:
#11 Michael Jenkins (Sr.) - 6' 3" Guard (61 for 161 on the season)
#10 Chris Gaynor (Sr.) - 5' 10" Guard (50 for 112 on the season)

Big Men:
#31 Taj McCullough (Sr.) - 6' 7" Forward
#33 Mantoris Robinson (So.) - 6' 5" Guard/Forward
(and two guys -- 6' 8" and 6' 9" -- who get negligible minutes)

Weird 6' 3" Guard / Forward Concoction Who Doesn't Take Threes But Shot 10 Times Against VMI:
#21 Antwon Harris (Sr.) - 6' 3" (knows his ill-defined role)

Last Game:
80 - 70 WIN AWAY at VMI

The Eagles divide their minutes pretty evenly, especially in the front court, and are known for their defensive prowess. Against VMI, Chris Gaynor played the most minutes by far (39) and notched 8 steals. Their guards are quick and veteran, but they play a slow brand of basketball. When the pace accelerates, perhaps due to an opponent with a focal scorer (a la Steph Curry), they seem to struggle with turnovers.

Their fans don't have much respect for the defense that's played in the SoCon. We've faced only weak pressure, they say. Read message boards based in Rock Hill and you'll see they're hoping to keep us under 60 points. Let's hope they're unable.

The mere fact that I'm reading opposing message boards (and cursing under my breath) suggests the sprouting up of a new, but ever-present rivalry. It's an I-77 battle featuring two strong, underappreciated teams…each with a grudge. Tough game, but one we've got to win. And we can. Get your tickets and hit the interstate. Go 'Cats.


There's some RIDICULOUS smack being talked by a Winthrop grad/blogger...

on the Rock Hill Herald website. Here are a few examples:

even the casual basketball fan can appreciate Davidson’s success, evidence
that people can dress like Mr. Rogers and still play ball.

The trust fund babies lauded Davidson’s Max Gosselin for his eight steals
in a game earlier this week.

Even Davidson’s wanna-be Ivy League tuition can’t add up to the Eagles’
recent success.

The final advice for the sweatervest crowd Friday night: Leave the croquet
mallets at the country club and borrow 20 bucks from your chauffeur.
Because even though the City Club will be open for martinis before the game, the
Winthrop Coliseum doesn’t accept American Express.

Last, but not least:

Stephen Curry (pronounced STEF-en, because evidently the son of an ex-NBA
player is exempt from normal pronunciations)

Somebody PLEASE show that last quote to Steph. The last time somebody messed with his name like that, he dropped 38 points on them in a beatdown.

If you want to let this guy know what you think about his comments, feel free to drop him a note or a call. They post this info on their website, so it's fair game:

Adam O'Daniel
(803) 329-4069


Whose brackets will get busted?
By Kyle Whelliston

Special to

Friday BracketBusters games

DAVIDSON (20-6, 18-0 SoCon) at WINTHROP (18-9, 9-3 Big South), ESPN2,, 7 p.m. ET

What it means: Charlotte-area mid-major bragging rights. The visiting Wildcats have won 16 straight games and boast a perfect SoCon record, but their at-large candidacy was likely erased by a 2-6 nonconference record and close-but-no-cigar losses to Duke, UNC and NC State. Bob McKillop's team, which streaked to a perfect 16-0 SoCon record in 2004-05 but was denied an at-large bid after a semifinal loss in the league tourney, knows its job. The Wildcats have beaten SoCon opponents by an average 17 points. In the first season of the post-Greg Marshall era in Rock Hill, S.C., Winthrop is leading but not dominating the Big South, a conference the Eagles have practically owned since 1999.

Key player: Stephen Curry, Davidson. The 6-foot sophomore, son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell, was tabbed as a special player in his first season but has evolved into a magical one. The fifth-leading scorer in the nation (25.8 ppg) has earned three SoCon player of the month nods this season, and he is amassing a growing list of "where-were-you-when" games that Davidson fans will remember for a long time. Like, for instance, his 38-point effort in Davidson's conference opener at Appalachian State or the 41-point outburst that helped the Wildcats dig out of an early 20-point hole at UNC Greensboro on Feb. 13.

Key stat: Before leaving for Wichita State last summer, Marshall coached Winthrop to seven Big South tournament championships. But none of his NCAA teams beat two ACC squads in the same year, a feat accomplished with wins over Miami and Georgia Tech under Randy Peele this season. And none of Marshall's teams played defense quite like this first Peele-led version. The Eagles have held conference opponents to 54.6 points per game, have only given up 70 or more once in league play and haven't allowed more than 75 since a 76-71 loss to Ole Miss on Dec. 13.

Just for fun

I hate to be overly dramatic, but enjoy Steph while he's with us. If you haven't figured it out yet, we are all witnessing a very unique time in the history of Davidson Basketball.


Also, The Davidson Show:

Bracketography: Davidson/Winthrop preview

2008 BracketBuster Preview: Davidson at Winthrop
by Ricky Dimon
Associate Editor,
February 19th, 2008

Two conference leaders will collide when the Davidson Wildcats visit the Winthrop Eagles in an ESPN2 BracketBuster matchup on Friday night.

Only one team, however, is in the mix for an at-large NCAA Tournament berth. Davidson is now a perfect 18-0 in the Southern Conference after defeating UNC-Greensboro at home on Tuesday in another nationally-televised showdown on ESPN2. With an unblemished league record, just a few non-conference wins would have made Davidson a lock for the Big Dance. Instead, the Wildcats fell painfully short in early-season games against North Carolina, Duke, UCLA, and N.C.State. A win at Winthrop would be nothing that any of those victories would have been, but the ‘Cats absolutely need it to keep any at-large aspirations alive.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Winthrop tickets are still available

You can buy tickets online and (I think) print them up at home.

Quotes from the Winthrop message board

I thought it would be fun to post a few comments from the Winthrop message board:

"I watched (Davidson vs. UNCG)....they looked very good....the one thing that scared me is they play pretty good defense, and that coupled with stephen curry scoring 175 points a night troubles me a tad...we are going to have to shoot well to win this game"

"Curry is money with any crack of daylight. Whoever (Manny) is defending him must keep a hand in his face at all times. And even that might not be enough. He was nailing NBA 3's cause no one went out that far to guard him. Those in attendence will see a good show I think."

"Curry impressed me last night."

From Winthrop official website

Winthrop Will Be Televised On ESPN2 On Feb. 22 Against Davidson

ROCK HILL, SC--The Friday night BracketBuster game on Feb. 22 between Winthrop and Davidson will tipoff at 7 p.m. in the Winthrop Coliseum and will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

Game times and telecast outlets for the sixth annual O’Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters – a multi-day men’s basketball event matching NCAA Tournament hopefuls against each other on Friday, Feb. 22 through Sunday, Feb. 24 -- were announced today.

In addition to the Winthrop vs. Davidson matchup, the selections are highlighted by #15 Drake (22-1 record) at #10 Butler (21-2), in a showdown between two teams with the best records and highest rankings in event history, and Kent State at #21 Saint Mary’s (20-3), both on ESPN2 Saturday, Feb. 23, at 5 p.m. ET and 11:59 p.m., respectively.

All 14 ESPNU BracketBusters contests will be available nationally with ESPN2 televising six, ESPNU televising five, offering coverage of two and for the first time, ESPN Classic televising one.

The 28 ESPNU BracketBusters teams were selected from a pool of 100 schools. This year’s event will mark the first time games will be televised over three days. The event began televising games over two days in 2006, while the first three years featured every game on a Saturday.

PMM's post-UNCG thoughts

Following last night's nationally televised game against UNC-Greensboro, there's plenty of press on the Wildcats' fine outing. Here are a few notes and observations I made re-watching a recording of the game.

Angry Swarm of Canadian Bees

Max Paulhus-Gosselin is a defense artist whose hard work is rarely glorified by big stats. Last night was an exception. Max recorded 1 block and 7 steals; the entire UNC-G team had 6 steals.

There is so much that MPG does, though, that can't be represented by numbers. Fighting with big Kendall Toney for a missed Lovedale shot, Max's physical pressure and big leap forced Toney out of bounds and thus a UNCG turnover.

As several commentators have regularly noted this season, MPG defends inbounds passes like a lunatic. He jumps, he waves, he stretches forth. There is no individual stat for what he did at the start of the second half when Davidson went up 43-29 and UNC-G couldn't get the ball back in play before the 5 second whistle sounded.

There's also no stat for the number of times a player goes down hard on the court, but surely MPG lead that category as well. He was diving in a number of his steals and in breaking up UNC-G transitions. At those moments, there always seemed to be an ESPN microphone nearby to capture the crash. After attempting a Vince Carter-esque leap with Hines as the hurdle, MPG almost broke through the floor and into the basement.

Meanwhile, The Microwave, though not posting the hot kind of numbers he had against Furman, was nevertheless electromagnetic in going after loose balls and playing fervidly. He pulled the trigger on some good looks, but was often just a hair short.

In addition to Max and the'Waves efforts, many turnovers were caused by effective double teams. Davidson uses its comparatively small size well to neutralize taller, bigger opponents.

Sweet Nothings

The FCC is still investigating any potential lascivious intent or behavior by Doug Gottlieb who provided color commentary for ESPN2 last night. At least a dozen times during Wildcat possessions, the 8th All Time NCAA assist record holder could be heard soothingly saying in a hushed tone: "Niiiice paaaaaasssssss."

Along with a mesmerized "Kha, kha...khe…He bounced it…off his back!" following the Curry-Hines Back Bounce, Gottlieb did a pretty nice job commentating.

Among other manna, we learned Coach McKillop calls MPG "The Connector."

Unfortunately, He's Penciled In on the'Cats Charleston Dance Card

Kyle Hines doesn't miss many when he's under the basket. He does a very admirable job of controlling his large frame to push into players and draw a foul. He created a number of old fashioned three point plays in Greensboro's brief surge back from a 20 point deficit in the second half. Hines was fouled one in every five times he went at the basket last night. For Davidson, that was actually an improvement over last week's game when the 'Cats fouled him on 7 of 13 attempts.

House of Clown

Daniel Oliver is an angry young man who made the Davidson players show they retaliate with classy scoring rather than questionable physical play. Less than ten minutes into the game, Oliver gave a shiver perhaps not unfamiliar to MPG on the ice hockey rink in Quebec, but uncalled for on the hard court. The refs missed it, busy watching Richards blow by the fracas and make a nice pass to Archambault in the corner.

Oliver wasn't done though. He got a nasty fist on a driving Richards; the refs did catch it this time. That was at the 8:34 mark in the game, and Stephen Curry went to inbound the ball from underneath the Wildcats basket. Reminding the Spartans who truly is the best player in the Conference, Stephen Curry clowned on Kyle Hines by bouncing a pass off the big man's back, catching the ball, turning to the basket, and banking in a shot. It was a nice, early reminder that these 'Cats are staying focused amidst less-than-classy play, and vindicate with points.

After a nice mid-range jumper bounced in for Richards a few moments later, the ESPN camera panned to Oliver on the bench. Number 10 looked like a sad, wet puppy. As for when Oliver had the ball, his body spasms earned him 4 points and two charging calls.

Planting a Seed

In his interview on ESPN's "First Take," Coach McKillop portended himself yesterday more like a lobbyist than the usual senatorial-self. The smooth orator made a point to impress upon host Dana Jacobson that the Wildcats lost to UNC by just four points when the'Heels were playing with Ty Lawson, when they were fielding their "best team."


Cool photo from UNCG game - from Charlotte Observer

Photo credit: DAVID T. FOSTER

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

ESPN2: Davidson vs. UNCG postgame report

Wildcats beat UNCG and reach 20 wins for 4th consecutive season

From Davidson official website:

Streaks Continue as Curry and Wildcats Defeat UNC Greensboro, 75-66
Joey Beeler - Assistant SID

DAVIDSON, N.C. -- Stephen Curry scored 30 points and Davidson shot 57.4 percent from the floor as a team to post a 75-66 SoCon men’s basketball victory over UNC Greensboro Tuesday night at Belk Arena. It was the 'Cats’ 16th consecutive win, the second-longest in the country behind No. 1 Memphis.

Davidson’s 28-game SoCon regular-season winning streak is the longest in league history since West Virginia strung together 42 in the 1950’s. The victory also gives the Wildcats 20 wins for the fourth straight season.

Click here for entire article.

Coach McKillop appears on ESPN2 First Take today

Sorry for the poor quality, but it's the best I could do and still get this posted quickly. I figured you guys would want to see it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

DM: UNCG preview

The 'Cats are coming off of a strong performance against a weak team. Furman, despite posting a solid upset on their home floor last week, posed no problem for Davidson on Saturday.

The solid upset to Furman's credit? UNCG -- Davidson's Tuesday night opponent.

But the loss the Spartans suffered at the hands of a weak Furman squad says much more about UNCG's inconsistency than it does about any fluky Paladin strength. UNCG can lead Davidson by 20 in the first half while shooting 69.6% from the field, but can also drop an away contest in Greenville and struggle to knock off the Citadel, the SoCon's worst team.

But which UNCG team will show up on Tuesday night?

One thing is certain: both teams will be out for blood. In front of a national audience, Davidson will look to make a case for that hypothetical at-large bid and to avenge a near-loss to UNCG last time around. UNCG will hope to prove that they deserved to beat the Wildcats less than a week ago.

UNCG breakdown:

Leading Scorer (19.5 pts/gm):
#42 Kyle Hines (Sr.) - 6' 6" Forward

3-point Threats:
#4 Mikko Koivisto (So.) - 6' 4" Guard (56 for 135 on the season)
#15 Kendall Toney (So.) - 6' 3" Guard (43 for 106 on the season)
#20 Kevin Oleksiak (Sr.) - 6' 4" Guard (38 for 107 on the season)

Big Men:
#42 Kyle Hines (Sr.) - 6' 6" Forward
#24 Ben Stywall (So.) - 6' 5" Forward

Last Game:
79 - 55 WIN at home against App State

Last Meeting against Davidson:
78 - 83 DAVIDSON WIN in Greensboro

Kyle Hines, last year's SoCon POY, will try and put the Spartans on his back. Hines is coming off of a 26-point effort against the Mountaineers in just 27 minutes on the floor. The 'Cats will need to put Hines in the position to commit fouls early and often -- the fewer minutes Hines can donate, the better.

The difference in this one might be Thomas Sander. The Wildcat "General" was in street clothes last week and the 'Cats missed his ability to body up effectively on post threats. Having faced Tyler Hansbrough (UNC) and Kevin Love (UCLA) already this season, a healthy Sander is more than equipped to handle Hines down low. Go 'Cats.


Don't forget: Cats play UNCG on ESPN2 Tuesday night

A few Furman game links before we leave that game behind

From The Greenville News:

From The Charlotte Observer:

Not that anybody noticed or really cares right now...

...but the Cats clinched the regular season championship and the #1 seed in the SoCon Tournament. This is but a blip on the radar for this team. It does mean that Davidson will play post-season basketball of some sort. However, we all know that this team has much more to accomplish. The regular season championship is only step #1 in the process of reaching the NCAAs and - we hope - advancing once they reach the NCAAs.

Kevin Cary: Above the Rim blog

McKillop could repeat as coach of year

Curry is Player of Week again (4th in a row)


Davidson guard Stephen Curry was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week for the week ending February 18.

He continued his torrid play and has won or shared Player of the Week honors each of the last four weeks and total of five times this season.

Curry, who ranks fourth nationally in scoring (25.6 ppg), averaged 33.5 points in two games last week. In addition, the sophomore shot 52.4 percent (22-of-42) from the field, 9-of-20 (45.0 percent) from three-point range and was a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line.

The Charlotte, N.C., native helped lead Davidson to victories over UNC Greensboro (83-78 on Feb. 13) and Furman (86-51 on Feb. 16). The Wildcats have won 15 consecutive games and 27 straight league contests dating back to last season.


From Davidson official site:

From the Davidson Ticket Office

Click to enlarge:

My own thoughts on the Furman game

I just finished watching the Furman game that I had recorded on my DVR. I knew the outcome, of course, but it was still fun to watch. These are just a few observations:

It was BIG WILLIE TIME!! 28 points from the coolest Wildcat on the team. He not only had the hot hand from outside, but made some really nice driving buckets. It was great to see him bust out like that. Very impressive. Incidentally, Will wears the same number I wore when I played football at Davidson*. Coincidence? I think not. (Not even sure what that is supposed to mean, but it sounded good.)

Our sentimental favorite Wildcat, Can Civi, scored the final 2 points in the Furman game. Did anybody else notice the Davidson bench going nuts after Can scored? Andrew Lovedale was literally jumping up and down, waving his towel. It's great to see teammates pull for each other so hard.

News Flash: In case you've spent the past two seasons on the moon, Steph Curry can shoot. His range is almost limitless. I mean, did you see the 3-pointer he shot in the first part of the second half? It was about 8-10 feet behind the line. I just started laughing out loud when I saw that. My wife was like "what is so funny?" So, I showed her the shot, and she just said "Wow!" It just doesn't seem fair. It just looks so easy for him.

[*I played football my freshman year at Davidson (fall 1990), and found out in the summer of 1991 - right before early football practice started my sophomore year - that I have a neck condition that put me at risk for a spinal injury, which prevented me from playing any further. I had played since 2nd grade.]

Thoughts from PMM after the Furman game

Cookin' With the 'Cats: Just Nuke It
by PMM

Last week, the Davidson Wildcats served up performances which were a disappointing statement for Southern Conference teams who anxiously anticipate a chance to derail Davidson Dance destiny. The first was Rasputin-like, as Davidson survived UNC-Greensboro's laudable attack which would certainly have destroyed a more mortal squad. The game featured a tête-à-tête between what will likely be considered the best SoCon players of the decade in Kyle Hines and Stephen Curry. It was a treat to see both perform beyond anticipated ability. Hines' 27 points on 9-13 shooting set an example for his teammates to hit 70% of their field goals. Along with 12 rebounds, the 2006-07 SoCon Player Of the Year created a 39 minute microcosm of an elite career that, in the Annals of the Greats, will sit alongside the likes of 'Zo Mourning, Tim Duncan and David Robinson.

Nevertheless, good things would not come for those waiting on Hines. Lucretius wrote that which is food for one man is bitter poison for others. Last Wednesday, the Wildcats feasted on 41 Curry points, and with 17 of those coming in the last 6 minutes of play, the Spartans choked.

As for Curry's career statistics, following the UNC-G game, the only record Davidson fans should fear is his becoming the first mid-major player to depart college early for the NBA. But while the 'Cats are spicy, its not just Curry creating Conference heartburn. The team's resurgence from a 20 point deficit in Greensboro evidenced what to date had been a missing ingredient: the collective ability to grind to the buzzer. That was the team's failure against the "Big Four" earlier this season, and a similar recipe had not yet been called-for in Conference play. The game at Elon, of course, required heroic shooting from Curry after a tepid 38 minute team-effort, but nothing like the triage needed at Fleming Gym. Jason Richards had a vintage performance, carving up Spartan passing lanes with a technique that has him atop of the nation in the assist category. But his greatest role in the game was to play as a senior player must. Richards patiently shaped the Wildcats' attack from the point for 34 minutes before driving in the go-ahead bucket. Had he not been relegated to the sidelines so trainers could stitch up a gushing grill-gash, Richards would have certainly been in for more to see the job was done. If the 'Cats are to fulfill their prophecy and Dance into the wee hours of March, each player will adopt Jason's lion-hearted intensity.

Wednesday's game reminded the 'Cats there is certainly some tough chewing left on the schedule, but hosting Furman on Saturday was the opportunity to show how hungry they still are. Curry and Andrew Lovedale opened the can of Paladin beat-down with a quick 7-0 run. Just two and a half minutes after tip-off, Matt Hogue, calling the action for Sports South, excitably described the smell of home-cooking emanating from Belk Arena: "And that's a recipe for disaster for Furman!" he shouted, following an unchallenged Lovedale jumper from the baseline.

Will Archambault was the machine heating it all up. "I call him The Microwave," Coach McKillop told the Charlotte Observer after the game. Starting with a rebound and a long three-pointer during his first 57 seconds off the bench, The Microwave finished the first half with 16 points in 14 minutes of play. Conjuring the deadliest Canadian accuracy since Henry Louis Norwest, he went 11-14 shooting from the floor. The Microwave lead all scorers and shattered a personal record with 28 points, all coming in a mere 20 minutes of total playing time.

Ultimately, Archambault, Lovedale (14), and Curry (26) alone outscored Furman by nearly twenty points. And while some may scoff at the Furman game as routine against a team that has not won at Belk Arena since the year it opened in 1989, Saturday was a display of nearly flawless transitions and dominant defense in the paint. Regardless of the opponent, to see the 'Cats focusing on and executing fundamentals for forty minutes is as sweet as Turkish delight Can Civi driving hard to the basket as time expired.

The time is right for the 'Cats to begin this peak. This week, they appear twice on ESPN2 in just four days. To date, Stephen Curry has thrived when playing under the bright lights. But with Thomas Sander seemingly back to good health, and with so many others reminding us we still do not really know how good they can be, the country likely will not recognize this Davidson team from the last nationally televised games in December. That should be very scary for the competition.


DM: A Couple of #30s

Stephen Curry is the country's 5th leading scorer at 25.6 points per game. That's quite a feat for anyone, but especially an "undersized" guard in his sophomore year at an academically demanding liberal arts college. In his freshman season, the only other first-year player to out-pace Steph on the floor was University of Texas phenom Kevin Durant. Durant now plays NBA ball.

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
24 games

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

Next Game:
AWAY at Nebraska on 2/20

#30 Stephen Curry - Sophomore Guard @ Davidson

6' 2" - 185 pounds
641 points on the year
25 games

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

Next game:
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.


DM's Furman post-game thoughts

There is no sure victory in the Southern Conference -- UNCG learned that twice last week.

But Saturday found Belk Arena filled with certainty. So much certainty, in fact, that the Davidson student section, with 33 minutes left to play, began choruses of Na-Na Nah Nah. Hey Hey Hey. Goodbye. Furman felt the rout in this one, dropping an 86-51 decision that wasn't even THAT close.

The best part? You had as many points in the first eight minutes as Furman's leading scorer. Congratulations.

Davidson opened the game with a 19-0 run.

Will Archambault led all scorers and was absolutely resurgent. In just 20 minutes of work, he had 28 points (on 11 for 14 shooting with five 3-pointers) and 6 boards. That's a performance and an efficiency we haven't seen from young William this year.

Steph Curry, despite eclipsing his season scoring average, played second banana with 26 points, 5 assists.

I was at this game and, I have to say, it was nice to remove all doubt for once.

I'm not sure this has been mentioned before, but I noticed it for the second time on Saturday. Steph Curry, right before the opening tip, makes a point to run over and hug Boris Meno -- and only Boris Meno -- on the bench. Some kind of ritual, maybe? I noticed it last week against C of C and again this week. Check me tomorrow night if you're watching on ESPN2.


In other news, Monday brings another week of NCAA Tournament seeding speculation.

Most every media outlet that participates in guessing -- at least the ones I've seen -- now agrees that Davidson, barring an upset in the conference tournament, merits a 12-seed in the postseason. A couple of those sites:

Bracketography ( - 12-seed vs. #5 Louisville in Denver, CO
Bracketology ( - 12-seed vs. #5 Washington State in Denver, CO

Both of these sites had the 'Cats playing in Tampa, FL as late as last week. This is all idle speculation, of course, but you can see Davidson's media support growing as conference wins pile up. Many people, including commenters on this site, didn't believe Davidson capable of anything near a 12 soon after our losses at UCLA and NC State. I hope reality bears this positive news out.


Just got back

I was at the beach for the weekend, and missed the Furman game....I was in the boat on the water. (There are only so many 70 degree days in February, so I chose the water instead of the TV. What can I say?) I did Tivo the game at home, but haven't been able to watch it yet. I also have no internet access at the beach house, so I was totally disconnected....which is not really a bad thing from time to time. It was pretty nice, actually.

I hear we beat the Paladins pretty bad. I'm looking forward to checking out the game when I get home from the office.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Davidson vs. Furman on TV: 2 options

Tomorrow's Furman game will be on SportSouth (Channel 61 on cable in Greenville, SC). It will also be available on the Davidson All-Access website.

Go Cats!!

Guest blogger, DM, gives us a Furman Preview

I started out Wednesday night thinking that a sweet tea and a burger would be enough to pull the 'Cats through. As a Time Warner customer, MASN isn't an option for me at present, but my local watering hole has a DirecTV package. I thought, I'll walk up the street, grab dinner, watch the game and get to bed early.

Turns out the 'Cats needed me to contribute a sweat tea, a burger, several adult beverages, my vocal chords, the dry armpits of my t-shirt, and my early bedtime to pull off a victory at UNCG. Tense times. I'm just glad I could be of service.

Of course, Curry's BMOC-worthy 41 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals didn't hurt things either. It took every ounce of that stat line to overcome UNCG's 69.6% first-half shooting clip. Do you remember turning to look at a friend or loved one during that game to say "Has anyone ever shot this well?" Ironically, I did that 41 times in the opening period. When a team drops 9-12 on you from 3-point land, it pays to pinch yourself awake from that nightmare.

For Furman on Saturday, we'll need to hit on a few more cylinders. Though they haven't been a conference force this year (at 4-11 in SoCon play), the Paladins are coming off an upset of UNCG on their home floor on February 10th -- and they've had good rest…5 full days of it.

Here's your Furman breakdown:

Leading Scorer (10.7 pts/gm):
#41 Alex Opacic (Jr.) - 6' 10" Forward

3-point Threat (40% -- 50 for 125):
#1 Justin Dehm (Fr) - 6' 1" Guard

Big Men:
#41 Alex Opacic (Jr.) - 6' 10" Forward
#33 Noah States (Fr.) - 6' 8" Forward
#14 George Brozos (Sr.) - 6' 6" Forward

Last Game:
69 - 59 WIN at home against UNCG

Though Opacic doesn't often start (or didn't against UNCG), he'll get 25-odd minutes per game and will make you pay. Freshman guard Justin Dehm will throw it up from anywhere and averages nearly 4 assists per outing. Look for Brozos (coming off a double-double) and States to play pronounced roles as well.

Hoping to see Sander back on the floor Saturday to help corral the 6' 10" beast. Go 'Cats.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Steph gets some love from ESPN College Gamenight

"Big Man on Campus" after dropping 41 on UNCG in comeback win. By the way, if you weren't able to watch the game, you missed a classic. Watching Steph put the team on his back was incredible. I'm honestly running out of things to say about him. I just giggle like a little kid when I watch him hit ridiculously long and/or difficult 3 pointers. As the ESPN guy said, "he's something special".

Welcome to our newest guest blogger, PMM

UNCG and the Dribbling Esoterica

‘[The matador] is performing a work of art and he is playing with death, bringing it closer, closer, closer, to himself, a death that you know is in the horns because you have the canvas-covered bodies of the horses on the sand to prove it. He gives the feeling of his immortality, and as you watch it, it becomes yours. Then when it belongs to both of you, he proves it with the sword.
Ernest Hemingway, Death in The Afternoon

For three years, the Davidson Wildcats have dwarfed conference competition. The ‘Cats boast a 42-6 record against conference opponents in that time. Considering the notable senior jetsam two years ago in Ian Johnson, Brendan Winters, and Kenny Grant, followed by the spawn of Stephen Curry and his continued maturation in team-play, the Davidson basketball program is, in terms of raw statistics, truly in a league of its own.

Davidson’s efforts to claw itself from the Chateau d’If that is the Southern Conference have been, of course, well-documented. “When I was a kid growing up you went to the park where the action was,” Coach McKillop told the world through USA Today in October. “You didn't go to the park where you could dominate the court.” After pitching themselves as rather unpalatable meat before legendary bad boys UCLA, North Carolina , Duke, and N.C. State, the ‘Cats entered 2008 not licking their wounds, but finding instead resolve and fortitude in their new out-of-conference keloids.

So, as Davidson continues to cruise undefeated in this calendar year, the team has become tasty fodder among national media-types who plunge themselves into the chilly existentialism of what it means to have a “good loss,” whether Davidson scheduled over-ambitiously, and WWTSCD (What Would The Selection Committee Do?), among other dribbling esoterica. While sportswriters and broadcast media were convening last week to draw up a mock draft committee selection, somewhere beyond, Jean Paul Sartre snapped his pipe in two.

The Selection Committee wields a blunt cleaver. Like the veal calf who only knows dark, solitary confines, when the national media opens our crate and shines its bright lights on us with discussion of potential at-large bids, Davidson fans rush forth, naively drooling for some warm embrace. Inevitably, though, we are to meet the slaughter.

It is by no means an uncommon sentiment for college basketball fans to fuse with their team in moments of both joy and anguish. In the instance of at-large bids, however, and unlike their fans, the Davidson players appear stoic. Generally, the team has displayed in its most recent outings a fervor previously unseen this season. The ‘Cats are hustling for forty minutes of physical basketball, and maintain sizeable leads from start to finish. In short: for the past six weeks the players have appeared myopic, concerned only with dismantling the unfortunate Southern Conference foe before them.

Why is it, then, that we fans who rise and fall with every emotion of the team, cannot do the same? Why do we relentlessly look ahead to the Madness, prematurely resenting a Selection Committee denial? Why do we become so terribly chaffed and distracted by every jot we receive in the news, regardless of its absurdity?

Perhaps, we Davidson fans have now the perfect chance to emulate our hard-court idol. Beginning this evening at UNC-G, regional television coverage features the ‘Cats in all but two of the remaining games on the schedule. Next week, Davidson will shine forth across the time zones with consecutive appearances on ESPN2. The next ten days afford fans the opportunity to relish in this glorious moment in Davidson basketball dominance. Focusing on this spot of time, we may finally realize Steph and the ‘Cats control destiny more like Hemingway’s matador than quivering veal calves.

Thank you...

...for all your kind remarks about this site. I'm going to press on for the remainder of this season, along with at least two guest bloggers.

For what it may be worth: I'd like to keep this going after this season, and I'm going to consider restructuring some things, moving the site to a real domain (get rid of the "blogspot" domain), and really doing this thing first class with a number of writers/bloggers helping out for next year. I have no intention of maintaining a site that will ever be critical of the school, coaches or players. That's material best left to the message boards of the world. The focus/mission of this site (and any future incarnation of this site) has always been, and will continue to be spreading the "gospel" of Davidson basketball and promoting the program in a positive manner. (Maybe that's corny, but it works for me.) I'm glad that you all read the site and that I can help keep you all informed about what's going on with the basketball program. As we all know, we are witnessing a special time in the history of Davidson let's enjoy the ride!

Thanks again for the kind words and your patience with me while I've contemplated my blogging future. Deep down, something tells me this site won't be shutting down any time soon.

Friday, February 08, 2008

A note from the author

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm running out of gas. Quite honestly, I'm not sure how much longer I can keep things going here. I'm tired. I'm ready to just simply watch the games again and pull for the Wildcats.....just be a regular fan without a more video, no more pictures.

When I started this site, there was NOTHING on the internet for DC basketball, other than the old official website (which was severely lacking). I thought I could consolidate the little bit of coverage that we get and put it all here for a few people to see. Now, however, there seems to be a number of outlets for Davidson fans that have come into existence since the inception of this website in January 2006. There is the VERY busy message board over at, there's Will's World and a new DC hoops blog (Lefty's Legacy), and the official website which has much more available now (they even have their own blogger). Additionally, Davidson is getting much more coverage with the national press. There just seems to be a lot more about Davidson out there now for everyone to check out.

What is the future of this site? At this point, I don't know. Despite getting 58,000+ hits (98,000+ page views) since January 2006, I don't begin to assume that this site has any importance at all. But, at the same time, I hate to just let this site die, because I feel like this does promote the program in a positive manner....(which could maybe make some difference in some small way).

At any rate, I've been going at it pretty darn hard for a little over two years (parts of three seasons now). I'm about burned out. I anticipate making it through the end of this season. After that, though, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Welcome to our new guest blogger, DM

DM's thoughts and observations from last night's Elon game:

I sat with friends at the game tonight and at one point in the first half --
after four straight Davidson possessions without a basket, after the twelfth
round of looking around at each other and shaking our heads, after a seemingly
endless number of come-on-guyses and are-you-kidding-mes -- someone said what we
were all thinking: "I hope we don't play Elon in the conference tournament."

I don't know what it is about these guys, but we play down to them. And
anyone who watched the opening five minutes knows what I mean -- the score, with
15:19 to play in the first half, was 3 to 2 Elon.

We really shouldn't
have trouble with the Phoenix. They didn't play particularly strong defense.
They had trouble with our full-court pressure. They didn't shoot well (35% from
the field, 65% from the line). In fact, Montell Watson -- Elon's smack-talking,
Curry-shoving shooting guard -- had so many airballs in the first half that the
Belk Arena crowd, eager as always to point out an opponent's dismal shooting,
eventually got bored and let him be.

We had apparently decided before
the game, though, that we'd match Elon struggle for struggle. Nine Davidson
turnovers in the first half. With 18:25 to play in the first, Lovedale had
already notched two fouls. We had one more rebound and only two more points in
the paint than Elon, despite a pretty pronounced front court advantage.

(I'd cite Boris missing four lay-ups in the "we could've done better"
category as well, but, honestly HE ONLY MISSED FOUR LAY-UPS??!! He only this
week realized that you can use that clear board connected to the back of the rim
to help shots go in.)

Curry was the bright spot. For every look I gave a
friend saying wow-that-was-awful, I gave two others, positive ones, after Curry
three-pointers or pull-up jumpers. It's been said before, but here goes: he's a
special player.

And, as much as I want to complain about poor play
tonight, this game wasn't nearly as close as the last one. We led for the final
35 minutes. We didn't need Steph's last minute heroics to steal a win (though we
did need his game-high 36 points). Elon fought back, but this game was never in

But, it doesn't mean we want to draw this team again. They aren't
good -- their 7-15 record says as much -- but neither are we when we face-off
against them.


- McKillop yelled A LOT tonight.
Don't know if the crowd (around 3500) was quiet or what, but I heard him more
than ever. He was concentrating most of his energy on the Canadians, Will and
Max. Though I'm told that's not so out of the ordinary.

- The alumni
hospitality suite at half time had chicken nuggets. Mmmmm.

- Elon's
players like complaining. Didn't get this foul call, look at Sander holding me,
that wasn't off me…etc. I thought the officiating even leaned their way and for
the most part the team wasn't happy. Even the guy who looked like Kenan Ivory
Wayans was angry. That guy's NEVER angry.

- Sweet Caroline rating:

Will's World reacts to last night's crowd

Wake Up People!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wildcats win a tough one against Elon

Elon gave us fits again, and we seemed a bit sloppy....but the guys pulled it out, 74-64 over Elon. Elon cut it to 4 late in the game. Steph had 36 tonight (with only three 3-pointers). Cats move to 14-0 in the conference, and 16-6 overall.

We hope to have a full report on this game coming soon from a new blogger on this site, so stay tuned.

Curry names SoCon Player of Month (third month in a row)

League Tabs Curry Player of the Month For a Third Time in 2007-08
Joey Beeler -- Assistant SID

DAVIDSON, N.C. -- After being named the Southern Conference Player of the Week for the third time this season, Davidson’s Stephen Curry claimed his third straight monthly honor as announced by the league office Monday.

Leading the Wildcats to their third perfect month in the last two seasons, Curry averaged 24.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in Davidson’s 10 January victories.

For the 2007-08 campaign, the SoCon Preseason Player of the Year and nation’s fifth leading scorer is averaging 24.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per outing, while shooting 47.4 percent overall and connecting on 87-of-212 (41.0 percent) from downtown.

Along with ranking among national leaders in scoring, Curry ranks fourth in three-point field goals per game (4.1), sixth in three-pointers made and 26th in free-throw percentage (86.9 percent).

Curry has been named SoCon Player of the Month six times in his brief career and the league’s Player of the Week a half dozen times as well.

A fellow Davidson alum gets his child started early

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Davidson vs. Elon to be televised on MASN

If you get MASN, you can watch the Davidson/Elon game live on TV.

The game will also be available through the Davidson All-Access website.

McKillop: UTC Postgame interview

Dick Barney '67 said...
Do you have McKillop's post-game interview from the UTC game cached anywhere? Unfortunately, I did not hang around the Teamline broadcast long enough to hear it.

Ask, and ye shall receive...

Postgame Interview (Windows Media Player)