Young on Davidson

Last spring, when I talked to Mike Young for the book, he was what he is -- one of the most affable, most entertaining coaches in the Southern Conference, or any conference.

Cue Mike:

“Curry. Do we define athleticism by guys who can do a triple back flip? I don’t. There’s not a better cutter, so help me goodness, than that guy. His ability to change direction is uncanny. His ability to read screens, read defenses and cut accordingly is just a sight to behold.”

“Golly dang, Michael, he’s played five NCAA tournament games, for God’s sake, and he’s scored 145 points.”

(Note: Actually, in five NCAA tournament games in his career, he’s scored 158 -- but point taken.)

“Curry might well be the Preseason Player of the Year -- out of the Southern Conference. That’s not supposed to happen, last time I checked, Michael.”

“You’re not going to beat the kid up. He’s a lot stronger than people give him credit for.”

“There are different ways to define athleticism. LeBron James? Kobe Bryant? No. I categorize athleticism by ability to move your feet. On first glance Max Paulhus Gosselin is not a great athlete. But Max Paulhus Gosselin is a great athlete.”

“Their spacing offensively is exceptional.”

“They teach a style of play they’re comfortable with. They execute very, very well.”

“They’re very responsible. They’re not going to get caught where they’re not supposed to be.”

“This team” -- last year’s Davidson team -- “was the most physical team we played. We played Purdue, we played Wisconsin, but I’m not sure they weren’t the most physical team we played. And they play very, very hard.”

“I admire what they do defensively.”

“It’s a program that anybody at any level would aspire to have. Some people can have a good couple of years, three years -- but different teams, different makeups, they keep right on going.”

“Two years ago, they lost Winters, they lost McKillop, Kenny Grant. They lost like 80 percent of their scoring. And they win the league again.”

“Something I’ve talked about with colleagues is their player development. It doesn’t just happen that Jason Richards goes from a good Southern Conference point guard as a freshman and a sophomore to one of the best in the country in his junior and senior years. He could’ve played for anybody. That doesn’t just happen because you want it to.”

“Lovedale? As a freshman he was just incredibly raw. Now he’s become not just a good player -- he’s become a hell of a player. He got to the point where he could guard any perimeter player in our league. Then in the tournament? Lovedale was just another guy through his sophomore year.”

“They’re interesting to watch, a joy to watch -- when you’re not playing against them.”

“They went to another level in a blink of an eye.”

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