DAVIDSON -- Keith Cothran scored 19 points and Rhode Island used stifling defense in a 75-65 victory over Davidson on Saturday to continue the Wildcats’ woes following Stephen Curry’s departure.
Lamonte Ulmer added 12 points and Akeem Richmond scored 11 for the Rams (4-0), who won their first game outside Rhode Island this season behind its suffocating fullcourt press.
Rhode Island forced 18 turnovers and held Davidson (1-5) to 39 percent shooting, overcoming foul trouble to second-leading scorer Delroy James in the first meeting between the teams since Davidson’s victory in the 1966 NCAA tournament.
Jake Cohen had 16 points and seven rebounds and Brendan McKillop scored 12 points for Davidson, which has yet to win against a Division I team as it rebuild after losing Curry, the school’s all-time leading scorer and seventh overall pick of the Golden State Warriors.
Observer. ProJo. Davidson.
A few years ago, when he was beginning to coach his son, URI coach Jim Baron sought advice from Bob McKillop.
“He and I talked about having your son play for you,” Baron said. “He’s given me some real good advice on how to handle it. He’s a guy I look up to. He’s a terrific coach and a great person. I’ve gone on trips with him and his wife. They’re great people.”
Baron and McKillop go back a long way.
“He’s from New York, I’m from New York. I’ve known him since Holy Trinity High,” Baron said. “He’s the best. He’s done an outstanding job with that program.”
Every day I continue to be amazed by the unforgettable experiences and relationships that I’ve formed through following this team over my four years here. This board has been such a great part of that, as a connection to fantastic alums, a procrastination tool, a wealth of opinions and humor (and poetry!), and a way to share our love for this community. Being a Davidson student and a fan of this program has literally changed my life in ways I could never have fathomed even this time three years ago, and for that I can hardly express how grateful I am to all of you, to everyone involved. Thank you thank you thank you. There is no team I would rather support, no college and community I would rather be part of. Thank you for helping to make this the truth in my life. Happy Thanksgiving!
Bryant: Got a lot to be thankful for...what are you thankful for?
It’s a great idea. Who do we need to talk to to make this happen? And who else? My proposed addition: #40 Kosmalski. Or Williams. Your choice.
DAVIDSON -- Will Archambault recorded 22 points and eight rebounds, and Davidson’s defense allowed just 14 field goals in a 78-37 home-opening men’s basketball victory over Fredonia State Wednesday night at Belk Arena.
Archambault was 8-of-15 from the field and added three assists, a blocked shot and a steal for Davidson (1-4), while Jake Cohen collected 18 points and eight rebounds.
JP Kuhlman tallied 11 points, five assists and three steals, and Steve Rossiter posted nine points, five rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.
McKillop: “We’ve been searching as to what I should emphasize. We’re still evolving.” Will: “We had some pretty tough games these last four games. Getting a win boosts our confidence.” AP.
I wrote a column last April explaining how I was less concerned about Stephen Curry’s future than Davidson's because history suggests programs typically return to their rightful place when a transcendent player departs. I cited what happened when Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble left Loyola-Marymount, what happened when Doug Christie left Pepperdine, what happened when Keith “Mister” Jennings left East Tennessee State, etc. The point was that though North Carolina, Kansas and other power-league programs can endure losses and simply reload, it’s much more difficult to maintain success outside of the BCS for pretty much everybody except Gonzaga, Memphis and Xavier.
Which is why I’m not surprised Davidson is 0-4.
I mean, I’m a little surprised, I guess.
But the moment Curry announced he was turning pro is the moment Bob McKillop’s rebuilding job began, and rebuilding jobs at places like Davidson take time, way longer than just one offseason. Remember, before Curry enrolled, Davidson was the type of program that made the NCAA tournament once every four or five years, and when the Wildcats did it, they did it with little-to-no national recognition. So even though McKillop is tremendous and one of the gems of college basketball, it’ll be tough for him to get Davidson back to where it spent the past three seasons, i.e., as a borderline Top 25 team serving as the darling of college hoops.
I look forward to following the effort.
I hope it happens.
But right now, Davidson just needs a win.
It means we are there in good numbers the evening before Thanksgiving to share time together. Even if the team is 0-4 and the opponent is some group of vertically-challenged D3 players that we’ve never heard of. We are there because the team does better with us and we do better when we're with the team.
Amen, and amen.
That post already got a couple of amens, but I say amen again. The race is not always to the swift, and I’m quite willing to see what happens in March.
You ride the ride.
In 2008, Davidson went into January with a non-conference record of 2-6, with the only wins over Emory and NC Central. For those whose memories do not extend back beyond LaSalle’s scoring deluge, 2008 was not a sub-optimal season. (If only this board had the ability to archive posts made in the two weeks between the NC State loss and the GaSo game that season. I can paraphrase, but I can’t quote.)
Does this mean everything is going to be great and you’ll be ordering replays of NCAA tournament games from CBS in a few months? No. It means we don’t know. We never know. But a statistically significant percentage of the time, Davidson makes strides before January 1, and a statistically significant percentage of the time, the improvement isn’t perceptible until conference wins start piling up.
Your media guides are arriving now, and they follow the wonderful recent trend of including the dates for each game from 1949-1950 forward. Look at the ones since Davidson rejoined the Southern Conference under McKillop and see if you can discern a pattern.
In that 2007-08 season ... y’all do remember that we had zero non-conference wins away from Belk in November, December, and January right? In fact, we wouldn’t have had any at all the whole season had the scheduling gods not thrown us some patsies (Winthrop, Gonzaga, Georgetown, Wisconsin). Hard to believe, but it took until February 22 to get a non-conference win away from Belk.
At tip in Charleston against Penn State there maybe were a couple hundred people watching this year’s Wildcats trying to figure that out.
At around 20-4 or so I left my seat and walked up to the concourse at Carolina First and saw a woman up there wearing a Davidson Elite 8 sweatshirt. The calendar says it wasn’t that long ago. It was and it wasn’t.
The legacy of that incredible achievement is many things, and different things to different people, and not yet fixed. The legacy is still very much being determined.
For this year’s team, and particularly for this year’s seniors, the legacy of the Elite 8 is extraordinary expectations. Expectations are good, or can be, but that doesn't mean they’re always fair.
Every player on this team has a new role. That includes Bryant, Will and Steve. Their roles now are as new to them as college ball in general is to JP, Jake and Nik. They’re trying, trying their hardest, maybe trying too hard, to adjust to those new roles.
It remains to be seen whether Bryant, Will and Steve are trying to be things they can’t be. That’s only four real games. But it’s a statement of fact that they're trying to be things they haven’t been.
“I think the biggest part is being expected to be a leader,” Bryant told me after the game outside the locker room. “Right now I’m making mistakes. How can we expect our freshmen to do things the right way if I’m not doing things the right way?”
This could be a long season?
No. This is a long season. They all are.
That’s the point.
2. Many of the biggest shots in Davidson’s second half came from JP and Jake.
3. Radio man Ken Hall said after the game that we’d seen 59-57 before. Then he opened up his copy of the book standing in the hall down a bit from the Davidson locker room and reminded me of a part on page 47:
In Detroit a reporter had asked McKillop about his team’s 4-6 start.
“We did not surrender,” McKillop said.
“Our world today is full of surrender. People surrender morals, principles, beliefs, dreams, at the first sign of a challenge, at the first sign of failure.
“We did not surrender,” he said again.
4. Tripp made the good point watching the game Sunday that for the last seven years Davidson basketball has had a clear No. 1 scorer. There were the three years of Stephen but also before that the four years of Brendan Winters. Best not to forget Brendan Winters.
5. The first option on that last play? JP.
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Davidson’s visit to the ESPN Charleston Classic might not have been the most enjoyable of trips, but it certainly proved to be a learning experience for the Wildcats, who lost Sunday for the fourth straight time this season.
Penn State (3-2) jumped to a big lead early in the game that tipped off at 10a.m., and managed to hang on for a 59-57 win.
“Losing is never easy for me or for our players or our program or our fans,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “We all feel the loss. We have great expectations. I’m proud of the way we fought. I think we fought hard in every game. Certainly, we need to have the players executing at the same time. That's my responsibility. We’re going to go back to work to get that done. I’m very encouraged.”
Giannini in the Philly Daily News: “Davidson likes to play fast and we like to play fast, so I think this was a comfortable game for both teams in terms of tempo. Of course, when it gets down to around 4 minutes, you don’t want to shoot it that quickly, so we kind of backed off.” Inquirer. DavidsonWildcats.com. Cowie photos on DavidsonNews.net.
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- It’s been more than 10 years since Davidson has started a basketball season at 0-3, but even after losing 84-70 to LaSalle Friday night in the ESPN Charleston Classic Wildcats coach Bob McKillop saw some promise.
“I’m delighted with our competitive toughness, the way we came back and in the end we were relentless defensively and getting better,” McKillop said after the Wildcats dropped their second straight game in the tournament to fall to 0-3 for the first time since the start of the 1998-99 season.
“There’s no way we feel good about losing the game, but I feel like we’re going to get better as we go along.”
“On any given night a number of players can step forward and score points for us.”
“The greatness of Davidson College is the community of Davidson College. And I believe that any time Davidson College succeeds the community succeeds.”
“You don't buy yourself onto our team. You marry yourself to our team because of your commitment to Davidson College and the Davidson community.”
Also he uses the word tertiary.
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- USF has a faster, stronger, more athletic team than Davidson, but it took a long time for that to manifest itself on the scoreboard Thursday night.
With Gus Gilchrist scoring 19 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, USF held on to beat the Wildcats 65-58 in the first round of the Charleston Classic at Carolina First Arena.
“That was a really tough game,” said coach Stan Heath, whose Bulls improved to 3-0. “We just could not shake them. We knew they were awfully good. I’m really proud of my guys.”
McKillop in the Observer: “I think guys have to execute their assignments better. The ever elusive quality we need to grasp is consistency. I thought we got pretty good looks at the basket. We need to capitalize.” Trib. DavidsonWildcats.com.
1. Defense creates offense. At least it does when a team has the personnel to do that. And Davidson has been that kind of team and was very much that kind of team over the last few years. That was because of the will of the sytem, but it also was because of Max, and Stephen, and Andrew. They’re gone now. Those extra possessions add up.
2. Will started strong. Bryant finished strong. It’s harder without Stephen and all the attention he drew. But everybody knew that coming in.
3. Honest assessment from McKillop on the radio after the game: “We cannot have any missing links. That’s got to be the standing motto for our team. No missing links.”
4. That’s two games of data. Tomorrow there’s a third. It’s Nov. 19.
5. We don’t have to fix it. We just have to watch.
Star guard Stephen Curry is now with the Golden State Warriors, so Davidson isn’t quite the force it has been.
Distraction for USF? Eh. Nobody cares. It’s still football season down here.
Observer says ... not much.
Last year in Charleston? At C of C. At The Citadel. Also (of course) March ’08. A text I got from Bro that night after the championship game win while sitting in the bar at the North Charleston Sheraton: “We are good. George Mason good. Gonzaga good. Stan Heath Kent State good.”
The result against Butler last season provoked a hopeless feeling; last Saturday’s game, on the contrary, made me feel significantly hopeful. Last year’s game was a sloppy version of Davidson basketball, too reliant on one player who was off his game due to injury and fatigue; this year’s game featured more than a few moments of perfect Bob McKillop basketball -- an energized and balanced offense, crisp passing, smart cuts, excellent rebounding, and tough defense. I could be biased given the negativity that pervades my reflections on last season, but the team on Saturday reminded me more of 2008 than last year’s team ever did.
Before Saturday’s 129-125 loss at Milwaukee, Warriors rookie guard Stephen Curry logged onto YouTube and watched some highlight clips of himself.
“Remind myself that I can shoot the ball,” Curry said, “and just to be on the attack.”
Curry was on the attack against the Bucks, finishing with 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting in 26 minutes. It snapped a streak of six consecutive games scoring in single digits and washed away the sour taste of his New York experience. He played only three minutes against the Knicks on Friday.
Damon: ... the Butler-Davidson game probably didn’t go as fans expected it to go. Davidson came out swinging...especially McKillop's kid.
Kyle: Davidson, as you noted during the game, got a lot of open shots and were able to answer every Butler basket for the first 30 minutes or so. Even though they’ve lost what’s-his-name, there’s still some real talent there. People shouldn’t forget they’ve got three very experienced seniors!
Damon: For a guy making his first start, Davidson’s Ben Allison impressed me. 13 points and 7 boards in 23 minutes is a great day for any big man. We’ll call him a "stud in the making." Strangely, their three senior starters (Archambault, Barr, Rossiter) were all kind of duds on Saturday.
Kyle: And full agreement on Mr. Allison. If he can produce like that, and if Frank Ben-Eze can recover from his surgeries and get some minutes, Davidson will have a formidable front line by the time SoCon play starts.
I’ll agree to disagree on Rossiter. He was solid. “Rebounded, defended, ran the court,” McKillop told me after the game. “Executed his stuff.”
On the other side and typical of most Bob McKillop teams, Davidson played hard, generally shot the ball well (47% for the game), and rarely seemed to get rattled in the difficult environs of Butler’s home arena. Well worth the price of admission for the packed house today, the fans were treated to a couple of hours of intense basketball from two teams who aren’t very familiar with the meaning of the word half-assed. Once Butler gets situated to the new season, the Bulldogs will certainly be a force to be reckoned with on the national level, and for those in the SoCon who are assuming that Davidson will simply fade away now that Curry is playing for the Warriors, they should definitely think again ...
McKillop: “It’s like having a Broadway show and actors are now being challenged with playing different roles. Our leading singer, our leading dancer, our leading dramatic presenter is gone.”
1. Five guys made four field goals.
2. 24 baskets. 17 assists.
3. Won rebounds 31-27. Bryant didn’t play his best game, obviously, but he did have six boards from his guard spot.
4. Won bench points 19-14 against a deep Butler team.
5. Shot 47.1 percent from the floor against a team that last year held its opponents to 38.5 percent.
Butler fans and college basketball analysts
were eager to see the Bulldogs in action. Their coach was, uh, more subdued.
“I dreaded this game for six months,” Brad Stevens said.
Indeed, all his apprehensions -- that Davidson was seasoned, saucy and sizable -- were in evidence Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The 11th-ranked Bulldogs were thrown into the fray right away, and they responded by rallying from a 10-point deficit to win 73-62.
McKillop in the presser: “We had a 10-point lead, and all of a sudden we wanted to have a 20-point lead.” More: “New experiences for all of them. Different roles.” “Every one of them has adjusted to a new role.” “For us to get this kind of performance from them is very encouraging to me.” And on Butler: “That’s the great thing about this program. It’s a program. It’s not a season. It’s not a team. It’s a program.” Listen also to his radio chat with Kilgo.
*** First time in Hinkle. The place is a treat. It’s not in a parking lot, it’s in a neighborhood, and it comes out of nowhere almost Fenway-style. Inside, the big windows up top let the natural light in, and the sounds of the bounce of the ball and the squeaks of the shoes sound the way they’re supposed to sound. And what happened after Davidson and Butler finished their game? Little kids. Rec league.
*** Tripp’s trip: He left his house in Charlotte at 2:50 a.m. and drove the 600 or so miles to Indianapolis, making only one stop, somewhere in Tennessee, he said, where he bought six Cracker Barrel biscuits and ate them all.
*** Radio man Ken Hall after the game: “I think this year’s team can be better than last year’s team.”
*** Enjoyed some postgame pizza and Blue Moons at Binkley’s with Waitress from Cats.com and his road-tripping daughter.
I’m talking more about … disposition. Demeanor. What did they look like?
From where I sat in Hinkle, they didn’t look lost, they didn’t look scared, they didn’t look overmatched, and they didn’t look like they were looking for the guy who’s no longer there. They looked right.
This might sound funny or strange, and hopefully I can think this through a little more over the coming weeks and months, but I’ll give it a shot after Game 1:
Last year was entertaining. Saturday afternoon was interesting. What was most interesting last year, at least to me, often was more the stuff going on around the court, and less the stuff going on actually on the court.
It’s kind of a difficult distinction to draw, because wider, outside attention isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it struck me at Hinkle on Saturday that nobody was there to ogle or gawk. The people who were there, 6,713 of them, were there to watch two good teams play good basketball. There wasn’t any see-to-be-seen.
I’m mixing senses here, but it makes me think about what Scott Fowler wrote the other day, the thing about “the new era at Davidson,” after Stephen, and how it’s going to be “a much quieter one.”
That depends on what you’re listening to, and what you’re listening for.
McKillop didn’t look quiet on Saturday. Not to me he didn’t. That bench didn’t look quiet. The five guys in red out there on the court didn’t look quiet either. And I don’t just mean sound. I mean energy. And it was an energy that was familiar. And it was familiar in a way that sometimes last year’s energy was not.
After the game, standing against a wall in a hallway at Hinkle, McKillop talked about the closed scrimmage last month at Texas and how his guys went down 15-4, quick, and then fought back, and how he saw that same thing in the second half on Saturday.
“I saw great fight,” he said.
A little later I talked to Rossiter outside the locker room.
“We saw what we could do,” he said.
And a little after that I talked to Fox on his way to the bus to the airport.
“We’re going to be who we are,” he said.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Davidson men’s basketball team didn’t get a win Saturday afternoon, but what happened in the Cats’ season opener here at Hinkle Fieldhouse wasn’t a total loss.
The Wildcats played 10th-ranked Butler even for much of the game before losing 73-62 before a crowd of 6,713.
More to come of course.
This year, I don’t know what to expect, but I do know that I will try to watch and follow this team the way I did prior to 2008. At the risk of sounding tacky and dramatic, there is something about this program, about being part of this story, that makes my allegiance to this team feel oddly important to my life.
Here’s what the Knicks fans said: “We want Curry!”
And here is what Chris Sheridan wrote after the game:
NEW YORK -- From starter to splinter-gatherer, that pretty much describes Stephen Curry’s evolution over the first eight games of the season.
At least Warriors coach Don Nelson had an explanation Friday night, no matter how invalid it turned out to be: “I told you. He needs to get some tattoos.”
Nelson was only joking, and Curry certainly stands out in the Golden State locker room for being one of the few players not to have a majority of his torso covered by body art.
But none? Nellie got that one wrong.
When the “He has no tattoos” comment was related to Curry, he rolled up his left shirt sleeve and turned his wrist up, revealing the tatooed letters T C C and the number 30. “That’s trust, commitment, care -- a little slogan I picked up at Davidson.”
Last time playing at the Garden was a little different. Stephen: Searching for answers ... just gotta be patient and keep the faith.
But don’t forget that coach McKillop got the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament twice before Curry ever arrived on campus. Although the Wildcats will have far less flash this season -- it’s doubtful that Dick Vitale will show up this season for a Davidson game, as he did last season -- you can bet Davidson will still have some moments.
Three times actually.
... the Wildcats, who are playing their first game without Stephen Curry in four seasons.
... now that Stephen Curry is with Golden State.
Not exactly an easy start to the Life Without Stephen Era for Davidson coach Bob McKillop.
The thought? I know it’s hard to avoid, and I know it can’t be ignored, and I wouldn’t want it to be -- but I do hope that this game at some point can be less about who’s not on the court and more about the guys who are.
1. McKillop in his 21 years at Davidson has had 38 players go on to play pro ball.
2. Frank and the Wildcats plan to continue the Kicks from Cats program this year.
3. The last time Davidson had five players play all 40 minutes in a game was Feb. 16, 1977, when Marvin Lively, Rod Owens, Pat Hickert, Ernie Reigel and John Gerdy did it against Wake Forest. Awesome. It’s in every set of game notes and presumably never won’t be.
Butler’s players don’t exactly back away from the forecasts. They acknowledge their goal is to win the national championship.
CHN game preview. Forde: They’ll go to the Final Four.
So while the short-term tasks center on establishing an identity and foundation for the future, there’s a greater objective ahead that comes into focus as Matheny applies the proven winning formula of the Davidson blueprint to an Elon program starving for success.
Forward Adam Constantine: “What Coach Matheny has experienced is necessary for a winning program. He’s been around wins, a lot of wins.”
It was bittersweet to be back at Davidson. I went to the apartment where I was supposed to live -- the one I had picked out last year before I made my decision to go to the NBA. All my roommates are still there. And when I went by the room that was supposed to be mine, it was kind of surreal. I knew I had one more year of school left, and I wasn’t going to be back at Davidson. But in the back of my mind, I was thinking, I’m going to Oakland. I'm going to have fun playing in the NBA. What more can I ask for?
My friends are always giving me a hard time for leaving. Even Coach would have, say, a team meeting, and they would all purposefully look at me and tell me to get out of the gym. Funny stuff like that. In that apartment where I was supposed to stay, they put a big poster of me in my Davidson jersey on the front door. So I’m like the sixth roommate.
Last week here: “... a brand he can be associated with.”
Steph is a genuinely good guy and should be a very good player in the League for a very long time, but you have to wonder what type of effect this toxic environment will have on him long-term. Luckily, he seems to have a good head on his shoulders -- hopefully he can survive until the Warriors eventually fix themselves.
Ryan Blake on the rookies. Tonight at the Pacers: Didn’t start. Another loss. Stephen on Twitter: Promise to all the Warrior fans ... we will figure this thing out ... if it’s the last thing we do we will figure it out.
“Attack.” That’s one of McKillop’s favorite words. “Attack the attacker.” There’s a big part of McKillop that loves when he gets doubted, when his team gets doubted -- his program -- when he’s pushed up against a wall, into a corner, on the ropes, on the mat, however you want to put it. And I’m using those terms because he uses those terms. This is one of those seasons, and this is one of those games, and some would say -- odd as it might sound -- that this is actually kind of his most natural state, and also when he does his best work.
Woods on Butler.
*** Gordon Hayward: What’s he do well? What’s he do really well? What’s he do just okay?
Hayward, at 6-9, is very versatile wing player. He shot 3-pointers at 45 percent last season and probably had his best game against Davidson, scoring 20 of his career-high 27 points in a span of 10 minutes. He accelerated his rate of improvement by helping the U.S. team win a gold medal in the under-19 World Championship at Auckland, New Zealand. He made the five-man all-tournament team there. Hayward could still be more assertive, especially if he’s the best player on the floor, as he will be in almost every Butler game. He is not yet adept at driving to the basket, although he is getting better at it. And he has become better at rebounding and blocking shots.
*** How many points is Hinkle worth?
Hinkle is great home court, and perhaps worth five or six points. A crowd of 3,000 can sound like twice that many. I'd expect about 6,500 for Davidson. But just about every team is better at home. One odd thing about Hayward is that all of his best games have come on the road. He has never scored more than 18 in a game at Hinkle.
*** One of the major reasons for the consistency of success at Davidson -- the major reason -- is the consistency at the top of the coaching staff: Bob McKillop. He’s going into his 21st season. Not the case at Butler. What’s the secret up there?
Barry Collier revived Butler’s program in the 1990s, and the defense-first, team-oriented system he introduced has remained intact. Collier was succeeded by one of his assistant coaches, Thad Matta. Then Matta was succeeded by an assistant, Todd Lickliter. Then Lickliter was succeeded by an assistant, Brad Stevens. Stevens began with Matta in 2000-01, so Stevens has been a constant throughout the decade. Collier is now the athletic director at Butler and a resource for Stevens.
*** To echo one of your questions: What should Davidson be worried about heading into this game?
If the Bulldogs are making their 3-pointers, they are nearly impossible to beat. But they didn’t shoot well from the arc in their two exhibition games. Their staple is defense.
Davidson coach Bob McKillop, upset with his team’s defense, halted practice and brought his players together. He then reeled off the names of the three starters from last season no longer on the roster -- mentioning Stephen Curry last.
“We’ve got to be perfect,” McKillop yelled, “We’ve got to be a team.”
Above him was the banner proclaiming “NCAA Tournament Elite 8 2008,” the dominant symbol of a storybook three-year run that ended steps away in a conference room in April when the dynamic Curry announced he was leaving for the
Stephen on The Stephen Effect: “In the future when coach goes out recruiting he doesn’t have to go through, ‘Oh, we’re a small school outside of Charlotte, we’re pretty competitive,’ and all that.”
Row by row seat by seat standing muttering building up the whole place folks with canes kids bouncing on the balls of their little feet hands swaying and we hear it because we know what to listen for disjointed guitar chords barely there blending with the buzz unrecognizable until one loud rock-heavy strum and we know we know ...
The Clippers took advantage of Curry’s slight build -- 6-foot-3, 180 pounds -- and lack of experience. Guard Eric Gordon drove straight at Curry or ran him off a collection of screens. Point guard Baron Davis took Curry straight to the post.
Stephen: “I’ll just weather the storm. I’ll look at the film and see if there’s anything I could do differently ...” Sunday night: 9, 6 and 4 in a loss. Hard time.
7 and 5: minutes and fouls from Ben.
10: combined rebounds from Will and Bryant.
20: Davidson turnovers.
33: Brendan’s minutes.
Four Wildcats scored in double figures as the Davidson men’s basketball team earned an 87-65 exhibition win over Lenoir-Rhyne Saturday night at John M. Belk Arena.
Seniors Will Archambault and Bryant Barr led the ‘Cats in scoring with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Archambault hit 7-of-13 from the field, including one trey, and was 3-for-3 on free throws. Barr went 6-for-11, hitting 5-of-9 from behind the arc. Steve Rossiter and Brendan McKillop both scored 10 points each.
McKillop to DavidsonNews.net: “Equal opportunity.” L-R. Box. Lauren: A.S.I.F. Bryant: Need to be more consistent but some great first steps. Stephen: I'm missing my old teammates.
1. Pre-Stephen, post-Stephen, all that stuff: I think something some people forget, or never knew, or just don’t care to know, is that Davidson under Bob McKillop has been playing good basketball for a good long while -- well before Stephen showed up. The year before he came? NCAAs. The year before that? Undefeated in the league. NCAAs in ’02. NCAAs in ’98. NIT in ’96 and ’94. Point being, Davidson basketball, in its place within the ecosystem of the sport, has been consistently good and often spectacularly good, and that’s been true now for more than a decade and a half.
2. What March of ’08 did, and what Stephen did, and his star power, was it took a program that already was very good and was on the cusp and pushed it across that line that divides the most avid fans of college basketball and the most casual fans of sports or even non-fans altogether.
3. Stephen as “media darling,” still, even now in the NBA (because I was told that might be something they’d want to discuss): Why? Style of play. Scripture on the shoes. Dad and mom: He’s a basketball prince. Also: Accessible frame. Accessible face. Read into that whatever you will. But he can kind of swing both ways -- by which I mean he fits in on the campus at Davidson College, and he fits in at the Charlotte pro-am, and he fits in inside an NBA locker room. Take the GQ diary. That makes sense. That’s a brand he can be associated with, and not that many athletes can. And he’s not even in New York playing for the Knicks -- he’s in Oakland, for goodness sake, tipping at 10:30 in the east. He’s got to perform on the court to make any of these early opportunities matter, of course, but you can see the beginning of his professional (corporate?) persona starting to take shape. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s smart.
4. This season? Who knows? But that’s part of the fun. There are questions, and there are answers, and they’re out there somewhere. Find them. The last time Davidson went into a season with some of these kinds of questions? Look it up: 29 wins. So it’s conceivable, I suppose, that this year’s group could go, like, 16-14. Given the built-up record of success, though, it’s not all that likely.
5. This is the kind of year where McKillop tends to do his best work.
1. Three players from last year’s team -- Lovedale, Paulhus Gosselin and Curry -- were superb defenders. It will take dedicated team defense from this group to make up for their absence.
2. McKillop: “We need to convert our 3-point shooting potential into game production.”
Bryant: “Obviously with Steph here the last couple of years there have been a tremendous amount of expectations. When he declared for the draft those expectations for this season went right out the window. We have no pressure on us, we’re not supposed to be any good in conference, we’re supposed to be a lot worse of a team now that he’s gone. In one sense that’s nice to not have any weight on our shoulders, but we feel like we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”
Will: “We knew we were a team and we all had our roles, there was never any resentment of Steph. Whether your job was to be a practice player or anything else, we knew that you helped the team reach where we did. Steph is going to be irreplaceable. He’s a great guy, a great teammate and a great player. But the fact that he brought leadership to the team and he always knew how to act on and off the court benefitted us a lot.”
Here’s Stephen, last March, on expectations.
They introduced every single person on the team, starting with the reserves, and building up to the starters. I was second-to-last to be introduced, and so everybody was on the court. It was pretty much just like when you announce yourself as a kid. I heard my dad in all those starting line-ups, so I mimicked that growing up: “Starting guard, 6-3 from ...” -- back then, I didn’t know what school I was going to yet. It was a pretty intense moment. My mom said she cried.
And the first road trip: The one thing was that it was good to get an up-close-and-personal look at Steve Nash. We have a lot of similarities, but he out-performed me by a lot in that game. I’m glad I got that experience early.
True Hoop noticed. And the Bay Area Sports Blog thinks he’s a blogging superstar.
A couple summers back I tagged along for a couple days on a recruiting trip with Matheny down to the Peach Jam. One of the guys Matt was watching was Marcus. Davidson was on his list. Kid was good, and lefty. I thought of Chris Alpert, Ali Ton -- lefty points, Davidson hoops. Could work, I thought.
Or not. Yikes. Just a head-shaker of a situation over in Orlando.
Two reasons this would never have happened at Davidson: 1. Nike school. 2 (and much more important). Bob McKillop. Can you imagine? No. Just no.
There is no question the Wildcats will not be as dominant as years past, but Davidson is still strong enough to battle any team in this conference.
Generally a reasonable, sense-making take, except for the glaring fact that they either forgot about Will or just don’t totally understand how much of an opportunity he’ll have to really realize his considerable potential. Watch.
Davidson, which has won the South Division each of the past three years, earned the final first-place vote ...
Gotta be Cremins.
When I hung up, I sat alone on the couch with an weird feeling in my gut and chest. I didn’t ride the whole ride, so I didn’t get the full high. I didn’t deserve to celebrate at all.
Makes me think of when I met with Brandon Williams in New York in June of ’08 for the book. He said that during those 10 days in March he kept getting asked: Did you EVER think THIS would happen? Maybe most people thought he’d say, No, never, but his answer, he said, was the opposite: Yes, always.
Brandon, Class of ’96, who came to Davidson via rural Louisiana by way of Phillips Exeter, committed to play for Bob McKillop when Bob McKillop was coming off a 4-24 season. By Brandon’s senior year the team went undefeated in the league. And by March of ’08, by that weekend in Detroit, by the night before the game against Kansas, he went to visit his old coach in his room there at the Dearborn Inn, and he knew what his old coach was feeling, he could see it and he could hear it, because he knew what he was feeling, too. Because he knew where they had been.
Did Brandon EVER think THIS would happen?
Yes, he told people. This was the whole point.
If you have a true understanding of loss, you’re better equipped to recognize victory -- whether it comes or not.
When searching for a spark for the Warriors, Curry is the logical place to look. The other guys pretty much do what they do, but somebody needs to facilitate that in a team-like context. Much like what Nash does. He makes a team a team.
No small task.
Bob McKillop didn’t leave Davidson. Why won’t Fran be any different?
I can think of three differences right off the bat: Kerrin, Matt, Brendan.