McKillop on Droney


In all the fanfare about Sewickley Academy basketball star Tom Droney’s commitment to play for Davidson College, one notable voice was missing.

Bob McKillop, in his 21st season as head coach at Davidson, has led the Wildcats to five NCAA tournament appearances and hopes more are in store once Droney arrives next season.

But due to NCAA rules and Davidson policy regarding admissions, McKillop was unable to speak publicly about Droney until earlier this month, after the Academy senior’s paperwork was fully processed.

McKillop: “He doesn’t pigeon-hole himself into one role, and he has no sense of entitlement.”

Scott’s 10 of the last 10

Stephen is No. 3: Curry and Davidson made for such an unlikely, gorgeous fairy tale in the 2008 NCAA tournament that I still have a hard time believing it happened.

Davidson 63, UMass 61


DAVIDSON -- JP Kuhlman hit two free throws with 4 seconds left to lift Davidson to a 63-61 victory over Massachusetts on Wednesday night.

Kuhlman, a freshman, finished with 18 points to lead the Wildcats (6-8), who led 61-55 with 2:19 remaining before UMass (6-7) scored six straight to tie the score at 61 on Ricky Harris' jumper with 12 seconds left.

Kuhlman drove to the basket and was fouled by UMass' Anthony Gurley. Kuhlman hit both ends of the 1-and-1 for a 63-61 lead.

The Republican: An inside shot by UMass center Sean Carter, following a pass with one second left, just before the game-ending buzzer sounded, fell off the rim and harmlessly to the floor. McKillop: “We made big shots, big plays at big times. A lot of great things happened out there. We had to take this game away.” Derek Kellogg: “They made two foul shots to win it, we missed a layup to tie it.” Bryant: Big win tonight...big foul shots by JP, white lobstah back in the stands! 3 in a row! Stephen: Great win by my Davidson Wildcats over UMass today. UMass. DavidsonWildcats.com.

McKillop on Duke

Here: “This is an entire team that plays like they live on Park Avenue but they refuse to give up the court on West Fourth Street. West Fourth Street’s a pretty darn competitive park, and it’s asphalt, and these guys aren’t afraid of getting their knees bloody and their fingers stuck in the chain rims.”

Favorite memory of the decade


Watching Stephen Curry shoot the ball in the 2008 NCAA tournament is on the top of my list. Theres nothing prettier than a great shooter at the peak of his game during the heat of March, and Curry willed a very laudable Davidson team to go farther than its talent had any right to justify. What a show he put on.



The Davidson Project

One of the very cool photos that just arrived from John Bryant 08. Deadline is Friday.

An e-mail this morning

From a fan:

My wife and I drove home from New England this week and were discussing how much more fun this season is. Hoping for a win is a hell of a lot more enjoyable than fearing a loss.

We were at the Hofstra game and I was struck by how Coach McKillop is resculpting some identities. I love Bryant coming off the bench as a sparkplug. I love how economical Steve has become. He is always THERE. Avoids mistakes and is beginning to remind me of Thomas just a little. I loved the bounce pass Nik fed to Cohen to ice the game. He was very cool in a tight spot. I loved how coach stuck with JP during the Hofstra game. I loved how he had Frank in the line-up down the stretch. I love how coach is not relying on Will as our primary scoring threat and how Will is becoming a much more productive all-around player.

Its a fun year! Big game tonight.

Like this.

UMass tonight at Belk

Game notes: The Minutemen and Wildcats share one common opponent -- Cornell. The Big Red topped UMass 74-61 Nov. 18, and defeated Davidson 91-88 in overtime in Madison Square Garden Dec. 20. UMass. The Republican.

McKillop and Pecora

Read it:

The 956th game of Bob McKillop’s coaching career was unlike any other, one which McKillop approached in the most detached of terms -- preferring not to look at the jerseys worn by the opposing players or at the coach standing a few dozen feet to his right, because to do so would have made everything too weird, too difficult, too emotional.

McKillop: “I never think in terms of coaching trees, I just don’t. I think of brothers. I’ve got lots of brothers in this profession, and they’re the ones I stay in touch with. There are a lot of colleagues. But I’ve got brothers and that’s what I find very fortunate.”

Yesterday afternoon in Charlotte

Went to watch Jordan Downing at the Bojangles’ Coliseum, formerly Cricket Arena, formerly Independence Arena, formerly the (old) Charlotte Coliseum, the site of course of many great Davidson basketball moments back in the Lefty-led short-shorts days. Hopewell pulled away in the second quarter and won big. Thoughts on Jordan? He didn’t take too many shots -- just good ones. He hit a three in transition, an elbow jumper off the dribble, a contested layup on a break, a couple free throws. All good shots at good times. He’s no hog. The free throws came when he was fouled on a hoppy two-handed dunk try. On the other end he can be -- will be? -- an ace. He’s quick and long and seems to want to defend. I won’t call anybody the new Max, because that’s saying a heck of a lot and it’s not fair, but I’ll at least float the thought. The kid’ll fit right in.

Last night in L.A.

15 for Stephen in a loss to the Lakers.

Last night in Western Pa.

Droney with 33. His team is 5-0.


Some thoughts from Davidson

1. Brendan is playing very fine basketball, and really hitting right now on those beautiful, backspun parabolas of his.

2. Another mostly unshowy but very effective night for Will: 10 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, zero turnovers.

3. The offensive statistics from last night were indicative of not only a capable offense but also an unbothered offense -- 47.5 percent from the floor, 43.3 percent from three, and both those numbers were higher for most of the game, and then of course the 21-to-9 assist-to-turnover ratio. At one point it was 21 to 6.

4. Those guys are better than their record. Doesn’t it feel like you keep hearing that from opposing players and coaches? Last night it was Penn guard Zack Rosen: “They’ve got confidence in what they do, and they stick to it. I don’t think they’ve lost to any chumps.”

5. McKillop: “Roles have been defined.”

This afternoon in Charlotte

Jordan Downing in the second round of the Bojangles’ Shootout after a win last night. Tip is 3:30. Who wants to go?

Davidson 79, Penn 50

AP from last night:

DAVIDSON -- Brendan McKillop scored 19 points to lead Davidson to a 79-50 win over Penn on Monday night.

McKillop led four players in double figures for Davidson (5-8). Jake Cohen scored 12 points, while Will Archambault and Ben Allison scored 10 each.

Davidson jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, and then went on an 11-1 run for a 24-8 advantage with 9:43 to play in the first half.

Charlotte: Against a team trying to turn around an 0-8 season, Davidson was not an ideal foe for Allen’s first game. Philly Daily News: Thrust into the coaching duties after the Quakers fired Glen Miller 2 weeks ago, Allen fell into a perfect storm of chaos in his debut last night. Davidson: The advantage never dipped below 20 points in the second half and reached as high as 34 on three occasions. Penn: Reality quickly set in, however, as the Wildcats were patient, athletic, and accurate on offense in the first half. David Boraks (with Tim Cowie photos) at DavidsonNews.net: Two games do not make a long winning streak, but since the Wildcats’ 103-91 loss to Gonzaga in Seattle, the team has been shooting more reliably and playing more aggressively, McKillop said.


Out in Oakland

Tonight brings Rondo and the Celtics. Stephen: “This is the NBA. No nights off.

Reading the game notes

Penn tonight in the village: According to the 2010 Pomeroy College Basketball Rankings, Davidson has played the 11th-toughest schedule in the country. ... Davidson has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in three of its last four games. ... Davidson has hit 13 or more 3-pointers in four games this season. ... Davidson’s bench has outscored its opponent in all but one game. Penn notes. The Observer niblet.


Big name of 2009

Ken Tysiac on Stephen: “Recruiting analysts and college coaches alike missed on this one.” Last night in Oakland: a Warriors win, six guys in double figures, a big late-game steal and a couple free throws from No. 30. GSoM: The Warriors have an elite point guard in the making.


The Davidson Project


... at the redbricked heart of this little school in this little town and so long before there are miraculous rebounds and magical three-pointers and interviews front page articles and spray-painted sheets hanging on porches there is hope and I am a part of it.

Deadline is Jan. 1.

Getting ready for Penn and UMass

Bryant: nice trip home but its back to work now. Penn in the NYT.

Stephen makes an All-Decade team

The Buffalo News: He was a bag of bones who looked liked he could use a nice hot meal, but no one could stop him.

On written words and spider graphs

Got for Christmas from my good friend Ben the preposterously cool San Francisco Panorma. Read about it here and here and here. If you have 16 bucks and any interest, any interest at all, in written words on printed paper that tell true stories, you should get it.

Of particular interest in this forum, though, there’s not only a keeper of a Stephen poster inside, but there’s also an interesting little “spider graph” and analysis by Roger Pimentel. The title is ... Stephen Curry vs. Monta Ellis: Can You Spot The Natural Point Guard?

Pimentel writes:

Let’s try to determine who fits which role. The top half of a spider graph is composed of offensive statistics; the bottom is defense. A well-rounded player will have a circular spider graph, while the graph of a player with specific strengths will have sharp points.

Can you guess whose spider graph is more circular?

Pimentel continues:

Right off the bat, it’s Curry who seems to be gravitating toward the role of a traditional point guard. Curry comes across as a creator -- his balance of scoring and assisting on the graph suggests that he creates shots for himself and others equally well. Despite his early misgivings about his teammate, Ellis is thriving in his quasi-two-guard role by doing what he does best -- taking the ball to the hole.

So I’m in Davidson right now. Last night Bill Cobb and I did a very festive and Christmasy thing. We drank beer and watched the Wisconsin game. There’s a play pretty early in the second half where Davidson starts to pull away. Thomas runs the floor and scores a layup while getting fouled. What’s Stephen do on that play? He gets the rebound. He throws a laser to Thomas. TV likes he shoots he scores, so it makes sense that that’s what most fans think of when they think of Stephen, but it’s neat to see that some seem to be starting to understand what I’d like to think we here have known for a good long while.

My view

Cornell’s Jon Jaques

On The Quad blog: “... a tough Davidson team ...” The Moment on The Quad.

Stephen at Christmas

To Art Spander: “Being away from home for the first time, trying to reconnect with my friends and family, who are a big part of my life. I used to go home for the holidays. This time they’ll have to come to Oakland, and they will for New Year’s.”


The decade in Jayhawk sports

Brady at the Star:

One of the enduring images from the Jayhawks’ miracle march was Self falling to the floor after Davidson guard Jason Richards’ game-winning three-point attempt missed, clinching Self’s first Final Four.

Made me think of something Wells Black ’94 posted last week on The Davidson Project Facebook page: Interesting conversation yesterday. Totally unexpected. I was on the phone with an IT guy helping me update some software at my law office. We were on the phone together for a while, so it was inevitable that we would have some conversation outside the subject of the software he was helping me with. As we talked, he told me he had move to Raleigh in the summer of 2008 ... from Kansas, where he had grown up. I asked if he was a Jayhawk fan. He enthusiastically responded that he was a Jayhawk fan. I then told him that I graduated from Davidson. He then said, “Man, am I glad that guy missed that three pointer.” So we are not the only ones that remember “the shot.” Kansas fans do, too. It was “a moment” for them as well.

Jason makes an All-Decade team

Here: Jason Richards (Barrington) -- Talented guard set multiple school records during four-year varsity career with Broncos. He went on to help Davidson reach the NCAA Elite Eight in ’08. Currently, he’s playing for the Utah Fear in the NBDL. (Note: The “Fear,” of course, is the Flash.)


Tonight in New Orleans

Stephen: Three assists shy of a triple-double. Another loss.


McKillop: “Nothing’s as good as it seems, nothing’s as bad as it seems. Somewhere in between is reality.”

Long Droney feature

ESPN Rise:

The 6-foot-6, Davidson-bound senior point guard has an arsenal of moves at his disposal -- crossovers, step-backs, pull-ups, and a vicious spin move. But he’s at his most dangerous when passing up the rock in the early going of games and then taking over late. Last year, Droney averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 assists and 6.1 rebounds and dropped 40 in the championship as Sewickley won the WPIAL Class A title. And he did it by being patient and getting his teammates involved.

Other items I underlined: “He knows personally everyone in the crowd who’s there. He definitely averages more points at home.” ... Or the game against Clairton when, down by one with two minutes to go, Droney broke down his man and -- according to multiple witnesses -- dunked on four defenders. ... Big-name coaches like Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Jamie Dixon (Pitt) and Bob McKillop (Davidson) were spotted at Sewickley games. ... “A bigger version of Chris Herren without the baggage.” 28 last night (and a DU alert).

On the court after Gonzaga

More over at The Davidson Project. Contribute by Jan. 1.

Rush the Court on the Wildcats


Might Davidson be turning the corner a little in the post-Stephen Curry era? It’s entirely understandable that there would be a dropoff, but over the last two nights the Wildcats took Ivy League champion Cornell to overtime before losing on a last-second thirty-footer by Ryan Wittman, and got a solid win tonight over a solid CAA foe. Some of the 4-8 record is due to strength of schedule, but Bob McKillop is too good of a coach for this program to completely melt down. Jake Cohen had 18/6/4 blks in the winning effort, and keep an eye on this team as we hit the SoCon schedule next month.

Stephen last night in Memphis

In another loss, 14, 8 and 7.


Outside looking in

Eric Angevine:

I really believed that Bob McKillop had built a team concept that could survive the loss of Stephen Curry. I knew they'd face challenges this season, but had no idea that would mean so many double-digit losses so early. The near-run game against Penn State (59-57 L) and a win over presumptive SoCon power Citadel give some hope.
What do I think? I think some folks got short memories.

From DavidsonCats.com

McKillop The Youngest is becoming the heart and soul of this team.


Davidson 61, Hofstra 52


NEW YORK -- Jake Cohen scored 18 points, including a three-point play with 45 seconds left, and Davidson beat Hofstra 61-52 on Monday night in the third-place game of the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden.

Cohen, a 6-foot-10 freshman, was fouled as he made a reverse layup with 45 seconds left. His free throw gave the Wildcats (4-8) a 60-52 lead with 45 seconds to play.

Not only a good win going into the short Christmas break but for this group a good two games at the Garden. Now can wear the white jerseys for a little while when they get back to the village. Coming around. DavidsonWildcats.com. Matt McKillop on Facebook: needed this badly. GoHofstra.com.

In the Red Line Lounge

Damon Lewis: Curry needs to just start shooting the ball every possession up there in the Pros. Everyone would be better off ...

Tonight against Hofstra

Game notes: Davidson head coach Bob McKillop is a 1972 Hofstra graduate. He has never coached against his alma mater. Hofstra coach Tom Pecora was an assistant coach for McKillop at Long Island Lutheran High School. The Sports Network.


Jason in Utah

Season so far. Today. Also this: “I think that what the Flash Family Foundation does for the community is great. The community support in return will hopefully contribute to success on the court.

The Cornell coach

Steve Donahue: “Davidson is a very good basketball team. I think we’re fortunate to catch them when their young guys are still growing. They are an excellent offensive team. I would not be surprised if they win their league. You don’t realize it until you play them. This is a great win.”

Cornell 91, Davidson 88


NEW YORK -- Ryan Wittman capped a season-high 29-point performance by hitting a 30-footer at the overtime buzzer and Cornell beat Davidson 91-88 on Sunday in the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden.

JP Kuhlman of Davidson made the first of two free throws with 6.6 seconds left to tie it at 88. Jeff Foote rebounded the miss of the second free throw and found Wittman, who let his game-winner go with plenty of time.

Cornell will play the winner of the Hofstra-St. John’s game in Monday night's championship.

The shame of it, of course, is that this could’ve been a galvanizing win for this group, against an experienced team that knows what it’s doing, and now it will have to be a galvanizing loss. McKillop put it bluntly with Kilgo after the game -- had a chance to win that game in regulation, had a chance to win that game in overtime, didn’t win that game -- and that’s disappointing. I feel bad for the coaches and the kids. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: For Davidson, always, but especially in years like this year, a season’s “success” or “failure” comes down to what happens over the course of three days in the first week of March. What happened this afternoon up at the Garden was a step in the right direction with that in mind. DavidsonWildcats.com.

Tough loss

Great game.

Matt and Zack

The Brothers Matheny.

Listening to the Wildcats

Last Sunday: this buttery deliciousness before flying back to Florida. This Sunday: brunch in St. Pete with Kilgo on the computer.


Snow in North Carolina

Tomorrow in the big city

Against two-time defending Ivy League champ Cornell at the Garden. Game notes.

Stephen’s big game

Season highs, i.e. career highs, in points, threes and rebounds -- in another loss, though. Which evidently is what he wanted to talk about: “We just need to win a game. Losing is frustrating, but we’re right there. We had a chance to make a run, but we had some careless turnovers down the stretch.” Also: in which we learn his new favorite restaurant.


Warriors on ESPN tonight

If you make it a habit of watching Stephen late in the East on ChannelSurfing.net, and I know y’all are out there, no need this time. Career-high 27.


Quick game coverage


DAVIDSON -- Jake Cohen scored a career-high 23 points and blocked four shots, and Steve Rossiter had 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead Davidson in a 90-49 rout of The College of New Jersey on Thursday night.

The Wildcats (3-7), who snapped a two-game skid, shot 52.2 percent (36-for-69), including 14-for-32 from 3-point range, and had 33 assists.

DavidsonWildcats.com. DavidsonNews.net. Trenton.

Reading the game notes

Leftover from Gonzaga: The last team to shoot 60 percent or better against Davidson was Georgetown in the ‘Cats’ 74-70 victory in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Choice factoid.

Davidson mention in here

Kyle: The Bubble only has use for you if you’re winning, dying or lying.


Making the argument

Steven Resnick at Bleacher Report:

The more I think about Stephen Curry, the more I believe he should have stayed in college for another year at Davidson.

No. Wrong. First, he wouldn’t have been drafted as high as seventh because of what he would’ve been asked to do at Davidson this year, and because of the quality and depth of the coming draft class, too. Second, the rest of the guys on the team this year, the older guys but especially the younger guys, wouldn’t have developed the way they’re having to develop right now. Third, what we would’ve seen this year not only wouldn’t have been Davidson basketball -- it wouldn’t have been basketball, period, not really. It would’ve been a show, packaged and sold as such by the American sports entertainment industrial complex, a show that would’ve been titillating for many but ultimately burdensome and unfulfilling for the participants and also the closer, more thoughtful spectators.

Tomorrow night at Belk

The College of New Jersey: first game against a Division I opponent since 1998.



Deadline for The Davidson Project is Jan. 1.

‘Connections across the country’


I like watching JP drive and being reminded of JRich. I LOVE watching Brendan hit threes and talk to his teammates. I’m proud that they play like they do, not saying I like it when they make stupid TOs or miss FTs, but I can see them starting to play like a team, moving fast and working hard and clumping into huddles and not stopping. Bob roaring on the sidelines, Kilgo in the background of the screen, cocking his head, chatting away in that sandpaper south voice of his that I can’t hear but I know it’s there, Kruse with laptop up and eyes on the court. I love connections across the country, sending texts to Sarah and knowing that her phone is ringing in the same building that I’m watching on tv thousands of miles away (and she called me afterwards, and I could hear the smile in her voice). I love starting to understand how the freshmen play, and realizing that I will get to watch them go and grow through the ups and downs of four years of Davidson basketball.

McKillop on Stephen

Lots here: “I tried to get him to recollect his experience at Davidson. There’s a saying ... that a great shooter has to be willing to sleep in the streets. What he was doing was concerning himself with shooting and missing rather than just shooting.”

Pretty place out there

Why he’ll be okay

Keith Smart: “The thing about Steph is that you have to tell him only one time, and he’ll try to make it happen real quickly.” Tonight in Philly. Yesterday: Was at Temple-Villanova.


On their way

Over the weekend Downing had 31 against West Charlotte and Droney hit a half-court game-winner. Droney: “I would say I’m a much different player this year. I’ve gotten a lot stronger and really worked on my fundamentals, and it’s starting to pay off. I think I’ve gotten quicker, too. I worked out all summer with a trainer and I think I’m more explosive this year. I want to win a state championship this year. Nothing short of it.” Sewickley Herald.

More from yesterday

At DavidsonNews.net:

SEATTLE -- Nationally ranked Gonzaga outlasted Davidson, 103-91, in a high-scoring game Saturday afternoon in the “Battle in Seattle” at KeyArena. Six Wildcats scored in double figures.

Forward Jake Cohen had 16 points, guards Brendan McKillop and JP Kuhlman each had 15, Will Archambault had 11, and Ben Allison and Nik Cochran added 10 apiece.

Times. McKillop: “We’re in the process of working through getting some experience.”


Before I head out into the Seattle cold ...

Worth pointing out: McKillop after the game called Will’s showing this evening “his best performance” -- “as perfect as he’s been in his four years at Davidson.” His line: 11 points, six assists, one turnover, 28 minutes. McKillop: “He played within the system. He screened people. He distributed the ball. He didn’t force shots.”

Why Landry didn’t make the trip

Emergency appendectomy on Tuesday.

Coverage from tonight


SEATTLE -- Freshman Elias Harris scored a season-high 27 points and No. 21 Gonzaga overcame the absence of leading scorer Matt Bouldin to beat Davidson 103-91 on Saturday night.

Robert Sacre dominated the smaller Wildcats inside with a career-best 23 points and the Bulldogs (8-2) won for the first time in four tries in their annual game across the state in Seattle.

Bouldin sat out three days after he was cracked just below the temple by an opponent’s forehead and said he was knocked out briefly early in a win over Division III Augustana of Illinois on Wednesday.

PI: Davidson was able to stick around thanks to sizzling shooting from behind the three-point line. The Wildcats finished 14-for-23, but it wasn’t enough.

At the half at KeyArena

After a cross-continental flight in the middle of exams, playing a team in the Top 25, and with seven guys with two fouls already, and considering Gonzaga had a 17-0 run mixed in there -- I’ll take 47-45.

Droney last night

Beaver County Times: 32 after a slow start.

My view

The last thing about the last time

I remember about midway through the first half turning to my buddy Evan Markfield of Carolina Blue and saying: Stephen’s going to have to score 40 for Davidson to win this game.

Steven Gray

On Stephen in Raleigh: “What sticks out in my mind that whole first half he’s coming off screens, sprinting off doubles, getting hand-offs. It was awful. But it was a great experience, to see him now. … It was unreal to see him go through that tournament, doing the things he did. If he had a couple inches of space, it was going up. He was so crafty, he’d give a little shot fake.”

Local media: Stephen’s not here!

Bud Withers in the Times:

When the 2009-10 college basketball season began, Gonzaga’s string of 11 straight NCAA tournament appearances looked vulnerable. The Zags had lost four of their top five scorers from last season, and had 10 freshmen or sophomores expected to contribute.

Four weeks in, though, Gonzaga appears on track to sustain that long streak. Today, fans can judge for themselves at KeyArena in the seventh annual Battle in Seattle at 4 p.m. as the Zags (7-2) entertain Davidson (2-6), otherwise known as the school that spawned Stephen Curry, who isn’t there anymore. A crowd of about 12,000 is expected.

PI: This is not the same potent Wildcat team as the past two seasons. Spokane: Curry’s absence has been felt by the Wildcats, whose dominance of the Southern Conference might have left with the departure of the two-time All-American. AP: The Zags who remain are disappointed Curry isn’t here for this “rematch,” which came together about the time Curry got drafted early last summer. The Sports Network: Many wondered how the team would respond this season without superstar guard Stephen Curry, who has moved on to the NBA. Clearly, the transition has been rough to say the least. Slipper Still Fits: Where is Stephen Curry?


Jordan Downing at Hopewell

The Observer: His team is 8-0 and has won 37 of 38 over the last two seasons.

A much-anticipated senior season

Droney: “People definitely will be watching us. We basically have everyone back, but we have to be ready to play every night. There’s a big target on our backs.”

Last night in East Rutherford

The caption in the Daily News: Stephen Curry, who authored so many memorable moments in the NCAA tournament with Davidson, helps lead the Golden State Warriors past the New Jersey Nets.

Reading the Gonzaga game notes

Some things I underlined:

1. Davidson is 13-76 when playing a ranked opponent and has lost its last six.

2. The loss last Saturday at C of C broke a 30-game Southern Conference regular-season road winning streak.

3. Davidson’s bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in every game this season. Five Wildcats are averaging six points a game or more. No Davidson player is averaging more than 11.3 shots a game. No player has taken more than 15 shots in a game. Nine guys are averaging nine or more minutes a game.


2007 SoCon champs

Contribute to The Davidson Project. Deadline is Jan. 1.

Droney’s team

Ranked No. 2 in Class A in Pennsylvania heading into his senior season.

The flip side of expectations

Luke Winn:

They’re at risk of doing what Stephen Curry and Davidson did in 2008-09, beginning the season in the Top 25 and then missing out on the dance. Butler’s overinflated preseason ranking was the fault of us, the pundits, who got too carried away and put them in the top 10, but Gordon Hayward & Co. are still good enough -- in the top 30-35 teams nationally -- to belong in the NCAA tournament field. If they don’t make it, that’s their fault.

I found myself wondering in Indianapolis if those kids from Butler were going to have fun this year. Still wondering.

Up and under


Getting ready in Seattle

The PI:

On Tuesday at 10 a.m., premium courtside seats will be made available to the general public. And they’re not cheap -- expect to pay close to $200 for an unobstructed courtside view.

The Zags’ opponent is a Stephen Curry-less Davidson team -- not exactly the caliber opponent Seattle fans have grown accustomed to. Then again, Gonzaga has lost three consecutive games at KeyArena, falling to Nevada, Tennessee and Connecticut in the past three Battles, so maybe a lesser foe is a blessing this year.

The last time these teams played was was in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, when Curry lit up the 7th-seeded Zags for 40 points in a 82-76 win. This year, the 2-6 Wildcats don’t quite have that much firepower.

Last time. TV.


Rusty Simmons: Oklahoma City marked the 11th consecutive road venue that included at least one fan wearing a replica of Curry’s No. 30 Davidson jersey.


Career high for Stephen


TCU vs. Boise

Pete Thamel: This reminds me a little bit of the justified grumbling when two mid-major teams are matched up in the first round of the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament -- Creighton-Nevada, Butler-South Alabama, Davidson-Gonzaga ...

A high school coach in New York

Is there a coach you try to emulate? I’m assuming you mean on the college/pro level, and as a bigger college basketball fan, I’ll tell you a short story of a clinic I attended several years back. One of the coaches stood out as the most intriguing on how he approached the game and how he utilized his talent. You just knew he would be successful. It turns out that he brings his Davidson Wildcats (with Stephen Curry) to the final eight a couple years later, and ends up being one made field goal from the Final Four and beating eventual champion Kansas. The coach is Bob McKillop.

One last shot from Charleston

See you in Seattle.


Jason in Bakersfield

His last two.

Stephen in Oakland

Stats: 13, 3 and 3 in 46 minutes in another loss. Thompson on Twitter: Warriors falling apart. Curry back-to-back turnovers. Stephen after the game: “In close games down the stretch, you’ve really got to buckle down and focus on what you’re doing. You’ve got to be willing to make plays, and I didn’t come through.”

‘And so now here’s this part’

Lots of things made March 2008 so special. Lots and lots and lots. So to start a sentence with “What made March 2008 so special ...” is sort of folly upfront. But let me try it anyway.

What made March 2008 so special is that it came at the end of a season-long effort that had started at 4-6 and at the end of a two-decade-long effort that had started at 4-24. Implicit in that story for those who chose to see it as such were lessons involving work, and faith, and humility.

Those 10 days, those three wins, that one loss -- it was all so powerful to see where they were because we knew where they’d been.

The rainy night in Anderson, S.C.? Remember that?

The handouts McKillop gave to Jason Zimmerman back in 1994? Remember that?

The “sometimes you learn lessons from losing” ... ? Remember that?

The “walk humbly with your God” ... ? Remember that?

From pages 47 and 48:

Months later, William Robertson, Davidson Class of 1975 and the chaplain at the state mental hospital in Morganton, North Carolina, would wonder whether people arent somehow hard-wired to be attracted to stories that contain moments like this. They tell a truth in the end.

From struggle comes patience. From patience comes experience. From experience comes hope.

And hope?

Hope does not disappoint.

That, he said, is the theology of the cross. Its Romans 5. ...

This was how he came to see sports. The experience of caring about a team existed to examine how people dealt with disappointment and defeat.

There are of course all sorts of saws that say the same thing. McKillop has plenty of them. “Proud peacock today, feather duster tomorrow ...” Here’s a version for right now for this blog: Sometimes you score 20 points on Thursday and then you can’t hit a thing come Saturday. I’m only 32 years old, so I don’t know much, but I do know that.

Its all the same big story, round and round, never not, and so now heres this part. Heres 2-6. Heres 18.8 percent shooting in the first half. Heres having the College of Charleston students mock you in the second by chanting the name of your former teammate, your former roommate, your friend.

Somewhere inside the bad stuff is where the good stuff starts. We know this because weve experienced this. Remember?


Sink on Cats.com

Here: Some perspective -- today was our first conference road loss since 2/21/2006. Thats right, GSU lost twice as many conference road games this weekend as Davidson has lost in nearly 1400 days. Thats crazy.

Bye for now

I love Charleston, it’s one of my absolute favorite cities south of the Mason-Dixon, and for Davidson basketball over the last few years it’s been a good second home of sorts, but at this point I believe it’s about time to go see somewhere else.

A first for Matt

SoCon win No. 1: Chattanooga in Chattanooga. Big.

Coverage from Charleston


CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Jeremy Simmons and Donavan Monroe scored 16 points each to lead College of Charleston to a 67-55 victory over Davidson on Saturday.

Casaan Breeden added 11 points for the Cougars (3-3, 2-0 Southern Conference), who maintained their 11-point halftime lead by shooting 50 percent from the field (14-for-28) in the second half.

The College of Charleston jumped out to an 18-6 lead on Monroe’s dunk with 9:04 remaining in the first half. Simmons tipped in Breeden's miss for a 20-6 advantage with 8:37 left.

Early P&C: The 12-point margin was Charleston’s largest ever over the Wildcats and was the Cougars’ third straight win over Davidson. McKillop: “When you make shots, everything feels good. You defend better, you run better, you cut better, you screen better, you talk better. We missed shots today. And our misses, we let that linger on the court.” Davidson: The loss broke a 30-game Southern Conference regular-season road win streak ... Live 5.

Talking to McKillop

After the game, in the hallway, phrases and words: Patience on offense. Had it Thursday. Not so much today. Guarded differently. “When you make shots, you feel better defensively.” Haven’t experienced grinding one out. Sometimes Jake’s going to have off nights on offense. Can’t carry over to other things. JP too. “Our cuts were not sharp. Our screens were nonexistent.” Second game of a road trip in the league. Legs. Fatigue. “Constant learning process.” Exams start Thursday.

Charleston 67, Davidson 55

1. At about the 13-minute mark of the second half Jake threw a pass off the backboard. It had no chance. About 10 seconds later JP threw a pass to Steve on the block. It had no chance. What? You thought Thursday night was going to happen over and over and again and again all the way until the day those two walk across that stage in front of Chambers? They’re good, they’re promising, they’re going to be a part of a lot of Davidson wins. In the meantime: some ups and downs.

2. One of the things I like about this team right now is that there are no cool points. None. There is no show.

3. This game, at Charleston, is arguably the toughest game in the Southern Conference right now, and it happened for this team -- this team -- on Dec. 5. It’s Dec. 5. It’s 20 days before Christmas. It’s three months before March.

4. Why do you watch?

At the half at Carolina First

1. They’re shooting 18.8 percent from the floor, 16.7 percent from three and 60 percent from the line -- and they’re down by 11. I guess it depends on whether you’re more half-empty or more half-full.

2. They’ve missed some bad shots -- Charleston’s had a bunch to do with that -- but they’ve also missed some good shots. Some rushes. Also just some unlucky rim-outs. Everything looks better when the ball’s going in (Thursday night), and everything looks worse when it’s not (so far today) -- it’s never that good, and it’s never that bad.

3. That’s one half. Now comes another.

Wearing black

First time in a long time.

Reading the game notes

1. Brendan’s eight assists the other night at The Citadel were a career high.

2. As of Dec. 4, the combined record of the teams Davidson has lost to this season is 26-8.

3. The Wildcats played their first four games away from home. It’s the first time they’ve started a season with four road games since 2000-01.

How people talk

About this program: Southern Conference ... known for Davidson and College of Charleston ...


These two rookies

Were the guys hanging their heads at 1-5? JP: “Coach doesn’t let us do that.” Jake: “It isn’t a possibility.” JP: “He’s got his ways.” Will: “They know the system. They’re real smart players. That’s the key.”

Three thoughts left from last night

1. The Southern Conference Freshman of the Year is going to be a Davidson Wildcat.

2. Having your two starting guards play a combined 68 minutes and commit zero turnovers usually means good things.

3. Really nice showing for Will obviously. He always looks good when his shot’s going in. Funny, then, that I thought one of the best, most telling moments of his evening was a shot he missed. A few minutes into the second half, he created this little twisting up-and-under jumper near the foul line, and it rimmed out, but it was a good look and a good shot. It was a move made by a player playing and not thinking.


Claire the other day:

December 1 2009 midnight watching Steph Curry playing in the NBA on the Union TV by the couches where I've seen him sit and feet away from where I congratulated him in the expectant chaos that was Selection Sunday 2008 and I knew I knew what could be but I didn't.

December 1 2006 7 pm I walked into the gym just down the cobblestone heard the pep band blaring for the first time felt some kind of energy hope celebration that I wanted to keep and saw a skinny kid swish orange beauties through the net and I had no idea no idea about anything.

No eloquence right now when fingers eyes head need sleep, just fact and time goes on and on and round and round and how do we get to where we go how do we become part of the stories that we tell over and over again?

Good questions.

No. 9 mid-major of the decade

Eric Angevine: Yes, Davidson made the tourney before Stephen Curry. Don’t be a wiseass.

Will on the kids

At McAlister after the game: “At the beginning, man, they were freshmen. Right now they don’t act like freshmen.”

The Citadel win


CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Will Archambault scored 21 points and Jake Cohen added 20, leading Davidson to a 74-63 win over The Citadel in the Southern Conference opener for both teams on Thursday night.

Archambault connected on six 3-pointers and Cohen hit four for the Wildcats (2-5, 1-0), who finished 15-for-27 from beyond the arc. J.P. Kuhlman, who finished with 19 points, sank three from long range.

JP. It’s JP. McKillop: “We were patient with our shot selection, and that got us those opportunities. In the past, people have stood around and watched, and said, 'Geez, let Steph take it.’ That happened a lot last year, but now we’ve gone through a very rough November and have learned a lot of lessons.” Conroy: “They were sensational. They moved the ball well, had a lot of energy and knocked down big shots, timely shots and shots at the end of the shot clock. I was impressed.” Davidson.


Gonna be good?

Is good.

Davidson 74, The Citadel 63

That felt like the beginning of something.

Thoughts at the half at McAlister

1. I like it when those big guys take (and make) threes. Or even just take them. 1. Because they’re good shots. 2. Because it feels like Davidson basketball. Makes me think of Landry shooting them, or Stephen Marshall, or Martin Ides, or ...

2. McKillop: “Steve! Singles!”

3. About two and a half minutes before the break: McKillop calls timeout. Draws something up. Two-man game on the left side with JP and Jake. Turns into two points. Ken came over to say that those two scored 16 of the Wildcats’ last 19 points. Noted.

4. That’s a pretty good half against a pretty good team in this league.

5. Also: nice little turnout in red here for a Thursday in the Lowcountry. Spotted in the stands: Hobby Cobb, Danny Smith, Lee Sargent, Big Steve Rossiter, the Barrs, the Archambaults, Will Bryan’s folks ...

My view

JP and Jake


Reading The Citadel game notes

A line: “Stephen Curry, now in Golden State and far removed from McAlister Field House ...” Another line: 32 points, six rebounds, five assists, five steals. That’s what Stephen did here last year. Funny. I was here and I don’t remember that. I just remember him ... playing. That kid. Nobody made 32-6-5-and-5 look quite so quiet. Anyway. Tip time.

Game! Of! The! Night!


Davidson (1-5) has struggled to find its bearings since Stephen Curry left early to become a fundamental redundancy for the Golden State Warriors. Nearly a month into the season, all they have to show in the win column is a virtual mulligan against Fredonia State, and have gone oh-fer against Division I. While it’s easy to offer some off-hand analysis and say that Curry would have performed a three-superheroes-in-one act and won a few of those games on his own, the truth is that his absence has thrown some of the existing fissures in bold relief. The other Wildcats had issues shooting and rebounding last season, and even with three seniors with Elite 8 experience (William Archambault, Bryant Barr and Stephen Rossiter), the team has shot 41.2 percent for the season and averages just 31 boards per contest -- both figures in the lower third of D-I.

Good point. But ... a fundamental redundancy?

At The Citadel

President of the fan club as always

Cremins talking about Saturday: “Davidson is still one of the top teams in the conference. I have great respect for Bob McKillop. I know what he runs. I have a pretty good idea of how they’re going to play. They’re a very intelligent team.”

Life after Stephen (and Andrew, and Max, and ...)

Jeff Hartsell in Charleston:

But as Davidson comes to McAlister Field House tonight, Citadel coach Ed Conroy expects a team that’s much better adjusted to life without Curry, now playing for pay with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

“From what I’ve seen on tape so far, they are a typical Bob McKillop-coached team,” Conroy said. “They have a lot of talented players. Maybe they haven’t found their perfect chemistry and mix yet, but they will. And they will have a heck of a season, I believe.”

I appreciated this story because it did something a lot of stories so far this year have not. It at least alluded to the reality that the first year of the post-Stephen Curry era for Davidson is also the first year of the post-Andrew Lovedale era and the post-Max Paulhus Gosselin era. I’ll add, too, that this is the second year of the post-Jason Richards era and the post-Thomas Sander era. All these guys for the Davidson College basketball program were historically good.

Leaving now for Charleston

Gas in the car. Thank you.

March 2007

Will in the stands after the SCT. More (and more to come) over at The Davidson Project. Deadline for contributions is Jan. 1.

Stephen’s answers ‘come with sighs’

In Denver:

He’s struggled with defense. His consistency ebbs and flows on offense. Golden State has had a dysfunctional start with finger-pointing between players, feuding between ex-forward Stephen Jackson and coach Don Nelson before the player was traded; and a budding star in guard Monta Ellis who before the season even began said he could not co-exist with Curry in the same backcourt.

And through all of that, the baby-faced kid from Davidson is supposed to learn and grow and become a true professional.

“I’m not happy with how things are going so far, right now anyway, the consistency of my game,” Curry said.

On Twitter: Watching all this college basketball today made me miss them days...wanna see my wildcats get a win tmw down in charleston. In Oakland: Rockets.

Tonight in Charleston

Game notes: The Wildcats have won five straight SoCon openers. Three of those have come on the road. They also have won 14 of the last 15 against The Citadel. Last time at McAlister. Last time at Belk.


No. 10 upset of the decade

Over Georgetown: Stephen Curry wasn’t yet a household name when he led Davidson to a wild, 74-70 win over a Hoyas team that was expected to contend for a second straight Final Four appearance. The Wildcats were down by as many as 17 points in the second half before Curry took over. He scored 25 of his 30 points after the break.

Jason with the Flash

Salt City Hoops:

Until the next chapter in the Jason Richards story is written, he’ll be known as the guy who was very good at getting the ball to Stephen Curry. No shame in that, and he did a great job of it. I’ll be looking for more of the same at the next level.
We know better. Now maybe others might too.