Sunday, March 05, 2006


“It has been a long road for this team. We traveled from the tops of the Alps to Cameron Indoor to long, disappointing road trips to daily practices and magical victories in Belk Arena. Today was just another chapter in a large book. I couldn’t be more prouder of this team.” Bob McKillop

Davidson’s title game performance seems to epitomize the theme of a long season. Despite poor road performances against lesser teams and upsets of bigger programs, this game marked the strengths of Davidson basketball.

1) Versatility. The Mocs focused on high-scoring Ian Johnson and the Wildcats were forced to find scoring outside of the block. Brendan Winters stepped up big from the perimeter and was then able to drive the paint. He totaled 33 points, a career high, and garnered the Tournament MVP award.

2) Intensity. Davidson held the Mocs to 34% shooting from the field and outrebounded them by 45-30. The Wildcats put up fights for every loose ball and didn’t allow Chattanooga to get easy shots, even when they were down big.

3) Shooting. After all of the dust has settled and Davidson looks at all of the keys to victory in this tournament, many things appear: defense, rebounding, hustle, determination. However, nothing can diminish the importance of being able to hit open shots. At times this season, Davidson couldn’t find the mark on open shots from the lane and perimeter. Over this 3-game season, Davidson shot lights-out.

Coming into the tournament, Davidson knew they had to win to extend their season. Yet, throughout it all, this group of Wildcats was relaxed, from the head coach all the way down to the managers. This has always been our year. For a while, the spotlight sought other pieces of brilliance; but in the end, Davidson is the best team in the Southern Conference.

For now, I will let the pure knowledge of victory hold its own poignancy. As life begins to go on, a better perspective on this accomplishment will emerge. For now we can whip out our towels and sing along with Coach McKillop:

Da-da-da-DA-da, da-da-da-dada-dada-da dada Dada.


Anonymous said...

Now you know Bob didn't say "more prouder."

Stan said...

The stark difference in yesterday's game was that between athleticism and basketball skill. Focusing on this difference has always been, and likely always be, critical to Wildcat success in basketball.

We always rank near the bottom in steals and blocked shots. These stats are usually a reflection of quickness and leaping ability, i.e. raw athletic ability. When the Cats are good, we lead in free throw shooting and 3 point FG percentage. These are a function of basketball skill.

UTC has better athletes. We have players with better skills (which include much more than just shooting).

Perhaps the best example is Ian Johnson who is seriously lacking in athletic ability, yet deserves his all-conference award.