Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm Baaack

I'm baaaackk! The Davidsonian and all of these darn classes have really been taking my time. But that's no excuse, I'm back in business and it's time to start talking basketball. I'm hoping that I can start making this thing a little more Deadspinish and a little less articlish. The Davidsonian will have a website next semester, so you can read articles there.

Before we get to Davidson basketball, we look at the rest of the country and we see the common trend of November: scared giants and hopeful mid-majors picking up their game on the road. In the past, it really wasn't a big deal if Duke or North Carolina lost to a nobody because their NCAA seed wouldn't reflect it and the nobody would go .500 in their po-dunk conference anyway.

However, I think that we are seeing the continual flow of the mid-majors at the start of this season. I see no ebb in sight. On the night, Oral Roberts picked up a huge win over #3 Kansas on the road, while Winthrop almost stunned #2 UNC after leading at half.

Winthrop and Oral Roberts are joining the teams like Creighton, SIU and George Mason that refuse to see themselves as cinderellas and are coming to play against the boys. Notice I didn't say big boys, because as we are continually seeing they really aren't that big anymore. Especially when great coaches like Gregg Marshall, Jim Larranaga, and Bob McKillop are out there.

But on to the good stuff, Davidson beat UIC 100-89 tonight behind the, dare-I-say, "flat" play of Stephen Curry who scored 27 points. Curry missed some very good shots in the first half and made some poor decisions with the ball throughout the game. And yet he still led this team to victory. If he continues to mature and strengthen, Curry could very well be the best player in Davidson history.

But enough about Curry, we have four years to develop that subject. I was most impressed with Thomas Sander and Boris Meno who continue to improve within McKillop's system. They have both taken lessons from Ian and started to perfect their short hooks and tip-ins, and they both have an excellent knack for rebounds. The great rebounder always does the fundamentals well, but he also has an intuitive sense about shots and these guys really seem to have that.

Finally, I'm impressed with William Archambault. He has really evolved into a dynamic small forward who can play above the rim, hit the outside shot, and play defense.

Although we definitely have some trouble with holding onto the ball, and we need some more PT and consistency from Richards, I love the way that our underclassmen are contributing while learning. In my few years here at Davidson, the "system" of Bob McKillop has handicapped the underclassmen and not allowed them to play while learning. Now we are getting contributions from players who are improving and learning at the same time.

This team is also going to cause some matchup problems in a way that we haven't in the past. Not only are we building an inside-outside offense with outside shooters and power players in the paint, but now we have the ability to run-out on teams that aren't as quick as UIC. The Flames shot the lights out tonight and yet they couldn't beat us because of our +20 rebounding margin.

The crowd was excellent tonight and I really think that we are building on our support base. The Davidson Basketball Blog is getting some great hits as well as I'm excited to see what this year can bring and hope that this will be the year when we begin to separate ourselves from the rest of the SoCon. We want to be Gonzaga, Memphis, SIU, Winthrop, .....etc. Davidson belongs in that list. We have been there in the past and we deserve to be there again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Winthrop has never been considered ahead of us, I don't believe. They just happen to be in a really weak conference that they win every year, and end up in the NCAA tourney. If the actually WIN a game in the NCAA tourney, then they are ahead of us.