Thursday, March 15, 2007


Newcomers to Davidson basketball watched in shock and awe as Davidson students and hardcore fans walked out of the Union with their heads down, and their backpacks tightened for the long trek back to Chambers for afternoon classes.

"You guys played so well, you have nothing to hang your head about."

Winners never hang their head, but they also don't expect to lose. It was an incredible feeling to see so many Davidson students and fans crowd into the Union today to cheer for a team that they knew would win. This wasn't about putting up a good fight. This was about advancing in the NCAA tournament.

After Maryland negated the Wildcats eight point lead in the second half, Davidson started looking around for a miracle. With their "gastric acid" welling up in their stomachs, Davidson had a hard time controlling the ball and made several costly mistakes as Maryland slowly caught up and pulled ahead. Curry began to press so much that McKillop had to sit him down after the freshman picked a frustration charge.

By the time he had reentered the lineup, the game seemed to be slipping away. Maryland attacked the paint relentlessly and Sander, Meno and Lovedale were overpowered on the glass. As in the NIT game several years ago, Davidson's interior defense was not strong enough to stop Maryland.

The story of the game was Stephen Curry. In so many ways, he is the player that begins to put Davidson on-line with all of the other powerful teams around the country. He plays with great quickness and he has an uncanny ability to make plays, from behind the arc and in the paint. Curry's 30 points was not enough to overcome a Maryland marathon that saw intense action on both sides of the court for 40 minutes straight.

At the end of this incredible season, I begin to wonder: has this campus been irrevocably changed this season? Will national media and breakout stars like Curry carry Davidson to the recruiting promised land where every 1300 SAT basketball star in the country will have Davidson at the top of their lists?

It is going to be a long wait before next year's Night with the Cats. But that wait will be comforted by the knowledge of these players and their achievements. Character, intelligence and heart are not just buzzwords for the kids that we wish could be a little bit better at sports. These athletes have shown us that talent comes at the expense of nothing, and that success on the basketball court is not reserved for the endowed, the over-populated or the high-major. Davidson is a little bit closer to being on the map. We will have to wait one more year, but I am looking forward to what is coming.

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