Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Wildcat Latest

It has been a busy and exciting few weeks for Wildcat fans. Here is a recap of some of the important news items to keep an eye on:

Davidson rounds out schedule

The Wildcat coaching staff officially announced their planned participation in the 2007 John Wooden Classic in Anaheim, CA. Davidson will take on the UCLA Bruins on December 8. UCLA is coming off back-to-back Final Four appearances and most preseason experts see them going for three in a row with the addition of big man Kevin Love and the return of the speedy Darren Collison.

UCLA will round out an already tough non-conference schedule that includes pre-season championship favorite UNC, a Top 15 Duke Blue Devil team, an improved N.C. State squad coming off of an ACC championship game appearance, a game at rival UNC-Charlotte where the Wildcats have never won, a return game at Western Michigan and an ESPN BracketBuster game in February. Davidson will not face one D-I non-conference opponent in the friendly confines of Belk Arena.

In other scheduling notes, the Southern Conference has moved its tournament up one day as the championship game will now be held on a Monday night (March 10). That day will be the first day back to classes for Davidson students completing their spring break. The move was made to increase TV ratings and in-city attendance for a tournament that will now largely be played on the weekend.

National Representation

Both Stephen Curry and Max Paulhus Gosselin were recently selected to represent their countries in International play this summer. Curry joins the USA U19 team competing in the world championships in Novi Sad, Serbia. Curry made an impact early on as he scored 16 points in a win over China's senior team that included recent draft pick Yi Jianlian. The U.S. went on to win in the Global Games played in the U.S. and are currently competing in Novi Sad. Curry scored 9 points in USA's blowout win over Mali on the first day of competition (July 12).

Paulhus Gosselin was selected to Canada's national development team which will compete in the FISU games from August 7th to 18th in Bangkok, Thailand. He is currently working out in Davidson with several other teammates.

Gignac Takes Over

The Davidson athletic department recently completed their search for a new Sports Information Director, hiring Marc Gignac from Canisius College. Gignac spent six years as Director of Athletic Communications at Canisius. A Jesuit school in western New York, the Griffins compete in the MAAC.

Gignac has several ties to the Charlotte area as he graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and took his first job with the AAA Charlotte Knights. Gignac will be responsible for Davidson's new athletic website set to launch in the Fall of 2007. He will also be integral in launching the Wildcats' new media distribution plan which tentatively includes having every Wildcat home game televised live on Davidson's website with archived games available for purchase.

Gignac will replace the departed Rick Bender who has taken a job in Birmingham, AL. Bender has been a Wildcat institution for the last 17 years: first as a Wildcat baseball player, then a baseball assistant coach, and finally as an employee in the Sports Information office.


Anonymous said...

Your comments about the schedule make it sound as if Davidson is not scheduling any more non-conference games. That's not true, if that is what you meant. The NCAA is allowing 29 games next year, not 27 as in years past. Therefore, Davidson has two more "game" slots to fill, which could be home games at Belk or even a two- or three-game tournament say at Michigan (like 2006-07) that counts as one "game."

wibryan said...

I failed to mention in the post that Davidson would probably be scheduling two home games against D-II/III opponents. I assumed that those games counted towards the 29. If they do, then UNC, Duke, NC State, UCLA, Charlotte, Western Michigan, Bracketbuster, 2 D-III, 20 conference games = 29 games.