Monday, January 21, 2008

Final look at anniversary weekend

The alums have all flown home now. The snow has all but melted. And the basketball team is off in Cullowhee thinking about the next set of bodies that the SoCon will throw at them. The once in a lifetime moment came and went...but thankfully, we are left with more than just a ticket stub and maybe a few autographs. Here's a look at all of the different takes from the weekend of Davidson basketball.

Just recently published here on the blog, Michael Kruse put up the caution sign in this article about the Hall of Fame panel that gathered on Saturday morning. Kruse argues that Saturday was not the best time for the politics of John Gerdy and yet firmly believed that the high-flying act of the 2007-2008 Wildcats all but erased any bruised feelings between members of different generations and worldviews.

Over on the Wildcats' Roar blog, Lauren Biggers gave a nice take on how the Wildcats were finally having fun on the court. From Jason Richards' several fist pumps and exhortations of competitive fury to Stephen Curry's smooth pointing to the crowd, the entire game felt like an unleashing of Wildcat fervor that came from somewhere very deep down inside. I will also have an article on the athletic website's blog page in the near future.

Throughout the afternoon basketball game, Lefty Driesell sat with John Kilgo at the press table and talked about the game and his experiences as the Wildcat coach in the 1960's. He repeatedly said that Curry was one of the best guards that he had ever seen play basketball, and that McKillop had coached his team to play great defense. Even in the 1960's when defenses were less physical, Driesell always taught his Wildcats how to play shut-down D and force turnovers.

As pointed out by AppFan over on his blog, Davidson's celebration was not without its ironic humor. This poorly deluded youngster was getting an autograph from Driesell while wearing an App State hoody. This photo by Marty Price appeared in the Charlotte Observer slideshow of photos from the basketball weekend.

In another bit of irony more pleasing to Davidson fans, the Chattanooga Free Times' David Uchiyama wrote that Chase Allred, a local 8-year old was happier to have gotten Stephen Curry's autograph than Driesell's. "I can't believe I got Stephen Curry's autograph."

One of the darker moments of Saturday came late in the game against Chattanooga when the Mocs' Matt Gwynne intentionally fouled Davidson's Thomas Sander. The Davidson bench was irate and Sander refused to comment on the incident after the game. As you can see by the footage, Gwynne was ferocious with his elbow and nearly broke Sander's nose. Sander had been punched in the groin earlier in the game by Chattanooga's Kevin Bridgewaters.

Sander seemed to be without any permanent damage after the game, as he was cheerfully signing autographs for kids on the court. The Wildcats return to Chattanooga on February 2, and if this video continues to be played over and over, it is a guarantee that some more sparks will fly.

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