Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Exclusive Chat with Kyle Whelliston

The following is the transcript of a recent email interview that Will's World had with ESPN.com's Mid-Major Expert, Kyle Whelliston. Whelliston attended Davidson's BracketBusters victory and wrote an excellent article about Wildcat point guard Jason Richards.

What impressed you the most about Jason Richards' performance on Friday night?

Definitely his poise. It's easy to forget that he has about as much experience starting games as Stephen Curry does as a sophomore. When Steph went to the bench in the first half with two fouls, he took complete control of the game and looked like a four-year starter at point.

Is this year's Davidson team comparable to last year's Winthrop team? What similarities and differences do you see?

Not really, that team was all about forwards, I think Davidson 2007's guard play is better. Last year's Winthrop team had more talented size than this Davidson team has. They had a 6-10 guy named Craig Bradshaw who was fast enough to quarterback the press and created all sorts of matchup problems when he stepped out to the perimeter.

Where does Max Paulhus Gosselin rank among defensive forwards in the mid-major ranks? In all of college basketball?

I can't say, because we haven't created stats yet to properly measure the accomplishments of a guy like Max. It seems like he's a part of every play when he's out on the floor. All I know is that every time I cover a Davidson game, I write his name down at least seven or eight times for doing something good, but then I look at the box score and he's scored three or four points.

I saw on your marathon chat that someone asked you about Steve Rossiter. After another look at him on Friday, how do you assess his contributions to this team, this year?

He's never going to be a superstar, but there will always be matchups he can exploit, like in the N.C. Central game and the first game with Wofford. I hope he develops into a good role player in his final two years.

How do you think mid-major schools will fare in the NCAA tournament this year compared to last season?

One thing we saw a lot of last year was regular season champions going to the NIT instead of winning the autobid via the league tourney, unlike in 2006. As a result, there weren't a lot of low-seed upsets. Winning both the regular-season title and tourney championship is a good measure of a team's upset chances, and the volume of upsets will likely hinge on the number of double champions.

Davidson is now just outside the AP Top 25 poll. If they are ranked going into the conference tournament and falter, do you think they will still miss out on an at-large bid?

Yes. A 3-6 record in nonconference shouldn't get you in as an at-large, no matter who was on the schedule. Remember that they were 4-7 in 2005, and the perfect regular season couldn't get them in.

1 comment:

DrFrankLives said...

Welliston is pissing me off.

The losses in 2005 were to the likes of Princeton, Seton Hall, St. Joes and U Mass, none of which were as good as this year's Western Michigan team, let alone Duke, UNC and UCLA.

See here:


Georgetown obliterated us by 25 on our own court that year.

AND if we finish the year undefeated we will have won 4 MORE conference games, than we did in 2004-05. That will include 10 ROAD games.

This team would destroy the 2005 team.