Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Davidson 75 UNCG 66

As should be obvious by now, I didn't do a live blog for Tuesday night's ESPN2 matchup between Davidson and UNC-Greensboro. I was drafted into service for ESPN's stat coordination team and had to sit on the other press row next to the statting/blogging Lauren Biggers and UNCG's assistant coaches. Here are some late night thoughts from Davidson's 18th conference win this season.

-After listening to the chatter all night on the headphones about Davidson and Stephen Curry, I am convinced that all a committee member needs to do to give the Wildcats an at-large is watch a little part of one game here in Feb/March. All of the uninitiated were thoroughly impressed with their first look at Curry and Davidson. They tried to get some features on Hines and his statistical accomplishments up on the screen, but then Davidson would go off and do something great again.

-Curry scored 30 tonight and everyone felt like he could have scored more. Curry had several bunnies rim out, but his most spectacular plays came on some of his interior passes to find open forwards after the defense shifted to help. If Davidson's frontcourt can convert on the chances they get, Davidson could be unstoppable. Curry is so dangerous if you don't guard him heavily and the rest of the Wildcats become dangerous when you do.

-Davidson's 46 points in the paint are largely due to the Wildcats being patient and allowing the Spartan defense to rotate too far as they found open players on the backside. Some of the passes to set up easy layups were absolutely pristine. Despite several uncharacteristically sloppy plays, Jason Richards finished with a strong stat-line of eight points, eight assists, and four steals.

-Max Paulhus Gosselin played like a man possessed tonight...he took a normally pestering defense to another level by actually picking off passes and converting them into scoring opportunities. Gosselin finished with 7 steals and should be credited with several more forced turnovers (including a five second call). Max's classmate, Andrew Lovedale, once again poured in a very quiet 14 points off some rangy pull-up jumpers. Lovedale led the defensive charge against Kyle Hines with three individual blocks.

-Stephen "I'm-going-to-throw-this-off-your-back-to-show-how-much-I-deserve-POY" Curry's crazy inbounds play where he threw the ball off of Kyle Hines' back and then caught it for an easy layup, made ESPN's Top 10 plays for SportsCenter and College GameNight's Gym Gems. Guest color analyst Doug Gottlieb was left speechless.

-TV Ted Valentine (on the left in this picture) made an appearance in Belk Arena tonight on TV. Valentine did his normal gesturing and marching down the court after a pair of controversial charge calls. But mostly, he was pretty quiet. You don't often watch a game reffed by Valentine and forget that he is a ref. The best moment of the night came during a timeout when he was standing right in front of me and the football players were shouting various things at him. He slowly turned to them and raised his finger to his lips to shush the crowd. The students were very proud that they got such a reaction out of the TV Teddy himself.

-The blog's good friend Will Brinson was back in action tonight, this time live-blogging for AOL's Fanzone. I got to talk to him a little at halftime and I can promise you that all of his blogged Davidson praise is no front...he really likes watching this team play. I'd have to agree with his assertion that Davidson and Greensboro are probably the best two teams in the conference. Hines is certainly the best player not wearing a Davidson uniform and I personally think that Dement is the best coach not named McKillop. Greensboro was unfocused at times tonight but they did outrebound the Cats and had 10 second chance points to Davidson's two. Davidson will probably have to go through the Spartans again in the SoCon semifinals to get to a Chatt/GSU/App State final matchup. It's too bad that Davidson will have to face them so early.

-I noticed tonight that Davidson might be the only team in the conference that doesn't have a SoCon logo on their uniform, the SoCon arena floor logo blends into the baseline color scheme (thanks Bobc63). Don't even think twice about leaving this conference anytime soon (Mr. Cary made some "observations" about those who have)...but Davidson certainly doesn't appear to have much respect for its organizing body in its signage.


Austin said...

dude you didn't do a live blog? are you sure?
now that you've sold out for espn, i might have to cut you from the show. just fyi. even though this week's segment doesn't suck.

Anonymous said...

Will: Enjoy your blog. However. a small point, but I believe there is a SoCon at the end of the floor on both ends of Belk. Bobc63