Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mid-conference season interview with Coach McKillop

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Coach McKillop after practice. Here is a script from that interview:

Will's World: We are now at the midpoint of the conference season in the beginning of February. How would you assess Davidson's first half of conference games?

Coach McKillop: We continue to work very hard in practice and our performance in games is reflective of that effort that we're making in practice. We are getting better. The steps we are taking are not giant steps but they are all steps forward. So I'm very pleased with how we continue to progress.

WW: This team has played seven out of the last nine games on the road. Briefly speak to the mental and physical toughness that requires.

CM: Conference play on the road is incredibly challenging. There's a recognition of the opponent by the fans. There's a more inspired and motivated fan base that comes out to conference games. And there's also the recognition of sets and styles and schemes and this allows a preparation factor to really be much more engaged. So you have to be ready every time you step on the court, and you particularly have to be even more ready when you step on the court in an away setting, because of the crowd, because of the travel, because of the familiarity they have and the lack of familiarity that you have.

WW: Could you speak to the increased scoring production of Andrew Lovedale after moving into the starting lineup?

CM: We've been very pleased with the development of our frontcourt and a lot of that is the fact of the inside-outside game clicking because our guards are willing to get it inside. And our bigs have not let the guards down because they are producing. And when shots are not there, they are willing to give it up and willing to throw it out. So that factor of the inside-outside game is much like a football team that has a passing and running game. And I think that the development of Andrew Lovedale is a great sign that the inside-outside game is working.

WW: Against Chattanooga, Jason Richards set a new career high for field goal attempts with 19. Talk about the fine line between his role as a distributor and his role as a shooter.

CM: Jason Richards is incredibly unselfish. Very rarely, if at all, will you see Jason Richards force a shot. Because of the constant chasing of Stephen Curry, because of the defensive style of Chattanooga, who floods the paint and collapses on penetration so well, it opens up some perimeter shooting opportunities. And Jason did get those perimeter shooting opportunities.

WW: You have made a lot of references to football throughout this season. Do you have any thoughts on Sunday's Giant upset in the Super Bowl?

CM: That championship was a perfect affirmation of what we aspire to do here at Davidson, defensively and offensively. The Giants made it difficult for the guy with the ball to look around and do what he wanted. The Giants offensively had a great blend of the running game and the short passing game. By not trying to hit home runs and guarding the ball, I think they had a great game plan.

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