Monday, March 10, 2008

Kruse Thoughts From SoCon (Day 2)


*** Collective wisdom had it that Greensboro was the group that was going to knock off Davidson if that was going to happen this weekend. There was that much-discussed 20-point first-half lead in the game at Greensboro, the game in Belk was quite competitive throughout, and when those tournament pairings came out the eye couldn't help but go immediately to that likely semifinal rematch.

A thread on indicated that at least one Wildcat fan was "terrified" going into this one.



Here's the thing, though: For a good chunk of the first half Sunday, Greensboro had made I would say two or three contested threes that were out of the ordinary, and Steph and Bryant Barr had missed I would say two or three relatively uncontested threes that were also out of the ordinary. And the good guys were still up by 14 at the break.

In the second half, when those shots stopped going down with that frequency, and when the Wildcats just kept doing what the Wildcats do ...


Y'all saw it.

The boys are making hard look easy.

*** I'm not really a stats man – you can use numbers, I think, to say just about anything – but then again most of the time box scores don't look like … THIS.

Check it.

Points in the paint: Davidson 44, UNCG 8.

Second-chance points: Davidson 21, UNCG 3.

Points off turnovers: Davidson 13, UNCG … ZERO.

*** Kyle Hines is one of six men in the history of college basketball to have over the course of a career gotten 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocks. The other five? Davidson Robinson, Alonzo Mourning, Tim Duncan, Pervis Ellison, Derrick Coleman. It's a hilarious list, but a total testament, really, to Hines, a nice, (not) 6-foot-5, under-recruited kid from Jersey. He came into Sunday evening with 80 straight games with 10 or more points. In what turned out to be the last game of his career, that streak went to 81, but barely. Put him down for 10. And the Wildcats made those 10 a HARD 10. While we're on the topic of Hines, it looked, during Civi time, with like a minute or two left, just for a sliver of a slice of a moment, like Dan Nelms was going to finish his head of steam down the lane by (gulp) dunking on Hines. Not that it was going to happen, ever, but it could have, maybe, perhaps, which would have been, you know, kind of an unlikely and ignominious end to an otherwise stellar collegiate career.

*** Okay. Right about now I feel a real need to throw this out there: The Wildcats don't get to take that 63-point aggregate margin of victory into the championship game. Pretty sure the score is going to be 0-0 Monday night at 9 when the cameras click on.

*** Steph sure has a way of making crazy shots par for the course. Said Derek Smith on press row: "Cue the circus music." For the most part, though, his 26 points were quiet. There are many, many things to love about Steph, but this is what I love the most: He is as big as he needs to be. He ups the ante when the ante needs to be upped – the 41 in Greensboro, of course, being the most conspicuous case in point. He had, what, 19 on Saturday, and then 26 against Greensboro, and it's just a flat-out fact, no ifs, ands or buts, that full-on Steph hasn't had to show up so far this weekend. You get the feeling he's saving some of that A game for when it's more necessary to roll it out.

A quiet 26.

Davidson basketball.

I love that.

*** Know what else I love? Rossiter's minutes. He had seven boards Sunday. Seemed like more. Seems like he's getting 'em all when he's out there. Kid's going to be good. Shoot. Kid IS good.

*** That McKillop running layup near the end? Looked kind of like Jason Richards. Didn't it? DIDN'T IT?

*** Need three. That's two.

No comments: