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Former Davidson Star, Steph Curry Takes Skills Challenge

February 19th, 2011

Stephen CurryLos Angeles - Former Davidson Wildcat and current NBA player Stephen Curry took home the trophy for the NBA Skills Challenge on Saturday night during the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Curry defeated Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, and John Wall in the first round and Russell Westbrook in the finals to take the title and win a $30k scholarship for Karen Batani, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Southern California.

“I only messed up twice going through, so that’s a pretty good performance to put the pressure on him in the second round,” Curry said.

The former Davidson Sharpshooter first hit the national stage when he lead the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in the 2008 NCAA tournament. Curry was playing shooting guard at the time but it was always the intention of Davidson head coach, Bob McKillop, to turn Curry into an elite point guard… Mission Accomplished!

The Final Round of the 2011 Skills Competition: Curry defeats Westbrook

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Davidson Hangs on to Win Bracketbuster

February 19th, 2011

Davidson St Francis NY BasketballClinton, S.C. - Four Wildcats tallied double figures and hang on to defeat Presbyterian 71-65 in the ESPN Bracketbuster game on Saturday night.

The evenly distributed scoring was even more impressive given the fact that the teams top three scorers did not reach double figures themselves. Nik Cochran lead the team with 16 points, while Tom Droney and De’Mon Brooks scored 12 apiece and Clint Mann contributed 10.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the scoring output for Davidson fans was Mann throwing down two dunks including a strong putback off a Brendan McKillop missed jumper.

Davidson lead by 18 late in the first half, but the Blue Hose made some difficult 3-pointers in the second half to make the game close.

The final n0n-conference game of the year before the tournament season allowed Davidson to play 11 players and tune-up for the end of the conference season. Davidson will host Elon in Belk Arena on February 24th in their second to last game of the regular season.

Post-game radio interview with Coach Bob McKillop

NCAA Basketball
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Davidson Extends Streak to 5, Downs Wofford

February 9th, 2011

Davidson St Johns BasketballSpartanburg, S.C. - Brendan McKillop’s hot shooting from outside gave Davidson a hard-fought win over the Wofford Terriers on Wednesday night.

In a game of runs and droughts and rough inside play, the Wildcats held conference player of the year candidate, Noah Dahlman, to only 11 points and made nine 3-pointers to the Terrier’s one giving them the conference victory, their fifth in a row. McKillop’s 16 points were a game high and Clint Mann contributed 12 points and 6 rebounds.

The Davidson bench also proved to be an asset as coach Bob McKillop used an 11-man rotation compared to Wofford’s 8.

The Wildcats have won five in a row, including three games on the road, and are looking to finish the rest of the conference season strong.

Post-game interview with Coach Bob McKillop

NCAA Basketball
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Former Davidson Commitment Sean Grennan to Seton Hall

January 31st, 2011

seangrennan

Davidson, N.C.- Former Davidson Commitment, Sean Grennan, has decided to take his talents to Seton Hall.

The New Jersey Point Guard committed to the Big East after the Davidson admissions committee went against Coach McKillop’s judgement despite his past record of recruiting exceptional student-athletes.

We wish Sean the best in his college career and hope we do not face the Pirates in the next four years.

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Davidson Ends Losing Streak, Defeats Charleston

January 30th, 2011

jp-cofcDavidson, NC - The Davidson Wildcats put an end to their conference losing streak Saturday with a win over the conference leading Cougars of the College of Charleston.

Davidson point guard, Nik Cochran, outclassed preseason conference player of the year, Andrew Goudelock, to lead the Wildcats to victory.

Davidson trailed by 9 going into halftime, but three 3-point bombs by Cochran paced the Wildcats in the second half on their way to a 75-64 win. And while Cochran emerged the hero with his 21 points overall, it was the rebounding effort that won the game for the ‘Cats. Davidson outrebounded the Cougars 43-29 in the game with Jake Cohen and De’Mon Brooks pulling down 9 apiece.

The Wildcats will use this win to try to build some momentum as they start a week-long roadtrip against Georgia Southern on Monday.

Post-game interview with Coach Bob McKillop

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Davidson Takes Hornet’s Nest Trophy from UNCC

December 11th, 2010

Frank Ben-Eze Rejects the NinersDavidson, N.C. - The difference in depth between Davidson and UNC-Charlotte was obvious in the Wildcats win over the 49ers on Saturday. Due to injuries and suspensions, UNCC was limited to 7 scholarship players while Davidson rotated 10 players through their lineup. The difference showed on the scoreboard as well.

Brendan McKillop scored 21 points on 7 three pointers to lead the Wildcats over the Niners. Davidson’s sophomore class also made large contributions with 19 points and 9 rebounds from Jake Cohen, and 18 points and 7 rebounds from JP Kuhlman.

Full Story Here

A Rivalry Renewed - Being only 20 miles apart, UNCC and Davidson have had a long standing rivalry over the years. However, due to scheduling issues, the teams have not played since 2008. Because of this, Brendan McKillop and the coaches are the only ones on the court who have had a real taste of this rivalry. It’s obvious that McKillop kept that chip on his shoulder in pacing the scoring game. However, the contributions from his teammates make fans realize how tightly knit a team can be. After the game, Cohen commented on his unawareness of the rivalry but added, “Brendan said it meant a lot to him, so it means a lot to me.”

The Dunk Contest - With one minute left in the first half,  UNCC player Javarris Barnett picked up a tipped pass and brought it down the court for a one-handed dunk. It was his only field goal of the first half, but that didn’t stop Barnett, who took a second to point up to the small group of UNCC fans in attendance and flex. Unfortunately for Barnett, during his victory lap, McKillop hit a three pointer on the other end of the court to retake the lead which would never be given up again. Late in the second half, Davidson freshman De’Mon Brooks took a pass from Cohen and had a dunk of his own. However, Brooks only gave a quick point to Cohen for the assist and recovered to play defense, depriving the Davidson fans of the victory lap.

Learning the System - With a team as young as the Wildcats, there is always a learning curve. However, with this team the curve is steep. We made the observation in last year’s “Blackout” game that Steve Rossiter was the real floor leader and at one point set a screen and pointed over his shoulder to an empty spot on the floor. Will Archambault fired a pass to where Rossiter was pointing and hit McKillop in stride for an open shot. The scenario replayed itself Saturday with freshman Tom Droney setting the screen and directing the pass and JP Kuhlman getting the ball in stride. This young team is going to be dangerous if they already have a similar feel for the game that Steve Rossiter had.

The Deep Getting Deeper - While Davidson played 12 players, 10 of which for around 10 minutes or more, their bench is actually getting longer. The Wildcats c0-captain, Will Reigel dressed for the game after a long recovery from a concussion and Swedish international Chris Czerapowicz was an obvious present on the bench while still sporting a tie and button down. Davidson fans are excited for both to make contributions during the holiday tournament in New York.

Game Highlights:

Post-Game Interview

A View From Press Row

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Wildcats Roll vs. Western Kentucky

November 21st, 2010

De'Mon Brooks Over WKUSan Juan, PR - The Davidson Wildcats led the Hilltoppers from beginning to end in the final game of the Puerto Rico Tip-off. J.P. Kuhlman dropped in 16 points and 9 rebounds to lead the “Cats to the 64-51 victory.

With such a young Davidson team, the tournament was a way for the fans and, more importantly, the coaching staff to answer some questions about what the Wildcats are made of.

Jordan Downing - The first question was how to get Downing going. The talented freshman put in a good number of minutes against Penn and West Virginia in the first two games of the season, but those minutes were not as productive as the coaches were hoping from him.

In the final game of the tournament, Coach Bob McKillop sat Downing for the entire first half and most of the second half of the game. With 12 minutes left in regulation, Downing got his chance and was tired of sitting. Downing created space and hit 3 long range shots on three consecutive possessions stretching out the Davidson lead.

A few possessions later, Downing hit his 4th jumper, forcing WKU to call a timeout. As the freshman came to the bench, coach McKillop was the first to greet him with some enthusiastic fist bumping.

Bob McKillop Pumps up Jordan Downing

Tom Droney - We have no idea if stats like this exist, but Tom Droney may have forced one of the fastest substitutions caused by a freshman in NCAA basketball. On the second possession of the game, Droney gave a quick head fake and burned his defender on his way to an easy basket. WKU’s coach Ken McDonald pointed to his reserves to get someone in the game who could attempt to guard Droney, 89 seconds into the game…

Clint Mann - Davidson fans know that Sophomore transfer Clint Mann has already earned the nickname Maximus from the coaching staff after the movie Gladiator. The referees must have heard this and spotted a play that resembled the movie as they called Mann for an intentional elbow. But, the play really only resembled the movie in the fantastic acting involved. The Best Actor award goes to Steffphon Pettigrew of WKU for the feigned elbow, and Best Supporting Actor award goes to Sergio Kerusch for pretending he was the victim and attempting to take the technical free throws.

If the refs want to know what an actual flagrant foul looks like, they could have witnessed Davidson assistant coach Landry Kosmalski giving a shot to head coach Bob McKillop, perhaps for being forced to wear the bowling shirt.

Bob McKillop Gets Elbowed

Frank Ben-Eze - Junior big man Ben-Eze is a fan favorite for his defensive ability, and he earned that reputation against Western Kentucky. The hilltoppers put up a number of awkward layups short of the rim, over the basket or even behind the shot clock. The reason? Early in the game, Ben-Eze sent an attempted WKU layup into the ocean. From that moment on, any time Ben-Eze was near the basket, the Hilltoppers put up awkward shots to avoid chasing balls into the water shouting “Wiiiiillllsonnn!”

The Wildcats return to action this Saturday against Rhode Island. However, if the rate that this team is improving continues, the entire Davidson team will be signed to NBA contracts before the weekend.

Full game story click here

Post-game interview with Bob McKillop

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Wildcats Battle for a Win vs. Nebraska

November 19th, 2010

Brooks and Mann Trap JeterSan Juan, PR - For the second straight day, the Davidson Wildcats were in for a fight. The front line of the Nebraska Cornhuskers weigh a combined metric ton, and coming off of a tough loss to Vanderbilt, they were looking for redemption. And while it has been the freshman who have gotten the majority of the ink in the early season news stories, it was the veterans, led by Brendan McKillop’s 21 points, who shined in the win.

It was the tale of two halves in the way the Wildcats picked apart the Huskers. Davidson sophomore Jake Cohen took over the first half of the game hitting shots both inside and outside for a 15 of his 19 points in the frame. In the second half, it was the old man who took over. After shooting 1-9 from three the day before, senior leader McKillop hit a total of 6 treys, 4 in the half, to pace the Wildcats.

While the freshman took a lesser role in the second round, they did not go unnoticed. Guard Tom Droney played solid all day but provided his biggest contribution pulling down an offensive board in the closing seconds and hitting both free throws to ice the game. Forward De’Mon Brooks, continued his impressive start to his rookie season by scoring 11 points and falling one rebound shy of his first career double-double.

After the two quick games, Bob McKillop and the Cats will have a day of preparation before their final Puerto Rican brawl. Davidson will face Western Kentucky on Sunday.

Click here for the full story from Davidson

Read the Charlotte Observer article here

Post-game interview with Davidson coach Bob McKillop

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Davidson Drops Tournament Opener to WVU

November 18th, 2010

Droney vs. WVUSan Juan, PR - In our recent memory, we cannot recall a time when Davidson Basketball Coach Bob McKillop was so upset with a call. With eight minutes left in the game, Davidson freshman forward De’Mon Brooks was in the middle of a debutante performance in his second career NCAA game. He had already scored 13 points and pulled down 6 boards. His confidence was high. Brooks took his defender off the dribble elevated and adjusted his body while above the rim just as he was undercut.

The foul was inexplicably called on Brooks. Head Coach Bob McKillop has always been known as a cool customer but could not believe his ears. He did a pirouette in front of the bench, made some gestures to the basketball gods and collapsed to one knee, defeated.

In a game with 67 fouls, it’s no wonder that the call that would rattle the coach would be during the contest, but it hurt nonetheless. The foul was the 4th on Brooks who had to sit the next 5 minutes before coming back to close the game with a score in the lane and another rebound. However, despite this speed bump, it was a successful coming out party for Brooks.

The same can be said about the entire Davidson team in their tournament opener in Puerto Rico. The game against Bobby Huggins and West Virginia could be considered a speed bump as it was a 14 point loss, but the success was between the lines.

Brooks was not the only Freshman to impress. Starting guard Tom Droney demonstrated why he is the first freshman to begin the season in a starting position since Steph Curry. Droney made a number of drives, each one seemingly forcing a West Virginia substitution as the Mountaineers continued to be beat by a freshman.

And on a night where the Cat’s usual sharpshooters struggled, freshman Jordan Downing saved Davidson from breaking their streak of going 507 games with a made three pointer. Downing created space of a quick dribble and hit the jumper from the wing with one of the smoother strokes on the team.

The game was a battle from start to finish. It was the perfect environment to steepen the learning curve for the Davidson underclassmen. Despite the 14 point loss, getting bloodied in battle with a Big East team in a tournament environment will spell well for Davidson in the future.

Read the full game story here

Post-game interview with Coach Bob McKillop

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Young Wildcats Shine in Davidson’s Red/Black Scrimmage

October 30th, 2010

Red/Black ScrimmageDavidson, NC - Davidson head coach Bob McKillop has mentioned a number of times that his basketball team is a team built on promise. That may be due to the fact that the 2/3rds of the ‘10/’11 Wildcats is made up of underclassmen. Saturday’s Red/Black scrimmage was the first opportunity for the young cats to prove their stuff in front of an open crowd.

The team played a 20 minute “second half” period, starting with the score tied at 35. After a victory by the away team, the teams were reshuffled and the home team was given a 4 point deficit with 4 minutes left to play in a late game simulation.

Home Team (20 min half) - JP Kuhlman, Nik Cochran, Jake Cohen, De’Mon Brooks, Jordan Downing, Clay Tormey

Away Team - Brendan McKillop, Ali Mackay, Tom Droney, AJ Atkinson, Frank Ben-Eze, Clint Mann, Ben Alison

For speculators who wanted to get a glimpse of how the team was planning on playing out the year, there were some obvious trends. Coach McKillop is obviously continuing with his strategy of playing an up tempo type of game. One big change between last year and what looks to be the strategy for this year includes a heavy inside-out game. Last year, due to injuries and inexperience, the cats did not have the depth to play much of an inside game. However, the cats are very clearly trying to get their large stable of forwards involved looking inside early on most every play during the scrimmage.

Some other game notes:

The Canadian Pipeline - If there were a biggest surprise to come out of the scrimmage, it would be the play of Sophomore Nik Cochran. The Canadian guard is the third Davidson player out of Quebec’s Champlain St. Lambert high school, and could have been seen as the game MVP going 4 for 6 in the 20 minute period for 9 points. While his long range jumpshot looked smooth, it was his ability to finish around the rim with contact that fans most appreciated.

“Are you not Entertained?” - Sophomore transfer Clint Mann, showed why he has earned the nickname “Maximus” from the coaching staff. Mann scored a number of baskets and pulled down several rebounds while initiating heavy contact under the basket. We would say that we might see Mann scoring high numbers while wearing a protective face mask at some point during this season, but we’re pretty sure that his nose is more apt to break elbows than the other way around.

“I am hard on you because I love you” - This old cliche materialized early in the scrimmage. Freshmen De’mon Brooks has been a player who has been singled out by McKillop multiple times in the training period as someone who has shown him incredible promise. McKillop obviously expects a lot of out Brooks. Numerous times, McKillop called Brooks over to him (and once went out to him at the free throw line) to give him an earful about his play. Brooks was quite impressive in the scrimmage pulling down rebounds and scoring putbacks but it was clear that McKillop sees a potential star.

Depth Perception - The Wildcats look to have plenty of hands on the ball this season. To compliment the depth at forward, the ‘Cats look to have a deep rotation at point guard. During the scrimmage, McKillop, Kuhlman, Cochran and Droney all took turns handling the point and doing so quite adeptly. Having multiple options at point guard will presumably allow the team to play their up-tempo style of ball without fatigue or let-down during the course of a game.

The only two players fans did not get to see in action were co-captain junior Will Reigel and freshman Chris Czerapowicz. Both will only add to the Cat’s  height (6′5″ and 6′7″ respectively) and depth at the guard position.

It seems like Coach McKillops cries of “promise” were accurate based on this year’s scrimmage and will be set to impress fans again this winter.

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