Davidson, 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.